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Words of advice business owners swear by

Business mentoring

There’s nothing like advice from people who have been there, done that. Take a look at the words of advice some Aussie business owners have found invaluable during their own journeys.

My Business has compiled some of the words of advice business owners have been given over the years, or alternatively nuggets of wisdom they have stumbled across along the way, that have been an enormous help in driving their paths to success.

Hopefully, these insights (listed in alphabetical order according to business name) offer some great wisdom, inspiration and motivation to push you on in 2020 and keep your own business on track:

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“Listen to your customers and listen to your partners. Whether that’s supply partners or distribution partners, really listen to what they need, what makes sense for them, and marry that back with what makes sense for [you].”
Paul Elsibai, ABA Labels

“A start-up is like running a marathon without a defined end. The first step is all about survival.”
Lucy Liu, Airwallex

“Listen to your gut: only you know your business inside out, and only you can make some of those hard decisions.”
Sarah Hamilton, bellabox Australia

“[I] schedule holidays/block-out breaks in my planning calendar before scheduling work projects. Otherwise, it’s too easy to simply keep on working. And really, the best ideas don’t happen when we are nose down at the grindstone.”
Pinky McKay, Boobie Brands

“The quickest way to make a million dollars is to work very hard at something and never give up. The quickest way to lose a million dollars is to work very hard at something and give up.”
Mark Chapman, Clean & Pure

“Surround yourself with great people whose skills complement your own. Don’t be afraid to let average people go to make room for great people to come in. Hire long and fire fast.”
Dean Taylor, Digital Wine Ventures

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“I think the ultimate lesson in my opinion, as far as what leads to success, is an understanding that nothing is easy, but that perseverance is probably the key factor in success.”
Steve Fanale, Drive Yello

“My hero of all time is Dory from the movie Finding Nemo. I find her advice is the wisest — ‘just keep swimming’. Everything else is just commentary.”
Mike Kontorovich, eftsure

“Focus on success and the money will come.”
Graeme Caplen-Black, Entegy

“My dad would always say that the secret of success in life is to keep showing up, again and again. I think this is particularly useful advice when you’re dealing with failure; if you can keep picking yourself up, getting back out there and continuing with your purpose, you’ll outlast everyone else.”
Cyan Ta’eed, Envato

“If you want to start a good negotiation and you don’t [have] much to show for this specific business, find examples of other businesses that are like yours that you can draw on and say, ‘I expect that my company is going to go well because of X, Y and Z, and this is what someone else has achieved and I can see the exact opportunity in this space’.”
Alec Ramsey, Floraly

“My dad always told us to treat people as you would want to be treated yourself. This reflects why we have retained many staff members for a long period of time.”
John Sammut, Flower Power

“The best piece of advice I’ve been given has been when I am worrying about things I cannot control in the late evening hours: ‘If you can’t do anything right now, at this very moment, there is no point in worrying about it until you are able to fix it’.”
Rebecca Klodinsky, Frankii Swim

“Lean into your strengths and find people to cover your weaknesses. I don’t believe it’s necessary to become good at every part of business to succeed in business.”
Jordan Walsh, Iconic Live

“A few years ago, our first mentor said that if we didn’t get our s**t together, we would be out of business soon. At this point, we had no real direction, we were selling for the sake of selling. His words really made me open my eyes and take a good look at what was going on, realising we had no purpose and a warehouse full of stock... It really pays to have people in your business that will give you harsh but honest advice. It hurts initially, but it works.”
Tui Cordemans, Koh Living

“I think the biggest take[away] is stay true to your knitting, stay strong, back yourself, and get your support network in place.”
Karen Lebsanft, Kurrajong Kitchen

“Scepticism comes with anything you do that goes against the grain. The secret is to stay focused on your craft and become persistent. If you’re truly passionate and proud of your product offering, then hard work will always see its way to the top.”
Omar Sabre, MAISON de SABRÉ

“Stop succumbing to ‘shiny penny syndrome’. As an entrepreneur, I’m full of new ideas. It can be tempting to take on too many new things and lose focus on strategic priorities.”
Anneke van den Broek, Rufus & Coco

“Never focus on the money: focus on creating impact, finding that why and resonating that through everything you do. If you know your why, everything [else] will follow.”
Harry Sanders, StudioHawk

“Find the right people. Go through existing networks, do your research, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people. Don’t stop moving, make the appointments, do the business. If it’s not working, stop it as soon as you can. Cut off the dead wood early and keep moving forward.”
Errol McClelland, TurmeriX

“Don’t try and change the world in a day; do things one step at a time and do them consistently.”
Carmen Ellis, Majestic Whale Encounters

“If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” Don’t wait, blame or over-analyse — just go and make it happen yourself, now.”
John O’Brien, Poolwerx

“Be yourself. Tell the truth. Truth is good, truth is wonderful, because you only have to tell it once. If you tell a lie, you’ve got to tell it over and over again. Tell the truth, tell it once and that’s really cool.”
Greg Ward, professional public speaker and MC

“Outsourcing was a big one for me. I believed I could do it all and keep my costs to a bare minimum, and at some point, I could — until I yearned to grow the business and we began to flourish. It took a toll on me and until I took onboard the advice and outsourced, hiring an employee and someone to help with content. This was a huge help!”
Mariana Boulos, The Well Store

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016. 

The two-time Publish Awards finalist has an extensive journalistic career across business, property and finance, including a four-year stint in the UK. Email Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Words of advice business owners swear by
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