The colourful business journey of Antoine Bakhache

If one has to describe the entrepreneurial journey of Antoine Bakhache, owner and Managing Director of Bakhache Luxuries, it is a life full of vivacity and hue. Born in Lebanon, Antoine has lived in the US, Thailand, India and Malaysia and worked and set up ventures in some of these countries. From events to jewellery to silverware to food, he has experienced it all – running businesses in various industries and now, expanding to Australia, another entrepreneurial adventure to add to his experiences.

For Antoine, what is central to any business is the people – the staff and the customers. With the former, getting the right people on board is crucial to the success of his ventures. “Your business is as good as the people that work with you. Even if you have the best brand and the best location, but you have the wrong people doing the job, it won’t work. I am blessed to be surrounded by a very good team, an enthusiastic team that is willing to learn, grow and work hard to obtain results,” Antoine remarked. “A sense of contentment and fulfilment for me is to have my team one day look back and appreciate that their journey with Bakhache Luxuries was a journey of learning and self-improvement,” he added.

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Clayton Cross: learning from failure is a step to success

Experience and introspection are what Clayton Cross considers, owner of Predikkta and several other businesses, as his teachers, which guided him in his business endeavours. For him, it was a road full of trial-and-error that honed his capabilities as a business owner.

“I failed a lot more than most people did, and the pain and embarrassment have helped drive me to learn, up-skill and educate myself,” Clayton stated. He never had a mentor or a manual on how to start and manage a business. In truth, he ran his businesses very isolated, as he puts it, preferring to try things by himself. His whole education on entrepreneurship he acquired through practical learnings. From those experiences, he reviewed what happened, why it happened, and how he could improve.

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Packing tips for the entrepreneurial journey

Taking the road of establishing and running a business is not an easy course. For the less-experienced entrepreneur, the track comes with full of surprises, not some organised itinerary that you know beforehand. Similar to most journeys, getting ready to embark on an entrepreneurial adventure is the most nerve-wracking part. It is like diving into the unknown, so you have to prepare for the inevitable.

When it comes to travelling, packing is a crucial part of preparation. Whatever you put in your luggage can either help you on your trip or wear you down. Carrying everything you think you need is not always a good idea because it can often hold you back from speeding up your pace. You will find along the way that you can discard some of the things you packed to make things lighter. Choosing the right things to bring and packing them right need strategy to make the experience all worthwhile.

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James Eling’s road to outstanding

James Eling believes that having a vision, adhering to it, and working relentlessly towards it are the important parts of his entrepreneurial journey. He has established and now owns three businesses: Extreme Networks,, and Marketing4Restaurants. James works closely with his wife, Tina, in Extreme Networks while he devotes more time in Marketing4Restaurants.

“I couldn’t imagine not working with Tina. We’re exact opposites, but we have a very strong working relationship,” James declared. They met in nursing school, where James thought he would build his career. Interestingly, he started as a critical care nurse, before he made a big leap to IT, where most of his businesses currently belong.

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The journey of a (business or sports) champ

The entrepreneurial journey and the athletic life have many parallelisms. Similarly, an entrepreneur and an athlete exhibit almost the same qualities that become fundamental in bringing them to their respective goals. They share common features that make them winners and champions.

Athletes and business owners have the determination and drive to face any obstacle or hurdle as they remain focused on the wins. Their passion for their game, their profession, and their team are unequalled. They listen to their coach or mentor, work with their team, and look after their supporters and customers.

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Nicky Tzimas advocates for people’s rights through education

Nicky Tzimas, founder and Director of the Cosmetic Professional Development Institute of Australia (CPD Institute), is a firm believer in people’s rights. With a solid background in behavioural sciences and mental health, Nicky is an advocate of ethical practice in the cosmetic aesthetic industry.

The creation of CPD Institute was born out of Nicky’s concern over clients who were seeking treatments without thorough awareness of the risks and complications involved. She had patients from other practices approaching her clinic for services, and it was evident that they had previously been uninformed of the potential risks and problems that could have resulted from their past procedures.

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Natalie Franks readies to scale her businesses

Spending the last 18 months getting the platform right, Natalie Franks prepares her businesses, Health Legal and Law Compliance, to scale and double their clients. Now, she’s getting ready to take on the rest of her entrepreneurial journey and speed up the growth of her firms.

“Slow and steady” is how Natalie describes the movement of her journey at the moment. Looking back, she feels she could have grown faster, but it would have meant sacrificing other things. Thus, the mum of twin boys is happy with how her entrepreneurial growth has unfolded as she was able to devote time to both her ventures and her family. Knowing her capacity, and with her boys now in their teens, she’s excited to go forward with her businesses for the next five years because she can provide more focus on expanding them.

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Joe Woodham’s gateway to a better life

Many people may not have their eyes set on the entrepreneurial road. But not Joe Woodham, founder and owner of Torii Consulting. “From a young age, I always knew that I wanted to run a business. That was just the journey that I always knew I was going to go,” he stated.

Joe began his career in the recruitment space about ten years ago. He got his first job in recruitment despite not having any idea what it was, with even less of an about idea about IT. However, a few months when the global financial crisis kicked off, he found himself fired after a very quick introduction to recruitment. “With a bit of persistence, I picked up another role. Over the next few years, I learned the tricks of the trade and started to work my way up the corporate ladder,” Joe remarked.

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EO Melbourne Chapter News

A note from the President

Welcome to our first monthly EO Melbourne chapter newsletter.

With so much going on across EO, we are hoping that this newsletter will let you know about all the member benefits available to you locally, regionally and internationally.

One of the things I am most passionate about is creating a strong sense of community within our chapter.

This idea of community underpins this year’s chapter theme, ‘The One’. With this in mind, we’re asking you to nominate and submit your One key goal for the year. We will collate and share these goals within the chapter over the coming months as we work together to help everyone achieve their One.

If you haven’t submitted your One yet, please use this link to do so now. We are hoping to start ticking off these goals in August.

Feel free to reach out anytime if you have any questions.

– Dean Cherny

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