Small Business

The importance of inspiration

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Building wealth is like building a great business; it not only rests on getting the fundamentals right it also requires commitment to doing things right.

Of course, business owners hopefully use their operation to create a platform for wealth building. And given what fund managers often do with our funds, putting more effort into building a great business makes more money sense.

Unfortunately, like eating junk food, it always seems easier to do the wrong or the easy thing instead of the right or hard way.

That’s where inspiration comes in and that’s why so many high achievers I have dealt with never underestimate the importance of being inspired.

Anyone who is cynical towards the importance of inspiration and motivation has never owned a small business. Business owners know that at times when deadlines, suppliers, customers, staff (and even you!) are all piling pressure on, recalling the words of wisdom, experience or success can simply lift you.

A few years ago, I did a talkfest road show, which meant I worked as a master of ceremonies with some absolutely inspirational people. They included Lauren Burns who took a gold medal in taekwondo at the Sydney Olympics and Ben Darwin, the Wallaby rugby union player who ended his career with a terrible neck injury in the semi-final of the World Cup against the Kiwis.

Then there was that great cricketer, Bruce Yardley, who was named international cricketer of the year in the 1980s and who played with Thommo, Lillee and the Chappells.

Another was a guy called Tony Mowbray who not only battled the seas of that tragic Sydney to Hobart Yacht race in 1998, when too many lives were lost, but he also broke the record for sailing solo around the world.

Individuals who have taken on the odds and brought big results should always be studied. Regular readers of this column know I recommend that the best way to build a great business is to copy the best.

I once saw young artists copying the masters in the British Museum and that’s what would-be master business people should be doing to.

Some champions can give you small but enduring hints for success while others can give you a virtual blueprint.

One unforgettable line that Lauren Burns uses is: “I think success leaves clues.” She did it and she told her audiences that successful people leave clues on how to win. Working hard was important but she said when she was young she did too much and overtrained. When she accessed experts at the Australian Institute of Sport she worked smarter.

If you want to grow your business, look to those who have done it before you and gain inspiration and then create your plan.

One short story before I finish and this is not about a well-known star but a local hero who turned around a potential poverty problem.

This fella left the priesthood in his 50s and when you cut out of God’s service, there is no superannuation or divine pension.

He had diddlysquat and there were not many jobs for out-of-work priests. After talking to a money expert, he decided the only way he could catch up in the money stakes was to buy ramshackled homes — he didn’t have much money — and he simply did them up and sold them.

He had somewhere to live while he did this and, as it was his principal residence, he was able to sell the homes with no capital gains tax.

He pulled off the triple play. First, he built up his wealth so he is set to retire with a lump sum better than most Australians. Second, he gave himself a job, which was really a development business in doing up the properties. And third, he had somewhere to live.

Part of the inspiration was the knowledge that there is no capital gains tax on your principal residence while the other part of boost was the money expert who convinced him he could do it.

We all can do it but we need education, commitment and inspiration. Often experts or coaches can show small business owners how to do it better.

If you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching.

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Friday, April 27, 2012

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