Top tips from Renee Wingfield.
1. Read, just read and read things that make you feel uncomfortable
Read, just read and read things that make you feel uncomfortable. My goal this year was 80 books, which I’m very close to completing. And it just keeps me out of social media and actually digesting ideas, not opinions at someone else’s leisure, like I’m cultivating my own my own diet the same way I do in my day to day life.
2. Choose what you’re consuming to nurture yourself, especially if you’re going after a goal.
So, choose what you’re consuming to nurture yourself, especially if you’re going after a goal. Joining Oh, I feel like I said to everyone, I can’t convince artists for some reason, I don’t know when to just get some will be ready. And if you’re not us and you would like my experience, please because you know, it’s ethical duty to be successful in the world and live the life that we want to and the only way you’re going to do that is to get out of your own way.
3. Let go earlier, especially relationships and people the couple of big lessons that I had.
Let go earlier, especially relationships and people the couple of big lessons that I had. Were really, I don’t really know how to explain this, but holding on to memories of old relationships that actually weren’t true. You know, whether they be employees or friends or just pay We’ll growing apart and have the Congress to have that crucial conversation earlier of like, you know, we’re not filling each other with not to use the trite filling with joy. But if you’re not good, you’re not good to go. If you’re not walking away feeling great that you’ve seen someone in your life, you either had to have the hard conversation, where you could be, you could be you, as a man could be taking up that person’s space to find the next best person in their life. And I think with social media, we haven’t, we’re not able to separate ourselves as much as we used to. So you don’t get that.
people, artists, years, clients, western australia, world, stakeholders, pretty, fun, space, event, performance, performing, trapeze artist, great, feel, kid, experiences, managed, run
Jeni Clift 00:02
Welcome everybody back to another recording of our better business better life podcast with Jenny Clift, and today I’m really excited to introduce Renee Wingfield and I’m just gonna read off my, my brief here. Renee is an artist and entrepreneur, a mum and a semi retired trapeze artist. So, Renee, I’ll get you to do a quick intro before we get into our best professional and best personal but tell me about we just had a quick chat you started you grew up on a farm. How on earth did you end up as a trapeze artist?
Renee Wingfield 00:36
That’s, that’s a question that I sometimes find myself answering. I grew up in the most pristine, beautiful place called Brenda Bay in Western Australia part of the Fitzgerald national biosphere. Technically, it’s not remote, but it is pretty much the southern tip close to Esperance. So it’s pretty quiet. I had like three kids in my year at school, we had 30 kids in our pre primary primary. Totally. So the small farming community that was fishing was fishing and, and farming. And I think one of the things that’s such a benefit of being a farm kid is wide open spaces, and nothing about free time. You know, growing up in the 80s Just know, there was I mean, we had ABC that was that was pretty much it. And so you make your own fun, and I actually had a terrifying fear of heights. And so I push myself to climb things I nearly fell out of the Gloucester tree as a kid. And so I would constantly try things to to climb. And then you know, one thing led to the other. And I wound up going to school in a place in Alberni. And I wound up in gymnastics because it’s physical and board, not very good at gymnastics. And my mom put me in a theater and circus recreational program, because there was four choices, and I’m definitely I’m not a dancer. And that was, you know, nine. And so at the time, it was lots of community funding. So I got the opportunity to do lots of shows timed out. In that sort of practice at about 14, when I discovered soccer became a referee, only female referee and WA for quite a long time, left that when I fractured my spine. So at uni, which was a fun time, don’t run on hard ground sideways, for you know, 30 hours a week in mail games where you’ve got to run 10 Plus guys in that time. And so when I had to have all my reconditioning done, my den physio, said, you’ve got to do something. You’ve lost all your core muscles. How about yoga? And of course, being the uneducated farm kid who’d never been anywhere that stage I said, youngest hippies What else you got? It Well, that’s not up to me. And so I did trapeze as a kid, maybe I could try that it’s like that’s a great idea just don’t fall off. So I found the one second school at the time, and still at uni. And then 12 months later, I found my found myself graduated from uni running that second school, which was then SEC exec and is now the West Australian circus schools circus who now sorry, it’s gone through a couple of naming conventions, which set me on the path to stop 50s and travel the world and train in China and acquire many, many, many, many, many more injuries, and many more experiences.
Jeni Clift 03:31
What an amazing journey and all from the age of you know, of nine and trying to cure your own fear of heights. Amazing. So I’ll get you to share a professional and a personal win. And then I’ll get you to share a bit more about your business and what you do. Um,
Renee Wingfield 03:49
There’s a couple going on at the moment. Number one, we’ve just submitted a major business plan for our second business which I would love to share it another time, which is completely left field of where we are now, but is in line with my personal mission other big, bold, beautiful life in a journey to make the world more fun and safe. From an artist point of view, one of my favorite things I’ve done in the last couple of years. We sound so silly. So both of them are made professionally for like 14 years. It’s one of my many number plans sort of fringe out here. So GB is title of Queen of the mermaids and I always wanted to have a mass migration. So we did a mass migration of mermaids here in Western Australia. Kouji pristine and 78 Mermaids, rock up or coming all different communities like representation from anywhere we possibly could. And so we have the Australian record for most mermaids on a beach so that was a huge win. not a it’s not a shiny like profiteering. In fact, we Last money. But there was something really magical about all these incredible different bodies or different spaces culminating to flop around on the beach to two degrees on this, like pristine beach. And I just felt this, you know, this together moment of like, it took 14 years to get this to have trust from the community, to have appetite from clients. And to get the joy and 1000 people wrapped up to see it, it was and we made like four different new services it was it was insane. So we’re, we’re just about to release that for the next one. So next year, and we really want to beat the world record, which was I think, 300 or 327, held in China. So one day, but it’s just those silly little, you know, gamified fun things that you can physically see and people get excited for.
Jeni Clift 05:54
And you make my life feel so boring. How on earth did you come up with that idea of a mass gathering of my mates?
Renee Wingfield 06:06
Ah, look, the community is is pretty unique I, I wound I’ve literally fell into it not by training or anything like that. I mean, I guess as a Western Australian kid, we spend most of the time in the water as a young child and ocean. But I saw this image of I think it’s the original Peter Pan of mermaid Cove. It’s an in black and white image. And it’s like 10 minutes on the beach. It was shot somewhere in LA, it’s completely falsified. And I just went, that’s really cool. Like, what does that look like? Now? Like, what does a real life moment of that nostalgia and hope look like now in a modern world, and I just sort of kicked it around. And originally, I was like, oh, maybe we can do ocean cleanup, which is something I’d really like to have in that give back component of these kind of community events. But then I just got down to the really basics. And the basics are just about a moment of suspension of disbelief and being lost because they’re few and far between, like film film doesn’t out does this so well. You know, like, Why does Santa still exist? Why does the two theories that we need those moments to be connected, and culture is about sharing moments. And that’s what we’ve built so many of our experiences around.
Jeni Clift 07:30
That’s so true. I’ll share one day with you the story of how I accidentally told my oldest son that the Easter Bunny wasn’t real, not realizing that at the age of 11 he still believed and that was a you know, MOTHER OF THE YEAR moment. But you know, when I look at Christmas, my kids are now adults. And you know, I look back on those early days of them and believing in Santa and you know, believing the Easter Bunny and all those things and the Tooth Fairy and and it is it’s just that that magical wonder that when you don’t and your little ones three we don’t have that now Christmas, you know, kids are spread around the world and often it’s just Nick and I and it’s it just doesn’t have that same magical one it feel a wonder so you’re living in a pretty amazing space in that sort of art and, and artistic and performing world. But tell me about flip tees? What is it that you actually do? Because you’ve you’ve said only you have 80 people on your board? Yes, we
Renee Wingfield 08:31
Have approximately 80 artists and makers. Western Australia is a small market. So everyone’s a freelancer but and our business is significantly seasonal. So we have a very broad range of circus performance variety performers, just uniquely talented people and very special niches that don’t fit anywhere. I always kind of joke for like a stable of misfits that could be propped up really well.
Jeni Clift 08:57
And what a great place to be.
Renee Wingfield 08:58
Yeah, I love it. Never do anything expected is fun, but do it well. So just kind of figuring that out. And you know, that was certainly my story as an artist is like I was always to tool or, you know, too tall, too short, brown colored hair, whatever. So I’ll just make my own vehicle and book myself. And so, you know, over that time, at the beginning up until COVID properties was very much my vehicle to have the big, bold, beautiful life that I wanted, and I got a lot of that. In fact, I did everything that I sought after except performance, a hot air balloon, which is still on my list, and hence semi retired, you’ve got to kick in things. But I did perform with her flying carousel horse at a major event maybe 12 months ago. I’ve wanted to do that for a long time and there were little girls at the window screaming hitting the windows because they’re sort of flying off with Chagall on the back but you know, why not?
Jeni Clift 09:59
So Yep, yeah,
Renee Wingfield 10:00
Yeah. So I flipped instead of when the COVID had flipped, I realized that I, I really felt really strongly that live experience should be a significant part of any cultural experience. And even though there was this huge push to go online, I really felt even more pushed to make sure that moments of connection were really established and that we you ever really wanted to focus on that. So our mission essentially, is to spread joy through live experiences and shared moments. That’s that’s the case is mission.
Jeni Clift 10:37
So how did how was your business affected through COVID? Because WA, was locked down, like your borders were closed, but you didn’t have the lock downs that other places in Australia did. Were those performances still going ahead? Or is it kind of a little bit confused about how? No, no, no, I’m actually interested because I know, you really couldn’t leave? Or if you did, you couldn’t come back. We certainly couldn’t get into wa but but my perception is that kind of life went on still as normal ish. Okay, but Well, live performance is still happening.
Renee Wingfield 11:17
Let me let me give you the really fast timeline, as we experienced it, and for anyone listening with this date is privileged in the fact that location with you know, the perfect place for a zombie apocalypse. We’re wealthy mining states, you know, we deliver a huge amount of money to the economic hub, we had a very strong leader over that time, who was very definitive in his decisions. And we also had a lot of, we’re very tight community even though you know, we’re a big state, that’s actually not a lot of people here. So people are pretty, pretty tight and supportive.
Jeni Clift 11:50
So I think through that isolation, a very resilient population and you’ve kind of got to make things work for you because it’s not easy, like, you know, Sydney, Melbourne or an hour away, but Sydney or Melbourne or Perth is is a long way. Oh, yeah.
Renee Wingfield 12:04
Yeah. And there were there were some serious. I don’t know if anyone recalls, but there was massive shipping breakdowns over that time with fires and floods. And there’s only one line into Australia and on one rail, like, some interesting things. But anyway, short timeline, and we don’t
Jeni Clift 12:20
Want to get political, but I’m just interested in, you know, the live performance and how that how that changed, I guess through through
Renee Wingfield 12:29
Very simply, we went down in March, and I watched one of my biggest is March
Jeni Clift 12:35
Renee Wingfield 12:36
Yeah. So we managed to get our Fringe Festival in it was really, it was eerie. So we finished Fringe Festival, everything people just stopped coming out because they saw it on the wall. So we’re so this couple poems are sitting in the, in the pleasure garden, still wet from being in the tank performing to no one going, this is gonna go sideways, we can all see it. I called a couple of clients trying to get their ideas. And then by mid March, it was like everything was down. And you know, we’d lost all our revenue. And at that stage, fortunately, I had zero, very little overhead was just me, my husband was able to work full time. So we weren’t really at risk, personally, as a family, apart from the ongoing fear of what the hell was going on.
Jeni Clift 13:16
And went along there, like everyone
Renee Wingfield 13:18
Else, but also going in the safest place with a rich economy with amazing services here. Second thing that happened is I fell pregnant in the first four, three weeks, and I couldn’t go to a hospital and I had such intense morning sickness and migraines. I know. So we were so worried to go to the hospital because we were told that we couldn’t conceive, so we didn’t know what it was that I was like, Well, I mean, the pregnant or I have a lower brain tumor, something’s going on. Maybe it’s just like, who knows? Right? Anyway, turns out pregnant. So
Jeni Clift 13:50
That’s good timing, I must say.
Renee Wingfield 13:53
I would have been hilarious, because I would have been doing like 60 shows and that first two months, personally, and there’s just no way that would have happened. So all that was going, I was just trying to claw we had some really great clawback procedures and some of our cancellation policy. So I managed to get a bunch of cancellation fees without significant costs, because a lot of them are local government and compassionate companies. So I was able to pay out a significant amount of my artists to make sure that they were able to live so just in spite of the advice as my then advisor, I’m like, if I don’t have audits, we don’t have a business. So we just got to do what we can. And we’re okay. June came along, so I’m still calling my clients because local government especially everyone’s shattered trying to make it work. Everyone’s canceling events. No one knows what’s going on and just trying to be supportive. I came up with two really unique products. I have literally these giant bubbles like inflatable bubbles, which are known as dorms. And I just said hey, I know you’re doing all these driveway gigs like everyone’s mental health. Why don’t we stick performers in bubbles and walk? past these spaces, that way, there’s no contact issues. No one has to wear a mask people can see their faces. And that was, you know, a significant amount of sales. And we could keep performing. Even when there were lockdowns because they were limited. They went full lockdown for a lot of the cases, they were more reduced capacity implementation and mask. So and then, you know, we had some clients who were just like, You in the back of trucks, I’m like, Yeah, can I roll the skirt off the back. So we got main roads permission to attach a bunch of us, like back to the future with a full sound system on the back of a pickup truck, and drive around local councils. And that was a significant contract. And there was only so many people that because we had, I’ve got extensive risk management in being a trapeze artist. And I’m also an advanced license figure and have worked with some really great people. So there was not really anyone else like that. They could come to you. And we already had these relationships. That’s like, August, we are closed down, nothing is happening. And then I start getting these phone calls from some of my clients going, Hey, we don’t think we’re going to be able to get Eastern sites, providers PR Do you want to come in and have a meeting? And I was like, Yeah, I do.
Jeni Clift 16:21
Silly question. Oh, no, no, you’re busy.
Renee Wingfield 16:26
Writing on the Wall, um, I reckon I’ve got two years and no competition. And that was right. And so we managed to scale when almost four times the size, we were at the beginning of COVID. And I know employees know, office probably had six, seven artists. And then I don’t do at in that August.
Jeni Clift 16:47
You can usually do when I met you as a trainer. Yeah.
Renee Wingfield 16:50
Yes. I was pregnant. That was my first sessions. That’s right. Yeah, yeah. And so it was just like, we went from literally the business is going to die. And that was okay. Because it was just me, it was my wrist to make a choice. You’ve got this massive opportunity in front of you. What do you need to do? And I started by hiring my project manager who’s now my two IC and integrator, Natalie who’s. And then we also because we’re an unfunded arts company, and I don’t play in the funding sphere, typically, because I think it’s really valuable for arts organizations that do need that assistance. I need an attitude check on this, but that’s okay. And so we were able to get some of the new apprenticeship money which substituted roles for training. And so that gave me a heap of scaling opportunity and reduced risk to bring on full time staff. And then from there, we just went bang
Jeni Clift 17:59
Sorry, I have to get that bit edited out. For nine. I did it yesterday, too. When I was doing another one every so often I just get those coughing attacks. Okay, sorry. So you were so
Renee Wingfield 18:12
You managed to procure training funding instead of project funding, which was amazing and gave us and that was through another EO member actually, and my coach connected us my period mount by PA coach and so that was phenomenal and I would have done another one how to find more staff. And then it was all about pipeline and I realized that I had a couple of scalable products in our Christmas market we do beautiful Busby Berkeley styling giant roving presence giant roller skating bobble. You know, we are Joy bring us like that’s, that’s our role. So we make these ridiculous Christmas spectacles that are about suspension of disbelief. And you know, I’m not sure when this is going to edit. But you know, we’ve deployed Santa’s from rooftops we’ve had him he’s going to be coming in on a rickshaw or another one, he’s coming on a jet ski like it’s all about spectacle, and that moment of magic.
Jeni Clift 19:12
And that loves to say enter your store area.
Renee Wingfield 19:15
Oh, it’s a mess. I mean, it’s not we have like, so we also managed to with a lot of support, we procured our first premises this year. The price of operational for here is triple what it was prior to COVID. So managed to negotiate with a building tendency for a really great lease. So we fill out 250 squares plus 30 desks also got to go to full time plus me plus, plus our wardrobe. Team member and we’re going to probably have two more by the end of this financial year. It was filled the space
Jeni Clift 19:54
Yeah, yeah. Just imagine the wardrobe space. Coming out of COVID. You said that you know you You had two years without competition? What happened coming out of there? What was your What was your strategy, I guess, and then what sort of unfolded as borders started to open up and people started to travel more relationships,
Renee Wingfield 20:13
Relationships, relationships, that’s what I was focusing on, because one agile but allows companies to solve clients problems. And you know, we’re WA, again, wealthy market high brand space as well, because, you know, we’re kind of think where they’re like the most number of millionaires go ahead of population and Australia could be southern hemisphere. Now, I don’t know. So that is very much want for high end brand space. And you have to achieve that you need significant trust with clients and stakeholders, and we actually call them we’re all stakeholders, because insight in many ways we’ve grown partnerships between us. So for the clients to succeed, you know, yes, there’s, there’s, there’s probably some other unique operators out there. But the cost now to bring them over is so significant, it’s like three or four times, and we’re able to provide in person value. You know, those those relationships really matter. Like, I’ve not heard some from my clients for 1214 years now, they’ve been with me on the whole joining. So it’s always about people, especially when you make magic.
Jeni Clift 21:28
Yeah, people do business with people they like, and they trust and all those sort of things. 100%.
Renee Wingfield 21:31
Jeni Clift 21:35
When do people come to you? Do they have an idea? And they are looking for somebody to bring it to life? Or are they saying we want an event? Tell us what you think do
Renee Wingfield 21:46
It’s a bit of a mixture. And so we don’t provide events as such. So we were entertainment for essentially end to end entertainment solutions in a very niche space. We don’t do musicians, although we will co lab with the musicians. We don’t really provide dancers although we co lab with dance companies into our spaces. I think what we really had defining our was like we’re a creative production house, so highly in spectacles, where we use our own intellectual property and caliber unless we’re presented with a brief and we have done some outstandingly fun, conceptual briefs with some of our long term clients. include, you know, we did a massive activation in partnership with DG, PR lottery West West Coast Eagles, I’m probably missing someone here to produce the ninth lottery ball in 2018. And that was a we were just given a concept saying there’s going to be this much and we need nine three meter helium balloons moved around an oval, here’s a budget. And so you know, three weeks turnaround you’ve got to work out how to deal with a cost gas in a high risk environment in front of 55,000 people with you know, one of the biggest funders in Australia on a day when this for a bit and you’ve got a hired 23 artists that you don’t have at the time and no pressure Oh, you and get to rascals and you’re not allowed to run on the graph because it was Optus and very, like it’s very sport orientated. So we did it. It was well received. I’m pretty sure I went a little gray, there was so much fun. I’m like I really we joke about spectacle, like, especially on toilet activation, onfield activations, like, passionate, it doesn’t come along very often budgets aren’t generally what people think the man they’re fun. And I always joke about cool. So we’re gonna do another circle show, which is literally let’s run something out in the middle, do a big circle, and then run back. How do we do that and accountable.
Jeni Clift 23:45
How much planning how much time goes into planning, something like that, that lasts for what just a few minutes,
Renee Wingfield 23:54
We’ve had things that have lost like 15 seconds, completely depends completely depends on the stakeholders crowd. Playing to a crowd of 55,000 is completely different than doing a private event, we had a private event at Crown the Presidential Suite, you know, obviously VIP high caliber, very wealthy client 60. Guess how we played there and the planning that goes there. There’s a lot more personal attention to detail and client liaison and then environment as opposed to dealing with six stakeholders in a large stadium. So not everything is perfectly scalable, because a lot of our stuff is a niche, but the process is quite the scoping, the delivery, the exiting, that’s all the same process. It’s just that there’s less of it when there’s 60 people it just means you’ve just got to be 100% True. And then some of those bigger projects. I mean, we only had three weeks to turn around that one but at the time, I didn’t have 60 shows in 40 days, and I didn’t have staff it was just me and I and assistant at the time and great stakeholders that I could ask questions for and then I literally just on the phone on the phone on the phone on the phone and then cost cost cost so completely varies we have some bookings that are in play for 2026 at the moment so you know people can be really organized especially if they’re major tourism or not that we’re doing it but like a World Expo that happens way out in advance or you know, so Expo is actually really organized on average that could be a year out we’ve also done events with less than 48 hours notice that they tend to be small yeah, sometimes we get
Jeni Clift 25:41
large today that they’d like a mermaid that their birthday party on a Friday night.
Renee Wingfield 25:45
Tomorrow is a hard no because we are completely booked out
Jeni Clift 25:53
My husband’s got a big birthday coming up in in December in Bali so perhaps we can chat about doing something then
Renee Wingfield 25:59
God giant inflatable balls out there with some random characters very Met Gala.
Jeni Clift 26:08
I’m sure he would love that.
Renee Wingfield 26:11
Wild like I one of the reasons I love being an artist and between the artist and entrepreneur, especially in a live performance space, one people vastly underestimate the artists like they never, they never assume unless they’ve known me for a long time a I’m the owner and the creative. They just you know your your function and pays everyone’s pretty nice too often never haven’t really had any issues. But the amount of conversations and networks that you wind up with is just phenomenal. And I’ll never forget the piece of advice that I had from one of my early mentors, which is never trust in artists because they mix with all sorts of people.
Jeni Clift 26:50
Oh, God, I can only imagine. Yeah. leave that one alone. Yeah,
Renee Wingfield 26:59
I’ve seen many NDAs I cannot tell. Yeah,
Jeni Clift 27:01
I’m sure I’m sure. One of the things that we love in from my iOS practice is process and about, you know, doing things the same way again, how do you manage that? Because there must be some sort of repeatability within your business, whether it’s around, I guess, safety? Or what does that look like for you?
Renee Wingfield 27:24
Well, I’d love to show you my Monday spreadsheet. And that booking process, scope to end to review and invoicing and then fill a follow up can be as long as 40 steps. Like how we make toaster either early, early example. So again, some of those steps aren’t always in it, depending on the risk level. But the steps are exactly the same thing. You know, inquiry or or lead physical phone call scoping. Ask the question, you know, who, what, when, where and why. What does this look like? If it’s successful? What does it look like when it’s a failure? Like, you know, the sales process is essentially the same. And the gathering of information is really critical. And then there’s a risk scope. You know, some are more complicated than others, it might take three or four meetings, that’s okay. And then it’s going through Project Management, casting, packing, production, resourcing, ordering, executing, executing is often the simplest thing, because everything’s done then. And then you know, making sure everything comes back and is washed, not fun. Until you about a 40 degree day, that’s not a fun day for anyone. Yeah, and then post follow up with stakeholders, performance clients, returns, invoicing, follow up check for next year, like it is, the process is the same. The did that I really struggled with is until I took on, I wasn’t very good at standardizing systems like standardized actually pay rates for artists, because I’m very passionate about making sure that artists get opportunities and are paid properly and are paid promptly, because it’s something that that media pushes a lot that the poor starving artists mentality, which I’m not a part of. So I wanted to make sure that was in place. And once my two IC and my talent manager joined, we had we just have a really bulletproof process. So I don’t touch that stuff. I just scope the event. Now. They budge that with the standards that we agreed on that get reviewed every six to 12 months. And suddenly, it was easier. And then we built the system started to build itself because we work with autonomy in that space and we talked to each other. And we had built that system since I had systems in place that were okay. And then we continually built them over the last couple of years. We have built four systems and broken every single one because our growth from COVID has been like cars secularly 17 to 25%. And really, whenever we rebuild the next thing, we’re like, oh, 10% That’s probably all we’re gonna say with an increase. No, no, that didn’t happen. So we’re really good at stress testing.
Jeni Clift 30:16
Which is a good thing. Growth is good growth and sustainable continued growth, not growth. But growth that the brakes, a system that forces you to do things better is also good.
Renee Wingfield 30:27
Yeah, we are Parkwest. As you know, we use the start stop stock. And a lot of our stops is like the system doesn’t work anymore. What can we do? You know, are we getting to the point where we have to completely create a unique system? My thing is like, not yet, because we haven’t hit this margin. And I’m, you know, my trends are going, will this dreaded R word in Australia affect us and how that will affect us? I have theories. But I want to make sure that you know that we’re stress testing, even those projections, because the opposite could be true. And that was certainly my experience. When we started flip tees in 2006. We were in a recession, then Western Australia, and we weren’t been on it. Like we were able to quit our jobs at the time and be full time artists within two years. Even in the middle of a recession. Everyone’s going, Why am I because people are drinking, entertainment and they want to be they want to be drawn away into a much more exciting world and not having a job or having hopelessness with their shiny objects that provide hope.
Jeni Clift 31:33
So the you’ve probably heard me say this, you know, routine will set you free. Interesting that. And I know you’re you’re visionary, as many business owners are that. But you know, we just we just have to have those systems in place. And even better is when we have the systems and routines that somebody else does them. That’s my favorite. I still have to do it myself. But making you know, making sure there are other people who can do that. I was on my last podcast, we’re talking about the know the current economic climate, what are you seeing, and most of your work is locally NWA. But the comment from Jason was that there’s a bit of reluctance a bit of delay things that would a year ago would have been Yes, let’s do it. Now. It’s Yes, let’s do it. But it might be a month or two months before the contract gets signed. So what are you seeing?
Renee Wingfield 32:29
I think I’m in a really unique position. One, I’ve been in the sector for a long time, even as a child. And so I’ve seen other parts of the building. I personally think that for me in performance industry, the contracts will still say the same yes, there’s some of the late standard, yes, there’s changes in budgets and how we access budgets, there’s definitely for what I’m saying, there’s definitely money, less money in the pipeline for the projects that we used to do. However, I know from recession and watching history, people need art and culture more when times are bad than when they’re good. So I foresee that we’ll see changes in how money is spent. But it’s going to be spent on the same thing in a different way. So, you know, like when I started in the sector, I was working with youth crime prevention, using circle skills with kids, like work remotely works, you know, great places that non injera springs, all those spaces, you know, crime prevention was a huge thing, all drug related behaviors. About 10 years ago, all that funding dried up, and guess what funding started to roll out again. Because when things are getting bad, like people look for escapes children doubly so.
Jeni Clift 33:52
So and So you mentioned there, you know, after the fact, you know, yeah, the policeman, yeah. Yeah.
Renee Wingfield 34:00
Don’t you know, go set up up after midnight basketball program instead, if you’ve gotten vagrancy on a street? Have some food? Like that’s most of the issues? Like, is there enough food at home? Probably not. Is there something to do that’s not going to get them hurt or in trouble with someone else? Probably not. Like it’s pretty, you know? It’s just gonna be spent elsewhere. Yeah. And we know, yeah, you can spend $5 in arts and culture and there’s a great organization called culture accounts, and they also run praxis, which is a reporting diagnostic tool that government uses here a lot. And if you spend $5 on art, in especially physical stuff, you can save $25 in health care and crime prevention. So it’s a no brainer, you know, so now we’re just getting into that different part of our capacity of like, when we’re designing programs and who might be telephone like what are we designing for? Who are we designing for who are inspiring what is the purpose, the purpose is spreading joy making connection.
Jeni Clift 35:09
And it’s such a wonderful place to I am not an artist in any stretch of any imagination. I always joke that if you want people to leave and go home at the end of the party, I’ll start singing, they will all leave immediately. And completely uncoordinated. But for you and your team to be able to, to perform and just see the joy, it’s that instant gratification of you know, having that instant effect on people must be a wonderful place to be.
Renee Wingfield 35:42
Yeah, and it’s, it’s unique for everyone. You know, like, we’d have this giant diamond, it’s under if you’re Harry Potter fan, you know, the Quidditch, like, oh, we made some versions of that here, it’s got a lollipop lira. Because a lot of places we can’t read because there’s no facilities, we don’t really have a lot of resources. In terms of venues here in Western Australia, we don’t have pokies. So there’s not actually that much money for entertainment compared to the eastern states. But I wanted to make something fancier. So I made a six sided princess cut diamond, which I’d happy to send you a photo of six months postpartum, I was like, I just want to make this thing because it was lifeline. And I knew how much lifeline had contributed especially to Western Australia. And I had a diamond ball. I was like, I’ll make them a diamond. Like it cost me a fortune. And I remember because it’s really the first time that some of the big social events were coming back in 2021. Because the like gala balls just weren’t happening because no one was buying tickets. And I remember a beautiful group of socialites and Instagramers. Walking into the ballroom looking amazing. Just amazing. I’m feeling super self conscious, because I’m not at my best still, I can just get into my costume. I’m still breastfeeding. So I’m like, am I going to milk through this costume? No. And this squealing like, like little girl shrieking with delight because there’s a fancy lady on a diamond, standing three meters in the air pouring champagne, beckoning them over. And like, this is what it’s about, like, I know it’s completely vacuous. But they’re gonna remember that for the rest of their life. And this time, no one was like filming, it was this the moment in COVID, where people were actually just happy to be out and together and sharing these moments. And that’s the real point. And
Jeni Clift 37:31
I still remember those moments of actually going out and being with people. I remember the earlier times when it was almost, you know, oh, you know, that time that we went to Tony Robbins in Sydney, and there was three and a half 1000 people in a stadium do you think would ever do that, again, like that we would want to go healthcare at the time. So I’m not so sure. But I remember that moment, those moments are first being able to go out and do things and be with other people. And, and you’re right, it’s and we we remember experiences, we don’t remember stuff and things, but we remember experiences. And for you to be able to provide those is amazing. Now I am going to have to call it here, you and I could talk for hours. And I’m really looking forward to getting back and doing another one of these when you’re going to share your new business with us. But let’s just finish off with three tips. Three things for you to share with our audience. Things that might be resources or books, what are those three things you’d love to share?
Renee Wingfield 38:31
We spoke about it briefly in our warm up, read, just raid and read things that make you feel uncomfortable. My goal this year was 80 books, which I’m very close to completing. And it just keeps me out of social media and actually digesting ideas, not opinions at someone else’s leisure, like I’m cultivating my own my own diet the same way I do in my day to day life. So choose what you’re consuming to nurture yourself, especially if you’re going after a goal. Joining Oh, I feel like I said to everyone, I can’t convince artists for some reason, I don’t know when to just get some will be ready. And if you’re not us and you would like my experience, please because you know, it’s ethical duty to be successful in the world and live the life that we want to and the only way you’re going to do that is to get out of your own way. And then third for let go earlier, especially relationships and people the couple of big lessons that I had. Were really, I don’t really know how to explain this, but holding on to memories of old relationships that actually weren’t true. You know, whether they be employees or friends or just pay We’ll growing apart and have the Congress to have that crucial conversation earlier of like, you know, we’re not filling each other with not to use the trite filling with joy. But if you’re not good, you’re not good to go. If you’re not walking away feeling great that you’ve seen someone in your life, you either had to have the hard conversation, where you could be, you could be you, as a man could be taking up that person’s space to find the next best person in their life. And I think with social media, we haven’t, we’re not able to separate ourselves as much as we used to. So you don’t get that. And I use dating as the thing is like, the dump the thought, like it’s off, it’s done, like timeout, five years, stuck, then your work is really insidious. And I think that’s 10 times harder with friends. Or if you employ people that you knew and the work for you for a really long time, it can eat at you and create a weight that you never really knew or carrying. Because you have a belief on how that relationship is and when you grow and when you change. People aren’t always growing with you or know how to grow with you or want to, to to grow. And then that was my big one. And if you ever want to read a really, really, really, really great book about we call it the human crab Crab bucket, there’s a Terry Pratchett novel about four can’t remember what it was none of these anyway, it’s in a discard series, that he talks about the crab bucket and crabs will always pull themselves back into trouble and don’t want to let anyone go. And families unintentionally can do that, though. They’re just how can they understand their job is to keep you safe. Same with friends, keep you safe, keep your clothes, keep the people around you as close as you can. But it’s your responsibility to live your life, there are consequences to living that life. But keep it in mind.
Jeni Clift 41:55
That’s great. I love that. And I’ve been through that myself in the last few years of letting go a long time after I should have for that feeling of obligation and that sort of thing. And it did not serve me at all. And now that I’ve done it, I am in a much, much better place. So great share. Well, I wrote to stop it sorry, go, Oh, I know
Renee Wingfield 42:19
Why other things write your own template for no obligation. And my I have like a three page document after reading tribe, a tribe of mentors of how I say no to different people, and test them and like put across and I share it all the time with especially female entrepreneurs who’s really struggle and a lot of artists who want to be people pleasing. No is the best word that you can learn. Yeah, I
Jeni Clift 42:44
One of the workshops that I run, that’s actually one of the exercises and we get people to practice saying no. Because we say yes. When we mean No, when we don’t want to say yes, but when we feel obliged to and get ourselves into situations, and it’s just crazy. So I’m going to stop our recording now. Thank you so much, Renee, for your time today. Really love talking to you getting to know you. I’ve known you for a few years through is that a yo trainer? didn’t realize it was this long? Because yeah, you were pregnant. So it must be three and a half years. But thank you and as I said, Look forward to staying in touch and getting you back on and hearing about your new venture.
Renee Wingfield 43:26
Thank you, Danny. I look forward to listening to the rest of the series.
Jeni Clift 43:29
Okay, thank you
Professional EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner
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