While some of you may now know Lindsay Rogers as that chick that just won Telstra’s NSW Young Business Woman of the Year, she will still forever be known to me as that very tall English girl I met working at a bakery who really loved a good cheese stick.
All you probably heard out of that paragraph was Telstra or cheese stick, both are equally good, but what do they really mean and how can we all be more like this 6 foot brainy blonde? Knowing Lindsay well, sometimes better than I’d like to, I wanted to get beneath the real reason for her win. I still remember when she called me and told me she was going to start a business, merely 15 months ago, now Chello has a growing base of 40 clients and a team of 9. So basically, I’m going to tell you all the things that makes her so sensational, and not just the ones involving vino.
Lindsay is the business director and co-founder of creative agency Chello. She’s also a longtime friend, serial sleeper and very awkward pun teller. I caught up with my old gal pal and wine companion for a vino and a chat about how you become the latest poster child for one of Australia’s largest Telecoms and what it means to ‘keep it real’ in business.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t think Lindsay was going to win Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year for NSW. That would probably make me a bad friend, but she didn’t think she would win either, so we’re both in the clear. In fairness, Lindsay was up against the likes of Gen George, the young powerhouse that owns OneShift Jobs, she’s also a bit of a legend and loves a wine, so we’re all just calling a spade a spade really. But, If I know anything about Lindsay, it’s that her humility significantly underplays her competency and talent. For instance, when we were 16 she managed to get some unsuspecting police to drive us home from a house party at 2am, no infringements incurred apart from a couple of hangovers.
“I’m not afraid to call the BS”
What you see is what you get with Lindsay, the whole 180 something centimetres of her. That and the time she invests in people, friends or clients is real time, there’s no over-produced, sugary thoughts and opinions you would usually read in entrepreneur or inc.
“I’ve called BS in meetings before. If it’s truthful and said in the right way, the response and work you can produce from there on out is so much more powerful and effective. We have produced some of our best campaigns from taking a few steps back and putting forward ideas that are random/silly/out there, because we’d rather say it than hate life.”
“I hate the hard sell”
No one likes to be sold to, it’s the real time equivalent to being forced to watch the shopping channel when they’re selling squeegees. Lindsay’s aversion to the hard sell allows Chello to lead with their best foot forward, their service. It also makes her far more compelling to be around. If we all wanted a hard sell we could just go down to Ryan’s Bar on a Thursday and hang out with some recruiters.
“The hard sell is the worst, as well as people that only have time for you when you’re ‘someone’. I also don’t like it when people are too cool and look down on you, or Have you leave a convo and think less of yourself. I am a believer that you should leave a convo and feel energised and encouraged and refreshed, but some people suck the life out of you!!”
Lindsay has always been a bit weird and that’s why she’s so great and probably still can handle me.
“I had imaginary friends as a child, Ali and Ixox, they came everywhere. I made them tea and talked to them in public, no biggie. I have also always loved food and it showed. I was the chubby kid at ballet sessions that had the heavy footsteps across the room when everyone else tippy toed. I always got in trouble in class for talking too much. Every report card was “Lindsay has great potential, but she needs to focus in class and stop talking”. Actually, my Maths teacher recently emailed me to say that he’s since written a ‘dealing with problem students’ chapter in his online course about me. Classic. I still talk a lot, but I guess at least I have made a career out of my incessant need to communicate.”
“Things that get me by”
“I love sleeping. Skim caps. Baklava. Wine with friends. A handwritten card. The feeling at the end of a gruesome bootcamp sesh. Abbrev’d words. Getting on a plane for a personal trip. An inappropriate, well timed joke. I love hot showers. Big thinking people. Good convo’s. Veuve. Decent flirting.”
“I love these drinks at these bars”
Espresso martini at Cho Cho San – amaze.
Aloe Cocktail at Ms G’s – refreshing, different and delicious.
Veuve anywhere – easy to drink and delicious
Cocktails at Lobo Plantation – because Paige Aubort.
Drinks and food at Norfolk – because team lunches.
Many a good red wines and girls nights at North Bondi Fish
Having known Lindsay longer than all the cocktails, bar tabs and fun times we’ve consumed together, I can safely say this is just the beginning for her. While I believe the female business landscape is an incredibly dynamic, complex and at times confusing one to direct our way through, I know she’s one to both navigate it and lead it with a strong sense of sincerity, innovation and liveliness. Well, that and a couple of awkward puns along the way. Maybe a cheese stick or two.
Imagery by Chris Brooks at Chello