My Business meets ... Hayley Lewis

Category: Case Studies

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Former Olympic swimming champion turned small business owner Hayley Lewis has written a new book entitled Dream, Believe Create: A Woman’s Guide to Small Business’.Hayley_Lewis_book_image

We asked Hayley to share her experiences of business in the My Business questionnaire.

Q: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started in business?

A: How difficult it was going to be

Q: What are your most effective work habits?

A: Don’t put anything off and be organised at all times

Q: The most important person in my business is ... because ...

A: Me because I pay the bills and buy the stock and manage the staff.

Q: Best business decision you’ve ever made?

A: Exiting Westfield Shopping centre and buying a business that is also an investment property.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in business? How did you fix it?

A: Having the wrong builder install the fit-out for the swim school. I had to get another builder to rip out the entire deck and many other structures within the swim centre that were better suited to the environment.

Q: How do you delight customers?

A: Wrapping their presents and showing an interest in them.

Q: What’s your secret team-building tactic?

A: We have a monthly lunch together

Q: Favourite piece of business technology? Why

A: My iPad because it fits in my bag.

Q: Best tip for managing people?

A: Listen and solve the issue as effectively as possible. If they still aren’t happy than I offer them solutions.

Q: Who do you most admire? Why?

A: My Dad. Because he has worked hard his whole life and he makes me believe I can do anything.

Q: What’s more important in business: passion or preparation? Why?

A: Passion, because if you aren’t prepared then the desire for things to work out, just will.

Q: Favorite websites and why they add value to your work?

A: Business Chicks, because I enjoy hearing other business owners ideas.

Q: I drive a …

A: Car … because I run 12km every morning and I prefer not to use my legs for the rest of the day.

Q: What’s your favourite networking activity? Why?

A: Blogging. Because I get good ideas when I do it.

Q: How do you relax?

A: Knitting

Q: Favourite sporting team?

A: Reds and the Wallabies because I love Rugby.

Q: If someone gave you $100,000 and said “Invest this in your business by the end of the week – or lose it” what would you do?

A: Buy $100 000 in stock of my best selling items for the shop.

Q: Generation Y: are they as demanding as everyone says?

A: Yes.

Q: The Internet is a massively disruptive force. What’s your reaction to disruption?

A: I don’t believe it’s disruptive. If it’s managed, it shouldn’t make a difference.

Q: How do you foster and express creativity?

A: Keep buying beautiful things for the store and merchandising them in a way that inspires others to be creative.


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