As the new book ‘Ready to Soar’ begins to arrive in book stores I reflect on why I dedicated hours and hours to putting down on paper what is in my brain. The experience of nearly 30 years of being in, or working with small business has given me not just vast knowledge but battle scars.
People ask me regularly “I’ve got a business idea, what should I do next?” – and quite frankly the answer to that question is different (and not short)… for each person.
People are also curious and want to know how RedBalloon started – yet that was such a long time ago (15 years) and the world was a vastly different place, with no social media, digital photography, smart phones – and even Google was in it’s infancy. There are some fundamentals about customer experience that stay the same – and building brand reputation but the way I would go about it would be completely different. I call on many other start up stories in the book – not just my own.
I nervously await what people will think, whether my years of working in small business and with start-up
s help people on the emotional journey as well as the skills, tenacity and passion that they will need to bring to his or her new enterprise.
Dr Andrew Rochford on the cusp of launching Docta.com said of me (and the book)
After two hard years of trying to get my idea off the ground I have figured out the difference between a good idea working and not working isn’t just about how good the idea is. It’s about people and timing. For me it was the right advice at the right time from the right person (Naomi) that has helped launch my idea to the next level.
No matter who you are or what your business idea is, one thing is certain, You don’t know what you don’t know. Hence, the reason the right advice from the right person at the right time cannot be valued highly enough.’
For many the language of entrepreneurship is confusing; ‘pivot’, ‘a raise’, ‘hockey stick’, or even ‘dog feeding’ (which has nothing to do with my dog Dexter, Head of security). I want more people to understand the language that we speak.
- I imagine teachers reading Ready to Soar and being well versed in how to engage their students; being equipped with a considerable understanding of entrepreneurship and start ups, to enable them to inspire their students.
- I imagine bankers reading it tobe able to understand more about the journey of the start up and small businesses they meet – building empathy for that chosen path.
- I imagine the family and friends of those starting businesses or running small businesses reading it to assist them better support their entrepreneurial loved one.
- I imagine professional people such as accountants and lawyers reading it – giving them insight, advice and support to their clients.
- I imagine government and policy makers reading it to assist them develop programs to support the innovation eco-system.
- And of course I imagine the 10 percent of Australians who are currently considering starting a business reading it – it is simply an essential guide – which could save them a fortune in lost opportunity or misplaced energy. Please no ‘crash and burn’. A book to refer to over and over again.
There is a big conversation going on about Australia as an Innovation Nation – but it is not the idea alone that will create great businesses – we must also grow great business leaders.
I’m looking forward to being a part of
the #Idea Nation at the MCG on 25 May with a significant $20,000 prize pool on offer. Ready to Soar will help the winner invest it wisely to make sure that they turn that prize pool into a soaring success.
Join me together with other well seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders.