Why I gave up meeting Ashton Kutcher in favour of a hamburger

Do you remember the 1980's? I was a teenager then and remember fondly one particular TV commercial where a young Naomi Watts gives up a date with Tom Cruise for a lamb roast.  Fair enough today, but back before couch jumping on Oprah he was a huge star! Today I did something similar.

The story begins when I became an ambassador of Lenovo, the largest PC maker in the world. I have blogged before about how I e-ttracted them to me and also their awesome technology. They even flew me to London!  Great people.  

Today, Ashton was in Sydney to spearhead their technology conference, Tech My Way, and I had a golden ticket. I could even invite my friends! I tried to get to Sydney for the event, but it would have been really hard on my two young boys. Spencer just started primary school and still finding his feet as a prep. They would have had to get up at 5:30am, be shipped off somewhere, then transported to before care, school, aftercare and somewhere to babysit and them finally home at 9pm - too much!

Thus, I gave up meeting one of the most inspiring actors (who is really a technologist) to have a hamburger at home with my kids. Why? Well it all comes down to values. Something I talk about regularly and believe deeply. Values drive our core and I believe when we listen to our intuition great things happen. To me, on this day my kids were more important than a Hollywood superstar.  

I really was keen to go see his presentation and the news reports said it was AMAZING! You might not be aware that Ashton is a massive tech investor: Spotify, Airbnb, Foursquare, Fab, Uber, Dwolla and Path are all on his list of successes plus Social Star...ok I made that one up. He is pretty cool, but to me my kids are cooler.

*Check out his presentation here or follow the comments on Twitter at #techmyway


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Andrew Ford

Social Star, Level 4, Suite 402, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.