Female Founder Spotlight

Sarah Holloway, Co-founder of Matcha Maiden and Matcha Mylkbar

1. Tell us about yourself and your business? 

I’m Sarah Holloway (aka Spoonful of Sarah), a former corporate lawyer turned “funtrepreneur” having co-founded Matcha Maiden and Matcha Mylkbar.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

You can’t do a good job if a good job is the only thing you do. When you turn your passion into your profession, the incentives to rest and take breaks seem to fall away so you end up working all hours and sometimes burning the candle at both ends. But, for me, the greatest breakthroughs and bursts of innovation or creativity come after I get some distance from the business and let my brain have a rest. If you spend too much time and energy IN the business, there’s no fuel left to work ON it and actually evolve. So, I increasingly value taking breaks every now and then, as hard as it is to switch off. Otherwise your ideas and perspective can get stale and you can stagnate.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

I have come to believe that every mistake is just a platform for learning, so I actually believe we all need to go through a few of them to become good business people. BUT, having said that, if you can avoid burning out in the first year from going out too hard too fast, then learning by seeing rather than doing in that instance is definitely preferable! Can you see a theme here!? Haha, I get a little bit over excited about our business and need to learn to pace myself! No point smashing goals and creating crazy growth if its not sustainable and you sacrifice your health and happiness in the process.

 

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Natalie Moore, Founder of Be Moore

1. Tell us about yourself and your business? 

I am a Wellness and Mindset Coach, mum to one and a marathon runner. I loving working with women to embrace the passion inside them to fuel their health and well-being. Having spent 10 years in sales in manufacturing, something I was not passionate about, I knew starting my own business was a necessary for me. I did this from my passion of running. I love what running does for me, my sanity, health, the desire to be challenged that I needed to help other women find their passion so that they could have something that makes them feel great.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

I quit my day job in January to pursue life as a mum full time small business owner. It was challenging to say the least and I’ve tried many practises and things from my own knowledge. The one thing that has helped me this year is constantly coming back to my purpose for starting my business in the first place. Focusing on my WHY (which goes beyond money) and understanding how I want to feel from having my business, each day, week and month. Given my daughter and having a more flexible life with her is my WHY, I would make note each day of how I want to feel as a mother, wife and woman also.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

Commit to the abundance of help out there. I’ve tried many things on my own, webinars, free resources, blog posts, you tube videos etc but nothing can be better received than physical support and guidance from another individual. Keeping finances down in start up is thinking we all have but you can commit to the services of someone and be leaps ahead had you tried to do it all yourself. Create relationships, build networks, engage and connect with others to learn and if you have to pay for it, its an investment well worth it.

 

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Deb Noller, CEO and Co-founder of Switch Automation

1. Tell us about yourself and your business? 

Deb Noller, CEO and co-founder of Switch Automation. Born in Sydney and currently headquartered in the United States, we’re a global real estate software company specialising in helping customers like WeWork, NHP and Lendlease reduce operating costs, improve energy efficiency and deliver exceptional occupant satisfaction. With 20+ years of experience in real estate, technology and sustainability, I’m passionate about leveraging next generation facility management technology to execute more efficient business operations.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

Self-care is critical to being a focused, effective leader as well as setting the tone for your team. It’s my responsibility to lead by example, and this year I’ve prioritised making time for fitness even amid a busy international travel schedule.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

Choose a business objective, for example fundraising, and stay on focused on it until you’ve finished. I’ve surrounded myself with a talented team that shares my passion so I can delegate other priorities when needed. Be efficient with your time and energy to maintain enthusiasm-this is a journey!

 

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Elyse Maberley, Co-founder of Meeum

1. Tell us about yourself and your business? 

My name is Elyse. I am the co-founder of Meeum, a Melbourne-based startup, focused on broadening access to coding education and increasing digital literacy – especially for women and female founders. We do this through personal contact and quality learning experiences. We aren’t pushing that everyone should strive for a career in tech, because that’s just not true. What we will say is that you have the chance to really empower yourself, in infinite ways when you learn to code and increase your digital know-how.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

I’ve made a conscious effort to challenge myself and old ways of being, behaving and doing. I’ve learnt the power of no (more often a quiet “no” to myself when I’m not sticking to my values) and the power of not pushing through when things are stuck. Sometimes, things aren’t moving for a reason. I’ve learnt to listen to that. This means we have true north for ourselves and our business. We strive to only do what is right for our customers, and if we’re getting feedback signals that something isn’t working – we change it. We don’t try to push through it. We stop, reflect and change course.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

You can’t do it all yourself and, you really don’t need to! Prior to Meeum, I genuinely believed I had to figure it all out myself. Not because I thought I was the smartest person in the room, but because I didn’t want to bother anyone or ask for help. My advice to aspiring founders, especially women is – ask for help, ask for inputs, ask for connection. The most meaningful and lovely things occur when you do this. People love to help, I know I do. It’s part of what makes us human. Oh – and do that thing sooner. Don’t let any self-limiting hogwash hold you back. Do that amazing thing the world is calling you to do.

 

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Jodi Geddes and Kate Pollard, Founders of Circle In

1. Tell us about yourself and your business? 

Circle In is a Melbourne-based start-up redefining the parental leave experience for working mothers and fathers. We launched a free website to support working mothers return to work with confidence in October 2017. In June 2018, we launched Circle In for Business to partner with progressive employers that want to positively impact their working parents. We have built an innovative Stay In Touch program that enables companies to truly support working parents. The response has been incredible and we now partner with forward-thinking companies including Medibank, L’Oréal and Cotton On Group. Based in Melbourne but working across Australia, we have a growing team that is passionate about driving real change. We have BIG plans for 2019!

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

As a startup, you are often nervous to put yourself out there and ask for something. Whether it be media, collaborations, investors or asking someone for a coffee.

We were given advice by a senior journalist early on who told us to not be afraid to ever ask the question. As she pointed out, what is the worst thing that could happen? They say no! And so, from that point we have not been afraid to put ourselves out there and ask for what we want or need. We have asked for everything including working with new partners, asking advisors or investors for a coffee, emailing CEOs directly, presenting new ideas to media, engaging collaborators and so on.

The impact it’s had is huge. It has enabled us to start new conversations we never thought possible. It has also given us confidence in so many ways. Not just confidence in our product and vision, but in ourselves personally.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

We don’t believe in hindsight and can honestly say the mistakes we have made, have enabled us to grow further as a team and as a business. It is the meetings you walk out of and think that you have totally ‘stuffed that up’, that then become a real turning point. It’s these moments that make you stop and re-think everything and move in a direction you never thought possible.

We often get asked this question but struggle to find that one big mistake. We have made so many mistakes but isn’t that how we all learn? We now instil this culture in our team and empower them to try new things. That’s the benefit of being a start-up! If it doesn’t work, at least we can say that we gave it a go!

 

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Jeanette Cheah, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Hacker Exchange

1. Tell us about yourself and your business?

Hi! I’m Jeanette Cheah, co-founder and chief strategy officer of The Hacker Exchange. We’re an EdTech company created to shake up entrepreneurial education for tertiary students in Australia and beyond. Our flagship program is an intense two weeks immersion in San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Singapore or Melbourne. Students incubate their startup ideas, learn future-ready skills from real-world experts – and also get academic credit towards their degree! We have partnerships with over 10 leading Australian universities and are about to run our ninth international program.

Before launching The Hacker Exchange with my co-founder, Bevis Cheng, in February 2017, I had a 14 year corporate career which involved building products, marketing and strategy at ANZ, AXA and Origin Energy. This all changed when I moved into innovation, retrained in UX at General Assembly, and discovered the amazing creative world of startups. I realised that I had business skills that could really help new founders succeed. Since then, I’ve had heaps of fun engaging with the female founder community, including the Like-Minded Bitches Drinking Wine and the League of Extraordinary Women, and even represented Australia at the G20 Young Entrepreneur Alliance in Argentina. It’s been a ride!

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

When I travelled to Tel Aviv with The Hacker Exchange earlier in the year, one of the mentors said something that really stuck with me. He talked about the concept of ‘social capital’ – which is recognising that your network and the people who you engage with socially have real, tangible economic value. I had never thought about networking in those terms before, and it really encouraged me to reexamine the way I build meaningful relationships, and how important these are for doing business – and for building the Hacker Exchange alumni community.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

Two things – don’t be a slave to perfection, and don’t get too distracted by shiny things.

As founders, we often hold ourselves to incredibly high standards, which can stop us from testing ideas with our market because of the fear of being embarrassed. This can slow us down and lead to spirals of internal conversations which go nowhere. Find the smallest, cheapest and safest way to test an idea with a real customer and just keep moving forward. Having a bias to action will serve you well.

Secondly – FOMO is real, especially in the startup world. In the early days, I got carried away with all the excitement and new ideas, which led me astray a couple of times. Focus on your customer, nail your market fit, and while it’s great to try new things occasionally and pivot when there is evidence to do so, try not to allow yourself to just get distracted. As I like to say, you can do ANYTHING… but not everything.

 

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Audrey Khaing-Jones, Co-founder and COO of GlamCorner

1. Tell us about yourself and your business?

My name is Audrey and I’m the co-founder and COO of GlamCorner. Founded in 2012, our mission is to revolutionise the way fashion is consumed by providing a smarter and more sustainable alternative that is better for our community and our environment.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

I’d say more and more people adopting the ‘access over ownership’ mindset. We are now sharing rides, accommodation; we can stream music, we can stream movies. And with GlamCorner, you can now access thousands of designer pieces at your fingertip on demand without having to commit to full ownership.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

I’ve made so many mistakes and it’s very hard to find just one. Every mistake taught me something valuable and it helped me grow. But if I have to give one advice, that’d be to hire the right person for the role. One wrong hire can really set you so behind.

 

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Olympia Yarger, Founder and CEO of Goterra

1. Tell us about yourself and your business?

My name is Olympia Yarger – founder and CEO of Goterra. We’re managing food and effluent waste, onsite in modular, mobile insect farms. I came from conventional agriculture originally, but spent some time away from the industry. When I tried to come back and buy a working farm, the barrier for entry was too high. So I started looking for alternative options which would keep me farming. And now I’m here.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

Having the courage to ask questions. All. The. Time. It can be easy to believe that because I started this business I should have all the answers. But I don’t. Worse, it can feel vulnerable and sometimes people lose faith in you because asking questions implies (sometimes) that you don’t know what you’re doing. So I’ve made it policy for myself and the team to ask anyone who will stand still long enough, what they would do in our position. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not sharing IP. It’s little fragmented things. An example, is we designed a new process which required an air compressor. I had to go to the local air supply store to get parts. But I had no idea what parts I needed. So I asked. Rob, who works there and who I didn’t know, got really into trying to figure out what worked. We were on the show room floor and he was running in the back for different nozzles and fittings.

He still doesn’t know what we’re using those bits and pieces for. But he called me the other day to tell me there was a new nozzle on the market that he thought would do a better job. Which it does. I can’t hire all the expertise I need. But I can gain access to it, by purposefully engaging with people who do.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

The biggest mistake I made was assuming that when I hit milestones, things would get easier, or I would somehow achieve some new sense of knowing. Unless you’ve built and exited a few startups all of this is going to be new and it’s all going to be a bit scary. So right now, if it came to starting another startup, sure, I’d be pretty ok. I know what that feels like. Growing one, scaling it, getting the right partnerships in the door – I’m not so confident on how that looks, what it feels like. And so I feel vulnerable and I worry if I’m doing it right. I can’t change those feelings. All I can do is make sure I have enough people who do know, and who believe in me and Goterra to assist. Everyone has a different role in getting Goterra to be a global leader in waste management. My job is not necessarily want ownership of all those parts. But to find the people who can help, who can take away some of the unknown, who knows what this looks like. Know yourself well enough to find others to fill expertise gaps you have, have compassion for yourself, for the epic task you’ve taken on, and don’t get too tied up in getting things wrong/not quite right. And lastly….. Push.

 

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Skye Blackburn, founder of Edible bug Shop

1. Tell us about yourself and your business?

My Name is Skye and I’m the founder of the Edible bug Shop, Australia’s first and largest edible insect farm. I am a food scientist and entomologist and have dedicated the past 10 years to helping grow the edible insect industry in Australia. I have a vertically integrated business, and have developed robotic technologies and artificial intelligence to help us farm insect proteins on a never before seen scale, at a price comparable to chicken. We also have a consumer brand, that helps introduce consumers to the value of edible insects by enriching foods they eat every day (like bread, yoghurt etc) with invisible insect proteins.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

I can’t do everything. I have learnt this year that by delegating some of the simple tasks I do everyday I can actually get more done. This has helped me grow the business, increase our monthly revenue by 375% in the past 6 month, and land a some big deals with Australian supermarkets. You’ll be seeing our insect protein products in Australian supermarkets within the next 3 months. I learnt this from being a part of the SproutX accelerator program in 2018 and it has been hugely beneficial for me and the growth of our company.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

Consumer education is the key to every new product. Spend the time and money making sure your target market know about you and why they should have/use you. Without this, moving forward to be able to make profits will be impossible.

 

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Jane Kou, Founder & CEO of Bring Me Home

1. Tell us about yourself and your business?

I’m the Founder & CEO of Bring Me Home. Bring Me Home is an online marketplace for excess food; we connect people to food retailers that have excess food to sell at a discount.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

I must say that the “Law of Attraction” from the book The Secret has been the most life-changing belief that has helped me change my habits and behaviours to achieve my goals. In a nutshell, the Law of Attraction says that everything & experience that comes to your life go through this magnetic power of your thoughts; so whatever you think, you will become & achieve. It took me years to learned how to harness this, and I’m proud to say that I’m starting to see it work. From wanting to start a business in my early 20s, to launching a product in the market, From getting into the Startmate Accelerator, and to getting funding. It’s been a crazy journey and I truly believe in the “Law of Attraction”.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

A mistake I’ve made is not starting a business earlier. I wish I had realised that being young and inexperience is not a bad thing at all. Being young means there’s lots of energy to be used up on a daily basis, more open to new learnings and experience, and more creative in general. So for any aspiring founders that have an idea they’d like to work on, don’t wait too long & don’t give yourself excuses, you’ll regret the things you don’t do (not the things you’ve done).

 

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Madeleine Grummet and Edwina Kolomanski, Co-founders of girledworld

1. Tell us about yourself and your business?

Madeleine Grummet and Edwina Kolomanski are the CoFounders of girledworld, an edtech startup engaging with some of the world’s biggest tech companies to equip teenage girls with the real-world skills they need to thrive in the Future of Work.

girledworld design and deliver large-scale education Summits, are building a global World of Work digital platform for students to give them access to the stories, role models and skills they need to lead and succeed in their future careers, and in 2019 are launching a book for teenagers called You Are Not Your Face featuring powerful stories from girls across the planet.

Research shows the next Gen will have up to 17 jobs across 5 different careers, which means in the future we’re going to see a nation of portfolio freelancers competing in a fractured and hyper-competitive global marketplace where transferrable21st century skills will be the valuable hiring and trading currency. Jobs for life will be gone, and we will see technology, automation and the exponential democratisation of digital opening out whole new value chains, efficiencies and marketplaces and as a result the traditional workforce disrupting rapidly. So what we do is ready girls for that world by giving them the skillsets, mindsets and access to knowledge they’ll need to bridge the gap between education, industry and the future workforce.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

What we believe is that we really need to turn the diversity dial up right now.

Because despite the rhetoric and politicking and discourse, we keep seeing systemic inertia, inaction and incompetence when it comes to actioning real change. What’s getting in the way is the calcification of our status quo. People fixed in their ways. And it’s these old ways of work and fear-based waterfall power structures that prevent the changes we need to see, create toxic cultures and hold companies back from the innovation and human mindset shifts they really need to implement to survive in a new age of work.

If we really want to move to new ways of work and cultivation of a diverse, open, representative marketplace, then we need to do work that stays human, avoids short-termism, puts customers at the centre of value creation and actually makes sense for the planet.

In our work across innovation we’re lucky enough to see inside the spaces and think tanks of some of the most agile businesses in the world. They don’t work the way most people do, and it’s why they get shit done and stay ahead. And what’s clear is that you need the right people mix. People make companies. And if you find the right ones, who are invested enough in the work they’re doing, they’ll do the best work of their life, whether it’s in a co-work space, the car on the side of the road, or in ripped pyjamas. The thing is, the 8-hour day is a hangover from times gone by. What we know is we can work shorter and so much smarter than that. It’s the time versus opportunity cost you need to weigh up.

At girledworld we know we can’t sit around and chew out time we don’t have. Time is your biggest trading currency at early stage startup. So our forced behaviour to is adopt an OODA tactic, an act not ask policy.

As Seth Godin so rightly said: “You can’t save up time. You can’t refuse to spend it. You can’t set it aside. Either you’re spending your time. Or your time is spending you.”

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

Don’t wait. And don’t ask for permission. Ask for forgiveness later. The people who change the world, even in small ways, are the ones who get shit done. And starting is the hardest part. Once you do, don’t look sideways. Focus, and execute. And use your time wisely. There’s a great quote from Annie Dillard and we use it in our everyday: “How we live our days is, of course, how we live our lives.”

Another bit is advice is don’t try and go it solo. We all need a pot of wisdom to draw from.

Make sure you find your mentors and know your tribe. People who get you, who back you, who are willing to let you think big and do big, and not box you in because the legacy of that relationship means they can’t cope with you rising. There is no point turning your lights down so others feel brighter around you.

We’re all for turning up the dial, pushing the bounds of what’s possible, even when you have no idea where the end destination is. Take the risks. Everything to gain. If not in currency, then invaluable lessons learned.

And invest in people. We have lots of interns and incredible young women who work with us who are just at the start of their journeys, who don’t have it all sorted (who does?), but what we see time and again is that reverse mentorship is where the greatest transference and rich perspective learning happens. Careers are never lateral. So like we tell the young people we work with, use the village. You’re going to need a lot of peeps from all walks along the way. If you want to go fast (and get really tired), go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

 

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Lucy Liu, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Airwallex

1. Tell us about yourself and your business?

Lucy is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Airwallex. Previously an investment consultant at the China International Capital Corp (CICC), China’s first joint venture investment bank, she is responsible for overseeing the ongoing business operations within Airwallex. After leaving CICC, Lucy was the Director of Hong Stone Investment Development Limited, a Hong Kong based investment company, where she designed and implemented their financial and operational strategy. She co-founded Airwallex in 2015 and was recently named one of Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30, Fintech Australia’s Female Fintech Leader for 2018, and one of Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneurs of the Year.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

In the last year, we have started to provide a more comprehensive onboarding experience for new starters. This ensured that everyone can become an engaged and effective member of the team. To give an example, as Airwallex has many smaller offices globally, we would start people from smaller offices at a bigger office (either Melbourne or Shanghai) to spend 2 weeks with the team before returning to their base office.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

Bring in in-house HR expertise early on to improve your hiring and general performance management. We didn’t have an HR till we were about 50-60 people, which was a little late. When your team is growing quickly, having someone dedicated to the recruitment process will ensure the best time management for people doing the interviews in addition to having a systematic way of finding the best people for your team. HR motivates the team to perform as well as maintains the company culture.

 

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Ayla Toyokawa, Founder of WEDSITES

1. Tell us about yourself and your business?

Ayla Toyokawa is the founder of WEDSITES, a project management platform on a mission to make the wedding planning process easier and more efficient by guiding couples through their planning journey.

She is also the co-founder of ThemeBoy, a creative studio specialising in developing website solutions to help sporting organisations create a professional online presence. ThemeBoy’s products are used by over a million athletes and sports fans worldwide.

When she’s not behind the computer screen, you’ll find Ayla spending time with her fiancé and their beautiful german shepherd.

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

I think there are a lot of us out there who can admit to being a perfectionist, I’m definitely one of them. While attention to detail is extremely important, I’ve realised that there is a fine line between making progress and delaying something just because you want it to be “perfect.”

In the early stages of a business, things are constantly changing and nothing is for certain. This past year I’ve really embraced the “strive for progress, not perfection” approach and have been focusing getting our products out there to get all the feedback I possibly can, and moving forward from there.

I’ve been throwing myself into new and uncomfortable situations where the end result is unknown, but this has really forced me to challenge myself and grow as an entrepreneur.

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

Don’t be afraid to say “no” and listen to your gut. When I was first starting out, I found myself saying yes to a lot of things that weren’t necessarily serving my business because I was afraid of the lost opportunity or coming across as being rude.

While I think it’s important to get the experience you need to succeed, founders need to be mindful of how they are managing their time and what they are saying yes to. If whatever you are saying “yes” to isn’t pushing you forward towards your goals, you might want to reconsider it. Especially if you have that gut feeling that it isn’t doing you any good. I’ve gotten myself into awkward situations by not drawing boundaries and saying no when I should have.

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Toni-Marie Aston, Founder of 2aT Startup 

1. Tell us about yourself and your business?

My name is Toni-Marie Aston and I am the fortunate Founder of 2aT Startup, we help bring daydreams to life.

I launched 2at Startup almost 3 years ago with a mission to become an accessible creative agency and supportive platform for innovative and creative Startups.

We have now successfully helped over 100 startups grow through our digital and design services and educated them through our consults, speaking opportunities and workshops.

I love what I do and whilst my skills are branding and marketing based, my passion is supporting small businesses through the power of storytelling and education.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

I believe the first 2-3 years of running a business is all about trial and error, I’ve really learnt over the past year that i need to think like a big business in order to become one. So the two biggest benefits to my business lately have been to learn how to make the business run without me and to support this it was about the importance of having a good team and more than one income stream for the business and in particular, having consistent subscriptions to secure month to month income, instead of spending time hunting and marketing for once off sporadic projects.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

My biggest mistake was not making more mistakes earlier on. I played it safe, in order to be making mistakes, you must be taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone.  Mediocre businesses don’t survive, it’s the ones that are willing to take the risks that make it.

Be your own cheerleader.

 

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Sheree Rubinstein, Founder and CEO of One Roof

1. Tell us about yourself and your business?

My name is Sheree Rubinstein, Founder and CEO of One Roof, leading co-working space dedicated to women-led businesses. Much more than a co-working space, One Roof is a movement. By setting up world class co-working hubs dedicated to women-led businesses in major cities around Australia, we are on a mission to be the driving force that puts Australia on the map as the #1 destination in the world to be a female entrepreneur.

 

2. In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?

I have discovered that with the right balance of curiosity and persistence anything is possible. Persistence has helped me push through the constant rejection, set backs and obstacles. I believe it’s at the point where many people give up that a successful entrepreneur continues to persist. Curiosity reminds me that while persisting we often need to test, observe, listen, ask for constant feedback, fail and tweak our ideas according to what the market is telling us. It reminds me to always put the customer at the heart of everything we do. One Roof’s success is built on honing in on a specific niche and truly understanding our customers’ needs.

 

3. If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be and why?

Thinking that I can do it all myself. The most successful entrepreneurs build a team of people who have the capacity and intellect to carry the business, outsource the skills and expertise they do not have and have a tribe of mentors, investors, advisors, friends and a network of people who support, empower, teach and elevate them to success. I am sure I could work it all out on my own eventually but there is no way to move with speed, scale effectively and have significant impact alone. Relationships are crucial to success. They take time to nurture and should be seen as a long term and meaningful investment. People have opened doors for me that have been integral to the growth and success of One Roof.

 

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