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I’ve had a number of competitors approach me to buy me out and I just think, “I prefer to compete with you. I believe in where I’m going and what I’m doing, and I believe in our capabilities and our capacity.” If I was 65, 70 or 80… maybe… but running my own show and owning the decisions I make gets me out of bed. It’s on me.” — Jamie Lingham

I’m thankful for every single aspect of all the things that happened because it taught me so much. For example, you trust the people you have, and I’m not saying you can’t trust people, but put systems and processes in place so you can check things. Have robust systems with redundancies in place so that if something goes wrong you’re alerted quickly.” — Jamie Lingham

I ended up spending a week in hospital burned out at the age of 31. I’ve never ever worked those sort of hours again. I choose not to. The business is a vehicle to fund the lifestyle that I want to create for me and my kids.” — Graham Van Damme

Find a mentor. Find someone who has grey hair. Who has done it before. Learn from their experiences. The learning curve is vertical. There are people out there prepared to share their time. Take them for lunch. Take them for coffee. Leverage off their lessons.” — Graham Van Damme

Put 10% away. Pay yourself first. Fight to protect that facility. Put 10% away no matter what.” — Jamie Lingham

With thanks to

Jamie Langham is the CEO of Absolute Immigration who help businesses and individuals migrate successfully. Jamie’s business in Melbourne was going well in 2008, so he decided to put on a General Manager, and expand into Brisbane with an office and three staff. The GFC peaked a week later, but that wasn’t the only challenge the universe had in store for him.

Graham Van Damme is the Managing Director of Jag Capital. As a mining engineer, he bought into the business he was working for and began growing profits immediately. In 2008 he sold the business to private equity with the promise of even more ongoing profits. When the GFC hit a few months later, he realised his promise could be a little challenging to deliver!

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.

When my kids grow up the first thing I will tell them is, “Get a job in door-to-door sales. Do it for a year.” Even though it is really tough, my view is that if you’re in business, if you want to run a business, and you’re non-technical, you have to know how to sell. And by sell I mean you have to be customer facing or understand the process and not fear it. That’s a great lesson because running a business… if you don’t sell you don’t make money.” — Gary Tramer

Use Google Keyword Planner to determine if there is a need for what you are thinking about offering, or a tool called SEMrush to find out if there is a need. If there is nobody looking for what you are offering, maybe it is not a good place to start. And if you are really ballsy like me and trying to do products that aren’t in the market, then I would spend $100 on some Facebook ads to get out to the audience that you think might be interested, and see if anybody even looks or clicks on that ad.” — Gary Gramer

You have limited time to hit your goal. You really want to hit your goal. If you identify that a button on your website is critical to your user conversion, design a test that will be maximum impact. Don’t slightly change the colour one gradient or from blue to light blue, change it from blue to red. Go for maximum impact with your tests, with your results, with everything. Make everything count.” — Simon Mathonnet

If your hypothesis is, “I think that my target market is 25–35 making X amount of money per month, in X target market, and having X interests,” I can design a test for that. I can use Facebook and advertise to that type of demographic. I can create an ad. I can push my product. Did I get new customers by spending $50 or $100 on Facebook ads? Yes or no? That’s a really easy and lean analytics cycle.” — Simon Mathonnet

We were using all those online marketing tools to basically work towards one single goal, and they all interacted with each other, even though [these tools] are so often treated as seperate entities. Having them all work together in a meaningful way was a eureka moment. Sales went completely exponential almost overnight. Just having the funnel really defined, with the right messaging was key. And when it works, when you find something that just works, it’s one of the best feelings ever.” — Simon Mathonnet

You’ll speak to mentors and you’ll speak to advisors that will tell you, “Don’t make this mistake. I did it. Try this.” I think fundamentally that if you don’t make the mistake, viscerally you don’t feel the stress. You don’t get it. The biggest mistake is to try to avoid the mistakes. Screw it up. Lose some money. Stuff it up. Let the business fail. You’ll never, ever learn a lesson like that.” — Gary Tramer

With thanks to

Gary Tramer is the Co-Founder of LeadChat who are responsible for those little pop-up boxes on websites that ask if you need any help. Gary explains that he’s now taking his experience with data in e‑commerce and applying it to bricks and mortar retail to provide more information about physical shoppers when they walk into a store.

Simon Mathonnet is Head of Digital Strategy at Splashbox. He’s obsessed with data and digital marketing. Simon shares how he uses data to help startups and long-running businesses to achieve their goals.

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.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could go back in time to tell yourself the things you know now! If you’re at the beginning of your startup journey, this podcast gives you the benefit of experience from two top founders.

Alex Louey is the founder of Appscore, the team behind Yarra Trams famous Tram Tracker app. Alex knew nothing about building apps when he went into business, but he knew all about project management. He recommends working with your strengths and surrounding yourself with people who can do things that you can’t.

Shan Manickam is the MD and owner of warehouse solutions business Cross Docks Australia. Shan tried to go into business through a management buyout which failed, but it pushed up the price for the buyer, so they sacked him. That was enough to put a fire in his belly to form his own company. He recommends hiring for culture rather than skills.

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 podcast

Podcast brought to you by

Thank you to Jahzzar for the music.

Masters Series is presented by WeTeachMe.

The Masters Series podcast is produced by Written & Recorded.

The views expressed by the contributors on this podcast and 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.

 

The best way to find out what’s involved in starting a business is to ask a founder. In this podcast, we’ve done the asking for you, with two experienced entrepreneurs who are happy to share their secrets to success — and their tips for avoiding failure.

Ben Sze is a Co-Founder of Edrolo, an educational tech company that is creating better outcomes for students. Ben points out several key things that fresh founders should keep an eye on — not least of which is time. There’s a time management practice here that you’ll find invaluable.

David Fastuca is a Co-Founder of Ambisie, a business putting entrepreneurs in front of school students to broaden their horizons. David founded his first business at the age of 14 and it has had many different incarnations since then. He says we live in a lucky country where if all else fails, we can just go get a job — so have a crack at founding your own business.

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 podcast

Podcast brought to you by

Thank you to Jahzzar for the music.

Masters Series is presented by WeTeachMe.

The Masters Series podcast is produced by Written & Recorded.

The views expressed by the contributors on this podcast and 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.

 

When things go wrong in business, it can feel like the whole year has taken a turn for the worse. Will things ever get better? These founders say yes! And while it may not appear that way at the time, every challenge in business is an opportunity to learn.

Mia Klitsas & Jeff Gore are co-founders of feminine hygiene brand Moxie. While they have solved the problems of tampons getting lost in handbags, they have created a few challenges for themselves that have been difficult to overcome. Mia and Jeff point out the importance of profit over revenue and focussing on what’s important.

Tom Harley is the co-founder of Harley & Sons Roofing. After rounding up his plumbing brothers to work with his dad, Tom has led the way in developing a business that is doubling in size each year. Tom says if you don’t know something you have to get out there and learn it.

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 podcast

Podcast brought to you by

Thank you to Jahzzar for the music.

Masters Series is presented by WeTeachMe.

The Masters Series podcast is produced by Written & Recorded.

The views expressed by the contributors on this podcast and 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.