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It is humbling and exciting to be selected as a ‘Thought Leader’ to a potential audience of 175million LinkedIn professionals, to think that the blogging and opinion pieces I write for BRW, the Australian and SmartCompany have propelled me onto a much bigger stage. My colleague Lauren thought that it was worthy of an ‘announcement’: below is the media release she sent out.

Aussie entrepreneur rubs shoulders with world’s most influential thinkers founder Naomi Simson one of only two highly influential business leaders targeted by professional networking site LinkedIn

Wednesday October 3, 2012: Naomi Simson, Australian entrepreneur and founder of the $50 million online experience retailer, is keeping popular company with the likes of US president Barack Obama, Virgin’s Richard Branson and acclaimed author and physician Deepak Chopra as part of a new professional networking project launched overnight.

Simson is one of only two Australians selected by professional networking site LinkedIn as part of their latest campaign designed to share unique knowledge and professional insights from some of the world’s top business leaders.

Among 150 of the world’s most influential thought leaders to be targeted by the professional networking site, which has a global membership of 175 million, or eight times the population of Australia.

On the program, Simson said she was both flattered and enthusiastic about the opportunity and was blown away that her story had captured the imagination of a big corporation.

“I always believed I could build a successful business based on having fun. So it’s humbling to know the story behind RedBalloon’s extraordinary growth and success will now reach many more people, Ms Simson said.

“RedBalloon was started in the front room of my home in 2001, using little more than a few thousand dollars and a second-hand computer, with my canine companion Dexter as my sounding-board.

“Eleven years later we’re on track to becoming a $100 million business, and have delivered more than 1.5 million memorable experiences to Australians and New Zealanders.

“We’ve helped people celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, mother’s days, father’s days and Christmas. I’ve heard personal stories from proposals, to dying wishes to sweet sixteens. This business has given me a fleeting glimpse into the lives of our customers, and I am so thankful to be a part of their big life moments.

“Through this opportunity I intend to share my knowledge on the importance of gratitude, generosity and integrity within the business world, and show that organisations can have fun, look after their employees and customers, and be successful at the same time.

“I’m so thrilled to be able to build on and continue this conversation with a whole new audience.”

Simson’s first submission, “Is happiness at work a ‘dirty’ word?” looks at how businesses can promote an environment of fun, gratitude and celebration, to promote increased productivity.

The list of contributors includes universally-recognised leaders and industry-specific movers and shakers, including Tony Robbins, US Governor Mitt Romney and UK PM David Cameron.

This is very exciting times for us as we just move into our our eleventh birthday celebrations… A big thank you to all my very supportive readers and commentators… you got us noticed.

Reader Interactions


  1. Dear Naomi. Congratulations on being selected a thought leader. It is a recognition of the excellent work you have been doing. Being in this position will certainly provide opportunities to have impacts globally.
    In the leadership coaching work I do, I am having a lot of success with creating change with leaders that lasts and I have been pursuing avenues to take that to the global stage. We are at a crucial point in history and we need to be aggregating efforts of though leaders to create global change. In recent times I connected with Richard Branson’s carbon war room to create change for Australia. I also spoke with Dick Smith regarding sustainability
    I am very keen to support you with any initiatives that are going global and would appreciate the opportunity to catch up and share ideas
    PS: I notice associations with Tony Robbins whose company I also worked for for 18 months
    Regards, Geoff
    Leadership Coach
    “Global transformation through leadership performance”

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