We kicked off our Small Business Coach tour of the east coast with breakfast events in Newcastle Castle Hill and Alexandria.
Our three speakers and successful entrepreneurs Carolyn Creswell, Timothy Sharp and Halina Kubica gave our audiences inspiration and tips for seeking business well-being through sharing experiences along their journey.
The speakers talked about how to overcome the stresses and pressures, an extension of research we commissioned of more than 1000 small business owners, which formed our Small Business Coach Wellbeing Index.
Carolyn Creswell talks about the realities of small business
Founder of Carman’s Fine Foods Carolyn Creswell told our Newcastle and Castle Hill audiences about her 20-plus year journey making Carman’s a super successful global business.
She spoke about the “long, hard slog” it took to build what is now one of Australia's most recognisable food brands.
“I must admit I get a bit grumpy when people say ‘it's amazing that Carman’s overnight success story just happened like that’. I’m like ‘When is 22 years overnight in anyone’s language?’
She encourages small business owners not to lose heart about the time and effort it takes to build their business.
“It's always about hoping that you’re a little bit better than you were yesterday and constantly trying to step forward to be a better business.”
She urged attendees to be leaders rather than bosses in their businesses.
“Leaders are a different kettle of fish to an old-school boss. They’re much more about working collaboratively as a team.”
And most importantly, she encouraged business owners to always put the customer’s needs first.
“The customer is the centre of everything you do. They’re the ones that are paying your salary, they’re the ones that are progressing your business and if you’re not being really customer-focused, that’s holding you back.”
Dr Timothy Sharp created a formula for business wellbeing
The Happiness Institute’s chief happiness officer Dr Timothy Sharp inspired attendees of all our first three sessions to follow the CHOOSE model to find happiness and business wellbeing.
The model encourages people to:
C: Have clarity of your business’ purpose;
H: Maintain healthy living physically, psychologically and emotionally;
O: Be optimistic;
O: Allow others to help you with your business’ development and seek support from peers;
S: Remember your strengths and use them to your advantage;
E: Enjoy what you do and have fun with your business.
Dr Sharp said small business owners could find happiness when they play to their strengths.
“We shouldn’t ignore our strengths – what we’re best at. People who are more aware of their strengths and who utilise them more on a regular basis are far happier, more productive.”
He also encouraged small business owners to foster business and personal relationships.
“Relationships and connectedness are some of the simplest and powerful things we can do to build up our resources.”
Dr Sharp asked attendees of his lessons to keep things simple and maintain focus, rather than being overwhelmed by their to-do lists and wants.
“Focus on one small thing at a time. If you get little things right and do them repeatedly and consistently. None of us are going to have overnight success but in 20 years all of those things are going to add up.”
Halina Kubica’s passion for travel became an agency success
Boutique travel agency owner Halina Kubica answered our host Yannick Lawry’s questions about how she built Greece & Mediterranean Travel.
Halina explained the many challenges she faced shortly after opening her small business in 2002, including over-capitalising on printing brochures that put in her $40,000 debt, and the SARS epidemic and the Second Gulf War hindering people travelling to Europe.
Despite those challenges, Halina managed to grow her business from a one-woman operation to a medium-sized business with a solid client base.
Halina said a major success for her business was winning a contract with travel show Getaway, which she won with her unique pitch about travelling to Greece.
“Instead of offering them five star hotels to stay in, I gave them an idea about what to film. They came back. They wanted someone to help them make the most interesting story,” she said.
“They chose us because we knew the destination, we knew the product, not because were famous or the biggest or because we offer the highest grade of accommodation.
“It was all about the knowledge of the product.”
Halina urged small business owners not to get caught up in stressing about solving problems.
“Worrying about things all the time doesn’t mean you’ll come up with great ideas.
“We work all the time, but when you take time off or do something different you might come up with an idea.”
To see full length keynote presentations by Carolyn Creswell and Timothy Sharp, see below:
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