I was the envy of many friends and acquaintances this week when I was asked to MC a luncheon where Ita Buttrose was to be the guest speaker.
One of a handful of people who are known just by their first name, Ita is the woman of the moment, enjoying a deserved resurgence in popularity, after being featured in not only a tv series, but also in a recent two-part feature on Australian Story.
I’d always admired Ita. As a young journalist in New Zealand, I quickly hit a glass ceiling. Ita was – and has remained – an inspiration to me as she forged ahead in her career.
Ita is the doyenne of the publishing world, has had a Cold Chisel song written about her, is a seasoned professional when it comes to speaking and I was being asked to share a stage with her.
However, any nerves I might have had quickly diminished. I was one of a room full of people caught under Ita’s spell at this City of Darebin women in business lunch.
As a speaker, Ita is witty, charming and insightful and able to laugh at her own expense.
She offered some great advice for weathering the storms of financial uncertainty, the benefits and pitfalls of running your own business, the power of marketing and the value of collaboration.
But more than that, Ita showed us by example that passion will take you far in this world. When things get too hard, you just need to take one more step. And then another one.
I left lunch knowing that no matter what I might face in this lifetime, I just need to keep on going and things will work themselves out.
How can I be sure? Because in the words of Cold Chisel, how could I not believe when Ita tells me to?