Getting to the Heart of Business
“It Instantly Transformed the Industry” - The Western Sydney Tech Co That Disrupted Trucking in Australia - Ep 10

“It Instantly Transformed the Industry” - The Western Sydney Tech Co That Disrupted Trucking in Australia - Ep 10

March 28, 2021

Phil Callaghan is a tech entrepreneur who bootstrapped his business from his own piggybank – and transformed the way the trucking industry works in Australia.  

Conceived at a time when smartphones were in their infancy, Loadshift has effectively changed how truckers and shippers communicate - through what is now a very high-tech, online marketplace. It's revolutionised the way the industry works, and today, the Loadshift team have so much data at their fingertips, that they're able to see economy trends and shifts happening in real-time - weeks before we hear about it on the evening news.

But Phil's journey hasn't been smooth sailing. He hit many speedbumps on the road to success, and in fact when he first launched his business, it simply didn’t work. He's also faced his fair share of opposition in business - including personal threats, a court battle, and a long struggle to make the business financially sustainable.   

Phil is an innovator ahead of the curve. His story is one of determination and grit which highlights the fact that if something doesn’t work first time, tweak and try again! 

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KEY MOMENTS

4:08 - Phil gets his start in the family agriculture business - and notices a gap in the transport industry 

9:42 - How it all began: “I’m a tech entrepreneur who bootstrapped his business.” 

12:41 - “As a business owner, you’ve gotta find your tribe, your group of followers.” 

15:39 - Failure to launch. What next? 

18:11 – What does sustainable growth look like?  

21:45 – Time for a price rise. 

24:22 – Changing life for the ‘little guys’ in business. 

 26:06  - Phil and the Loadshift team face one of their biggest battles. 

31:48 – Impact of 2020 border closures on the industry. 

34:17 - Phil and his business undergo a major identity shift.   

***

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Special Edition: Burnout in Business - How to Prevent it, How to Recover, with ‘Dr Burnout’ Valerie Ling - Ep 12

Special Edition: Burnout in Business - How to Prevent it, How to Recover, with ‘Dr Burnout’ Valerie Ling - Ep 12

April 18, 2021

When we sat down to hear the story of psychologist and burnout expert Dr Valerie Ling from the Centre for Effective Living, we had a feeling it was going to be one of our most helpful episodes yet—and we weren’t disappointed.

In this episode, (the second in a two-part series), Valerie dives into her expertise on the treatment and prevention of burnout – a path many business leaders often (sadly) travel.

Valerie’s an expert on the topic, has been given the nickname ‘Doctor Burnout’, heads up a team of therapists who help people recover from the condition, and has a passion to help leaders of all kinds to live more effective and balanced lives. Not only that, she once travelled through the valley of burnout herself – and knows first hand how it feels (and how not to go there!) Her advice is invaluable.

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Key Moments

02:27 - Valerie shares her own burnout story: “I had a client walk in saying that I looked terrible.”

05:17 – Burnout – the warning signs.

09:52 – Steps to recovery if you’re burnt out.

11:32 – Valerie shares her Six 'R’s’ of burnout prevention.

17:04 – Avenues for affordable counselling.

19:01 – Hope for anyone suffering burnout: you can not only recover, but find a better, healthier normal than before.

21:53 – What is post traumatic growth?

***

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“I Had to Get My Name Out of the Business” – ‘Dr Burnout’ Valerie Ling & the Centre That’s Changing Lives – Ep 11

“I Had to Get My Name Out of the Business” – ‘Dr Burnout’ Valerie Ling & the Centre That’s Changing Lives – Ep 11

April 21, 2021

When a series of difficult life experiences left psychologist Valerie Ling suffering from burnout - she knew it was time to get help in her business.

And so began the growth of a busy psychology practice called the Centre for Effective Living. In this episode Valerie – who’s now an expert in the treatment and prevention of burnout – tells the story of her lifelong entrepreneurship streak - and her passion to build organisations that make the world a healthier, happier place.

(This two-part series continues next episode, where Valerie shares her expert advice on burnout in business.)

***

KEY MOMENTS  

03:29 - “I didn't even know what psychology was…” Valerie undertakes a double degree in Law and Psychology.

06:09 - Valerie’s entrepreneurial streak surfaces at age nine.

07:17 - By age 13, Valerie has started her own small enterprise teaching music.

08:12 – Valerie ‘meets a boy’, moves to Singapore to start a family - and begins practising psychology.

09:45 - Burnout hits Valerie, she resigns from her job and suffers a terrible grief.

13:43 - Back in Australia with young children, Valerie opens her own clinic.

16:39 - Valerie develops a regular reflective practice to maintain her own mental health and begins proactively building a healthier, more sustainable business model.

22:13 – The story behind the ‘Centre for Effective Living’.

28:19 – What Valerie has learnt about marketing.

***

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Scaling Fast, Keeping Quality: The Young, Agile Company That’s Blazing a Trail in Disability - Ep 13

Scaling Fast, Keeping Quality: The Young, Agile Company That’s Blazing a Trail in Disability - Ep 13

April 25, 2021

For Kara Foscholo and Amanda Semaan, running a complex and multi-layered business wasn't even slightly on their radar, when they first embarked on a uni degree together.  

But when a research opportunity came their way, enabling them to invest in discovering better disability care, their passion took over. And as they say, the rest is history! 

When Active Ability was founded, it was the first of its kind – mobile therapy, specifically for those with intellectual disability, brain injury and mental illness. These days, their team of 65 therapists works with hundreds of clients throughout the Greater Sydney, Wollongong and Sunshine Coast regions. 

With the business growing quickly, the struggle to balance work and family has been difficult for the two young mums. Though they’re grateful for the privilege of doing what they do, both Kara and Amanda took their laptops to the hospital when their babies came along so they could continue to work. It’s a balance which they say they’re still trying to master!

This is an honest, inspiring story, highlighting the success that can come from the right combination of passion, skill, and commitment .

***

Key Moments

05:00 – Neither Kara nor Amanda were planning on being business owners! 

07:00 – An opportunity comes along to improve exercise physiology for disability. 

10:00 – The Active Ability magic sauce is created: fun, bespoke ‘exercise’. 

17:00 – Launching Active Ability, while navigating the ever-changing NDIS. 

20:00 – Learning how to grow quickly, while maintaining quality service. 

24:18 – Time to bring in some outside help. 

33:38 – Success comes with a cost, which can be difficult to balance. 

***

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Future-Proofing the Next Generation: Rowan Kunz, Edu-Preneur and Founder at Art of Smart - Ep 14

Future-Proofing the Next Generation: Rowan Kunz, Edu-Preneur and Founder at Art of Smart - Ep 14

May 2, 2021

In today’s episode you’ll get to know a young man who started his entrepreneurial journey before he’d even finished uni: he is Rowan Kunz, the director of Art of Smart, a student coaching and mentoring college in Sydney.  

Rowan’s a big-picture thinker: his team doesn’t just help kids with study techniques and maths exams, (although that’s a part of it)…. They are on a far greater mission: to help a generation of young people discover their passions, set some life goals—and achieve them!  

But despite his young-successful-entrepreneur story, Rowan’s made his fair share of mistakes, too. In our interview he opens up about how his own ego, and an attraction to shiny new tech startups, got in the way of his business growth in the early years. 

***

KEY MOMENTS  

03:12  Halfway through a law degree, Rowan realises lawyering isn’t for him - and starts his entrepreneurial journey, by helping students to succeed at study and life.  

13:00 – To market his business Rowan becomes an author at the tender age of 21.  

18:00 – An entrepreneurial family background meant business was in Rowan’s DNA 

22:25 – “I thought I was Elon Musk” – Rowan was an innovator, but admits that ego got in the way. 

24:20 – Rowan reflects on the lessons he’s learnt from his mistakes.  

37:11 – Advice for parents on guiding their children towards their futures.  

41:49 – Content Marketing is a big part of Rowan’s business growth strategy. 

44:40 -  What does the future hold for Art of Smart?  

***

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“Just Be Your Authentic Self!” The Yoga Teacher & Circus Arts Trainer Who’s Smashing Stereotypes - Ep 15

“Just Be Your Authentic Self!” The Yoga Teacher & Circus Arts Trainer Who’s Smashing Stereotypes - Ep 15

May 9, 2021

Today's interview guest has possibly the most colourful story we've had on the podcast so far. 

She's Annika Saigi, owner of a busy network of yoga studios in Western Sydney called Nin Yoga – and her journey has been a bit like a roller coaster ride in a theme park... It started at a video game arcade, with a detour into the circus arts, then adventures in India, and – just as she was launching a yoga studio – there was that painful little thing called the COVID pandemic.

Thankfully, Annika has lived to tell the tale, and in our interview she shared some of her amazing transformation from a young Video Game arcade manager, into a successful business woman. 

***

KEY MOMENTS

3:22 - It all started with an obsession with Japanese culture and gaming.  

5:18 - When the Gaming Arcade Annika is running is sold, she's forced to reconsider her career options. 

7:51 – Dance and circus tricks become Annika’s new obsession.   

10:18 - A trip to India, and a Yoga course changes everything. Nin Yoga the business is born. 

11:19 - Covid strikes – and Annika is ready to hit back. 

21:52 - How motherhood impacted Nin Yoga 

***

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‘It’s About Going the Extra Mile’  Entrepreneur Justin Herald on Why Customer Experience is Crucial - Ep 16

‘It’s About Going the Extra Mile’ Entrepreneur Justin Herald on Why Customer Experience is Crucial - Ep 16

May 16, 2021

Cast your mind back to the 90s, and you might remember seeing t-shirts and bumper stickers plastered with the word ATTITUDE…

They were the work of a young guy named Justin Herald, whose T-shirt slogans struck a chord with Aussies, and his business quickly went national, then global. But surprisingly, he started the brand quite by accident, with less than $50 to his name.

Several million dollars later, he sold Attitude, and became a highly sought after speaker and trainer, through his company Customer Culture - teaching businesses how to treat customers better. He believes a lot of business leaders could fix their growth problems if they just put themselves in their customer’s shoes…

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KEY MOMENTS

05:02 – Justin's teenage attitude lands him his first business idea. 

10:05 – His business goes viral, the old-fashioned way. 

16:47 - Justin thrives on challenge: “Some of my staff think I created COVID because I just love having a problem - that's the way I operate the best.” 

19:45 - Covid hits, and Justin pivots as his speaking career goes quiet and his online courses gain traction. 

24:52 - Justin believes that good old-fashioned customer service is the key to business success. 

38:14 - Working to educate the next generation of business owners. 

42:47 - Exciting new projects on the horizon... but Justin’s keeping his lips sealed. 

***

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When a Hobby Takes Over: How Campsmart Grew from a Maternity Leave Project, to a Serious Aussie Brand – Ep 17

When a Hobby Takes Over: How Campsmart Grew from a Maternity Leave Project, to a Serious Aussie Brand – Ep 17

May 23, 2021

Justine Lightowler isn’t the first woman on our podcast who ‘birthed’ her business while she was on maternity leave!

It was a family camping trip, and a need for some extra income, that drove Justine to start buying and selling camping gear on eBay. That became a hobby… which turned into an online store… which grew into a business… and today, Campsmart is a serious player in the online caravanning and camping market.

In our interview Justine talks about the joys of serving Australia’s active community of caravanners and campers; the challenges of growing a business while raising little ones; and the frightening experience of launching a brand-new product—days before the COVID pandemic hit!

***

KEY MOMENTS

04:50 - It all started with a camping trip... and a little purchase on ebay.

08:31 - With a business underway, Justine's range of products expands, and she hires a warehouse and some staff.

13:38 - Justine designs and launches her first original product - and then COVID hits. 

19:00 - Digital marketing is what has built Campsmart’s reputation.

22:43  - Justine’s advice on running a business and a family? “I just do the best I can, with everything. I don’t aim to be perfect at anything.”

24:00 - The rewards of the business.

***

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Ending Slavery in Australia: How Sally Irwin’s Cafe & Social Enterprise, The Freedom Hub, is Restoring Survivors – Ep 18

Ending Slavery in Australia: How Sally Irwin’s Cafe & Social Enterprise, The Freedom Hub, is Restoring Survivors – Ep 18

May 30, 2021

When Sally Irwin moved to Berlin with her husband’s diplomacy work, she had no idea how much it would change her life. 

There, she came face to face with modern day slavery and the sex trafficking trade, working as a volunteer to help enslaved, abused and traumatised young women.

On her return home, she founded The Freedom Hub – a social enterprise that helps survivors of human trafficking, who find themselves trapped in modern day slavery in Australia. Through a Survivor School, young women are being restored to health and independence.

And through businesses such as cafes, online retail, and event spaces, The Freedom Hub raises its own funds to do it.  

*** 

Key Moments

06:55 – Sally is challenged, early in her career, by the poor integrity often found in big business. 

09:40 – Sally comes face to face with modern day slavery for the first time. 

10:54 – "I literally watched girls dying... They were selling themselves for 2 Euros.” 

12:32 – Once home from Europe, Sally is devastated to learn that modern day slavery exists here in Australia as well.

13:45 - How people become trapped in slavery in Australia; the role of The Freedom Hub. 

22:34  – The Freedom Hub is funded through its own business enterprises. 

30:41 - The challenges of being a startup.

34:00 - HR for start-ups: it’s important to get right. 

40:10 - Practical ways you can make a difference - individually, and as a business.  

45:20 – Plans for the future: helping survivors across Australia and internationally.

*** 

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Bite the Bullet and Specialise: How Financial Planner Phil Thompson went from ‘Just Making It’ Generalist, to Rapidly Growing Specialist – Ep 19

Bite the Bullet and Specialise: How Financial Planner Phil Thompson went from ‘Just Making It’ Generalist, to Rapidly Growing Specialist – Ep 19

June 6, 2021

Phil Thompson has had two career paths that couldn’t be more different: Circus Performing, and Financial Planning! He's the owner of a company called Skye Wealth, specialising in life insurance. 

You’ll hear why he made such a radical career change; how his first few years in the financial game were spent working very hard, with little reward…. and how a few brave decisions made all the difference! 

*** 

Key Moments

03:20 – After a dramatic career change, Phil saw an opportunity and took the plunge, with help from family. 

08:46 – Laser focussed on caring for existing clients 

10:32 – 3-years of feeling stuck in a rut. 

13:21 – Phil finds his niche. 

15:00 – Skye Wealth goes online. 

19:37 – Covid hits -- and Phil was in the perfect position.

24:38 - Lessons in hiring.

31:06 – Future plans: the digital nomad life.

 

*** 

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