Tenille Bentley is an internationally award winning transformative speaker, educator, as well as an author of two thought provoking books “Digital Consciousness and Emotional literacy for kids” she travels the world stages pursuing her journey to be of service to the human family. Tenille is a well established contemporary thought leader who has been recognised by the Australian Prime Minister with ‘The Australian Leadership Award’ which is only presented to 20 people in Australia, awarded the ‘Australian Financial Review Top 100 Australia’s Women of Influence’, State Finalist in the ‘Telstra Business Woman of the Year’ and inducted into the Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame by The Governor. Tenille is also a credited and experienced board director. Starting out in the corporate world, Tenille changed direction after burning out and feeling disconnected from what she was doing.
Here’s our chat with Tenille.
Was there a significant turning point when you decided to become an entrepreneur?
I call it the entrepreneurial seizure. It was like I just had a moment of awareness that I didn’t go to university so I wasn’t going to get the opportunities in corporate world as I didn’t have the qualifications, so I decided to fast track it myself.
Instead of starting and building one business, I built three. I have been an entrepreneur for 14 years now. I realised that no one was going to carve out my destiny but myself. You have to go and create that opportunity for yourself.
Your Initial idea, how did it come about?
The initial idea about the Emotional Literacy and Mindfulness Academy for kids, came from my children’s book on understanding energy I wrote called “Jazzy, Pinky and the Energy Ball.” Which had been gifted from a special little boy called Jazzy who was 5 years old at the time. He had come home feeling flat, off and grumpy and I asked him about his day. He said one of his friends was in a bad mood and I said to him “you caught so and so’s energy ball. Everyone carries one around with them every day and if you catch someone else’s it can affect how you feel.” I gave him some techniques to help him with this.
It just happened a week later that we we’re out at a restaurant and he wanted to leave half way through our meal as he said the kids that just came in their energy ball was off and intuitively he felt it.
That then became the story and then led to a six-week course.
Was your entrepreneurial journey linked to your personal one?
Yes. I asked my mum if I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and she told me that at 8 years old I declared I wasn’t going to be a housewife I was going to be a business woman. My Mum was a successful marketing manager and I saw her as a superwoman.
Being an entrepreneur is a personal journey, it is the greatest self-awareness tool that we can ever have. It shows us blatantly who we are and what we are not and where our strength and weakness are. It teaches us to grow and never profess you know it all, always be the student.
Initially, what difficulties did you face?
Getting any sleep! I initially had a full-time job when I was building my businesses, which I left in the first few months. I had to learn not to let passion overtake logic. You can come into it with the shiny object syndrome.
Capital is always a tricky start. Forces you to think laterally and outside the box. Be ready to do the hard work and not get much sleep.
What do you believe was the best decision you made in business?
Knowing when to walk away and looking at it realising I’m making the decision for the best interest of the company and not for my own personal needs and wants.
Realising the importance in paying yourself first.
What do you wish you knew before you started your first businesses?
I wish I had known about balance. Understanding that it’s about living the journey and enjoying it and allowing it to flow organically. You can be super successful in your businesses but if you’re stressed out you won’t enjoy it.
And the importance of relationships. I was seen to be very successful, my companies were established, I was winning prestigious awards but I lost a lot of relationships and was alone. Your relationships are far more important, live and find the journey. No amount of money can buy those moments.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurial women?
Don’t feel like you have to cross the t’s and dot the i’s before you make a project live. Men tend to jump in and do it and not care if is not perfect. Women tend to perfect things before they present it.
Have that belief in no self-doubt. You are enough exactly as you are. Don’t take it personally if you don’t get a deal. Certain people will resonate with you and some wont and it’s ok and as soon as we realise that, it makes the journey a lot more peaceful.
One thing I learnt is not everyone will like me and that’s ok, that’s diversity, that’s good. As a woman, sometimes we take it personally and it means we aren’t enough or loved by society. Always honour that you are a woman in business and the qualities that you bring to the table you don’t need to be masculine to bring them. Don’t lose sight of that.
Who do you look up to in business?
At the moment, I’m a fan of Marianne Williamson’s work, which is a great combo of heart and head logic.
When you think of your journey, what is the thing you are most proud of?
That I remained a student to my journey and never professed to know it all, spoke less and listened more.
What is success to you?
When I reached ‘perceived’ success in business I actually didn’t feel successful. Success for me today is the contribution that I make to the human family, and as long as it’s a positive contribution, financial result is a byproduct, a necessity in running a business, but not the purpose of running one. Success is the fact that I get to do what it is I love every day and come from abundance instead of scarcity which allows me to make heart based decision that are alinged with me and not bargaining away what I love for security.
Are there any must have Apps you use?
Most of my business comes from social media, so they are the apps I use most, especially Facebook. I also use Upwork, Xero, Podcast and the TED app.
Voxer is great for working in teams and Asana for online task lists.