Entrepreneurial mum inspired to make her mark in business
CHUWAR mother of three Cas McCullough decided she was going to follow her dream and, as a result, is now making a mark in Australian business.
It was not without its challenges but the sole parent's hard work has paid off with some national recognition.
Ms McCullough is an inspiring woman and her enthusiasm for what she does and for life itself is evident in every word uttered.
It was through a significant life event that she embarked on her current pathway.
"I had an ectopic pregnancy in 2008 where I almost lost my life and was hit hard by the Global Financial Crisis. Through that time I realised, in a moment like that, that I did not want to wait, to walk someone else's journey," she said.
Training as a birth doula or birth attendant - a non-medical support person - was undertaken.
"You are a mother to the mother, cook meals and support her through the pregnancy," she said,
This formed a micro-business and soon she was networking and going to local women's groups.
"I even retailed handmade baby clothes selling through markets. I realised that the business was not really sustainable, particularly in my circumstances," she said.
She already had a strong background in marketing and public relations.
"I was often asked by people for advice. They wanted to know how to do things better, the issue was I was doing this all for free," she said.
Since starting her business three years ago, she never imagined she would be where she was now.
"Life has been interesting over the past few years," she said.
She trades as Content Marketing Cardiology.
It is a focus on relationships - a two-way approach and developed around social media tools such as blogs, podcasts and the like.
Through relationships a business aims to earn the person's attention rather than former models based on buying it.
"I started my business after realising how much marketing has changed in the past five years. Many small businesses really struggle with how to market their businesses on and offline," she said.
"We help small and medium enterprises connect with their right people through powerful content."
Ms McCulloch was shortlisted in the Australian Anthill Top 100 of the coolest and most innovative companies in Australia.
It is a real achievement to be in such an elite group.
"Being shortlisted for this award, the biggest entrepreneur award in Australia, is such a wonderful validation of all the work I have put in," she said.
The awards night was held last Thursday evening, where she was awarded highly commended.
She has been a finalist for the past two years in Women and Technology and has high hopes of taking out the top award next time.
Beside the development of this business, she has also written a publication, Your Brilliant Un-Career: Women, Entrepreneurship, and Making the Leap, launched last week and three years in the making.
"It is sitting at number one in Women and Business and also Marketing in Amazon Australia. People have been able to download it for free but it is now on sale for Kindle or as a hard copy publication. There have been 700 downloaded already," she said.
"In the book I share stories of my own journey and 22 other stories are in the book. I did not think I was worthy of doing this, I limited myself and I know many people do.
"I want to inspire others to give it a go, follow their dreams," she said.
Her three children are all home schooled and this sits very comfortably within her broader personal philosophy.
"It is tough some days, it is a different way of living," she said.
She is excited by all that 2014 has brought her way, including the expediential growth of her business, publishing her book and a strong family unit along with great friendships.
"Wow, what a year. I can't wait for 2015."