“Take up every opportunity that you get to improve yourself – you owe it to your idea and your business.”
At the age of 18, Carolyn Creswell bought a small muesli business for $1,000. With no formal business mentor or coach and with no formal business qualification, Carolyn Creswell had to learn everything on-the-job; manufacturing, sales, what to do & what not to do.
Today Carolyn exports her brand, Carman’s to 32 countries around the world. She shares her top tips.
1. If you are driven by money, you won’t be happy
Some of the most successful people I know are also the most unhappy. If you can’t get up everyday and be totally passionate about your business then you will never succeed at it.
2. In the early days, focus on quality over marketing
Great marketing might get people to buy your product once, but a great product will get them to buy it every week.
3. Find time to work on your business – not just in it
This can be easier than you think. You don’t have to solve your big business problems in one go – just make a commitment to do something towards it every day. Big things happen from continuous hard work and reserving a set time every day to work more strategtically on your business.
4. The art of the graceful ‘no’
When you’re starting out, time is truly your scarcest resource. Sometimes you have to say no to meetings if it will derail time spent on essential business work. Do it quickly and do it gracefully, but you just have to do it.
5. Avoid borrowing money for as long as you can
Keep a night job if that’s what it takes, but try to survive as long as you can without borrowing money from banks or other funding. One thing that I am so proud to say is that I own 100% of my business. It wasn’t easy, but today I am so grateful for total control and independence.
6. Never stop learning
Take up every opportunity that you get to improve yourself – you owe it to your idea and your business. Whether it be TED Talks while you are walking, or development courses like BSchool, seek expert advice and stories – it’s be best way to inform important decisions on your own journey.
7. Start on nights and weekends. Just start!
So many people miss their chance because they are too busy waiting for the perfect time. At Carman’s we embraced ‘perfect enough’ – because the sooner you start, the sooner you learn and the sooner you grow. Just start!
This was originally published on the BSchool website and has been republished with full permission.
For the past year, Business Chicks has partnered with BSchool to deliver a game-changing online Business course where you have access to a community of peers, and mentorship from some of Australia’s biggest CEOs, including Emma Isaacs, Carolyn Creswell, Penny Spencer, and Jacinta McDonell.
Want to know more? Head to bschool.edu.au/businesschicks