Erin Boutros – How Her Movement Empty Esky Went Viral
- 14 December 2020
- Posted by: GIANNA LUCAS
- Category: Podcasts
We know 2020 can seem like one big blur, but do you remember that before COVID-19, Australia was experiencing an unprecedented bushfire season this time, last year?! It ran for so many months and the devastation was so destructive that it’s widely known as Black Summer.
Over 18 million hectares burned, destroying over 5,900 buildings, including over 2,800 homes. In addition to human fatalities, many millions of wildlife sadly perished, including over 5,000 koalas within NSW alone – a third of that state’s koala population.
The Australian economy also suffered tremendously costing the nation billions of dollars in losses, not to mention the regions that fell victim to the bushfires – they were hardest hit.
Now here’s the good news. We all have the ability to create a positive change and play our part to restore our economy and help rebuild these beautiful towns and the livelihoods of those affected by the bushfires. And leading the way is one amazing human, Erin Boutros, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Empty Esky.
In case you didn’t know, Empty Esky is a national tourism movement of foodies and adventurers on a mission to support small businesses affected by the Australian fires. They’re on a mission to encourage everyone to grab an Empty Esky, embark on a road trip to a fire-affected town (when it’s safe to do so) and to stock up with produce and product purchased from local traders.
The story behind Empty Esky’s launch and massive growth is SO inspiring. They get to work with some of the world’s most recognisable brands to help spread their mission and vision.
It’s an awesome not-for-profit and run by a small team of volunteers and so we’re super excited that Erin (who also happens to be a Happow ambassador) is joining Gianna for our 2nd last episode of season 1!
In this ep, Erin and Gianna chat about:
- How Empty Esky became a viral movement on Insta
- How she got the word out and created her website
- The day she was invited to Canberra to meet Prime Minister, Scott Morrison (ScoMo)
- How she became a social entrepreneur
- What’s next and loads more.
So Let’s Power Up Life!
Host: Co-Founder/CEO Happow, Gianna Lucas
Producers: Gianna Lucas, Marija Dukadinovska, Carissa Shale
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Gianna Lucas: This is Power Up Life, the podcast. I’m your host, Gianna Lucas, co- founder and CEO at Happow, the social enterprise that powers this podcast. We help you slay life in high school, uni and beyond. Each week on the show, you’ll learn epic life skills in a super chill way. Hear from well- known legends, as they reveal their biggest setbacks and milestones to date. And you’ll find out what our Happow squad think about a whole stack of topics too. From epic challenges to super raw moments, this show has it all. So let’s Power Up Life.
I know 2020 can seem like one big blur, but do you remember that before COVID- 19, Australia was experiencing an unprecedented bushfire season just this time last year. It ran for so many months and the devastation was so destructive, it’s widely known as Black Summer. Over 18 million hectors burned, destroying over 5, 900 buildings, including over 2, 800 homes. In addition to human fatalities, many millions of wildlife sadly perished, including over 5, 000 koalas within New South Wales alone. A third of the state’s koala population. The Australian economy also suffered tremendously, costing the nation billions of dollars in losses, not to mention the regions that fell victim to the bushfires. They were the hardest hit.
But here is the good news, we all have the ability to create a positive change and play our part to restore our economy and help rebuild these beautiful towns and livelihoods of those affected by the bushfires. And leading the way is one amazing human, Erin Boutros, co- founder and managing director of Empty Esky. In case you didn’t know, Empty Esky is a national tourism movement of foodies and adventurers on a mission to support small businesses affected by the Australian fires. They’re on a mission to encourage everyone to grab an empty esky, embark on a road trip to a fire effected town, of course when it’s safe to do so, and stock up with produce and product purchase from local traders.
The story behind Empty Esky’s launch and massive growth is so, so, so, so inspiring. They get to work with some of the world’s most recognizable brands to help spread their mission and vision. It’s an awesome not- for- profit run by a small team of volunteers. And so I am super excited that Erin, who also happens to be a Happow ambassador, is joining me for our second last episode of season one. So in this ep, Erin and I chat about how Empty Esky became a viral movement on Insta, how she got the word out and created her website, the day she was invited to Canberra to meet Prime Minister Scott Morrison, better known as ScoMo, how she became a social entrepreneur, what’s next, and loads more. So let’s Power Up Life. And I have her on the show right now. Welcome to Power Up Life, Erin.
Erin Boutros: Thank you. Thanks so much for having me. It’s exciting to be on the podcast.
Gianna Lucas: Yes. Well, I have a lot of respect for you and everything that you have been working on, not just over the last few months but back in the day, which wasn’t that long ago. But about three or four years ago, I got to meet you for the first time through a mutual friend and got to see the heart that you have for changing people’s lives, especially those that are in need. Thank you for everything that you do and the selflessness that you have.
Erin Boutros: Well, thank you so much. It’s so nice to be recognized for all of that. It’s been a couple of years, but it’s been such an exciting process to be a part of.
Gianna Lucas: It certainly has. So let’s talk a little bit about Empty Esky, which has basically taken Australia by storm, literally. It all started … Is that right? Out of your bedroom? One day you were flicking through Instagram and you went, just see a need for something. Is that right? How did it all start?
Erin Boutros: It is. Well, I was actually in bed sick. So it was just after New Year’s and I’d come down with a really weird cold, not coronavirus, it was way before coronavirus, it was a lifetime ago. So I was in bed and I was quite bored because there was nothing really to do after Christmas. I was feeling pretty miserable. And I remember just watching the news and it was all about bushfires. So there was those horrible images of the animals that had been killed and the people that had lost houses. And I remember just feeling really helpless at the time. So I was literally in bed just trying to think of a way that I could give back or help in some small way. And I messaged a friend, Eleanor, who she was also in bed sick, and we-
Gianna Lucas: You both were unwell.
Erin Boutros: Yeah. Both in bed sick, and we were like, you know what, let’s just set up an Instagram. We don’t really know what it’s going to do or how it can help, but let’s just see if there’s a way we can support local businesses in the bushfire affected towns. And it turns out there was quite a few of other people who wanted to jump on board.
Gianna Lucas: And then, how did you go about saying, okay, we want to create a movement of some kind? Did you know from the beginning it was going to get so much traction? Did you dream about it accelerating as quickly as it did or were you completely shocked by the results?
Erin Boutros: I was completely shocked. We got 200 people get behind it. If we could help one or two businesses, that would be cool. We had no idea. The enormity of the response that we got was just so unexpected, but it was amazing at the same time. It was such an incredible thing to be a part of.
Gianna Lucas: It’s super cool what you have been working on, creating a movement that people really want to be a part of. I guess it’s all because you are supporting businesses that have experienced something that no one would ever desire to ever experience in their lifetime. And of course, that’s the Australian bushfires, which were the worst we’ve ever had. Can I ask, how did you go about engaging with these people that their life has been turned upside down and no doubt there was suffering and still are suffering emotionally from it? How did you go about saying, hey, we may have some kind of solution for you or something to help you get through this moment? How did you go about that?
Erin Boutros: So thinking back to the first couple of days when the campaign launched, it was as simple as I Googled the towns that had been affected by bushfires and chose a couple of businesses. I chose a winery and a bakery, and I called up directly on a landline. Talked to the owners and just said, how can we best help you? What would be really helpful to you right now? And their feedback was, we have online stores, but we just don’t know how to engage people or get traffic onto our website. So that would be really helpful if you could get customers to visit our website.
So that was where we started, just simply asking. But what I found really interesting as well is that every single person who we did speak to and asked that question, they always redirected us to someone who needed more help than them. They never felt worthy of help. They were always like, no, no, no, there’s people who’ve lost more than us. We know we’re suffering, but there’s people who need more help than us. So that was super interesting as well. And it just makes you … you just want to help them all.
Gianna Lucas: I think that’s just a true testament to the character of these people in these rural areas and towns, to say that they didn’t feel like they were worthy enough to have this support. And I know that you’ve been able to help quite a few businesses. Can I ask, with this map that you have on your website, can you tell us how you went about saying, okay, we need this thing that allows people to easily find these businesses? Because, of course, if you’re from the city, like both you and I are from the city, I don’t know all the names of these businesses that are out in the country, let alone all the towns that you said yourself you had to Google them. I’d have to Google them too. So how did you go about saying, we need this map and we just need to somehow make it super easy for people to locate all these businesses that need extra support? Did you engage with an IT team? Did you then have to do a massive call out for businesses to then sign up to it? How did you go about that?
Erin Boutros: It was a crazy few days, because this all happened literally in a space of about two weeks. First point was, okay, if I was going to plan a road trip and if I wanted to visit these businesses, what would be the easiest way for me to locate them? And so we had this concept of a map, but we didn’t know if it was possible to make. And an amazing advertising agency jumped on board and did all of our website pro bono. And we would love to have this concept of a map. And their first response was, oh, it’s going to take about four weeks to build something that complex.
Gianna Lucas: Wow.
Erin Boutros: And so we went back to the drawing board and we were trying to think of other ideas to, I guess, amalgamate all this information. And then the next day, the IT guy we were working with called up and said, ” Oh, I stayed up all night and I figured a way to make it work.”
Gianna Lucas: You’re kidding!
Erin Boutros: No.
Gianna Lucas: Wow.
Erin Boutros: So we literally had the map and it was such a game changer, because suddenly you have this visual of where the bushfires are and you can sort through the businesses really easily, search for different things like coffee, wine, bread, everything. So yeah, it was such a fast- paced decision too, but it was also … it’s worked out so well.
Gianna Lucas: Yeah.
Erin Boutros: It was such a high-pressure made decision, but it’s turned out good.
Gianna Lucas: I think the whole idea of Empty Esky and everything around it is fast- paced. It’s just like, go, go, go, go, go, go, go. Usually they say, life is a marathon, not a sprint. But I think in your case, life is a sprint and not a marathon, because you had to move so quickly.
Erin Boutros: It’s unbelievable to think back on it. I think it’s still a blur. I can’t really recall the first couple of days because it was just so overwhelming to have … I think within the first two days, we had something like 13,000 followers. And-
Gianna Lucas: Which is rare. That is rare. And can I say, unless of course you’re buying bots, which you didn’t, they’re all real people from Australia. So, it’s an incredible thing. And isn’t that right that Facebook over in Sydney invited you over to their head office just so they could understand how you grew Empty Esky so quickly? Is that right?
Erin Boutros: Yeah, that was right. That was crazy too. And at the time, it was really hard to even process. It was just, again, go, go, go. It was part of the sprint. We were just like, yeah, sure, we’ll go visit Facebook and let them know how we did this. But-
Gianna Lucas: Because they own Instagram as well. For those who don’t know, Facebook owns Instagram. Yeah.
Erin Boutros: Yeah. Right. It was just unbelievable. To even think back on it now, it’s crazy, the speed that it grew at. But at the same time, we actually didn’t know how to cope with it because we were suddenly being bombarded with businesses that were desperate for help and people who were so desperate to give back at a business level. So it was quite overwhelming suddenly having all this attention and having all these people wanting to help, attracting all this information.
Gianna Lucas: I can imagine that would have been absolutely incredible and crazy all at the same time. And that you got minimal sleep. But I guess for me, I probably got minimal sleep when I was scrolling through Instagram and I’m like, hang on a second, hold up, what’s this? And I see you posed next to none other than ScoMo, our Australian prime minister in Canberra, in Parliament House. I’m going, ” Oh my goodness.” By the time you get to that point, you know you made it. If someone had to say, once government invite you in at the highest level, you know, okay, I’m onto something. What was that like?
Erin Boutros: Again, it was unbelievable. It was such a crazy time. We were at the stage where things just didn’t even shock me anymore. We were actually filming with the project, so we were driving down to Bright with a couple of the other guys on the Empty Esky team. And I get a call and this guy just said, ” Oh, I’m calling from Scott Morrison’s office. He would like to meet with you this week.” And I just was like, ” Oh yeah, okay.” Having a quick look at my schedule and I said, ” Oh, look, we’re free on Wednesday.” Hung up the phone and everyone was like, ” Oh, who is that?” And I just said, ” Oh, someone from Scott Morrison’s office wants to meet up and they want us to come to Canberra.” And they were all like, “Oh my gosh, that’s massive.” And it was so hard to even process because it was just so crazy.
But you know what, it was amazing to be there. It was so good to be able to share our ideas and our concepts with parliament. And they took everything on board really well and they endorsed the campaign, which was huge for us too. So we’re really grateful for that experience.
Gianna Lucas: Yeah, I can just imagine. And I know though, this is not the first time you have met with government officials, because your love for giving back to people and communities is not just in Australia, around the world, stems back a few years ago when I actually first met you when you were at the time working on an initiative to support Malawi women, and was called Grace Pads. And you were a co- founder of this incredible organization. Can you talk, firstly, a little bit about, for those who don’t know what Grace Pads was and your involvement with Grace Pads?
Erin Boutros: Yeah. So that was a really cool project I got to be a part of. It started off pretty small. Again, had no intention of it growing to the size that it did. But our concept was to create a reusable sanitary pad and teach local Malawian women how to make them and sell them. So it was operating through a business model as well, which meant it was sustainable. So rather than having to rely on donations or having to do fundraising, we could actually sell a product that was really needed in the community, and in a sense, empower women to be independent.
Gianna Lucas: Can I ask a question? How on earth does someone in Melbourne, Australia go, I’m just going to create something that’s going to change lives in Malawi? And I’m in my early 20s, but I’m just going to make it work. How does one start something like that and be able to grow it to the point where you are really well- respected, hence being able to meet with government officials across the globe. I mean, it’s an incredible story in itself, what you were able to do with Grace Pads. Was it always rainbows? Did you ever have struggles? Did you ever go, I just want to pull my hair out right now because it’s all so tough? Because it’s incredible what you were able to do.
Erin Boutros: Oh my gosh, yeah. We had so many struggles. I mean, it was a huge responsibility that we took on and we had no idea of what we were signing on to. We started off with this really small idea of, oh, we could teach a couple of women how to sew and then we can show them how to make pads. And then it blew up to this thing where we were receiving grants from government to make it work, and we were getting interest from the UN and World Vision and all these huge organizations. And at the time, I was a 23 year old, I think it was when I started. And it was a massive responsibility. Suddenly, we had these women that were employed by us and we were responsible for them and we needed to make that project work. Otherwise, it was their livelihoods at risk. So it was quite high pressure.
Gianna Lucas: Yeah. And is that right that when you started the organization, you hadn’t actually been to Malawi before? So it wasn’t like you went there on a mission trip or anything like that, you just really wanted to do this? Is that correct? Am I right in saying that?
Erin Boutros: Yeah, which is crazy. It is crazy to think about it. So the girl that I started the project with grew up in South Africa, so she had quite a good understanding of African culture. And Malawi was, at the time, the poorest country in the world. So that was our concept. Why not start at the bottom?
Gianna Lucas: I think that’s a pretty good place to start. And a big enough reason to do something about it. And you certainly did create change in the time that you were a part of the project, as you said. And congratulations to everything that you did because you have changed lives. And that effect that you placed on and gave these women will continue to be a ripple effect in their families’ lives and generations to come. So it’s incredible, and as I said, kudos to you, Erin. I guess going back to Empty Esky, what things did you learn in working in Grace Pads that have helped you grow Empty Esky in a sustainable way? Even though it’s still early days?
Erin Boutros: My biggest philosophy on life is the best way to empower someone is through business. That was a concept that I learned in Malawi. I saw lots of organizations giving out food and giving out clothing and giving out lots of resources for free. But the message that was actually getting sent is, you don’t actually have the capacity to earn this yourself. And I found that really powerful, that when you give someone the tools to actually become independent, it’s a far more sustainable model than just handing out things. And I guess that’s what I noticed as well when I was watching the news and saw everything happening with the bushfires. There were these really long lines of people driving up with their cars full of blankets and secondhand clothing and tinned food, wanting to give to these people who suffered through the bushfires. However, I knew from a development perspective, that would actually do more damage than good.
Gianna Lucas: Because it wasn’t sustainable. Because it was basically meeting the need then and there, and it wasn’t something that was going to help them long- term. Because once the clothing was worn enough to throw out or to give away again, or once they’ve eaten the tinned food, then what happens? They’ve run out, right? Is that what you’re meaning as well?
Erin Boutros: Yeah. Yeah. So the other story that really stuck out to me from Malawi was, bless his heart, Akon did an initiative-
Gianna Lucas: Hang on, as in Akon, as in the rapper Akon?
Erin Boutros: Akon.
Gianna Lucas: I wasn’t sure. I’m like, hang on, the rapper, right? That’s pretty incredible. Yeah, yeah.
Erin Boutros: Akon gave out, I think it was around 7 million mosquito nets. And it got a huge worldwide press. Everyone was congratulating him and he was suddenly a big hero in Africa for giving out all these lovely gifts. However, if you look at the country after that happened, all the local mosquito net makers were out of business for about 10 years.
Gianna Lucas: Wow.
Erin Boutros: Because, how could you compete within a free mosquito net? You can’t, there’s no business there. And that really stuck to me as well. So when I was seeing everyone lining up giving tinned food and everything, I thought, what’s that going to do on local business if there’s suddenly an influx of free resources?
Gianna Lucas: Yeah. So basically you have to equip the locals with tools, resources, to enable them to continue to operate, but at a level that is going to increase revenue and expertise and awareness?
Erin Boutros: Yeah.
Gianna Lucas: Which I think that’s exactly what Empty Esky is, I guess. And I know that you use the hashtag Empty Esky, and you’ve also got the handle on Instagram, for example, which has obviously grown exponentially, @ emptyesky. I know that you’re … I love the concept and I love the idea of an esky. Is, are you wanting people to literally go with an empty esky and go to these towns and fill it up? Is that the whole idea or is it broader than that?
Erin Boutros: It is broader than that. I mean, you can have a virtual esky as well. So you can shop online with your virtual esky, but the concept is to purchase things from local businesses. Whether that is with your esky, because it is quite fun to take an esky with you. We’ve done a couple of road trips and we did take our eskies and walked down the street and we saw other people as well walking around with their eskies, which is cool.
Gianna Lucas: Awesome.
Erin Boutros: You know what, when you walk into a shop with an empty esky, the owners know exactly what that means. And even if you’re not spending millions of dollars there, the fact is you’re there to support them and to give back to them. And you’re showing that you care. That does a whole range of good, even if you aren’t spending a million dollars.
Gianna Lucas: Yeah. And I think it’s right because they automatically, as you said, get excited because they know by seeing it, oh, they’re the Empty Esky people, or they must’ve seen it, yes. I think it’s a very powerful tool to use. And being an esky, of course, you can chill it. So if you’re buying cheese or other products, especially that need refrigeration, you can take it home and it will still be edible. So I think it’s an amazing initiative. Have you created your own branded eskies?
Erin Boutros: Not yet. We have spoken to Esky about doing something like that down the track. But again, we are a little hesitant just because we would rather people spend their money in the towns rather than buying … You know what, most people do have an esky, so we encourage people to use what they have rather than spending money that they don’t necessarily need to be spending.
Gianna Lucas: Yeah, I think that’s a great idea. Yeah. And you’re right, most Australians have eskies. It’s like just a part of our brand. It’s like barbecues and eskies equals Australian. So, very good. So what’s next for Empty Esky? So obviously, we’re in the middle of the year with COVID- 19, it’s just made 2020 a bit of a blur, but what’s next for you? Because the reality is that these Australian bushfires, which occurred earlier this year, was a travesty and a tragedy on many levels. But then those that live in these fire ridden areas have also experienced COVID- 19. And whether or not they actually got COVID themselves, the financial ramifications of that are felt even more because we’re not allowed to leave our homes, we can’t go away on holidays or weekends away. So I can imagine that your job is even more crucial right now.
Erin Boutros: It is. And it’s been a really interesting couple of weeks. The last thing we could have ever imagined is a global crisis happening just after a national crisis. It was just so left of field, but we’re doing what we can to get through it. And it is, Empty Esky is more important now more than ever. I guess, in one sense, COVID has worked in our favor because no one’s going to be traveling overseas for quite some time. So this is the year to be exploring Australia and exploring our regional towns and getting on the road and discovering all these really cool places that I guess we haven’t really thought about going to for years.
Gianna Lucas: I think you’re absolutely right. I always believe that everything happens for a reason. And I think that though COVID- 19 has been difficult for many people across the world, obviously loss of life, financial issues and whatnot. But I think one incredible thing about it is that we are supporting our locals, and it’s an opportunity for us to give back and support our greater community. And I think Empty Esky happened for a reason, your charity accelerated at the rate it did for a reason. And at the time it probably was, and still is, a bit of a blur, but I believe its place here in Australia is so essential right now and in the years to come. And I know that the person that co- founded it, i. e. you, is an exceptional human being, and I know that it’s in such safe hands and a sustainable lens as well.
And I’m just so, so proud of you and everything that you are achieving and will continue to achieve. For those like me that are waving our little flags of excitement for you, Erin, and Empty Esky, how can we get involved? What can we do to support you and the locals?
Erin Boutros: So I think, keep dreaming up trips, that’s the most important thing to be doing right now. There’s so many businesses who’ve been double whammied this year, they’ve lost all of their income over summer, and now they’ve lost all their ease of foot traffic and they’re feeling quite hopeless. However, when we start sharing our dreams and sharing ideas, where we want to visit, where we want to go, even on the Instagram, we see lots of our followers posting comments saying, can’t wait to get back to you. Mallacoota, or I can’t wait to visit Eden. Whenever they post comments like that, it actually gives quite a bit of hope to the business owners who can then realize, you know what, this is just a season and it’s going to pass and Empty Esky’s going to come back and there’s a whole nation ready to visit them once we can. So it is just a matter of dreaming up and thinking where you want to go and planning your trips and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and then hitting the road as soon as you can.
Gianna Lucas: And I think that that road is nice and it’s widening very, very quickly. And I think that it’s the time for us, as you said, to get out there, have fun. We’ve been cooped up in our houses for so many months. And I think that everybody’s going to be eager beavers to get out there and explore Australia and just be grateful that we have opportunities and we have a country that is so beautiful. And I think because of all the amazing advertising that we get and saying, go to Italy, which, of course, my family’s Italian, so I’m proud of that. But the reality is that Australia is a gorgeous nation that has vast landscapes and incredible towns and communities. And so if they are wanting us to visit, so I think let’s do that. And it’s cheaper. Let’s not forget that. We’re not paying for a return airfare to Europe, which can get really pricey. So it’s a cheaper holiday and it means that you can give back even more to these towns. So I think it’s a win- win.
Erin Boutros: Definitely, and it’s so much fun. I’ve never really visited much of Australia before Empty Esky, and it’s been the best fun. The road trips that we did are memories that I’ll hold for life. I just can’t even describe how fun it was and the different products that we discovered and the people that we met, it was just incredible. So I’m really excited to get back on the road, and I’m sure there’s so many other people as well who are going to have the best summer.
Gianna Lucas: 100%, I couldn’t agree more. What’s your website? What is the domain name for people to click on it and get subscribing.
Erin Boutros: To jump over to emptyesky.com.au. And you can take the pledge, which you’re basically committing to take an empty esky to a bushfire affected town in 2020. And you can also view the map, which is a collection of about 500 businesses that we’ve identified as being impacted by the bushfires and by COVID. So you can have a look and you can get redirected to their website and you can see which towns need our support right now.
Gianna Lucas: Amazing. Don’t go anywhere, because right after this, we’re going to do our special grateful segment.
Speaker 2: Loving this episode, let us know. Leave us a review via Apple podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Carissa Shale: This week, we asked you, if you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? And here’s what you had to say.
Speaker 6: If I could have any superpower, I would pick teleportation because I think it’d be really cool being able to travel wherever I want, whenever I want.
Speaker 7: If I could have one superpower, I’d want to have the power of invisibility, because then I can get in and out of places like concerts without being seen and enjoy all that.
Speaker 8: My superpower would be to teleport, so I could go from one place to the other easily and it would take no time at all.
Speaker 9: As a kid, I always wanted super strength. I think that’s just because that would enable me to be the best in the world for, I don’t know, almost every sport possible. And that’s consistent with my dream to be a professional sportsman. Other than that, I think I would pick the superpower of not ever getting tired, just endless stamina and emotional capacity. That’d be perfect.
Carissa Shale: I’m Carissa Shale, and that’s this week’s talk topic. Got something to share, drop us an email, [email protected] happow. com.
Speaker 10: This is Power Up Life.
Gianna Lucas: Everyone that comes on our show, I always ask them, something big that they’re grateful for and something small, or at least small in most people’s eyes, that you’re grateful for. Because gratitude really does help boost our mindset and puts us into a really good head space that can welcome more exciting and special things in our lives. So let’s start with something big that you are grateful for.
Erin Boutros: I am grateful for my friends. Honestly, this iso period has been crazy, but I have the best friends.
Gianna Lucas: I imagine you do. Well, especially those that support you in creating Empty Esky, and I know a couple of them actually work with you. So you got to be thankful for them. That’s awesome. I completely agree. I think friendship is so important, especially, you’re right, with the partial lockdowns or full lockdowns that we’ve had in certain parts of Australia. I think it helped us realize the things that we should be most grateful for and value more than other things. And I think friends and family are essential to connection, and connection is all that we really crave as human beings. So I think that’s very, very well said. All right, something small that you’re grateful for.
Erin Boutros: Oh, something small. I’m grateful for that too. I got a mirror last week, is that-
Gianna Lucas: Yes.
Erin Boutros: I got a mirror, and I’m just obsessed with it.
Gianna Lucas: Are you obsessed with staring at yourself in the mirror, Erin?
Erin Boutros: (inaudible) . No. It’s just, I’ve been looking for a mirror for ages that matches the style of my room and I found one last week. So I’m very grateful for that.
Gianna Lucas: I think you should be. The funny thing is, I can tell you, so in my house, my main bedroom where my bed is, it’s not a big room, but I know if we had a mirror in there, especially those cupboards that are mirrored, it makes the room look bigger. It just naturally feels like a bigger space. So I think you should be very proud of your mirror, and it’s handy when you’re doing makeup. So you don’t have to race off to the bathroom and you can also check out outfits, making sure that they’re on point, so.
Erin Boutros: (inaudible) in the kitchen, that’s right.
Gianna Lucas: Exactly. Anyway, I absolutely love your big and small gratitude statements. I think they’re really, really important. More so the friends one than the mirror, but I will give you that. I love it. I love it. Right after this, we’re doing our favorite part of every single interview, and that is the challenge.
Speaker 10: Power Up Life with Happow, a social enterprise powered by you.
Gianna Lucas: Erin, so everyone that comes onto the show, we play a challenge and it’s different every single week. Sometimes we play the same game, but we like to shake things up. And the game that we’re going to be playing with you today, it’s an original, you won’t be able to play it anywhere around the world. Or at least we think so, we could be wrong. It’s called, pick your-
Erin Boutros: Okay.
Gianna Lucas: Have you played it before? No.
Erin Boutros: No. Well, given it’s the only one in the world, no, I haven’t.
Gianna Lucas: It’s true. Valid point. Valid point. All right. So how pick your pillar works is, at Happow, we have six content pillars that are masterclasses or life lessons that we call them feature under. And as I said, there’s six. So the categories are, relationships, DIY, career, health and wellness and money. They’re the six. I always seem to forget one at the end. So they’re the six content pillars. So we’ve brought Brendan in, who is co- founder and CMO at Happow, and also my better half. He’s coming in to adjudicate to make sure everything’s above board, but also to give us some trivia questions. So essentially, under each content pillar, there’ll be one trivia question.
Now, there’s six. There’s two of us, so we’re going to be able to have a turn each at choosing a content pillar that sticks out to us most. And then he’s going to read the trivia question out. If you get the trivia question right … Erin, say you get it right, you get a point. If I then choose another category and I get that right, I get a point. So essentially, the person who gets the most amount of points at the end wins the game. There’s no prize, but you’ll feel good about beating the other person.
Erin Boutros: That is good.
Gianna Lucas: All right. Awesome. Awesome. All right. Here’s Brendan. Brendan, do you want to come to the mic and introduce yourself? Say, hey, hey.
Brendan: How are you going? I want you to pick your topics, but we’re after a clean fair fight. So let’s make it a good one, and may the best person win.
Gianna Lucas: Thank you Brendan.
Erin Boutros: All right.
Gianna Lucas: All right. Erin, do you have a particular content pillar that just strikes you out or you strike out? I’m not really sure what I’m going with there, but any that you just think, yep, I’m feeling it?
Erin Boutros: Let’s go with money.
Gianna Lucas: Money, money, money, money.
Brendan: Cash money. All right. True or false, Bill Gates is the richest person in the world with a net worth of 100 billion.
Erin Boutros: I’m going to say false.
Gianna Lucas: False, Erin says.
Brendan: That is correct. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, he is worth 117 billion.
Erin Boutros: Very good.
Gianna Lucas: It’s probably because she knows Bill Gates. She’s like, I know he’s wealthy, but he’s not that wealthy.
Erin Boutros: It’s a good thing to find out now.
Gianna Lucas: I love it. I love it. All right. I’m going to go with community, I’m vibing community.
Brendan: Tricky one. Let’s see how it go. True or false, there are over 50, 000 registered charities in Australia.
Gianna Lucas: I’m glad Erin’s not answering this one. She would’ve got it straight away. I actually can say that I’m a board member at a charity, an Australian charity that is registered. And I can tell you, I believe that answer is correct, because our CEO likes to talk about it all the time. Am I right, Brendan?
Brendan: You are. That’s correct. 56,000, to be precise.
Gianna Lucas: Awesome, 56, 000. Okay, so we’re even. All right, your turn, Erin. What’s your next content pillar. You got two more.
Erin Boutros: I’m going to have to do relationships.
Gianna Lucas: Relationships. Sir.
Brendan: True or false, pop star Zayn Malik and supermodel Gigi Hadid recently announced they were having a baby girl.
Erin Boutros: Perhaps. I don’t know that they had announced the gender. I’m going to say false.
Gianna Lucas: Hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on. So is the question, they’ve recently announced that they’re having a baby girl. Is that the key point there Brendan?
Brendan: A baby girl.
Gianna Lucas: Okay. Erin, you’re thinking false.
Erin Boutros: I’m going to say false.
Gianna Lucas: She thinks it’s false. And I have to agree with you, because I am not sure either if they released the gender yet.
Brendan: Apparently it is a girl.
Gianna Lucas: (crosstalk) . I know, Happow breaking news, forget ET, Entertainment Tonight, we are the place to go to. All right. I love it. I love it. Okay. So you’re one point, I’m still one point. All right, I’m going to go under … I’m going to go for DIY. DIY.
Brendan: True or false, a stud finder is used to find attractive guys.
Gianna Lucas: A stud finder. There might be an app called stud finder, but I don’t think that that’s something that would be on the DIY as a content pillar, it’s trying to find attractive guys. I’m going to say false, because I reckon it’s something to do with nails and something like that. Am I right? As in not fingernails, as in metal nails. Don’t you call them metal nails?
Brendan: I thought I’d stump you on that one, but you are correct. It’s used to find nails or studs which can’t be seen through a wall.
Gianna Lucas: There you go. A bit of a fun fact. I actually guessed that, so I’m glad I was on the money. Awesome. Awesome. Okay. So two for me, Erin, one for you, Erin. What is your next content pillar? This is your third and final decision. This is life or death.
Erin Boutros: Goodness. What are the topics that are left?
Gianna Lucas: Career or health and wellness. What are you vibing?
Erin Boutros: I might do career.
Gianna Lucas: All right.
Brendan: True or false, if I hold the title of CMO, I work in marketing.
Gianna Lucas: Brendan is our CMO at Happow, so think about Brendan, what you know of him. Does he look like a CMO man or not?
Erin Boutros: You look like a CMO man. Goodness, CMO. I should know more about that.
Gianna Lucas: I think you should know. I’m a bit concerned about Empty Esky now, having it in your hands.
Erin Boutros: Yeah, I’m concerned too. I’m going to say yes.
Gianna Lucas: Yes, yes. She’s saying yes. Lock it in Eddie.
Brendan: That’s correct. That’s true.
Gianna Lucas: Awesome. Does that mean that we’re two points each? We’re two points. Okay. So the final pillar is health and wellness. Hit me.
Brendan: For the win. True or false, cilantro is another word for cabbage.
Gianna Lucas: Now, cilantro, I’m pretty sure in Italian is cilantro. I know it’s definitely a vegetable of some kind. I’m pretty sure, but I don’t think it’s cabbage. I’m pretty sure. I’m trying to think about my nonna and my mom when they always used to talk about cooking. They still do today. I think cilantro is, I’m going to say false. I think it’s coriander. Is it coriander?
Brendan: You’re correct, that’s right.
Gianna Lucas: Yay. I got it. Awesome. Did I win? I won. Okay.
Erin Boutros: You won.
Gianna Lucas: Okay. So three points to me, two points to you, Erin. But you know what, it was a fair game. You still did very well. You still put two points on the board, which I think is street cred for you. You can keep Empty Esky, I’m not taking it away from you. We were going to do that, but I’ve decided that I think you’re the best person to take it to the next level.
Erin Boutros: Thank you. That’s so kind.
Gianna Lucas: Thank you so much for coming on the show, Erin. You’re a superstar, a legend.
Erin Boutros: Always love chatting with you, Gianna.
Gianna Lucas: I look forward to chatting to you again very, very soon. And all the best with all the socials and movements that you are doing and how you’re changing Australia and changing lives around the world. Keep it up. I just love Erin. She’s such a go-getter on a mission to change the world. Now, if you are inspired by Erin, just like myself, then why not take the Empty Esky pledge. Commit to helping out our fellow neighbours to stimulate local fire affected economies. As Erin says, it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the Aussie thing to do. All you need to do is head to emptyesky.com.au to find out more.
Now, did you know that season one of Power Up Life is wrapping up? Oh my goodness. On Monday the 21st of December, so next Monday. I know, time runs out so quickly. That means that next week is our final episode, just in time for Christmas. So stay tuned for that one in your favourite podcast app and on our website, happow.com. Loved this episode of Power Up Life, let us know by leaving us a rating and review. By doing so, it helps us reach even more legends, just like yourself. Want to be a Happow advocate and contribute to our weekly talk topics and more, email us at [email protected]
Also, don’t forget to follow us on social. Simply search for Happow AU and stay in the know. Want more Happow? Well, I’ve got good news for you. All you need to do is sign up to our free live school’s platform to get access to our on- demand expert led video masterclasses called life lessons, quizzes, blogs, and more. Simply visit happow.com. This episode of Power Up Life was produced by me, Gianna Lucas, Marija Dukadinovska and Carissa Shale for the Happow Podcast Network. Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of Power Up Life, a Happow podcast. If you loved this episode, be a legend and leave us a quick rating and review on your fav podcast app. Dive into the show notes for all episodes on our website. Catch you next time. And remember to, Power Up Life.