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World Entrepreneurs’ Day may have been and gone but quite frankly, we think there should be an entire week dedicated to this lot – so that’s exactly what we’re doing.
The purpose of World Entrepreneurs’ Day is to create awareness for entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership throughout the world. It’s a day to celebrate the people who boldly go it 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 looked within the BizCover community and beyond to assemble this motley crew to help us, help you, paint a picture of the entrepreneurial world. In Part 2, you get to read more stories of triumph and hardship and garner some insight on why it can be such a struggle to get your solo venture off the ground.
Navigating an industry ripe with opportunity but also riddled with roadblocks was a challenge Michael faced early on when he conceived BizCover. After the initial obstacles of penetrating the market was cleared, it was just a matter of getting people on board with the new systems that would replace the old.
“Our whole concept was that it needed to be simple for the end user, as simple as possible without compromising the underwriting process. We found a niche within the insurance industry by looking at where the changes are happening and embraced that, and now we are leading the way in that change.”
Never fitting the traditional mould of a stay at home mum but also not wanting to settle for a typical 9 to 5 job, Nicole had to forge her own path. This led her to carving out a niche in which she could be her own boss and do what she loves.
Nicole’s advice for those who are looking do the same, is to first find the right business model and set realistic expectations.
“Monetising our passions can work in business, but sometimes our passions need to form part of a larger plan, even if just at the beginning. You need to work out what hourly rate you want to generate from your business and work out ways to ensure you can generate that.”
As the mother of two young kids, Natalie finds juggling the role of mum and business owner as the biggest obstacle she still struggles to overcome. Natalie reconciles this by acknowledging that doing what you love comes with its hurdles, and so learning to embrace the challenge helps drive a desire to do better.
Natalie is very aware that her constant work/life balancing act isn’t sustainable for everyone, but she thinks it boils down to one key reason as to why most don’t take the plunge:
“I’d say it’s the realisation that you aren’t guaranteed an income. You could work 66 hours in a week and not get paid for one hour. In my opinion, this is the main reason that stops entrepreneurs from diving in full time.”
After travelling the world at 18 and coming back to Australia 3 and a half years later, Carla felt disillusioned by the monotony of the daily grind. After successfully founding two different businesses, Carla wanted to share her key to success – in life and happiness – and does so through speaking engagements, workshops and a podcast.
Carla’s take on why it is not everyone can succeed when they go it alone involves one key reason:
“Personally, I think that many would-be entrepreneurs think that success happens overnight and don’t realise that you need to love what you do so that even when times are tough and business might not be growing at a rate you’d like, you keep on showing up.”
A public speaking coach, business mentor and an author, Trish has a wealth of experience with the Aussie entrepreneurial scene. A common theme among those who get into business for themselves is overcoming an initial feeling of imposter syndrome. Trish was no exception; the biggest hurdle she had to get over was believing in herself and the value and expertise she had to offer. The solution, according to Trish, was twofold. “Working on my mindset – accepting who I am, that I am awesome, and I am unique. Accepting what others had to say – that I am an inspiration and that I have added value to their personal growth and business.”
Trish also gave her two cents on why it is so many struggle to commit to their venture when going it alone:
“They give up too early. Either due to lack of belief, listening to the competition, not realising it is okay to fail if you use it as a learning exercise and challenge. It could also be a lack of support, mentoring and cash flow. Finally, not understanding their niche and market and speaking to them – failing to get known be seen and make it easy for their clients to find them.”