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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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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“There’s a lot of ‘synergies’ that go hand in hand with my brand name,” declared Terri Vinson, Cosmetic Chemist & Founder of Synergie Skin. Her brand resonates with her philosophy of clean science, where she takes the best from science and the best from nature and harnesses them together in synergy without questionable and potentially harmful ingredients.
For Terri, synergy is not just a buzzword, but a platform for producing effective products and treatments for her clientele. She expounded on the science behind how everything should work together in harmony. “There’s a synergy between skincare and makeup that has to work together. If you use the very best skin care and put pore-clogging makeup over the top of it for the next ten hours, then you’re negating all the benefits of great skin care. So, your makeup has to be in synergy with your skin care. Secondly, skin care and makeup have to work in synergy with your skin. If it’s not working in synergy, that’s when some ingredients can lead to breakouts and reactions. Thirdly, the ingredients of the product themselves must work in synergy. A lot of people don’t understand that formulating isn’t just about throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pot and calling it a product. It’s a science, and you have to understand how those ingredients work together in synergy to get the best results.”
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“My philosophy is I want to find a way for everybody to win. There are some cultures where you only win if other people lose. I want to do business with people and want them to have a great experience. I want to be able to meet every client that I’ve worked within 20 years’ time and make them feel that they got good value. It’s one of the core values I have that I add value to people’s lives and not take away,” declares Alliance Software CEO and Owner, Ben Stickland.
Solving problems, family and his Christian faith are some of Ben’s great passions. He admits that he does not have any entrepreneurial background in his family, but he has always been into ventures since he was a kid. “I was born in a small country town and then moved to a regional city before I became a teenager. I had a very good family life to middle-income parents and a couple of older sisters. My dad was a teacher, and my mum was a nurse. They have no entrepreneurial background,” he began.
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If there is one word to describe Gary Tramer, founder of companies like LeadChat and PoweredLocal, it is enthusiasm. This business owner is oozing with energy, and his vibe extends to his colourful entrepreneurial journey. His journey is an adventure filled with ups and downs, but Gary finds joy and excitement going through the peaks and troughs of the entire experience.
Gary’s business journey is a wild escapade full of learnings. He has started a business, grown a business and sold a business. There are some failures as well, but in each mistake and win, he picks a valuable lesson every step of the way. It began from his own home, as he ascertained through his family about how he would fare as an entrepreneur.
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“Be resilient. You need to be able to learn to do pain well. When you’re in self-doubt and fear, understand that you’re going through a personal growth phase, where you’re being asked to change, adapt or improve. Your capacity to respond to those occurrences ultimately turns to success. I usually embrace those periods even though I don’t enjoy them,” Banjo co-founder and CEO, Andrew Colliver, shares. He subscribes to this business philosophy, which has guided him through all these years.
Change is something that Andrew has experienced in his 20-year business career. The shift from two decades of being a banking executive in the corporate space to entrepreneurship was a huge one. “I had a health scare five years ago, which caused some changes to the way I view the world and my place in it. I thought of things that I should have done when I was in my early 20’s. But I was so immature and reckless in my 20’s. I was not capable. But I needed to know who I was as a person without the business card and salary cheque telling me who I was, and why I was here. Then I underwent the transition into the entrepreneurial world,” he began.
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Getting into details and combining professional services with fun experiential events is the forte of The Production House Events (TPHE), the company owned by Harry Samuels. In a highly competitive industry and ever-evolving landscape, they set themselves apart by exceeding customer’s expectations and putting people at the centre of everything they do.
Harry had no family experience in running a venture earlier in life, but he has always been passionate about business. He took up a bachelor’s degree in business, majoring in marketing and management at university and going on to finish with a Class 2 Honours degree. After that, he worked in various companies, primarily in the marketing field until he became the CEO of a supply company. His work experience included working in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. In those experiences, he was always involved with organising corporate events.
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When Craig Sanford established Sierra Legal, what he had in mind was something very different to the traditional “ivory tower” law firms in the industry. Thus, he created a boutique firm that provides high quality and commercially focused legal services to its clients, using a close-knit team of friendly and highly experienced lawyers who enjoy a technology savvy and truly flexible working environment. For a boutique firm, Sierra Legal has some great clients, including Medibank, BP, Hisense and Chubb Insurance.
The entrepreneurial route was not something Craig contemplated when he began his career. “In fact, if you ask my friends and the people where I worked at the time, they would have said that I was the last person they expected to jump out on his own,” he claimed.
His family does not have any entrepreneurial background. His parents and those of his wife, Katie, were not entrepreneurs. According to this legal adviser-entrepreneur, “Initially, the scary part was being on my own and not having that support network around me. I’ve been with EO Melbourne now for four or five years. But in the early days, I didn’t have those people available to guide me along my way. I had family and friends I could talk to, particularly my father, who’s always been a bit of a mentor to me. But it was a challenge not having people around me with entrepreneurial experience to give advice.”
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The Gables is an establishment that traces its history since 1902. For Managing Director and Business Owner Jessica Souter, it’s a tough and exciting challenge to preserve a significant piece of Melbourne history. The garden was laid out by no less than William Guilfoyle, the landscape architect of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.
The Gables has a rich and colourful past, which includes being an illegal gambling house in the 30’s. “It was a sly-grog shop. It was a speakeasy. So, I’m a caretaker of this beautiful venue,” Jessica claimed. In fact, 1920’s famous Australian gangster, Squizzy Taylor, held a lavish 21st birthday party for his girlfriend in this venue. Keeping the genuineness of the place is a tall order for Jessica. As such, “Everything I do, whenever I renovate or do anything around here, I try to do it as authentically and respectfully towards the house as I can,” she declared.
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“The customer is king. Cover your back. Always do what you say you will do.” These are just a few of the business philosophies that Ina McCorkell goes by, Owner and CEO of EasyChef. For over two decades in the business, Ina imparts her grains of thoughts and nuggets of wisdom on how to overcome the challenges of the entrepreneurial journey.
Both of Ina’s parents were self-employed, so taking the entrepreneurial route seemed a natural progression for her. “When you grow up in an environment where people create their destiny, it encourages you to see it as normal. It’s a lot easier if your family are already doing their own thing. Four of my siblings do their own thing,” she professed.
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