Welcome to my regular series entitled "My Light Bulb Moment". This column highlights a 'blinding flash of insight', business, cultural and sports leaders have experienced, and how this changed their lives forever.

Stephanie Martin

The "Goodness Grocer"

Starting her first company at 26, Stephanie offered promotional models and talent for events and corporates nationwide. However within three years, she found running her successful company unfulfilling, as she was promoting products she felt were not aligned with her own personal values.

"My son was sick and needed help, so I established The Goodness Grocer in Waiuku (just outside Auckland) as a way to access the things I needed to help him, with the hope that other people needed these things too," Stephanie remembers. "In April 2015 I opened my second location in Pukekohe, and within three short months had won both the Retail category and then the Supreme Award in the regional Business awards."

Stephanie has also recently been a finalist in the national 'Mumtrepreneur Awards' and was named in the top three businesswomen in New Zealand in the Food and Beverage sector.


A whole new world

"At first, I found opening an organic-based grocery store a daunting prospect. I had never worked in retail, ever. I had limited knowledge of organics, wholefoods or nutrition." However in a chance conversation one day, Stephanie was given the advice "don't worry - every expert once knew nothing".

This was the light-bulb moment Stephanie was waiting for. "I found this simple statement not only comforting, but also empowering.

Even the world's most intelligent, knowledgeable and successful people, once knew nothing about the things that make them who they are today. They simply learnt it all, which means anyone can apply themselves and learn things too.

Giving Stephanie the confidence she needed to take the plunge, she very quickly started learning about leases, how the retail world works, organics, grocery stores, nutrition, illness, health and much more.

Don't feel afraid and get started

"I no longer felt intimidated or scared of success or failure. I remind myself that the experts (as much as they are incredibly amazing) are just people who have learnt things." They are not better than any other person on the planet, they have just learnt different things to other people around them.

"The only way to become an expert in something is to learn. Read one thing, do one thing, and then do one more thing, and one more, and keep going."

As we know, there is never a time in our lives where we should stop accessing new knowledge.

As Stephanie says "I endeavour to learn something every day, and I hope I learn something even on my very last day on Earth."

Tom O'Neil is an award winning business speaker, best-selling international author of 'The 1% Principle' & 'You're Hired', and MD of both www.CV.CO.NZ and www.TomONeil.com.