October 6, 2022

Meeting Topics 7 Oct – 21 Oct – LEADERSHIP: Just pick up the phone – Mel Curwood – How being ‘in the zone’ boosts your performance and your resilience By Sharon Spence & Suzie Marsden

Meeting Topics 7 Oct – 21 Oct – LEADERSHIP: Just pick up the phone – Mel Curwood – How being ‘in the zone’ boosts your performance and your resilience By Sharon Spence & Suzie Marsden

Meeting Topic


The article below was contributed by one of our long-term Venus members. Mel Curwood’s world was turned upside down a few months ago, and she wanted to share what she has learned through that experience in the hopes that it may help someone who may be going through something similar. As you prepare for your 60-second intro, consider sharing what this has brought to mind for you – is there something that has struck a chord about your own self-leadership in times of extreme difficulty? When something totally unexpected happens that takes all your focus and energy, how do you keep going?

Just Pick Up the Phone – Mel Curwood

“Hi Caro.  It’s Mel here.. There is something wrong with John.   Can you please txt me when you’re awake.

Many Thanks





“Call if it suits x”




“Ambulance here now.. assessing .. Thank you.”



How is he x”




“He’s stable and they are giving him fluid.  They said they may give him a blood transfusion at some stage.  They are also going to do a colonoscopy at some stage.  They have also run some blood tests.   He is having a sleep at the moment.

Thanks so much for your help this morning.   The ambulance drivers confirmed that he was in a bad way when they arrived.”


Monday 14th March



“Hi Caro.  Just spoke to the Doctor.   They found a tumour”    . . . .


I knew that something was very wrong, but I never thought we would be beginning this journey.

What have I learned about myself as a person and about self-leadership?

Here is the extract from a Zoom recording of our May Growth Roundtable:

“I’ve learned a lot, ..  It’s been a very intense month … My husband had an event about two months ago where he passed out and I had to rush him to the hospital and we subsequently found out that he has bowel cancer and it has metastasized. We found out about one month ago that he is …. stage 4 … he’s a 46 year old awesome person so yeah I’ve learned alot about myself in the last month.

…I’ve learned  some things that you wouldn’t think to learn about yourself – but what it has taught me is that I tend to go into overdrive and I get busy being busy which gives me something to focus on, but it means that my stress levels are so high I’m just constantly on adrenaline…

…I’m having to re-learn how to ask for help and how to accept help and how to look after myself so that I can be in the best possible position for my family…

…I’ve also learned that you can have the darkest of days and then the next day you can still have a brilliant day and  to remind yourself of that when you’re having those dark dark days … the next day is quite likely going to be a lot brighter…

… I cannot reemphasize enough about how much Venus has meant to me during this time. The first people I picked up the phone and asked for help from were all Venus ladies both current and previous and the help that I have been able to put in and around myself… around my family in all kinds of different ways has all been fundamentally initially from Venus ladies, so that’s been awesome.

I’ve also learned that I can have a balance from focusing entirely on my family and what their needs are but then I can focus on my business and that’s o.k. …. when it first happened I thought, ’How am I ever going to be able to run a business … If I don’t work, I don’t earn an income… What the Fuck am I going to do?’

… but I’ve learned that having my business is something that doesn’t just provide income. It nourishes ME and allows me to bring value into the lives of others, and I think the more I focus on helping others, then it helps me to switch from what’s going on in my own life into a sense of purpose and a sense of passion that’s outside of the situation. I can get in my car and go for a drive and go serve some people.”

Questions and Food for Thought: How do Business Owners keep going when their world is turned upside down? I remember thinking to myself: Just Pick Up the Phone, Speak to Somebody and Add Some Value.“


Wednesday 3rd August



         “We have been so Blessed with all of the support we have received so far with  John’s Journey back to full health – Thankyou all so much.

Over the next week or so it would so wonderful if all of our incredibly supportive friends and family could take a moment here and there to pray or envisage or focus on John’s tumours shrinking down like little raisins.

John is doing so well and we want to focus on him getting better and better.  We have all experienced both little and big miracles.at different times in our lives … It’s time to add another xox.💕

Thursday 4th August




Next Thursday John has another CT Scan before we meet with his oncologist later that day.  This particular CT Scan is to determine how well everything is responding to the current treatment…It would be so awesome for John to be able to stay with his current chemo if possible as we know his body handles it really well :)


Thursday 11th August




“Thanks Everyone:)  I’ve just dropped John off for his CT Scan. We are both understandably nervous xo

We are so appreciative of all of the good wishes. My thoughts and wishes now are for peace and calm no matter what the outcome but mostly of course Shrinkage :).”


Thursday 11th August



“The Thing no Guy at the beach was ever pleased to say…




If you’d like to chat to Mel, you’ll find out more about her here: www.melcurwood.co.nz

Next Meeting Topic

How being ‘in the zone’ boosts your performance and your resilience By Sharon Spence & Suzie Marsden

Can you describe the feeling of being ‘in the zone’?

For most people they have a sense that time disappears. Things just click, feel right and easy. They describe feeling deeply focussed and completely in the moment. They lose any sense of self-consciousness. They talk about feeling energised, even a bit joyful. Sounds good doesn’t it?!

Psychologists call this ‘flow state’.

So what?

It’s not something we typically think about, but we should. There is a well documented correlation between flow state and high performance. We all want to run successful businesses. We should know what has us in the zone.

It’s also great for our mental and physical wellbeing to be doing flow state activities. When we’re doing work that has us ‘in the zone’ we’re more likely to be happier and more resilient.

Equally, when we’re not in the zone, it can lead to us feeling bored and unmotivated and if we do these activities too often it can lead us into a depressive and depleted state.

I doubt there are many, if any, jobs that would have us 100% in the zone but if we understand when we’re ‘in the zone’ a bit better, we can use that to make choices about the type of work we dial up.

Likewise when we recognise when we are definitely NOT in the zone, we can try to minimise the amount of time we are doing these activities or even outsource them (a referral to another Venus member perhaps?!)

How can I identify when I’m In or Out of the Zone?

According to positive psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura who popularised the idea, flow happens when we are challenged by the activity (the sweet spot where it is not too easy nor too difficult) and we’re using skills we enjoy using.

Everyone’s flow state will be different so we suggest keeping an ‘in the zone’ and ‘out of the zone’ diary for a while. It could simply be making notes on your phone over a period of time, e.g. three or four weeks, about each activity and teasing out what you liked about the activity (or didn’t).

Your friends for this mission are what, where, when, who and how. Let us explain;


Note down any time you catch yourself feeling in the zone or conversely when you’re doing something that makes sticking pins in your eyes a somewhat attractive alternative.

This is the ‘what’. Don’t stop there though, you want to dig deeper and take note of;


Where are you? – is it a quiet place or is it buzzing; inside; outside; what are the conditions? Is it light filled, is it cosy etc?


When did you have this feeling? – time of day, day of the week or any other time consideration


Who, if anyone, are you with? Describe your relationship to them – close friends, team members etc. What role are you playing? What role are they playing?


How are you doing this activity? E.g are you using your hands? Does it require specific skills? Notice the details.

We’ve found that giving this topic a decent amount of focus will help you identify, not only the times you’re in flow state but you may also notice some common themes emerging or conditions that have you in the zone – e.g. it may be you need quiet, solo time to be most productive or when you’ve got a complex problem to solve, or you love to brainstorm with a small group of others to get your creative juices flowing.

Knowing this will help you find or set up activities that will have you more often in flow state and we believe that will lead to a more productive and happier you.

Sharon and Suzie run amp’d. They help people with career coaching and career planning programmes so they can find their way to work they can love. This activity is one of the activities they use to help people understand themselves better before thinking about job choices.

You can find out more about them at their website: https://www.ampdcareers.com/

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