Holiday feasts for your dining table (and your business)

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s time to do some grocery shopping in preparation for the parties, luncheons and get-togethers. As you plan your menu for the lunches and dinners, consider how the usual holiday fare can also bring you insights and tips for your entrepreneurial journey.

 

The Australian Christmas feast is a combination of local culture and influences from the UK and the US. But what makes Christmas in this side of the globe different is that it coincides with the summer season. Check some of the common dishes that take centre stage on the dining table at this time of the year.

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Tristan White on the move

Helping seniors stay mobile, safe and happy is the simple purpose of The Physio Co, the business that physiotherapist turned entrepreneur Tristan White has founded. He considers himself an accidental entrepreneur because the initial reason he created his business was to provide himself with a job that he would enjoy. Also, during his youth he never expected himself to fall in love with aged care, which The Physio Co has been serving since 2004. Nonetheless, the business has flourished to what it has become now.

At 24 years old, Tristan had set his mind to a career path that would lead to the glamorous world of sports medicine, working with elite athletes. But when he began his practice as a sports physiotherapist, he found himself falling out of love from what he originally intended to do.

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The language of entrepreneurship for Costa Vasili

EthnoLink’s founder and CEO Costa Vasili is a son of migrant parents. His father, who was born in Cyprus, moved to Australia at 13 years of age. It is where he met Costa’s mother, who is also of Cypriot descent, and where Costa was born. To ensure that Costa had the best chance of success in Australia, his parents spoke to him and his brother mostly in English rather than in Greek. While this decision had a positive impact on Costa’s English language skills, it impacted Costa’s ability to speak Greek.

For example, Costa had great relations with his grandparents, who spoke almost exclusively in Greek, but he struggled to have in-depth conversations with them because of the language barrier. With that pain point in mind and with an opportunity to be introduced to the language services industry during his university years, Costa went off and started his translation company at the age of 20 years old, while still in university.

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Brendan O’Brien: engineering energy, engineering his business

It’s a business that is often not visible in plain sight, but according to O’Brien Boiler Services (OBS) Executive Chairman and co-founder Brendan O’Brien, boilers provide steam for breweries, laundries, hospitals, petrochemicals, glass, textile and industries that involve mechanical processes. Boilers and steam engines were the early forms of automation that have industrialised many cities and brought several changes to our lives today.

The advent of various technologies may have taken over our lifestyle that we sometimes forget that boilers, with the use of steam and heat, power many industries that we still use in our day-to-day activities. Brendan and his brother Shane have been in the industry for around two decades now, and they continue to provide good quality products and services to their clients and the communities they serve.

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Jacob Spencer keeps it clean, lean and simple

In life, we often accumulate things that we need, want or like. Over time, these items are no longer necessary for us, yet we still keep them and allow them to occupy space and collect dust. Jacob Spencer’s business, Mobile Skips, comes in handy for those who do some spring cleaning, DIY jobs or moving residences or offices to take out the non-essentials and keep spaces neat and orderly. 

Mobile Skips is a business that Jacob acquired from the original owners two years ago. Although he spent most of his career in the food and hospitality industry, he found that the rubbish business is simple to understand and manage. He still has his fingers dipped in the food space because of his involvement in the non-profit social enterprise, called Streat. However, he is more focused now on Mobile Skips, bringing to the venture all his learnings from his previous experiences.

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Ashley Woodcock’s message signs for entrepreneurs

RPM Hire owner and director Ashley Woodcock began his entrepreneurial journey while he was still at university, starting with only three signs for hire. He had low expectations for the business. Never has he imagined that he would grow his venture into a successful enterprise and enjoy the experience along the way.

Supplying variable message signs (VMS) is the core of Ashley’s business. For over seven years, he has expanded his company by doing other product lines and services and now has over 400 signs and other products for hire. It’s a niche industry, but Ashley found huge significance in what he is doing, serving not only their clients but the general public as well. “If we’re giving the public a warning, it allows them to change their habits, take a different route, or use another mode of transport for that day. During road closures, our signs are dotted along a detour route to help them navigate around the closures,” he explained.

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Alex Louey’s lessons on entrepreneurship through smartphone apps

With millions of apps available online that are increasing each year, an average smartphone user has a wide array of options on which ones to use that correspond to his needs. For AppsCore co-founder and Managing Director Alex Louey, whose company has been developing apps, websites, cloud solutions, Internet of Things (IoT), and other technology-based products, it’s more than just building a software. Its mission is to create great customer experiences for their clients and make their lives easier every day.

“We started off as a mobile app company. But now, we’ve progressed from being very focused on apps to focusing on making our customers’ lives easier and better for them to do things,” Alex quipped. “It means that we don’t look into a particular technology. Rather, we look at the problem to be solved and the appropriate technology to do it. We look at the entire life cycle. We look at the customer experience and the problem that they’re facing. Then, we build the software and look at what we can do to help clients engage customers and get the customers to use their business software,” he added.

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Victoria Kluth’s path to being great and being grateful

Be great and Be grateful. These are the two corporate values of Araza, a technology systems integrator and consultancy company, specialising in cloud and digital solutions. Its co-founder and Managing Director, Victoria Kluth, endeavours to live by these values as she leads others towards the vision and goals of her company.

Coming from a big corporate background, Victoria initially regarded herself as a corporate person, with her mind not set on the entrepreneurial road. Becoming an entrepreneur is just one of the many surprises life has brought on her, for which she is thankful that it happened and strives to be great at it. Among the many other unexpected things in her journey was Araza’s growth, now with 350 people in its fold. Going international never crossed her mind and through a partnership with another company, their business has an international offshore component. She is also regarded as a leader in Australia for gender equity, which is another milestone that she has not foreseen to happen in her profession.

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Jason Scher’s energy boosters for entrepreneurs

Speaking from experience, VÖOST co-Founder and Orange & Green Director Jason Scher affirmed that there are many difficulties that business owners encounter along the entrepreneurial journey. “Every single day, you’re going to be challenged with something that will make you think, ‘I’m not good enough. It is not working.’ Then, you start to have those thoughts of quitting,” he said. It takes a lot of effort, time, resources and inspiration to start a business and see it through.

“Anyone that hasn’t started a business or managed a business entirely has a different perception. It’s like the swan analogy where it all looks graceful above the surface, but under the water, the legs are paddling furiously. Some of my friends see our products in different supermarkets and outlets, and they think it must mean everything’s going well. But there’s a lot of hard work, a lot of long hours, and a lot of stressful moments that people don’t see,” described Jason.

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Scott Trevethan’s entrepreneurial experience in accounting terms

When you own a business, one of the key components to make sure it runs smoothly is a good accounting system. For accountant-turned-entrepreneur Scott Trevethan, managing director of the two companies he owns, there are several accounting concepts that he was able to apply to his businesses.

Scott started as an employee and embarked on a career in marketing and accounting before he founded his accounting-related business and later joined and acquired Scott Partners Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors. Two years ago, he opened his offshore business, called Go Global Bookkeeping. Throughout his business journey, he found himself constantly evolving and growing as a person. “For me, it’s the ability to change and adapt and try new things,” he remarked.

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