Archives For What I Learned From..

If you have conviction, which is a huge ingredient to starting a business, you can convince your customers that you’re passionate and that you believe in your business, you can convince your employees that you believe in this end‐goal, and you can convince any of the haters, and also your family.” — Hannah Vasicek

Knowing what your brand looks like in the future is essential. That was instrumental in us deciding whether we go down the wholesale route, or the retail route. So that week I winged it and found a place to open a retail store. It was $400 a week, and that’s peanuts in retail these days, but I thought that was huge. I literally opened the doors the following week, put Freedom Australia everywhere and just made do. We opened the door in March 2013 and 18 months on we had opened our huge flagship store. And it was from hustling. I was working a 2‐day law job to ensure I could pay the $400 a week rent, and then working the other 5 days in the store direct with my customers and building this community.” — Hannah Vasicek

Surrounding [myself] with [visionaries] and having lunch with people who have wild ideas… really turned me on. It was exhilarating.” — Tobi Skovron

When we scaled the business, I knew how to pick, pack and send. I knew how to dare‐I‐say sweep the floors. I knew how to answer the phones. If I can’t do it myself then there is no way in hell I can get compliance from someone else. I tell my daughter all the time: Leadership is rolling your sleeves up and doing it with the people. Being a boss is someone that tells you what to do and I’m not a boss.” — Tobi Skovron

Go for it, embrace the fear of failure, and learn from every single mistake. That’s one thing I didn’t enact sooner and it’s something that’s really shaped me.” — Hannah Vasicek

No one wants to talk about failure. It’s not until you talk about it that you actually start learning. Thrive off failure.” — Hannah Vasicek

I’m not sure it’s me that needs to convince you. I think it’s you that needs to convince you. And I need to show you that it will be OK even if you do fall flat on your face.” — Tobi Skovron

Don’t think about money as the barrier. Leverage your community. Leverage your networks. Don’t be a bull but don’t accept no. Just [see] no as a speed bump to get to the next corner, and just keep going. And if you have the heart, it will start to stack up. And let’s talk about ego: If I would have executed Pet Loo the way I thought we were going to execute Pet Loo at day 1, and where it finished 10 years later, I wouldn’t have made it.” — Tobi Skovron

With thanks to

Hannah Vasicek is the Founder of the designer jewellery label Francesca. When she started selling her handmade designs at Hobart’s Salamanca Market she had an idea that she might like to have her own shop one day. Less than 10 years later Francesca has a shopfront in Hobart and Melbourne with online sales going globally. Hannah explains her bumpy road to building the business and provides a glimpse into what’s next for Francesca.

Tobi Skovron is the Founder of co‐working space CreativeCubess.Co. But first he invented the Pet Loo and built a business that he sold after a decade. Tobi describes the challenges of relocating to the US in the middle of the global financial crisis (GFC) and outlines his plan for enabling more entrepreneurs with CreativeCubes.Co.

About Masters Series by WeTeachMe

Masters Series is a show about inspiring entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and visionary dreamers, and the stories behind how they built their companies.

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Masters Series is presented by WeTeachMe.

Our strategic alliance partners: MYOB, SitePoint and Entrepreneur’s Organization.

Our media partners: Startup Victoria and Digital Marketers Australia.

Our content partners: Written & Recorded.

The views expressed by the contributors on this show are linked websites are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher.

Question of the day

What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

I thought I knew something about business, and [then] went out and [learned that I] didn’t really know anything. [I] had no experience really. If you’re not exposing yourself to outside influences then you’re not growing, and you’re not learning.” — Andrew Hardwick

There has to be some sort of plan that’s founded with a truth about the business, about yourself, that there is something that you have proof points against, [and] to have a brand value proposition that has meaning and substance behind it.” — Andrew Hardwick

Having a story, knowing your why, is so very important not just from an external point of view but from an internal point of view. If you don’t personally engage and relate to what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, you’re probably not going to do very well.” — Andrew Hardwick

The best way to find a solution to a problem is to ask people who have done it before.” — Joe Woodham

When I started out, as weird as it sounds, I went straight to one of my competitors and I got their advice. As weird as that might seem to people, they were open with the information. I’ve always gone and spoken with my competitors, because as much as they are my competitors, they are my biggest allies as well.” — Joe Woodham

When it comes to business sometimes you’re so focused on getting the job done you just expect people to follow you and it doesn’t happen that way.” — Andrew Hardwick

The best way to engage people is to make them feel part of it. Let them have some autonomy. Let them make their mistakes. Let them have their input into our direction and where we’re going. I can categorically say everyone in our business has that ability to do that. And once they realise it, it’s funny the shift in their engagement in what we’re doing.” — Andrew Hardwick

At the start I found a niche and I leveraged the shit out of it. I found what no one else was doing and tried to work with that because then I could use it as a branding strategy, a marketing strategy, and to bring in clients. I just find areas that are pain points for the customers that I want to work with, and I leverage them.” — Joe Woodham

With thanks to

Andrew Hardwick founded strategic creative agency Hard Edge in his home 12 years ago. Today the award‐winning business works with Mercedes Benz, Telstra and the National Road Safety Partnership. Andrew explains how he overcame the challenges in those early days.

Joe Woodham is the founder of Torii Recruitment, specialising in finding the right team members for the IT sector. Joe describes the benefits of working alongside his competitors and how he consults them for advice.

About Masters Series by WeTeachMe

Masters Series is a show about inspiring entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and visionary dreamers, and the stories behind how they built their companies.

Subscribe to show

Show brought to you by

Masters Series is presented by WeTeachMe.

Our strategic alliance partners: MYOB, SitePoint and Entrepreneur’s Organization.

Our media partners: Startup Victoria and Digital Marketers Australia.

Our content partners: Written & Recorded.

The views expressed by the contributors on this show are linked websites are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher.

Question of the day

What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.