Meet The Shepreneur Behind The Cover Of The December 2021 Issue Of Global Elite Entrepreneur: Robbie Canner

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Robbie Canner is a 63-year-old entrepreneur, international model, and the Director and owner of Ms. Australia, New Zealand, Oceania World Universal, and Ms. Regal World Universal, and Ms. Majestic World Universal. She was crowned Ms. World back in 2018/19, and she’s the reigning Ms. World Universal Elite 2020/21. She’s also a public speaker on the topic “Age Is No Barrier.”

Since winning the Ms. World title, her public profile has considerably grown, allowing her to promote her platform and raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Winning major international titles in her 60’s has given her a platform, showing men and women from all walks of life, that age is no barrier to what anyone can achieve.

Since losing her son to cancer, her emotional and mental stress led her to visit thoughts such as, “I don’t want to be here anymore,” or “I want to be with my son.” However, her inner strength eventually led her to want still to continue living, have a say, and give direction to help others in any area of situational, emotional, and mental stress – assuring them that things can get better in time.

She loves chatting with future queens and friends she meets along her journey, and she wants to help them achieve their hopes and goals.

Global Elite Entrepreneur recently caught up with Robbie to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur, and here’s what went down:

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

My first business venture was 36 years ago when I started my Sports Therapy Practice which all these years later is still running at a huge and booked-out pace. I always did extra work in TV commercials and movies but always wanted to walk the runway at Fashion Week. Little did I know that it would take into my 60’s to achieve this as in right now. Now, after winning Ms. World in 2018, it has propelled me into many avenues of modelling, media, guest speaking, podcasts, promotions, and becoming the Director of my pageant event Ms. Australia, New Zealand, Oceania World Universal and Ms. Regal, and Ms. Majestic World Universal with my bestie Nancy Ellen Martin in the US now extending into Canada and Japan and the start of Monarch International. Between my practice, modelling and pageants, these are now my full-time jobs, and I love the combination. My practice works with the human body and movement, the modelling shows the human body and movement, and the pageants grow the human body and mental mindset. I guess I have the perfect combination woven together in all my careers. And I certainly don’t intend to retire from any of them, only increase this creative combination to success.

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

To maintain and grow my businesses currently is staying on a platform of currency in the trends happening, contacting or being approached by the right people and companies, and just having the guts to put myself out there and take a risk. My practice has a history of success, so that takes care of itself, but my national and international modelling career through my agents is going very well and now entering a new realm. Collaborating with other sources is currently a project in play, so I guess it’s a watch this space over the coming year. I have a great team around me, so I am blessed with having the best in every area.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

The form of marketing to grow my businesses, especially for my practice, has only been through word of mouth, which I have been eternally grateful for my work has preceded the need to advertise. My modelling and pageant career has taken care of itself from being approached by many sources for interviews, magazine articles, and TV and radio interviews. I have put myself out there for fashion week and travel, but luckily, I have always been invited back to grow further.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

My social media platforms of choice are Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn; these all get the word out to promote and gain ground in all avenues of my businesses. Articles and word of mouth are two of the greatest outlets to increase brand awareness.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

The toughest decision I have had to make in the last few months, as has been everyone else’s toughest decision as well, is how to get through Covid. How to survive and understand that at the end of all this craziness there will be a continuation of what was started before lockdown. I used this time to think and grow in how I would achieve my finest outcome from day 1 of freedom. I used these difficult times to grow into the best times still to come.

What do you put your success down to?

I have great friends as a source of support and visa versa, the added smile of having someone special enter my life just at this time, and most of all, to visualize where I wanted to be emotionally and career-wise post-Covid.

How has your business been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Luckily, my business was an essential service, so the Covid situation did not affect my practice. With constant updates from NSW Health and following all the rules, I was able to grow through this outbreak which made me feel so good because I was not only able to help others keep their bodies mobile – but also help them emotionally giving all of them a reason to strive through to freedom.

How have you adapted your business operations in response to COVID-19 and its associated impacts?

I have used a considerable lot of spare time to think, write and plan on all levels, and somewhere along the line, I have succeeded in some of my dreams and goals. At times, I just wanted to fold like so many others, but I found the strength somewhere. Sometimes you need to hang in there in the face of adversity.

What have been some of the most important lessons you have learned because of this pandemic?

Some of the most important lessons I have learned through the pandemic are: there are a lot of people worse off than me, we can’t control life, but we can control and adapt ourselves to this situation, and to take this time to plan, think and try to grow through the emotional breakdowns. I had to plant a thought in my head that I could put my mind to anything I might like to try when I am through this. I’m looking forward to exciting, new journeys.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses all over the world?

For all small businesses, I would like to see them all survive in the near future. Unfortunately, this will not always be possible, but some small businesses have been established and grown through this unusual time to total success and achievement. Life itself is a small business in just being a human being, and we all have the self-capability to survive and start to grow again; even though we may get knocked down, we can all support each other in this; how fantastic.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up a new business in this pandemic?

For anyone to start a new business in this pandemic is a testament to the ability of what we can all achieve to grow and succeed in the face of adversity. It is another ultimate level to challenge yourself in everyone’s mind and faith. I take my hat off to everyone who put a physical and mental idea into practice during a pandemic and survived to start a new business into where we all now exist. This is the ultimate achievement and growth to saying there’s nothing anyone cannot do.

Photo Credit: Tony Palliser of Studio 49

Meet The Woman Behind GEQ Magazine’s Latest Cover: The Beautiful Robbie Canner

After being crowned Ms. World 2018/19 in Seattle last year, Robbie Canner has proven that age really is just a number, from beating out beauties from 22 different countries aged 26 and up, to walking at the prestigious New York Fashion Week earlier this year in February as the world’s oldest model – Robbie is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the pageant industry!

Robbie started competing in pageants as a 57-year-old, after losing her son Scott, 22 to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011. After Scott was diagnosed, Robbie began working with Tour de Cure to raise money for cancer research.

Since 2007, Tour De Cure has raised more than 40 million dollars, funding 322 cancer projects, 24 significant cancer breakthroughs, and helped to raise awareness of cancer prevention to more than 110,000 school children across Australia. Through the organisation, she created the Scott Canner Young Investigator Grant to help fund the research of young Australian academics studying cancer. More than 750 thousand dollars in grants have been awarded thus far. Robbie is using pageantry to help spread her cause around the world.

GEQ magazine recently caught up with Robbie to talk about her journey in the pageant world and here’s what went down:

1. How did you get into the pageant industry? How were you actually ‘discovered’?

After losing my son to cancer I was lost and wondered if I should join him and I somehow came across an Australian pageant on my computer so I entered, which was in 2015. I won Ms. Classic Global United title then went to the USA and won the International Title. It was then that I was contacted by a lady in the US that had been following my short pageant career. She asked me to join Regal Majesty in Las Vegas so I did and I came 2nd runner up and finally met her. Then she asked if I would be willing to represent Australia in the Ms. World pageant in Seattle 2018, I eventually won that and so my huge journey continues.

2. What do you like most about being a beauty queen?

Being a beauty queen allows me to be able to mentor, help, support, and tell my story about emotional survival that has reached so many people through social media.

3. The downside to being a beauty queen?

I don’t think there is a downside to being a beauty queen. If a queen’s reign is followed through with determination and goals in sight then it will be a wonderful journey.

4. What has been the most memorable experience of being in the pageant industry so far?

The most memorable experience so far has been how far my story has reached around the world and how many responses of “well done” and “thank you” I’ve received through social media. That warms my heart.

5. Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Everyone I’ve met has been interesting but the most interesting would be the crew and models I worked with while I was walking for the New York Fashion Week. It was a whole new and wonderful experience.

6. What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the pageant industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

The most valuable lesson is what I have learned about myself, my outlook, and how much I love being with and supporting others I come across especially the young and up and coming pageant queens.

7. Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

I have stayed grounded because the outside of me is only an avenue to allow the inside and my purpose as a mentor and guide to travel through and reach others.

8. Is your family supportive of you being in the pageant industry?

My family loves and supports me totally through my pageant journey. They thought it was a bit crazy in the beginning but as I fit right in with being a bit crazy – they have still always fully backed me.

9. What are your future plans? Inside pageantry or out of it.

My plans include being a director of the Ms. Australia/New Zealand World Pageant 2020 for hopefully many years. Also, I am planning to continue to walk for the New York Fashion week and hopefully other Fashion weeks and do some modeling as well through my agent.