Four Aussie Entrepreneur Success Stories That Prove Anything’s Possible

Four Aussie Entrepreneur Success Stories That Prove Anything’s Possible
SHARE
THIS



Sure, this one isn’t exactly advertising related, but if you’re after some motivation then it’ll tick all the boxes. In a guest post, Alan Manly (pictured below), founder of Group Colleges Australia and author of The Unlikely Entrepreneur, takes a look at some wonderful Aussie success stories and the humble beginnings in which they were born…

Entrepreneurs and the famous often appear in our lives oozing success. However, like anyone will tell you, success rarely happens overnight and there are often fascinating stories behind them. So, what can we learn from four of Australia’s most high profile? Let’s take a look.

Alan (Medium)

It’s never too late

Few folks in their seventies feel like getting involved in a startup. There is one great Australian that did just that. Len Ainsworth is recognised as one of Australia’s great success stories. He was the driving force behind the Aristocrat poker machine empire, when at the age of seventy two, was advised that he had one year to live. It goes without saying that is a traumatic situation.  Len divided his fortune into nine equal portions and distributed to his seven children, ex-wife and current wife. As fate would have it Len made a full recovery from his illness. So there he was at seventy two years of age alive and well and decided that he would start again. The result of that decision was the new poker machine company Ainsworth Game Technology that was recently sold for $470 million.  Now at 94 years old Len is still Chairman of the company. If ever there was proof that you are never too old for a startup Len Ainsworth is living testimony.

Girl Power

Many have dreamed of inheriting the family fortune. Blessed with a famous family name and a legend of a father being Lang Hancock of mining industry fame, Gina as the only child ultimately inherited the bulk of the family fortune. Along with the fortune came a mountain of debt and an aggrieved step mother.  Being rich, deeply in debt and famous the story made headlines for years. To add a further challenge it would be readily agreed that the mining industry is hardly top of the pops for a girl wishing to build a career. In a classic quote Gina declared where she was coming from. There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain – do something to make more money yourself.” Fate blessed and cursed Gina with a complex situation that only pure determination could overcome. The Forbes Australia billionaires report lists Gina as the wealthiest woman in Australia.

Never say die

A dinner party story John Symond loves telling (which I’ve been present for) is that during a lower moment in business narrowly avoiding bankruptcy, he visited the David Jones store in Parramatta. Upon selecting a tie he tendered his credit card as payment. The nice girl behind the counter scanned the card, took out a pair of scissors and in full public view cut the credit card in half. It always gets a laugh from those sitting around the dining table for 20 in his 100 million dollar mansion.  After the tie cutting event John borrowed money from his brother and worked long hours offering after hours home loans consulting to purchasers. He built an empire by offering something the banks were disinterested in offering. Home loan applications service in your home. Aussie Home Loans call sign of “we’ll save you” worked for his customers and saved John from any risk of further financial troubles.  John eventually sold Aussie Home Loans to the Commonwealth Bank.

If you can’t make, it fake it

Dick Smith is a famous Australian often heard in the media declaring his views on issues that affect Australia. Having started his business in 1968 with $610 (approximately $4000 in today’s money) he took an idea form overseas, being self-service in shops as opposed to counter service. This innovation was a boom for his business as clientele of electronic hobbyists could browse and not require staff interaction. This was a breakthrough in the late 1960s. Business success sometimes requires a nudge in the form of a public relations event and Dick really hit the PR jackpot by getting major media attention for towing a fake iceberg into Sydney harbour. The cost of the barge covered with plastic and white firefighting foam was minor compared to the total radio and TV coverage. Dick Smith became a big name in the community long before serious financial success was realised.

These entrepreneurial journeys involved events and experiences only a few steps more daring than the average punter.  The takeaway? A brave approach, and maybe a little pretence of more confidence than usual, and your aspiration for success may be one big step closer

Please login with linkedin to comment

Alan Manly

Latest News

THIS
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Meet Your Judges For The 2018 B&T Awards!

B&T is calling this year's awards judges probably the finest ever assembled. As a chamber choir, arguably less so.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
CBS Snares Format Rights For Quiz Show ‘Have You Been Paying Attention?’
  • Media

CBS Snares Format Rights For Quiz Show ‘Have You Been Paying Attention?’

CBS Studios International has announced an agreement with Working Dog Productions for the exclusive, worldwide format rights to comedy quiz show Have You Been Paying Attention? Now in its sixth season, HYBPA? is broadcast on the CBS-owned Network Ten in Australia, and is the number one quiz show and the third-highest-rated overall show on the […]

Delacon Appoints Kenshoo Sales Chief As Director Of Operations
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Delacon Appoints Kenshoo Sales Chief As Director Of Operations

Call analytics provider Delacon has appointed Ezri Lerba to the newly created position of director of operations to manage partnerships and business development. Lerba joins Delacon after more than eight years with marketing technology company Kenshoo where he most recently held the role of director of sales across Australia and New Zealand. As first boots […]

Abstract spherical technology network background.
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Tech Is The Best Thing That Happened To Agencies

In this opinion piece, Schedugram CEO Hugh Stephens (pictured) tackles the complexity of agency business models. Agency models are high touch, human resource heavy and require the constant balancing and correcting of clients to account managers. With too many clients, staff will struggle under the workload (a big part of high agency attrition rates) or […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Weet-Bix Celebrates 90 Years Of Aussie Kids Being Weet-Bix Kids
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Weet-Bix Celebrates 90 Years Of Aussie Kids Being Weet-Bix Kids

This year Sanitarium Weet-Bix via The Mix Agency, Shopitize and The Kanga Group, is celebrating 90 years of Australian breakfasts. Sanitarium is celebrating by inviting Aussie kids (young and young-at-heart) to help them celebrate with the release of limited edition birthday packs and personalised Weet-Bix bowls. From Kalgoorlie to Kiama, Bowen to Broome and Darwin […]

Admation Agency Management Software Integrates With Mediaocean Finance Software
  • Media
  • Technology

Admation Agency Management Software Integrates With Mediaocean Finance Software

Automaton integrates finance software with admation – its agency management and workflow solution to enhance productivity for ad agencies. Automaton is always evolving admation, its agency project management and approval workflow software, to enable ad agencies to better manage their creative projects and resources. The business recently completed phase one of its integration with Mediaocean’s […]

Indie Agency KWP! Snares Tourism NT’s Creative Account
  • Advertising

Indie Agency KWP! Snares Tourism NT’s Creative Account

Tourism NT has appointed KWP! as its lead strategic and creative agency. The independent agency, with offices in Darwin and Adelaide, has won the two-year contract following a competitive pitch in September this year. As the lead agency, KWP! is required to formulate sound strategic insights based on ongoing analysis of market research, consumer insights and […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
McCann’s Action-Packed Army Ad Plays Out Like A War Flick Or Video Game
  • Campaigns

McCann’s Action-Packed Army Ad Plays Out Like A War Flick Or Video Game

Most army recruitment ads tend to steer clear of the blindingly obvious of military life – you get a gun to shoot the enemy or you get shot yourself. More so, agencies aren’t overly keen on promoting recruitment ads that are heavy on the guns or violence, preferring lifestyle or technical aspects of military life. Not so McCann’s new action-packed spot for the US […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Are You Dragging The Wrong People Into Pointless Meetings?
  • Opinion

Are You Dragging The Wrong People Into Pointless Meetings?

Donna McGeorge (pictured below) is a speaker and  mentor who helps people make their work work. McGeorge is also author of The 25-Minute Meeting: Half the Time, Double the Impact. In her latest guest post for B&T, McGeorge offers her tips on avoiding every workers’ hell- the pointless meeting… We all complain about having to attend too […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Francis Leach Joins The New Daily As Sports Editor
  • Media

Francis Leach Joins The New Daily As Sports Editor

Famed sports reporter Francis Leach has joined online publisher The New Daily as sports editor. A prolific broadcaster, journalist and program host, Leach brings his encyclopedic knowledge of sport and no-holds-barred critical analysis to the role. “Let’s face it, sport these days is big business. I’m interested in connecting and contextualising sport with the big […]

AIME Appoints Eleven To Champion 2019 Vision
  • Advertising
  • Media

AIME Appoints Eleven To Champion 2019 Vision

Eleven has been appointed to manage all PR for the Asia Pacific Incentives Meetings & Event (AIME) 2019, the leading show for the business events industry. Selected by Talk2 Media & Events, Eleven will drive a global PR campaign, working with sister agency FleishmanHillard, to leverage international media networks across Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East […]