Wow. What an experience that was. I was luckily enough to be invited up to Retail Global in the Gold Coast to speak about Uncle Jack and my topic of expertise, Hype Marketing. Retail Global is an international conference for retailers (predominantly online) where attendees come from all over Australia and the world to discuss hot topics like influencers, the launch of Amazon, global expansion and everything in-between.
Here’s what I learnt by spending three days with amazing world-class entrepreneurs;
- You absolutely positively have to love what you’re doing.
Growing is hard and the business that you created, your baby, can become nightmarish if you let it. It’s like the old saying, you run your business, don’t let your business run you. With the many challenges that arise from growth, you have to stay in love with your business or you’ll burn out.
Jane Cay from Birdsnest is a true inspiration for all Australian entrepreneurs. She spoke of a time where her business was getting too much and she became extremely close to getting out of it. But she pulled through and went back to basics. She recalled the reason she started the business, why she loved it so much and reinvigorated herself. Jane told the story of how she literally learnt to ‘breathe’ again on a two-week wellness holiday.
It can be so difficult to push and push, get kicked down and get back up, be knocked back and again and again yet just keep moving forward. You have to love what you do.
- It’s important to step back from your business.
There’s one thing no one really talked about at the conference, but one that I observed just from being there. We often think that our businesses can’t run without us being present. Many entrepreneurs leave their 9-5 jobs and just end up working 7am – 9pm in their own business earning far less than they were before. You’d have to be mad to do that, or just simply an ambitious entrepreneur with a dream.
However, we were all there, at a 3-day conference in another state. Entrepreneurs and business owners from all over Australia not present in their workplaces for a few days. The businesses don’t stop. They keep ticking.
I’m guilty of this myself, but we can get so caught up in the day-to-day running of the business that we don’t step back and look at the bigger picture. This 3-day event has helped clarify so much about my business by not being there.
- There’s someone else having the same problem as you.
We’re all running our own businesses, but there’s so much overlap with the challenges that we all face on a daily basis. Whether it’s expansion, supplier issues, marketing or logistics, the chances are that someone else is having the same problem. That’s where it becomes so advantageous to build your network. We all have our areas of expertise, our strong suit, our bread & butter, and we need to be better at feeding off each other so that we can all grow and thrive.
- Think bigger.
Olivia Carr from ‘Shhh Silk’ is an inspiring woman & entrepreneur. Her story is one of overcoming adversity, one that I strongly relate to. Olivia set out on starting her own business after quitting the corporate world and set out with a personal agenda to get Kim Kardashian to post a picture of her product on social media for free. Yep, that’s ambitious.
Olivia tells the story of how she was on a flight to the US and when she landed and turned on her phone it was going absolutely gang-busters crazy with notifications left right and centre. Kim Kardashian had posted about per product. That’s a game-changer.
I think a lot of us can be guilty of not thinking big enough. It’s a big wide world out there with so much possibility and you’ll never know what you can achieve if you don’t try.
- Have fun.
The Beach People are fast-becoming an iconic Australia beach brand and their founders Victoria Beattie & Emma Henderson are pretty amazing with what they’ve achieved. It’s not just their achievements that are impressive, it’s their attitude.
Both Victoria & Emma delivered a really heart-felt and insightful talk about their story and how they position their brand and align its values with their own. A member of the crowd asked; “When you go to sell your business, how are you going to do that when you are both such a strong face of the business”.
Victoria’s answer was brilliant. She responded to the question by saying if we do want to move on we can engage some brand ambassadors. But she finished with ‘but we’re not going anywhere anytime soon, we’re having way too much fun’. I thought that was such a great response and it made me think about my own business. I absolutely love what I’m doing. It does not feel like a job at all. Sometimes it can be easy to think about the future and ‘exit plans’, but for now, I’m having that much fun doing this entrepreneurship thing. You should be, too!