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Irish Chamber

2017 Finalist - Sinead Connolly


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Irish Australian Business Awards Peoples Choice 2017
Young Entrepreneur
Irish Australian Business Awards Peoples Choice 2017

I co-founded Lotus People in August 2015, and since then the business has grown exponentially. We have overachieved on every single growth target we have set, as well as building a strong and committed team who high perform on every level.

One year after inception, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue syndrome, and was forced to take 2.5 months out of the business. Although I was mostly housebound, I continued to contribute to the business in any way I could and throughout this time I continued to work from home. In this time, I managed to submit for two full national tenders, and also wrote an award submission for Seek’s annual recruitment awards, where we were named as finalists in the top 4; small agency of the year.

After my return to the business in August 2016, I took over most of the day to day running of Lotus People, as my business partner and co-director decided to reduce her hours, and then in December 2016, she withdraw from her role as Director and shareholder to focus on her personal life and teach yoga full time.  Although this was an unprecedented and confronting situation, I tried to handle the situation with care and consideration, whilst also creating an environment for our team that was secure, stable and supported in this period. I made time to meet each of our clients individually – over 140 contacts over 60 businesses and also provided mentoring and support to each member of our team to ensure they understood they were valued and that the team would continue with very little impact.

Since then the business has gone from strength to strength, with growth both in terms of the team size, but also in terms of revenue generated.  In the two years since lotus has been open, I have tried to lead from the front with motivation, enthusiasm and a tireless dedication to providing an impeccable service to clients, candidates and the industry as a whole whilst maintaining a positive, high performing team culture. I have implemented new business values, overhauled and re launched the company website and managed to recruit quality members of staff.

This experience has taught me countless valuable lessons in terms of how to run a successful business, how to work smarter and not harder, how to streamline, and how to make business decisions that are ethical and good for me, and my team. Off the back of my illness, I implemented a culture initiative for the team - a set of incentives to ensure work life balance, employee satisfaction and team engagement, and to ultimately ensure that our team are looked after and will never end up in a burn out situation. Coming out the other side of my illness, I have a new appreciation for running Lotus and having the opportunity to represent young women in business. It is so important that we keep empowering young woman, and focus on mental health, wellbeing and balance.