Known to many simply as Sel, I am Sue-Ellen Watts. I have disrupted the HR business pretty much since my career began over 15 years ago. I match vision with action to enable my small to medium sized (SMB) clients to bring the power of HR into their boardrooms, to their lunch rooms and beyond. I love to deliver results with gusty honesty married with commercial prowess.
Launching my Brisbane-based HR business wattsnext in 2007, it has been a steep learning curve to say the least. I started my Brisbane office at aged 30 just months before the 2008 global financial crisis with no business plan, no financial backing, no local connections and no family support – and a newborn baby.
Fast forward to today, my Founder and CEO role at wattsnext is backed up by solid expertise in leading high-performance teams, a true understanding of what it takes to grow a business and a love and passion for entrepreneurialism.
I am open about my shortcomings when it comes to official qualifications, having dropped out of university three times. Needless to say, there is power in admitting that traditional education and traditional paths to fulfilment and success are not my forte.
In spite of this, I have a deep love of learning and that is what I offer my clients and those around me in spades. As a self-confessed personal and professional development addict, I have gained my knowledge from hundreds of external sources including many hours of coaching, mentoring, courses, workshops, and travel, reading, conferences and networking gatherings.
With the current celebration of the modern day ‘entrepreneur’, it is my view that we need to debunk the glamour and myths around what this buzz word really means. Some entrepreneurs are born and some, like me, are made, and neither is better or worse.
For me, being an entrepreneur has meant always carving my own path and making a positive ‘dent’ in the world. It is about living life on my own terms and always exploring the new. Never giving up and staying hungry in every aspect of my career and beyond.
Over nearly a decade, I have opened offices in Brisbane and Sydney and service clients all over Australia, and my big dream is to give to New York someday in some way, a place where I find inner calm, crystal clear focus and a strong sense of belonging every time I visit the city (which is a lot!).
Staying curious drives me to always strive for more – from harnessing new technology and innovations in the future of work, I am forever embracing forward thinking and inspired ways to work and live.
I also am a proud mother to three sons who are learning a lot about resilience, gratitude, visualising dreams, never settling and striving for a dream with everything they have!