FLEUR MAD­DEN

CEO & BUSI­NESS­WOMAN, 34

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - UPFRONT - SU­SAN JOHN­SON

I was 23, turn­ing 24, when I started Red PR [now Red Repub­lic ]. I was work­ing part-time as a jour­nal­ist, and one of the me­dia out­lets I was work­ing for said they didn’t need me on a Fri­day. So I thought I might do a bit of PR and regis­tered a busi­ness name. I’ve al­ways been a bit of a risk-taker.

I come from a fam­ily of en­trepreneurs. My hard-work­ing na­ture def­i­nitely comes from my par­ents. I grew up think­ing I could do any­thing. And Mum al­ways taught me that ev­ery­thing you do, you do it 200 per cent. She was the CEO of moth­ers, some­times even when you didn’t need her to be!

She had me when she was 20, so there’s not a huge age gap. We are def­i­nitely mother and daugh­ter – she acts like my mother – but we are friends as well. I think we’re very dif­fer­ent in our per­son­al­i­ties. I’m more of a risk­taker and Mum’s a lit­tle bit more of a scaredy-cat.

Maybe the dif­fer­ence is that Mum was a stay-at-home mum and I’ve al­ways been a ca­reer woman and, for bet­ter or worse, I’ve al­ways taken the hard road, or the more chal­leng­ing road. But when my mar­riage broke up [sev­eral years ago], I wouldn’t have got through it with­out Mum.

My brother’s got two lit­tle boys now and of course she’s turned into the most fan­tas­tic grand­mother. She was re­cently named Woman of the Decade [1965-75] at the launch of cel­e­bra­tions for her school’s cen­te­nary [Lour­des Hill Col­lege, Hawthorne, in Bris­bane’s east] but she’s the woman of our lives to us. She’s the glue.

“I come from a fam­ily of en­trepreneurs. My hard-work­ing na­ture def­i­nitely comes from my par­ents.”

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