Editor’s Note: Every now and then, we meet people who totally blow us away. They take risks we don’t dare, make choices we’d only dream about and [which is why they] live the life we wished we had. Lynne Champion is one of those people and she’s written Champion Tales – a book about her crazy adventures on ink, complete with food, wine, men, botox, and jails. Grab a copy of her book at a special discount here (password: woman) or win 1 of 5 signed copies by sharing your own wild adventures in the comment section. Robelen
“Back in the eighties, I hosted a garden cocktail party and invited my neighbour, an elderly woman who I only knew to say hello but she was always warm and friendly. I remember she showed up in a beautiful red double chiffon glamorous dress, impeccable hair and makeup. She’d gone to so much trouble and had such presence even though she had to sit in a chair all night while other guests were able to mingle. People were drawn to her. She was interested and interesting, and even though most of the guests were half her age, she was a total hit. I’ve never forgotten her and I aspire to be just like her. And as I rock on into the next half century, I’m going to work hard to stay fit, healthy, continue to work and live to be 100.”
As Lynne Champion tells this story, her string of adventures are pulled together by a common thread. This memory of a woman, whose name she cannot even remember, is like the North star to a sailor, navigating Lynne on a path that will undoubtedly lead her to one day be the old lady in the beautiful red dress at a younger neighbour’s garden party. She will have plenty of stories to tell, and she will be interested and interesting. She has been practicing for decades.
“Be fun, be friendly, be warm, be interesting, be out there, be funny, be kind, be informal, and just have a go. What have you got to lose? Go after what you want!”
Lynne Champion calls it “schmoozing” and claims it was the key to her most impressive adventures: getting into the Academy Awards ceremony, starring on Master Chef USA, attending Michael Jackson’s memorial and getting out of a Swiss jail, to name but a few examples. But talking to her, you soon realise that to label her behaviour as schmoozing doesn’t do justice to her efforts.
Lynne follows her own advice – she is friendly and fun and interesting. And she has a life that reads like an adventure novel to prove that it works. In fact, she has just launched a book detailing her most incredible adventures and it puts some fiction stories to shame! Lightheartedly, and factually, titled ‘Champion Tales: The men I’ve loved and the jails I’ve been in’, the book takes us around the world retracing Lynne’s footsteps through various escapades and near-misses. And while it would be easy to write Lynne off as party girl, don’t be mistaken. She is also a successful businesswoman with a chain of retail fashion, shoes, accessories stores and other entrepreneurial achievements under her belt.
In fact, Lynne claims that she has always been “a serious workaholic” and it has only been in recent years that she has learned how to relax and enjoy some of life’s simpler pleasures. These days, her early morning power walk with her dog Cosmo is the favourite part of her day. Despite all the adventures, Lynne says “There is nowhere I’d rather be than where I am now. I’ve seen the world over and over and now enjoy living in both great cities, Sydney and Melbourne – being ‘a happy camper’, as they say!”
As we talk, I begin to understand that this is perhaps the real secret to her adventures and great achievements: Lynne Champion is one of those rare people who are simply living fully in the present moment. She is grateful for what she has, she enjoys the people and places around her, and she is completely here, doing what she is doing now. She is not a spectator in life, wishing things were different or wondering why other people have achieved their goals. And she is not studying “how to” do it either. “Reading books or taking in seminars on “how to” just does my head in,” she says. “I guess one has to have a certain amount of confidence to be that way but at the end of the day, what works is staying focused, believing in yourself and work, work, work. My motto is ‘I can do that! How hard can it be? I’ll give it a whirl.’”
Right now, that means learning how to sell a book. Lynne self-published her book, learning as she went. Although she has had good success at getting the book into a number of bookstores – literally door knocking with a copy of her book in hand (schmoozing, as she would say!) – she has found, as with everything in life, that it is important to find your own style and work it. For Lynne this means something a little more lively than a dull book reading with a politely seated audience stifling after-work yawns and wiggling in uncomfortable chairs. Yes, this was a book that definitely required more sparkle! So it is champagne cocktails, singles nights and high tea parties, all accompanied by outrageous tales of a life well lived and the opportunity for participants to tell their stories too.
These events not only epitomise the spirit of this fun-loving adventurer but they highlight another winning characteristic that has definitely contributed to her success over the years. These events are not all about her. All of her book launch events are designed to ensure everyone has fun and everyone gets to share their stories. The book is simply used as the catalyst to get the party started. Lynne understands that being interested is as important as being interesting. And she likes to do things with style, “There’s so much mediocrity in the world, I try really hard not to be part of it.”
Based on her amazing tales of adventure, it is safe to say that being part of the mediocrity is not something Lynne Champion has to worry about.
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To read more about Lynne’s Champion Tales, grab a copy of her book here at a special 15% discount exclusive to Woman.com.au readers (postage and handling not included). Click here to access the discount and type the password: woman.