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

Like Mark Twain, I can also "live for two months on a good compliment". The genuine and empowering words of those we respect can help us overcome the challenges we thought impossible days earlier.

Louise Ryburn

Louise had a genuine interest in marketing from a young age. At 5 she started selling flowers from neighbours' gardens door to door for 10c a posy. While other little girls played with dolls, she played dress-up in power suits with a briefcase.


This passion for business worked well later on when Louise graduated top of her university marketing class. In 2001 she joined Celebrity Speakers, a leading professional speaking and entertainment agency, working for the late Debbie Tawse.

Light bulb moment

"On Christmas Eve seven years ago I went to visit Debbie, who was terminally ill," said Louise. "We had never discussed the fact Debbie was going to pass away, but I felt I needed to ask her , 'What am I going to do - you need to tell me everything!"'

Debbie's reply to Louise was simple, but incredibly profound and life-changing. "Louise, you do not need to know anything! None of that matters - just know you are great!"

From that point on Louise had complete faith that she could take over Debbie's company and worked to build it into New Zealand's leading speaking bureau.

"Having someone believe in you wholeheartedly and 100 per cent has amazing power," said Louise. "As well as this I realised the true impact of a mentor. It gave me great self-belief (not to be confused with arrogance) which is so incredibly important in business."

Power of the tongue

Louise believes it's vital to surround yourself with people who believe in you. "From time to time when tough decisions or challenging situations arise, I go back to Debbie's words, and gain renewed faith that I'm doing the right thing and keep moving."

I encourage you to take some time to remember both the positive words people have sown into your life, as well as ways you can invest in others with your words this week.

• If you have had a blinding moment of insight (a light bulb moment), please email me at tom@AchievementExpert.com

• Tom is an award-winning business speaker, international author of The 1% Principle and Selling Yourself to Employers, and CEO of both CV.CO.NZ and AchievementExpert.com. Email Tom at tom@AchievementExpert.com.