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032: Salena Knight on Retail Strategy and Making Authentic Connections

I just saw The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemes and of the Netflix Documentary Minimalism) in real life on their tour in Philadelphia, got to connect with them and they were talking about having a great fan base in Australia, of which they’ll be touring in the next year. Ironically enough my next guest Salena Knight is indeed Australian AND works in the retail industry, which the Minimalists both had a background in which I found ironic. Maybe at some point THEY could have a conversation, which would be very interesting, but I digress.

Just an aside, I’m inspired to change the format for this particular episode after attending the amazing Mid-Atlantic Podcast Conference, also held in the Philadelphia area, hosted by Joe Pardo (a shout out to him and his team). So for the first half of this episode, we’ll deep dive into Salena’s background and what makes for a simply designed life, as per this podcast’s theme. Then for the second half, we’ll dig into connecting with people in the age of technology. How do we do it in personal life and business? How do we bring things back to that level where we can relate as humans and have those genuine conversations, like during our grandparents’ time?

Who is Salena?

Australia based Salena Knight is a retail business strategist, consultant and host of Bringing Business to Retail Podcast. She formed her consultancy in 2015 after becoming frustrated with the lack of reliable information out there for business owners. So many people work in their business, and they just don’t know how to find the time to learn new things to grow and to be inspired. Salena’s mission is to teach business owners to have more confidence, get more done, resolve the chaos and maximize profit. Prior to launching her business, Salena worked in the sustainability sector of the government. When Salena’s not helping business owners strategize, she’s playing mum to her daughter.

Quotes from Salena

As I look back, my whole business is about change, my whole being is about change, you know, what could we change to make this better, what could we change to make this easier? (6:41)

What I worked out during that process is that I draw my energy from other people so being in a shop was great because I’d build a constant high because I’d be helping people all the time and now — and I love start-ups and the essence of the start up, getting in the trenches — but I don’t need to create a hundred different start-up businesses, I could just hang out with the start-up people and move them to the next level. (11:06)

It’s the same with like surf brands, Lululemon or athletic wear. You want to be associated with that culture. I think when you automate a business like Tim Ferris did, there is no culture, you could outsource your blog writing. You could outsource your shipping and your dispatch and you can outsource your web design but somebody needs to be the glue that holds it all together… The book is about making money, not building a brand, building relationships, building the confidence in your customer, maybe that’s where we’re different… (18:37)


What You’ll Learn

  • Salena’s transition from government, to retail, to being a mentor for retailers
  • How a collaborative approach helped improve organization systems to get more things done in her business
  • The importance of taking care of and providing that “wow” experience for customers
  • Connecting in the digital age and the importance of allowing time for self-care to slow down and destress

Resources Mentioned and How to Connect:


Podcast and Social Media: 
Podcast, Facebook and Instagram

Other Listening Options:
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