A bit about you and your business what is your big WHY?
For a very long time I have worked on all sides of the fence with strategic and marketing partnerships with big scale loyalty programs in banking & airline and back in 2000 I saw the power of companies partnering up in a marketing and strategic capacity. Especially smaller companies like Rose Only, red balloon, efragrance & direct wine etc. and saw the results and growth they had in their businesses they just couldn’t have achieved alone.
As a solo mum I realised to reach our full potential we don’t have all the resources ourselves so I really believe you need to have the right partners. What we do is help businesses to find the right partners and build the partnership capability to make them successful.
What gave you the inspiration to start your business?
It was a catalyst to begin with when I had an opportunity to build a partnership with a University. Who I worked for at the time wasn’t innovative or nimble enough to see the potential. So I joined forces with one of the most successful female entrepreneurs who used to run one of the biggest loyalty-marketing agency in the Asia Pacific. I took a leap of faith and things were not as scary as I had a partner and financial backing to go and start my own business.
What has been the biggest challenge for you being a mum in business? How did you overcome that? How do you manage your time while juggling the business, family and your relationship?
Trying to have it all at the same time. Trying to juggle the demands of being a mum and trying to juggle the demands of having a business. Both require a lot of energy, resources, and focus. You learn to give yourself permission to say NO. You fear missing out and need to stop feeling guilty and realise that everything is not urgent and you must get your priority right. Its challenging but having right people around you and having your priorities really clear is essential.
What’s the turning point for you in your business to create your success?
Getting real was really important. In early days you think you can get the success super fast, much faster then others and reality is…it just takes time.
You need to

  1. Don’t work with anyone you don’t trust. Listen to your gut and includes clients. Don’t be afraid to be astute businessperson.
  2. Invest in a good contract. Don’t trust that people are just going to do the right thing.
  3. Fire shitty clients and partners immediately (both personally and professionally). Use the Small Business Ombudsman if you need assistance.

What’s your typical day like?
5-7.15am            My first work shift
7.30-8.30            Cook organic hot brekkie for my kids & drop them off to school
9.30-3pm            Work
3.30pm                School pick up and spend some time together before I do few more hours of work
Early evening      Crossfit
9.30pm                Bedtime
No TV or Facebook on phone. I discovered it wasn’t that important to be that connected all the time.
What’s the one thing you would have done differently?
Learn when to invest and when to pull out in business. Do your due diligence on people just like you would if your were dating someone. Also remember there are no mistakes so don’t beat yourself up. Listen to your gut!
Do you think it’s easier or harder to be a mother now than when you were raising our family?
There are pros and cons to both. If I were a fulltime mum or a childless fulltime employee I’d go nuts. Having work and kids has been great.
What was your scariest moment?
The first few times I went through cash flow strain. You start chewing into your nest egg.  I had no money to put in my super. You need to be unemotional about business. You learn its part of business, you learn to ride the waves and that it’s going to be ok.
What was the proudest moment?
It’s actually happening now. I’m in final stage negotiations to rollout our course into Universities business school. I get a bit teary (good tears) when clients have a big win through their partnerships and take their businesses through these partnerships.
What do you believe to be the top qualities or traits of highly successful people?
A relentless drive to succeed. You need to have the attitude of abundance. There is plenty for everyone to go around. You don’t need to have your fingers in lots of pies. Just stay focused. The most successful people I know are really niched and really focused in an area of business.
 3 best tips for mums in business?

  1. Work out your No#1 priority and being firm on that!…Be relatively inflexible
  2. Look after your health both mental and physical. Eat well and be physically active. Make sure your looking after yourself first.
  3. Put the right people around you. You can’t know everything so find people you trust and aligned with are really going to support the growth of your business. Be honest with yourself. Is their a market for this, do I need to pivot my business. Don’t flog a dead horse!

About me?
I have two boys, one in primary and one finishing up high school and I have a much younger partner. Was completely unexpected! We ran out reasons not to be together other then our age gap. We have been together a few years now and it’s a good partnership. We complement each other and he is fantastic with the boys despite his youth.
My business
At Partner2Grow we have 6-step system to help businesses to prepare partnership case building. We teach a strategic process and provide a community to assist people to find partnerships t grow their business. You can find out more on www.partner2grow.com
What is your biggest dream?
Realise the full vision and potential of the business. To be in a position to step back and not be in the driving seat all the time. I would love to take a gap year with my eldest when he finishes school and travel around whether that’s here or overseas. I can’t wait to develop our property more as it’s my sanctuary so the boys have a man cave. Just enjoy more of life.
If you weren’t doing this job what would you do instead?
I would definitely teach business.
The most significant influence in my working career is?
Kim Harding was the founder of Pin Point Marketing. I worked with her from 22yrs till my early thirties. She was an amazing woman to work with and for and really shaped my career. She had a strong tribe and built an amazing organisation.
My advice
I call entrepreneurship the Gold Rush of the modern day. There are low barriers to entry and we are sold the laptop lifestyle on social media a lot and it looks easy. Don’t believe everything you hear, as there are plenty of people with over inflated marketing campaigns and stories. Do your research and go off referrals. Just remember the people who made all the money in the gold rush era were the people selling the tools not the people who were looking for the gold J
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Simone Novello is Managing director at Partner2Grow speacialising connecting the right partners, the right way for growth and resilience for over a decade. www.partner2grow.com
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