The Real Influencers

In the era of every second millennial with over 5,000 followers on Instagram calling themselves an ‘influencer’ we look at the real female influencers of Gold Coast 

Influencer, termed loosely, is a person or thing that has the power to influence. In recent years, thanks to people like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, the term has come to represent an individual whose effect on a purchase decision is in some way significant or authoritative. While millions will buy products that Kim or Kylie endorse, they are not so much influenced by Sophie down the road who has 7,000 Instagram followers and tries to plug some product placements for a bit of cash. 

These types of influencers aside, there still exist real women right here on the Gold Coast who actually influence. They influence beliefs, actions, movements and people. The women listed here are by no means an exhaustive list of influential women of the Gold Coast we know there are thousands if not more! But here are four we chose to highlight for their individual influential power and the effect they have on the women who cross their paths. 

 

Asha Peck, 27 

Founder of The Girls in Business Movement / Gold Coast Girls in Business 

Wife, mother of two young boys, worker and small business owner Asha founded and grew the Gold Coast Girls in Business Facebook group (facebook.com/groups/gc.girlsinbusiness) and movement to 9,000 members in the first five months of opening. She strives to create a strong a powerful force of female leaders who want to connect, support and empower one another! 

What do you influence women to do? 

Connect with local and likeminded women and encourage them to believe in themselves as females. 

How do you do it? 

I post positive affirmations and quotes to uplift them while online and plan and host a wide range of events from small, childfriendly meet ups to huge networking events with fun twists. It’s about connecting face to face, getting them out of their comfort zones, enjoying one another’s company and giving back to the community wherever possible. 

What influential qualities do you possess? 

Passion, integrity, honesty and realness (with my members/following) and staying true to myself. I make them feel safe, supported and able to trust me! 

What is one key message you teach 

Collaborate instead of compete 

What’s your advice for other women who would like to influence? 

Stay true to yourself no matter what! Not everyone is going to like you or what youre doing but don’t let that change who you are or what your dreams are! And be kind always! 

Sue Feenstra, 49 

Author of Pongo – Hands Through The Forest and former fitness instructor and Xena stunt extra  

As a fitness instructor and former stunt extra, suddenly having a debilitating back injury was a huge curve ball for Sue. Determined to find purpose and gratitude, she turned to writing, creating Pongo (facebook.com/helppongo), a fictional story of an orangutan which delivers a real-world message. Rather than months of being bedridden a traumatic experience, she chose for them to be therapeutic through writing. Now, rather than making people healthier, her goal is to make the world healthier 

What do you influence women to do? 

To be the best version of themselves. We are all unique. Try not to follow the crowd, instead be true to who you are. 

How do you do it? 

When I was a fitness instructor I used to target the shy person in the class, the person that looked like they were uncomfortable in the situation. I would make a point of getting to know them and help them achieve their goals and bring back their confidence. 

What influential qualities do you possess? 

The ability to always look for the positive and challenge the way a person thinks. 

What is one key message you preach? 

Never give up! There is always something you can offer. Setbacks are just lessons on what didn’t work, learn from them and move forward.  

What’s your advice for other women who would like to influence? 

Don’t be afraid of reaching out. Remember, no is just a word if someone knocks you back. Ego and pride can stop you reaching your goals. Back yourself! 

 

Moyra Major, 39 

Journalist & Radio Announcer with Hot Tomato + Runs her company Major Confident 

Moyra is a familiar voice to many on the Gold Coast airways. She loves working her busy crazy life, juggling motherhood, family, radio, teaching and her business. Through her business, Major Confident (facebook.com/majorconfident), she helps people overcome and ace one of the most common fears public speaking.  

What do you influence women to do? 

With my business, I help as many people as I can, find their voice. Women can lack or lose confidence so quickly, and I think it’s such an important thing to have. Public speaking is a vital tool, not just from a business sense, but also from a personal level as well. I love nothing more than to see someone go from hiding in the shadows to standing in the spotlight. 

How do you do it? 

Laughter is always the best answer. People are relaxed when they are laughing, and it’s one of the greatest sounds in life. 

What influential qualities do you possess? 

I learnt very young that listening is one of the greatest skills to have. I love talking to people, but I also love hearing them talk about their lives, their loves, their families and their passion. 

What’s your advice for other women who would like to influence? 

I love the advice I was given recently, “Be interested, not interesting”. Make sure people leave you wanting more and come back again to connect again. 

What is one key message you preach? 

I believe in being good to yourself. There are so many people who are willing to knock you down, heckle or judge you. I think, especially with speaking in public, you need to be kind to yourself and take things slowly. I also well and truly love the message, “Every moment is a fresh beginning”. Its really helped me to stop beating myself up and learn that you can reset your day and your thoughts as many times as you like. 

 

 

Dr Sonia Sonia, 35 

Dentist / Owner of Kallangur Dental Surgery, Wellington Point Dental and Buderim Park Dental 

A personal survivor of family violence herself, Dr Sonia is a dentist and reigning beauty queen who is using her past experiences as inspiration to start her own charity, ReStored (facebook.com/restored019). She will be offering free dental treatments to those who have endured abuse, such as repairing broken teeth and jaws. 

What do you influence women to do? 

To speak up and stand up for themselves or anyone in need. 

How do you do it? 

I educate them, give them resources and coach them if needed. Not everyone knows where to start or how to start so I lead the way for them if I can. 

What influential qualities do you possess? 

Resilience — I learn from situations if there is a lesson to learn and then get over it emotionally and move on. Risk taking I take risks. Self-belief if I don’t believe in myself, no one else would. Confidence I am not afraid, I have confidence to take the first step, to speak out and speak up. Charisma to be influential, people need to like you. I’m authentic and genuine in this new hightech world where you can buy anything and everything, genuineness is not for sale. And if you are authentic, you will shine through. 

What’s your advice for other women who would like to influence? 

Be yourself and be genuine. Be present and be interested in people and their concerns. Its about them, not about you. You do not have to be a star, make them stars of their stories. 

What is one key message you teach? 

Be clear, be confident, be yourself. Do not let anyone decide what you can do or what you cannot. I see a lot of women apologise for being too ambitious, too outspoken or too bold. We need to be unapologetic and do what our hearts and souls say. You do not know what you can be or what you can achieve until you try it. 

 

 

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