Good Reading : September 2006
SEPTEMBER 2006 ı goodreading 35 mind body spirit word of mouth all for the best DOMONIQUE BERTOLUCCI is convinced that everyone can aspire to live life to the full. She talks about her first book, Your Best Life, to ROSAMUND BURTON. Domonique Bertolucci’s office is on the fourth floor of a renovated building next door to Louis Vuitton on King Street in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. Domonique, who is in her mid 30s, is originally from Perth with Italian heritage. She has thick jet black hair, large eyes and glistening white teeth. She is wearing pearl ear rings, a tailored black jacket and a grey skirt with a black flower motif embroidered on it. On her foot is a tattoo. ‘The Chinese characters mean truth, love and wisdom,’ she explains. ‘I got it in New York. It was a celebration of change. The idea of having it on my foot was I would always walk forward with truth, love and wisdom. ‘When I was a child I wanted to be Wonder Woman,’ she tells me. ‘But when aged about nine I realised that you didn’t grow up to be Wonder Woman because she was a cartoon character, I became interested in television and film.’ This ignited her interest in being a star. It was not until she was thirteen that she realised that movie stars were actually actors. ‘It was a lifestyle aspiration,’ she admits now. ‘Movie stars are well paid. They have great clothes. They get to work in different countries and their work is in demand.’ She told her school guidance counsellor that she was going to be a star. After school she did two years of a BA before realising her heart wasn’t in it. She was also doing some modelling work while at university, so decided to move to Sydney to pursue that career, and had contracts both here and in Asia. Aged twenty-two she went to London. ‘I arrived at the same time as the waif look,’ Bertolucci recalls. ‘When I was asked to lose a stone and I was at the bottom end of what’s healthy for my height I decided to retire gracefully.’ She registered with a temp agency, and because she had learnt book- keeping and could speak fluent Italian, landed a position as an accounts clerk for an international organisation on a tax-free salary. With a well-paid job and being in a steady relationship, it looked as though she had it all. ‘I was successful but not satisfied,’ she says now. ‘I had a lovely boyfriend but he wasn’t r ig me, and the job wasn’t right either.’ So she left both her job and her man and took a position in Luxemburg as a junior accountant for a fund manager. On her first day the company finance officer gave her a problem to solve. She did that successfully and also offered advice on how to prevent this particular issue recurring. The CFO became the managing director and employed Domonique as her special projects person. ‘If you always give the best of your- self you’ll always be able to make the most of opportunities,’ she reflects. ‘I ruffled feathers during this time, but if you are going to live your best life you’ll ruffle feathers.’ After working in Luxemburg for eight months she was in a position to work in project management and also consultancy. She decided from then on rather than accepting per manent employment to always take contract work. She also always chose contracts that provided her with a lear ning opportunity, and worked with prestig- ious companies such as the BBC and Credit Suisse First Boston. She realised that what really inter- ested her was motivating people and getting the best out of them, so in 2001 she trained as a coach. She met her husband, who is also from Perth, while in London, and in 2003 they moved to Sydney and Domonique set up her coaching business, Success Strategies. Today she has clients in the USA, UK and throughout Australia, and also has a small team of coaches. Your Best Life is a step-by-step guide for the reader to achieve his or er goals, and there are xercises to do throughout the book. Much of the emphasis is on appreciating what you already have in life, and also recognising the difference between true goals and fantasy aspirations. There are straightforward instructions on how to achieve small changes in life to long-ter m goals. ‘The book is based on what I’ve learnt,’ Domonique explains. ‘It took 210 hours to write and edit, and for part of that time I rented a small apartment on the Queensland coast and tapped away on the laptop, like Kathleen Tur ner in Romancing the Stone.’ With her own successful business, a happy mar riage and publication of her first book, she is living proof that you can create your dream life, and she certainly is the star of her own life. Your Best Life by Domonique Bertolucci is published by Hachette Livre, rrp $35.00 Another new book for people want- ing to make the most of their lives is Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher. This is for anyone who has so many different interests that they find it hard to focus on only one goal, and as a result cannot create a successful, happy life. Barbara Sher suggests ways for people to combine all their interests. Refuse to Choose is published by Pan MacMillan, r rp $35.00.