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Aussie Entrepreneurs Share the Top 3 Lessons They’ve Learned

Today, and every day, we’re celebrating Australia’s entrepreneurs. Those hard-working hustlers who have stuck it to the man and gone out on their own to start their own business and carve out their own path.

The purpose of World Entrepreneurs’ Day (WED) is to create awareness for entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership throughout the world. WED is the perfect day to celebrate the people who start a business alone.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 61 percent of Australia’s small businesses are sole traders, that’s almost 1.32 million solopreneurs who are doing their own thing and making Australia a better place for business.

We decided to reach out to some of the entrepreneurs in the BizCover community and beyond and ask them what some of the most important things they’ve learned on their entrepreneurial journey are.

Michael Gottlieb, BizCover

Our Founder and CEO saw an opportunity to improve an industry that was dominated by big players, time consuming paperwork, a lack of transparency and poor service levels, by disrupting the status quo and creating the first online only small business insurance platform.

Despite it’s growth, Michael still views BizCover as a small and nimble business that can and must adapt in order to stay relevant. Over the years he’s learned a lot, but here are his top 3 lessons that he still puts into practice today:

  1. When you’re in business you’ve got to have perseverance and evolve in step with the opportunities in front of you.
  2. Don’t put your head in the sand. Strategy is important and you need to understand what’s happening in your market. But then you need to execute. Making decisions and making things happen is the most important thing.
  3. As long as you understand the challenges [you face], you don’t have to change overnight. Just make small incremental changes, small growth steps, every day, week or month, so that by the time you look back, you’ve achieved so much.

Rey Yesilnacar, Yes I Can Digital

After years of constantly relocating due to her husband’s line of work, Rey decided she needed the flexibility to work anywhere globally. One day when she was in Ankara, Turkey, she launched her Search Marketing Consultancy and began servicing Australian clients. Now back home in Melbourne, business has never been better for Rey.

We asked Rey what valuable lessons she’s learned on her entrepreneurial journey, she listed her top three:

  1. Less is more. People see growth in staff numbers, client numbers, and offices. I’ve found that with fewer people but the right systems, I’m now more profitable and have fewer grey hairs.
  2. Pick your clients and partnerships. I’ve started doing client and partner scorecards. I’ve learned I don’t want clients just for revenue, I want clients that I can work well with and can achieve our goals together which will then result in profit.
  3. Try to not take things so personally. I put my heart and soul into every client so some behaviours and unrealistic expectations can be very disappointing. I was very naive about how people can behave.

Greg Betty, Growth Potential

Greg has never thought of himself an entrepreneur, but as “someone who loves business and has a lot of ideas on how to solve problems or build things”. Greg’s passion is helping other small businesses grow, coaching them with the tools and frameworks to make their business a success.

When asked what Greg has learned along the way, he thinks it boils down to three things:

  1. Ideas mean nothing without execution
  2. Manage your two key resources, time and money
  3. Care for the people around you and it will be reciprocated. They will be the reason you succeed or fail; it is near impossible to be successful on your own.

Lauren Clemett, Ultimate Business Propellor

International Entrepreneur of The Year recipient, Lauren Clemett, knew she would never be particularly employable, so she decided that opening her own agency was the best way to move her career forward.

In the time she’s been her own boss, Lauren has learned the following three lessons:

  1. Don’t wait until everything is perfect, it never will be. Just get your ideas out there.
  2. You already have everything you need to start your business, believing in yourself is vital.
  3. Pick your partners wisely, don’t rush. If it’s meant to be, it will happen naturally, and you’ll have a blast.

Nicole Jones, Market Me Marketing

Nicole never fit the mould of, as she puts it, “joining a mother’s group and baking cupcakes”, but she always knew she wanted to start her own business. “I’m naturally very creative, and I literally fell into digital marketing by mistake.” Nine years on and Nicole says she still is doing what she’s passionate about on a daily basis.

Nicole says she’s learned a lot – and continues to learn – on her entrepreneurial journey, here are her top 3 takeaways:

  1. What you learn along the way is what gives you the confidence and experience to take your business to the next level. When you do that year in year out, things really begin to snowball.
  2. Allow your business to evolve. Now more than ever it’s so important to allow every area of your business to evolve.  Times are changing, digital is changing, and so are the opportunities that present themselves regularly.  Give your business the room to breathe, grow and be ready to take opportunities when they arise.
  3. Never stop learning. The more you learn, the more you earn. Upskilling regularly unlocks great opportunity, and it’s also one of the quickest and most practical ways to increase your bottom line, deepen your offering, grow your confidence, and remain cutting edge in your industry.

Trish Springsteen, Public Speaking Coach, Mentor and Author

Trish started down the path of entrepreneurship when she discovered she had an important message to share. “There could be just one person watching or listening where a word or phrase of what I shared could be just what they needed to change their life and start their own entrepreneurial journey.”

When asked what lessons she’s learned in the time she’s been working for herself, she narrowed it down to her top three:

  1. Never give up – believe in yourself and your message.
  2. Mindset is everything.
  3. There are no mistakes or failures – just opportunities to learn how to do something better or different.

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