Sarina Russo Lead by Example

It has been many years coming and going from the Gold Coast and in fact I flew everyone to Southport for my Wedding for an intimate beach ceremony for 30 Guests.  In that time everyone has told me Sarina Russo is the person to know.  I have never gone into great lengths to get to know Sarina or talk to some length about business, but on further inquiry that we can bring everyone into our home and see the person they are, I can see Sarina is driven, strong and will weather a storm.

I find that so many people feel that they are owed something from the world.  The fact is that we live in an extremely privileged country full of opportunity and we can make what ever we want.  From what I can see from Sarina Russo has passed on her knowledge and no how to enable many who would not be able to find their full potential.  I feel that we should all be grateful that we have such a wonderful female role model for business in this country and is refreshingly down to earth.

Have a read of this article that was printed in the Daily Mail

How to become a millionaire: Woman fired from eight jobs over her 'attitude' now runs multi-million dollar recruitment business - as offers up her five tips on how you can turn your career around

  • During her early years Sarina Russo was constantly fired from jobs  
  • Let go from a job she enjoyed Ms Russo started a business with $2500
  • Influenced by fear, she expanded the business to what it is today 
  • Running a multi-million dollar company she helps recruit job seekers 

 Beginning her career as a legal secretary, Ms Russo found herself unhappy at work.

'I was really miserable, I hated all the jobs that I was applying for except for one job which was teaching people to type.

'I was obviously a dormant entrepreneur and the bosses didn't like my style, they didn't like my can do attitude.

'They were also very conservative. In a legal office 36 years ago, you weren't allowed to wear lipstick and I couldn't fit in to that disciplinary environment,' she said.

Ms Russo's strict Italian upbringing meant she struggled to work in controlling environments that reminded her of home.

A strategist at heart, Ms Russo found herself organising a number of jobs within days of each other under the impression she would eventually be let off.

'I would program myself to go to say five job interviews a day and then I would set them up.

'They would give me the job and I would say I can start that one on the 10th and then I'd have another one on the 17th in case I lost that one on the 10th. I would have another one prepared for the 24th.'

Getting fired from a job she enjoyed-teaching students to type, was Ms Russo's final straw.

Praising her teaching style, the students Ms Russo taught went to the principal of the school to complain resulting in her reinstatement.


'They had to reinstate me and that's when I realised I was good at something because I had never been endorsed for anything in my life.'


Reaching a stage of frustration and understanding where her talent lay, Ms Russo took on an 'I would do it or die' attitude.

'I had $2600 to my name and I decided to start a business. I called it business college and I had ten students.

'I got them all jobs and my business just grew. I was making more money a week then I was making a whole year as a legal secretary. That inspired me and motivated me to work really hard.'


Upon starting the business in 1979, it was being placed in a crisis situation and fear of the future that pushed Ms Russo to continue expanding the business to the empire it is now.

'They say there are two things that motivate a person, one is fear and one is inspiration.

'In the first two years of the business we had this ugly building in Brisbane. We got pushed out and so I went to this beautiful high rise building and I took half a floor.

'My rent bill went from $5000 to $50,000, so I was really motivated by fear.

'Once I took up this three year lease I had to make it work so I was driven,' she said. 

Since starting the Sarina Group there has been bumps in the road as Ms Russo tried to make ends meet. 

'In 2009 I lost half of my business. I lost 50 million dollars worth after my contract was let go and they told me I had to fire 200 people. 

'But I refused, I'll sell a high rise building but I wasn't going to fire anyone, that wasn't fair on them.'

Ms Russo informed her workers there was nothing to worry about before re-engineering the company, collaborating with her opponents in a bid to make it work.  



Winning a major contract in June this year with the Federal Government, Ms Russo has expanded her business from 25 to 95 offices as part of the $6 billion Jobactive and Apprenticeship program to help job seekers. 

'This roll out has been the most challenging operation of my business history. It has not been easy.

'When I started this roll out what I thought was going to happen did not happen. 

'Everything changes, the economy, the job seekers behaviour, the employers change and so you have to continue evolving, change is inevitable,' said Ms Russo. 

Placing a strong importance on being a leader and helping her workers progress in their career, Ms Russo happily offers to mentor those who ask.   

'You get to a stage in your life, like I have, where you want help the community and start giving back. So I became a mentor for others,' said Ms Russo.

Since starting as a small business, the Sarina Russo Group has developed into an empire with an estimated turnover rate of $106 million annually.

It is made up of the Sarina Russo Schools Australia, Sarina Russo Job Access, Russo Recruitment, Russo Corporate Training, Sarina Investments and Russo Higher Education, a partnership with Queensland's James Cook University. 

Sarina Russo's five tips on starting your own successful company

1- Self-belief 

The most important and fundamental aspect is self-belief - 80 per cent of success is psychology and 20 per cent is tools.

2- Cash flow

You have to start up a business that gives you immediate cash flow because if you don't have a cash flow you won't have a business.

For instance, look at Uber and B&B, they've sourced from elsewhere. They've gone out and found someone else's assets and used that, Uber didn't hire limos and B&B didn't build hotels. You've got to think differently you have to look at how you can get revenue immediately and that has to be more than your expenditure.

3- Be innovative and competitive

You don't necessarily need all the skills but you have to be able to collaborate, you have to be innovative and competitive, developing alliances so you personally don't need to do everything. 

Don't be fearful if you don't have it all. You have to figure out what you do well and outsource what you don't do well. The 21st century is a time that allows you to do this.

4- Problems and rejections are normal

When you start a business you are going to be surrounded by good quality problems and rejections. People are going to say no to you and that's why the number one thing is you have to have self-belief. 

You have to believe that what you're starting is great. Regardless of the quality problems that are going to come your way and the number of people that are going to say no - your family, friends, clients and businesses are going to say this isn't going to work, but this doesn't matter. 

What you think is what is important.

5- Educate and disrupt yourself

If you don't disrupt yourself someone else will. Unless you re-engineer and re-think what the trends are today, you will miss out. 

If your business looks like a square, tomorrow it could look like a cylinder and that doesn't mean that it's bad, it means that business shifts – through technology and through the speed of innovation.

6- Don't take for granted what the customer wants

Do as Steve Jobs did and predict what you believe the customer wants. The reason Steve Jobs was a genius is because he predicted, he pre-empted what the customer needed and wanted.


Thank you to the 'Daily Telegraph' for this story by M Azzi


Inspiring 18-year-old model with Down Syndrome just landed two new campaigns Sammy Nickalls

We first heard about the amazing Madeline Stuart back in May, when the 18-year-old model from Brisbane, Australia, and her mother, Rosanne, set out to change the way those with disabilities are portrayed in the media. We had a feeling that wouldn’t be the last we’d hear of Madeline — and we were right. In July, she landed a major contract with Manifesta, a U.S. brand of athletic wear that represents all shapes and sizes.

“People with Down syndrome can do anything. They just do it at their own pace,” Rosanne told BuzzFeedabout her daughter back in May. “Give them a chance and you will be rewarded beyond your greatest expectations.”

Now, Madeline is totally kicking ass once again after landing an advertising campaign with fashion and lifestyle brand everMaya, and she’ll be the face of an entire line of handbags — all with her name on them.

“The experience working with her has had a positive impact on me personally as well as professionally,” Damian Graybelle, president of everMaya, told Mashable. “I just never expected that our campaign with Madeline would have had such an [effect] on people. I have spoken with so many parents of children with special needs that have told me how our partnership with her has given them hope and changed their perspectives on what the future holds for their children.”

A total of 5% of the proceeds for the handbag line will be going to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). “The generous donations that will come as a result of this new handbag line will directly support our mission at NDSS, as we fight for the rights, values and dignity of all individuals with Down syndrome and our families,” Sara Hart Weir, president of NDSS, said in a press release.

But that’s not all: Madeline also recently signed on to walk New York Fashion Week (NYFW) this September with MODA in association with the Christopher Reeve Foundation. “When we were asked to do New York Fashion Week, it didn’t surprise me,” Rosanne told Cosmopolitan about her daughter’s success. “I don’t think anything really surprises me anymore. She’s been asked to do a lot of stuff and I was hoping she’d get asked to do NYFW but I assumed it would happen. I hope that doesn’t sound too pretentious.”

For Rosanne and Madeline, it’s not just about the modeling. It’s about the cause. “The thing I’d like people to take away from this is to not discriminate,” Rosanne explained to Cosmopolitan. “Don’t judge a book by its cover. I would just like people to accept, love, and show kindness. That’s all this is about for us. The modeling is fun and everything, but it’s just a vehicle to get the message out. I think that’s why she’s done so well, is because this isn’t about us. It’s about fighting the fight for all the people out there that are a bit different that need to be loved.”

Rosanne is confident that the world is ready for her daughter to be in the spotlight — and we totally agree. “The world wants to be inclusive, it just hasn’t had anyone on such a platform that they were able to do it easily,” Rosanne told Cosmopolitan. “. . . Imagine in 10 years what society will be like for people with disabilities. It’s not going to be how it is now, it’s going to be the norm. It’s probably going to be cool to hang out with someone who has an intellectual disability because you know that they care more about emotions than they do about the materialistic world. Everyone’s going to want that friend to teach them what true love is.”

But the real reason Madeline’s been totally taking off is because of her self-confidence, Rosanne explained to Cosmopolitan. “Maddie truly loves herself,” she said. “She’ll tell you she’s gorgeous. She’ll tell you she’s wonderful. I mean, I tell her every day how great she is, but she truly believes it . . . If you can believe in yourself, you’re going to hold your head higher. That’s why people love Madeline. She will walk into a room and not judge anyone. I wish I could be more like my daughter.”

Madeline, congratulations on your amazing success. You deserve it, and you are changing the face of modeling as we know it with every badass strut down that catwalk.

Thank you

Searching for Meaning by Jo-Anne Rolf

Searching for Meaning.. From the moment we are born, we are constantly bombarded with the rules and regulations of “family life”, saddled with the expectations of those who surround us. Conditioned by Society to conform within the social norm, most of us comply, regardless of who we are on the inside. The weight of preceding generations bear down, ancestral genetics becomes the rule for our behaviour. Our true individuality is lost. In our contemporary lives, Social Media forums take on an insidious fatal charm, encouraging full engagement, providing shallow encounters by return. Our Avatars share the personal details of our lives with strangers, constantly feeding our desire for some true connection with other humans. Behind the “white noise” of our everyday lives, there is a certain type of uneasiness, sadness perhaps, of opportunity lost or a nagging realisation that something that is not quite right in our lives but the rigors of negotiating life and its constant daily challenges keep us occupied. As we grow older, The Universe throws more challenges in our direction and our bodies reciprocate, occasionally buckling under the pressure with the struggle to keep us well. Stress and anxiety, unhappiness and a general malaise sometimes overwhelm us, often without us knowing any reason why. When added to the mix alcohol, social drugs and prescription drugs can muddy the mind and dull the senses, but that hissing sound of “What is wrong with me??” from deep within the midst of our collective memories, still manages to rise to the surface, occasionally becoming more strident, forcing us to take notice.

In December 2012, I had a breakdown. It occurred in a most unlikely place, a cinema in Canberra, on an unlikely Saturday afternoon and in a shopping centre of all places. It was a small breakdown, very quiet, hardly noticeable but absolute in its intensity. Unable to function, my husband helped me exit the theatre. My children stared, not able to comprehend what had happened. I went into the cinema happily eating icecream and came out, barely unable to walk or speak. The children were sent shopping, my husband sat with me in the food court until I appeared to come to my senses and we went on with the rest of our lives as if nothing had happened. The Universe does really provide if you ask it to and just by accident (or not), I came across a Personal Empowerment brochure a few weeks later at our local Chiropractic Centre. Stepping way out of my comfort zone, I made a phone call. It was one of the best decisions of my life. My Journey for Self Enlightenment already begun, has shifted my life from overwhelming to awesome.

Mini Top Hat in Burgundy Suede..Pic byPIPSQUEAKS PHOTOGRAPHY MUAH Nathalie Prince

The Philosophy by Leko Sandra

The Philosphy

Women have been hiding out for a long time, even dressing to hide as if to say, don't notice me, let me blend. We have developed the ability of blending into our surroundings and being unnoticed. This was a powerful gift at the time. This ability has allowed us to observe and gain the ability to know what would happen next. It has also allowed us to feel safe. Blending has taught us the art of oneness. Women understand camouflage.

But new times require new strategies. It is time to drop our camouflage and take on our power as women. Anais Nin said, “There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”.

When you wear a hat it is like medicine for the soul. The hat is the expression of who we are as women in every moment! The hat is your dreams of who you can be. It facilitates the different parts of who you are. With the wave a the hat, viola, you are mysterious, no you are sexy, now proper and now playful.

You cannot hide in a hat. You will be noticed-especially by men. To men you become a lady when you don a hat. One which they rush to open doors for. To women you become an inspiration, reminding them that they have a closet full of hats that they have not had the courage to wear.

When you wear a hat you now become the dream that started when the hat was conceived. The original energy that was put into the hat does not die, it only changes forms and owners. The dream doesn't die, it is passed on, sometimes from generation to generation. And when you see a woman in a hat in the next car on the freeway the dream grows and we as woman acknowledge each others growth. It is the symbol of the feminine which is so needed for us to share such a vision. For I tell you, thus is how you will “GO AHEAD AND BLOOM”, Leko.

Changing the face of fashion: Model with vitiligo stars in two major fashion campaigns by A Lynch

Picture: George Pimentel/WireImage

19-year-old Canadian model Winnie Harlow (real name Chantelle Young-Brown) is the star of two major spring/summer 2015 fashion campaigns.

A sufferer of the skin pigment disorder vitiligo, Winnie is changing the face of fashion one campaign at a time.

This week, she was unveiled as the face of Spanish brand Desigual’s spring/summer 2015 campaign entitled Say Something Nice. She was also confirmed as their official brand ambassador.

She also stars in Diesel’s SS15 ads, which aim to promote ‘tolerance, equality and unconditional love’.

Picture: Diesel

Winnie, a former America’s Next Top Model contestant, was diagnosed with vitiligo around the age of four.

Growing up, she was bullied and called ‘zebra’ and ‘cow’ because of the white patches on her face and body.

She’s since become a spokesperson for vitiligo – the same condition which is believed to have affected Michael Jackson – and has over 430,000 followers on Instagram.

She says it’s ‘a skin condition, not a life changer’.

Winnie believes things began to take off for her when she embraced her unique look and used it to her advantage. ‘I loved myself. And with that, opportunities start to fall into my lap. And I thank God for all of them. Try loving yourself,’ she says.

A spokesperson for Desigual said of their model spokeswoman: ‘She is pure inspiration, a whirlwind of positive energy, an example of strength and achievement, who demonstrates that we are all special and can achieve what we set out to do.’

Thank you to MetroUK, for this story, Click Here.

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