About this girl
Rising to the top against the odds
About This Girl is the story of one of Australia’s most prominent businesswomen who, starting from nothing, has built a thriving international business. It is a tale of sheer grit and grace under pressure, with a good dose of inspiration for those craving authenticity in a world where ethics play second fiddle to profits.
A story on finding your path and purpose
“Gemma has stood the test of time in business, and her work is noticed at the highest level.”
Gemma Manning, serial entrepreneur and founder of top marketing and PR firm Manning & Co., and Asia accelerator and entrepreneurship educator Gemstar, has led a remarkably adventurous life. One that has taken her all over the world, from being the only gaijin in a remote resort in Japan, to lunching amid breath-taking vistas of Antarctica and partying on Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson.
Awarded Entrepreneur of the Year Singapore in 2018, among many other accolades she shares in these pages what she has learnt through the years, drawing from her colourful personal life and the vagaries of her professional experiences. From scoring her first corner office at the age of 25 to finding herself a single mother, home schooling two young children while running a fast-growing business across Australia and Singapore. Gemma’s story offers lessons in resilience and determination in the face of adversity.
About This Girl will help you...
“This book is well worth a read for any aspiring entrepreneur, single mum, yet alone any female in business. It’ll fill your heart with warmth, ambition, and happiness, and leave you smiling in every way—exactly like Gemma Louise does every time you see her. “
Founder, The CEO Magazine
“Gemma’s book is a delightful read for those of us who want to know the lessons of resilience and grit on an entrepreneurial journey. Gemma authentically depicts the highs and lows she has experienced over many years and across multiple countries, which is sure to inspire and motivate anyone building their own business.”
Founder and Author, Vermelho
I have no doubt that this book will leave you inspired. That in that next moment for you of self-doubt or regret or despair, you may be able to call on a line or a page from this book and know you are not alone. Gemma has gone before you. She has and is paving the way for innovative thought, for taking the limits off of yourself, and for leading with a compassionate heart and soul.
Founder and CEO of Jones Therapy “Most Admired CEO”, Nashville Business Journal 2019
”Amazing! What a remarkable testament to her energy, ability and resilience. Go Gemma – may you continue to inspire all those you meet along your journey.“
Chief Scientist Western Australia
“About This Girl is a true gift to anyone who has ever doubted themselves. It’s a tale of courage and personal strength, and is a beautiful example of the power of self-belief. I can’t recommended it enough.”
Former international business news anchor
“This book describes the inspirational journey of an amazing young woman, one who is always upbeat and optimistic in spite of the knocks, always encouraging of others, always supportive of those who need help.”
Meet Renee – talented artist and illustrator.
Renee and I first met at Riverside Girls High School when we were both 12 and have now proudly shared close to 30 years of friendship. From the moment we met, she has been a pillar of support and strength. Renee is a true friend – the kind that is rare to come by, she has stuck with me through thick and thin and through the highs and the lows. She is also one of the most creative, talented and authentic people I know which is why I asked her to illustrate the cover of ‘About This Girl’. Renee has been a part of my journey almost every step of the way. Her presence as my soul sister and best friend has been a comforting constant. She knows me better than anyone else, and I love her for it. Thank you, my darling Renee for taking part in this project and for being part of my tribe. Love you to bits x
Meet Ginger - phenomenal entrepreneur and game changer.
Another close friend of mine, Ginger, who I met on the very magical Necker Island, wrote the foreword for ‘About This Girl’. When Ginger and I first met, it was a cosmic connection, we were like long lost sisters who had finally found each other. Ginger and her business achievements inspire me so much, and she is an absolute breath of fresh air in the entrepreneurial world. I knew Ginger would be the perfect person to write the foreword as she embodies the principle of women supporting women. She has been a core part of my tribe, lifting and supporting every adventure I chose to pursue. Her resilience, patience and kindness are an example for women in business everywhere. Ginger, I am so lucky to have found you and to count you as one of my dearest friends despite us living oceans apart. Much love x
Message from the author
In this memoir, I lay it all on the table – the entrepreneur stripped bare. After having been in business for close to 13 years and having pretty much everything that I could possibly imagine thrown at me, I have experienced it all – the amazing, the not so good, and the very ugly.
I hope to show you that anything is possible if you show grit, resilience, dedication and remain true to yourself – be your authentic self. You don’t need to fit in. You don’t need to listen to the naysayers. You don’t need to accept the way things are. It is time to change the game for the better. This is my promise to my two daughters and this shapes my purpose and all that I do.
This book is for anyone who thought they weren’t good enough or who were not capable enough. Those who doubted themselves as they were the odd one out. For people who weren’t handed things on a silver platter, or are from the wrong side of the bridge, and instead had to figure it out, and work for it
Be fearless. Take risks. Follow your passion. This is the story About This Girl. Enjoy x