Week 24 – Kate Bracks


Introducing Kate Bracks

A note from Kerrie Phipps – I first met Kate in Dubbo after her MasterChef win and did a 58 second video with her. We’ve spoken together since at International Womens Day 2012 and every conversation I have with Kate is a joy.

Kate Bracks

Kate Bracks

Kate Bracks Is a passionate foodie who enjoys talking about food, cooking food and eating food – and feels very privileged to be able to do so. With the encouragement and support of her family, Kate auditioned for MasterChef and became the 2011 Winner, a journey Kate describes as “one of the best things I’ve ever done and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done – a steep but enjoyable learning curve”.

Kate has since traveled all over Australia (and recently India) doing cooking demo’s and public speaking and created The Sweet Life (a must-read/play with book for the sweet-tooth foodie). She has also cooked with local Hatted Chef’s in her home town of Orange, NSW. The adventure continues…

Conversation between Kerrie and Kate Bracks:

How do you love to explain what you do?

The best way to describe it is as contract work. I do lots of different bits and pieces. Some of it is in the media, in advertising, cooking locally, in food festivals, in traveling around doing cooking demonstrations and public speaking. So it’s lots of little things.

What’s next in the exciting world of Kate Bracks?

My biggest excitement at the moment – I’m looking at building a business where I cook deserts and cakes and sell them through various local outlets like shop fronts or food markets and also taking special orders. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the kitchen a bit more.

Kate Bracks KitchenWhat’s a significant challenge you’ve faced & how did you approach it?

The biggest challenge was MasterChef itself – being away from the family and being put under incredible pressure to perform. The way I coped with it was to take each day as it came and break each day down into smaller pieces. In some ways life continues to be like that sometimes because of the nature of contract work, it can get very overwhelming at times because there’s a lot going on. So, I just have to take each step at a time, and take each day as it comes and gradually get through the week.

What did you learn about yourself in the process?

I learned I could actually cope with a lot more than I thought I could. I think when you are pushed outside your comfort zone and pushed beyond where you would normally push yourself, you realise you can do more than you think you can. That’s probably one of the biggest things I learned about myself.

Who are your greatest supporters?

Definitely my immediate family. My husband Luke has been an incredible support all the way through the entire journey for me. Never once has he complained or asked me not to do anything because it’s too hard for him. He just picks up where I leave off and carries on. The kids are really encouraging and supportive – they love hearing about what I’ve done. And I have some very supportive friends and family who help with child minding and praying for me and my family.

Kate Bracks Farm

Kate Bracks collects local produce to use.

Being a foodie in Orange is fantastic – I just love my town.  I love the local produce and being able to support local farmers by sourcing so many of my ingredients nearby.  I recognise that it is a unique opportunity which allows me to do a lot of work from home enabling me to undertake my favourite role …  being a mum.

How has the increasing success of your business impacted your personal/family life?

The biggest change has been from a full-time stay-at-home mum to a full-time working-mum. The impact on family time is the biggest challenge.  I try to squish my work into school hours, with varying degrees of success. When work is very busy I just have to juggle and try not drop any of the balls!

Contact Details
Kate Bracks
Website – www.katebracks.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/KateBracks
Twitter – www.twitter.com/kate_bracks



Week 22 – Nicola Davis


Introducing Nicola Davis

A note from Kerrie Phipps – I connected with Nicola and her fabulous difference-making world through social media and her passion jumped off the page. Nicola has made some brave decisions and I’m delighted that she’s shared some insights with us here. Enjoy!

Nicola Davis

Nicola Davis

Nicola Davis juggles family, her business, cycling and being a local Councillor on a daily basis. This UK born 33 year old has lived in South Africa and in England and now calls Australia home. She studied in England specializing in Conservation.

Nicola and her husband Paul moved to Australia in 2005 because of the  healthier outdoor lifestyle and numerous opportunities on offer. They started their bicycle and café business in 2009, and have two young girls. In 2012 Nicola was chosen by Cycling Victoria to receive training to encourage more women cycling. In that same year Nicola ran for local Council as she saw a need for fair representation of young families and small businesses in the region.

What makes your business story unique?

Our bike & coffee shop is unique in the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne. The driver for opening up a bike shop, was my husbands passion with cycling, and the fact we could live close to work. I had been spending ninety minutes commuting to work.

What do you love about business and life in Whittlesea?

Nicola and Paul Davis

Nicola and Paul Davis

Living and working in the same community is great, we can make good partnerships with other local family businesses. We are able to learn from and support one another. I easily integrate my social interactions with the community to try and assist them as a Councillor and a local mum. Being a Councillor I can advocate for better bike lanes and connections for active sustainable transport too.

How did you move from dreamer to achiever?

It takes guts to take a leap of faith that your dreams can come true. With lots of hard work and determination, ideas can come alive. My turning point was two years ago after the birth of my second child, where it was either pick myself up, skill up and grab every opportunity for our business, or just give up and be a depressed housewife.

What does success mean to you personally?

Success for myself is not particularly money. I mean money does help, but it’s the sense of helping a community, and in our little way we are helping people to choose a healthier alternative transport. We are getting dads and mums riding with their families, taking time out and enjoying the environment. Our goal is to make sure the customer is comfortable so they will want to ride time and time again.


Labour Treasurer Wayne Swan,Nicola Davis, Rob Mitchell Lab Fed MP, Mayor of Whittlesea Rex Griffin

How does your business contribute to your community?

We are very community focused. We run female specific rides and workshops to encourage women to break down the barriers of cycling. We assist through donations and teaching lessons with the local youth and adult immigrant programme. We sponsor local cyclists, male, female, young and old. And we donate prizes to the local primary school ‘Ride to School’ event.

What inspired you to run for Local Council?

ride at the parkMid last year, I saw a few newspaper ads encouraging younger women to consider running for local government elections, and I just came under the thirty-five year old bracket. Funnily enough that same week I had a maternal health nurse appointment for my youngest, and spoke to the nurse about possibly running and what ‘things’ did he want to see changed.  Wow I had opened the flood gates! The nurse just spouted out a lot of facts about family violence, drug and alcohol abuse all due to isolation and mortgage stress of our young families. So I said to myself ‘someone needs to stand up for these families and issues, and I guess I’m it!’.  Not everyone has to be so radical though and make life changing decisions like this, I encourage others that if they see an challenge or opportunity, to form a group of like minded people to understand and tackle the issue using their collective resources. The voice of many is more powerful than one!

Contact Details

Name: Nicola Davis
Role: Business Partner
Business:  Bike n Bean
Address Shop 5, 797 Plenty Rd,
South Morang, Victoria
Phone 03 9437 8501
Website: www.bikenbean.wordpress.com



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Week 15 – Dale Beaumont


Introducing Dale Beaumont

Kerrie and Dale at a New Rules Of Business Event

Kerrie and Dale at a New Rules Of Business Event

A note from Kerrie Phipps – I’ve learned SO much from Dale over the years. He was 25 when we first met and he got me started on the internet, doing videos, and writing books – Dale we thank you again! So I am delighted to share some of Dale’s more recent experiences and as always, quality thoughts on life and business.

Dale Beaumont is one of Australia’s most successful young entrepreneurs. Having built three $1-million dollar businesses before the age of 30, today Dale’s the founder and CEO of “Business Blueprint”, Australia’s fastest growing business education company.

Dale is also the author and publisher of 16 best-selling books, which have collectively sold over a quarter of a million copies. Incredibly, 11 of those 16 books were published in a single year, a feat that earned him the title “Australia’s Most Prolific Author”.

As a result of Dale’s success, he has been interviewed on Sunrise, Today Show, Mornings with Kerri-Anne, Ten News, ABC Radio, Radio 2UE as well as being featured in over 100 newspapers and magazines, including Wealth Creator, My Business Magazine, AFR Boss and Virgin’s In-flight magazine.

Outside of business Dale Beaumont has passion for educating teenagers. That’s why in 2001 he co-founded Tomorrows Youth International, which runs self-development programs for 13 to 21-year-olds across six countries. To date over 27,000 young people have now been impacted by the program he started.

Finally, but most importantly, Dale is a devoted family man. He’s married with two little boys.

The New Rules Of Business

Dale Beaumont

Dale Beaumont

How do you love to explain your business/enterprise to others?

My current business, which I started at the end of 2009 is called Business Blueprint. What it does is help business owners to increase their profits by helping them to better integrate technology into their business and implement more modern forms of marketing.

To grow the company and share my knowledge with as many people as I can, I run free events across Australia and New Zealand. Rather then taking up any more space here, if you are interested in finding out more, please visit: www.NewRulesOfBusiness.com.au

How did you move from dreamer to achiever?

Having interviewed a lot of successful business people myself, it’s amazing how many of them were showing signs of entrepreneurial flair before they could grow underarm hair. Like they had a paper run at the age of seven and by nine were employing five other friends. Or perhaps trading baseball cards, washing cars or picking strawberries – all at a very young age. I was not one of those people.

My youth was spent in the sport of gymnastics. While some might say the two (business and sports) are unrelated, for me it was the perfect training ground. Through sport I learnt about the importance of discipline and hard work, why you need to get good at and learn fundamentals, and how to motivate yourself when you’re feeling down. All things you need to have within you for business success. However, in my opinion, the most important thing I learnt from my sporting career was that it is critical to have a coach.

Blueprint With Dale and booksYou see, in sport you only have a window of time when you can perform at your peak physically. Normally (if you stay injury free) it’s around ten years. So the only way to compress 30 years worth of understanding into a more compact time is to have a coach. Basically someone outside of yourself that has taken hundreds of people through the process and created dozens of champions. So with a coach you are cutting 20 years off the learning curve and in the process saving untold amounts of time, money and effort.

For me when I finished school I worked in a job for around 9 months. Even though I enjoyed it, I discovered that there was only certain things I could do because someone else was calling the shots. I felt like my creativity and desire to succeed was being squashed. So what else was there to do but become my own boss and take matters into my own hands.

So, even though I didn’t have the makings of an entrepreneurial prodigy, I did have installed in me the other success factors mentioned above. Plus, because of my sporting background, I was now on the look out for ‘business’ coaches/mentors. And that was enough for me to get going.

What is your approach to marketing and how did you (or are you) becoming known?

Dale Business BlueprintThere are so many different approaches you can take to marketing. In fact, on my bookshelf I have a book titled 465 Ways To Market Your Business. The key though is to discover what are the best four or five methods for marketing your business. This takes some experimenting, but when you uncover what they are for you, it’s a wonderful thing.

Having said this, I think there is one marketing strategy that everyone should be using in their business. And that is strategic alliances and joint ventures. This is where you find businesses that share the same (or similar) customers to you, but you are not competing.

For example, if you are a hairdresser, complementary businesses might be; personal training, beauty clinics, massage centres and fashion boutiques, just to name a few.

You see, what do you think is easier, to go out and find 100 new customers one at a time? Or to find a business that is happy to tell their 100 customers about you all in one go?

Clearly not only is the latter much faster, but it’s more effective. Why? Because that other business is transferring the trust they have built up over many years to you. It’s called endorsed marketing and in my experience it is at least ten times more effective than marketing to cold prospects that have never heard of you before.

How does your business contribute to your community?

For the last 12 months we’ve been supporting several charities including Hands Across the Water. In fact I just recently returned from Thailand when I completed an 800km bike ride from Bangkok to Khao Lak. This was one of the toughest experiences of my life, but I am pleased to say we stuck it out and together with the other riders we raised over $1 million – with 100% of this money going directly to several orphanages this charity supports.

How has the increasing success of your business impacted your personal/family life?

Dale Beaumont Business BlueprintThe increasing success of Business Blueprint has had quite a positive impact on my personal and family life actually.

I’ve been building my business for 12 years and in the early days we had to make a lot of sacrifices and work most nights and weekends. However, if you work hard and smart over an extended period of time, the results will come.

While I love what I do and love working, my family comes first. So it’s always been top of mind as we’ve grown to ensure that we systematized everything to ensure that the business runs whether I’m here or not.

For me now I have stepped back from day to day duties. I still work hard but now I do it because I want to, not because I have to. And I focus today on things that will add more strategic value to the business.

I have a beautiful wife, Katherine and two young boys – Finn and Callan. We travel a lot – normally for between three and four months of the year. In fact my 5 year old son has now been to over 39 countries around the world. If you want to see some of the places we’ve been and the incredible experiences we’ve had, go to my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/dalejbeaumont) and check out the various photo albums.

In summary, business for me has been a wonderful journey. It’s created a great lifestyle for me and my young family, but more importantly it’s allowed me to grow personally and helped me become a better person. And there’s no price on that.

Dale Beaumont
Managing Director
Business Blueprint
Po Box 808
Newport Beach 2106
1300 782 734

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Week 12 – Rusty Russell


Introducing Rusty Russell

Rusty Russell

Rusty Russell

A note from Kerrie Phipps – I was delighted to meet Rusty last week after this fabulous nomination from his coach, Kristen Hansen. I can see immediately that Rusty’s eagerness to learn and connect with entrepreneurs and thought leaders is outstanding and it’s an honour to share his story here.

Kristen says – I’m proud to nominate Rusty because he is completely dedicated to his professional development and his company – a very fast growing business in regional NSW. He attended an Australian Institute of Management course on managing leading and developing people. He then engaged in executive coaching to develop his leadership skills. His attitude and results are exceptional.

Rusty Russell is the founder of Double R Heavy Equipment Repairs based in Mudgee and services additional regions including Dubbo, Gunnedah and the Hunter Valley. Driven by a good challenge Rusty has thrived on his journey to date including an agricultural upbringing, taking on an apprenticeship with (then) NSW Caterpillar dealer Gough and Gilmour and winning apprentice of the year. He then continued his career with six years of overseas work and travel in PNG, Europe and South America. Rusty considers mastering the Spanish language as one of his highest achievements along with being a country kid and adding surfing to his abilities.

Developing and growing Double R from a one man operation to a team of forty personnel over the past seven years since returning from overseas has been the latest chapter in this adventure story.

1. How do you love to explain your business to others?

Once I get past the services that we offer all owners of earth moving equipment, I love to expand on what makes us who we are. That is clearly our TEAM.

With a staff retention rate well above the industry average, our Company is more than just myself. We have a team of dedicated supervisors, leading hands, senior technicians and trades people who consistently surprise our clients and competitors with their enthusiasm and commitment.

Building this team, creating opportunities and enabling our people to develop is the greatest part of being involved with Double R.

2. Who are your greatest supporters?

Definitely my wife Kate, who I have been fortunate to share many adventures along the way from traveling through eastern Europe, working in Peru, developing Double R and raising two gorgeous daughters.

3. What do you love about doing business from your regional location?

From world wide experience I can say with confidence that Mudgee is one of the best places to live and work in the mining industry.

Double R Heavy Equipment Repairs team.

Double R Heavy Equipment Repairs team.

4. How did you move from dreamer to achiever?

I don’t really think of myself as an achiever, yet I do agree we have come a long way. The fact that we still have a long way to go holds back my thoughts on achievement. Though I am getting better at celebrating the successes along the way.

You cannot achieve without the dream in the first place. You can’t expect to say “Wow I made it!” without some idea where it was that you wanted to go.

All of the major steps in my journey to date have resulted from stepping out of my comfort zone. This has always come relatively easily to me with a natural thirst for adventure combined with being fiercely independent thanks to my upbringing.

5. What do you believe are the essential qualities or attributes of a successful person?

Integrity – I believe this counts. I hope I am not proved wrong as my journey continues.

6. What does success mean to you personally?

Our successes to date provide myself and our team a platform to build upon for our next opportunities.

I recall that most of my first 3 – 4 years in business was a mix of night shifts, weekends and constant exhaustion. Now with the support of our team on common goals I have rediscovered a drive for self-development. I have the opportunity to make the time to absorb knowledge through reading, attending courses when I can or listening to audio books. The Australian Institute of Management has a great selection.

The control I now have over my time provides great opportunities. It is not helpful to be so busy you can’t think on a big scale or meet an important person on short notice.

It’s not that I am not busy, I am just busy in better areas than earlier on.

7. What plans do you have to expand your business further?

Our immediate expansion plans include the construction of our purpose built workshop in Mudgee. A facility of this size and capacity will be a first for our region and will support our clients and teams in Dubbo, Gunnedah and elsewhere.

The work shop construction program during 2013 will not inhibit other growth options. An entrepreneurial mind set and keeping an eye for opportunity will remain a key driver for myself and the Company.

Contact Details
Name: Rusty Russell
Role: Managing Director
Business Name: Double R Heavy Equipment Repairs
Address: PO Box 1051, Mudgee NSW 2850
Phone: 02 63 733 735
Website: www.dblr.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Double-R-Heavy-Equipment-Repairs/

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Week 11 – Kahlia Ericson


Introducing Kahlia Ericson.

A note from Kerrie Phipps – I first met this lovely young champion online after Michael & Jane Pelusey featured Kahlia and me in their Live Your Passion book series (People and Performance). Kahlia lived in WA at the time and has since moved to Sydney, where I was delighted to meet her last year. I love her big thinking, generous heart and adventurous spirit.

Jane nominated Kahlia with this comment “When we interviewed Kahlia she was going thru the process of working out what she wanted to do. She discovered it and created her business around that. Such dedication and so driven for a young person. She now is an amazing event manager.”

Kahlia Ericson

Kahlia Ericson

Kahlia Ericson started her first business at the young age of 23. Armed with passion, determination and the need to do something scary and exciting with her life! Kahlia took one step at a time towards her dream and now four years later she is Managing Director of Spencer Conferences & Events, sister company of Spencer Travel (Australia’s best Corporate Travel Agency).

Kahlia is on the road half of the year doing what she loves, leading teams while managing conferences & events. She has had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s greatest speakers and entrepreneurs. Kahlia has long term goals to expand internationally, working with some of Australia’s largest companies and of course the great leaders of the world.

Kahlia loves having beautiful Sydney as her home base and is constantly having fun, adventurous experiences within Australia and overseas. In 2011 Kahlia Ericson organized and lead a group to trek Everest Base Camp. It was one of the most challenging experiences she has ever had, but being able to help fundraise over $5000 for a school in Nepal made it all worth while. It has also sparked an interest for this type of adventure – Kahlia has plans to take groups to do The Kokoda Trail, Mt Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu raising money for a local charity each time.

Kahlia Ericson on Everest1. What makes your business/story unique?
Most people in business would understand that you go through many highs and lows but the lows always bring learning and positive change (if you allow it). I started a business as a young girl (only 23) which was one of the most challenging things I have ever done because it affected every area of my life. However I feel it has directly given me the opportunity to grow into an independent confident woman who now knows what I want and where I am headed in life. I have met so many amazing people along the way and am so grateful that I took that plunge!

2. How did you move from dreamer to achiever?
Through a series of circumstances I decided to quit my job and start my own business. During that time someone who played a big part in my life told me I would never be successful in business; this became a massive driving force for me to be great!

I also surrounded myself with amazing coaches and mentors who I will be forever grateful to for helping me. I think its easy to be a dreamer, everyone has a dream… but to be an achiever you have to work and work hard! You need to decide on what you want, sometimes being the hardest part, then take one step at a time towards that dream to make it come true.  I think being a Gen Y has helped me a lot as I normally decide on something I want and want it “now” so I’ll do what it takes to make it happen.

3. What are the most important things you’ve done to grow your business?

  1. Surrounding myself with great mentors and coaches who guide me to make decisions and kept me on track to achieve all that I set out to achieve.
  2. Constantly work on the business, not just in it.
  3. Continually build relationships with people, most of my success in business has come from people referring me.

Kahlia Skydive4. What is your approach to marketing and how did you (or are you) becoming known?
When I started my business I had no idea about marketing. I was extremely lucky because through word of mouth I created a great following. Now knowing a lot more I still believe word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing because the people who are referred to you already have a level of interest and trust in you and your product or service.

5. What do you love about doing business from your location?
I love that I get to live in Sydney (the greatest city on earth), while still traveling the world (one of my highest values) visiting great places and meeting great people.

Name: Kahlia Ericson
Role: General Manager
Business Name: Spencer Conferences & Events Pty Ltd
Phone: (02) 8264 7883
Mobile: 0427 447 711
Website: www.spencerce.com.au
Facebook: kahliaericson

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Week 9 – Elise Brown


Introducing Elise Brown.

A note from Kerrie Phipps –

Elise was nominated by someone who is inspired by her story, and I loved it too. Young people in regional areas are an asset to their community and it’s exciting to hear about new and growing businesses that attract positive attention and recognition nationally and internationally.  This was the note with Elise’s nomination –

“Elise bought her first business, Fair Dinkum Dog Coats, aged 19.  Despite her young age she has proven to be a discerning business woman showing great courtesy to her customers, an incredible skill in making quality dog coats, and marketing them Australasia wide via a website.” – Anon

Elise Brown Regional Achievers Award

Elise Brown 2010 Regional Achievers Award

When 19 year old Elise Brown saw the opportunity to buy Fair Dinkum Dog Coats  in 2007 she jumped at the chance. She then bought her second business Midland Pet Supplies at the age of 20.
Elise ran both businesses until October 2012 when she sold the pet shop to be a mother to Monique born on September 4th 2012.
Since becoming self employed in 2006 Elise Brown has won a major award called the Regional Achievers award (2010), married, purchased a house, was invited to Government house to meet the Queen and had a baby and all by the age of 25.

Fair Dinkum Dog Coats

How did you get started in business at 19?

I’ve always had ideas, always dreaming of doing something new, but without my nan and pop’s financial support, and mum and dad’s advice, and grandma and grandpa’s loan of a work space to get me started, it just wouldn’t have happened. And, yes, I did pay my nan and pop back!

I love animals and have never been without a couple of dogs at the door and some horses in the paddock to ride. I love working with my hands and I’ve always been keen to have a go at making things. I got my first sewing machine for my 13th birthday so I could make my own saddle blankets. School was great but all I wanted to do was work with horses. My first jobs were at the Sutton Grange thoroughbred racing stables and then at Boomerang Ranch in Daylesford as a trail ride assistant. I loved both these experiences but fast realized that it was tough working in the outdoors all year round. I always wanted to be my own boss one day. When a family friend advised that she was retiring and looking to sell her part time business I was immediately interested and thanks to my family’s help, I became the proud owner of Fair Dinkum Dog Coats in 2007.

Who are your greatest supporters?

Fair Dinkum Dog Coats RoxyBy far my greatest supporters have been my family, who financed me in both businesses and were great for bouncing ideas off. My grandmother has been amazing letting me take over her sewing shed and training me as a machinist. Grandma was trained at Emily McPherson and taught sewing. My grandfather will come into the sewing room and demand that I take a break, which is so helpful because I would just keep going some days until my body is in agony.

My mother travels Australia as a speaker / lecturer teaching public speaking, grant writing and encouraging young entrepreneurs and it’s no surprise she has been a huge supporter to me and my businesses. My husband has been supportive by helping me with anything physical like unloading a truck or delivering stock and he has been very understanding when I’m too busy to do anything else other than work.

Owning a business has been both a scary and an exciting time for me. I’ve come to appreciate how much hard work it is and I’m also very grateful for the support and advice given to me by other much more experienced business owners.

Describe a significant challenge you’ve faced. What learning can you share?
I learned a very big lesson in backing up my work when I had my laptop stolen from the shop and had to re-do 6 months of bookwork as I had not made a copy. I now back-up regularly!

Elise Brown - Coat Fitting

Elise Brown – Coat Fitting

What do you love about doing business from your regional location?
I now have a young baby, Monique. During the day I can work on Marketing my business and taking orders. I then make the coats when my husband comes home from work and can look after Monique while I sew or I take her with me and my grandparents (her great grandparents) look after her as my sewing shed is on their property.
Castlemaine is a great place to live and be a young person in business. Our community is made up of people who love hand made products and they love to support young people in business.

I am also surrounded by family and friends, most of which live within 5 minutes of my house and sewing shed.

I can’t help but smile when I come across a dog wearing one of my coats. It is a great feeling.

What are the most important things you’ve done to grow your business?
Definitely getting online. I now receive orders from all over the world. The facebook page has also increased my sales. I think my website is so successful because it is kept simple and personal. People realize that they are dealing with an actual person when they are purchasing from me.

What does success mean to you personally?
To me success = happiness. My business makes me happy as it allows me flexibility with my family and gives self worth.

Name: Elise Brown (nee Anderson)
Role: Owner
Business Name: Fair Dinkum Dog Coats
Address: PO Box 699 Castlemaine Vic 3450
Phone: 0438706302
Email: info@fairdinkumdogs.com.au
Website: www.fairdinkumdogs.com.au

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Week 7 – Evan O’Brien


Introducing Evan O’Brien

A word from Kerrie Phipps – Inventors fascinate me. I love the way they solve problems with creative solutions. It was great to meet Evan at the National Field Days last year, and catch up with his savvy-marketing and all ’round inspiring brother Daniel, who I’ve had the privilege of knowing for a few years now. It’s so cool to see where their collaboration is taking them. Enjoy their story – and please share!

Comments by their nominator included – “Daniel and Evan recognise both their own and their partners strengths and work with their strengths. They walk with vision, possess passion, maintain focus, have a strong work ethic, and operate with integrity in all areas. They live with a positive attitude in all circumstances and demonstrate that faith is action.

Evan O'Brien - Chicken Caravan Inventor

Evan O’Brien – Chicken Caravan Inventor

Evan O’Brien is 29 years old and is married with 2 young children, after serving in the Australian Army for 6 years he returned back to his home town and place birth Wauchope NSW, a short time after being back home his young brother Daniel asked if he could design a movable chicken shed. 2 years on Evan is the Managing Director of Chicken Caravan Poultry Supplies, running a full time workshop and continually doing research and development into sustainable farming poultry systems.

What do you love about doing business from your location?

I enjoy the lifestyle living close to the beach and state forests and yet we are just 1 hour flight to Sydney or Brisbane. Its a great place to bring up the kids.

What are the most important things you’ve done to grow your business?

Putting good systems into place and having a good management in place to work the systems.

How does your business contribute to your community?

We employ locals and over 80% of our suppliers are with in 15km of us so we are supporting other local businesses.

Kerrie Phipps with Daniel and Evan O'Brien at Orange Field Days where they won "Farm Inventor Of The Year".

Kerrie Phipps with Daniel and Evan O’Brien at Orange Field Days where they won “Farm Inventor Of The Year 2012”.

What does success mean to you personally?

A balanced lifestyle and helping others.

What do you believe are the essential qualities or attributes of a successful business person?

Being Proactive – if you are not adapting to change you will be left behind. You also need a great mindset – believe in what you are doing. Management – be on top of the important and the urgent tasks on a daily and weekly basis, make sure you are running the business not the business running you. Marketing – you can have a great mindset and good management but if you can’t sell your product or service you will still fail; you need to be marketing and always measuring your results.

Chicken Caravan

Happy Chickens

Our main marketing tool is Youtube as our product is not easy to explain over the phone and a picture just does not do it justice. We decided to make videos explaining the features and benefits of our product and show people how it works. Our videos have made us thousands of dollars and opened us up to global markets.


Name – Evan & Daniel O’Brien
Business Name – Chicken Caravan Poultry Supplies
Mobile – 0412 993 018
Website – www.chickencaravan.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/chickencaravan
Youtube – www.youtube.com/chickencaravan


Week 6 – Grace Mills


Introducing Grace Mills

A word from Kerrie Phipps “I’m so excited to introduce Gracie to you, although to many she needs no introduction. I met Gracie in Sydney in June 2012 and my world has more colour and possibilities in it since 🙂 I love her father’s version of a bio for Gracie, especially the line “…if we had 100 more like her we may very well change the world in a profound and lasting way.” I hope Gracie’s story inspires you and cheers you on. Connect with her and cheer her on too…

Samuel nominated Gracie with these words – “There is only one way to sum up Grace. She is a Gun. Anything You throw at her she takes in her stride, no matter how big or challenging it is. While still only 22 she can sit in a boardroom and talk with top CEO’s, very comfortably persuading them to make better choices in their businesses.”

Grace Mills

Having left Albury for New York at 17 after becoming a certified drama queen and appearing in several New York performances, Grace’s destiny would lead her into corporate America. In the space of two years she came to lead a company on the cutting edge of neurological communication within Marketing, Advertising and Branding. Prior to returning to Australia, Grace also achieved considerable success in Real Estate.

Grace’s previous experience and knowledge culminate in her current role of creating global digital marketing strategies for clients. She now is an Online Marketing specialist with Think big online providing digital marketing solutions and implementation to grow businesses by making sure they have a comprehensive strategy to ensure the highest return on investment.

A word from her father (A successful entrepreneur in the USA, originally from Albury, NSW) “Upon her arrival in the United States of America, after she compulsively obtained the lead role in two high profile theatrical productions in Times Square’s Broadway district, I assigned her a company to run in Manhattan. After a thorough 12 days of initiation and acclimation to what some consider the focal point of global commerce. Grace Mills, my child, totally and completely cast aside all preconceived ideas, procedures and methods in favor of the grander plan.  She established a pirate like attitude to competitors and those in positions of authority in the great city of New York and proceeded to change the way real estate is transacted, a practice firmly established over the past 100 years.

Grace Mills young achieverNot content to have just upset the wealthiest people of influence on the planet, Grace went on to manipulate my companies to her own devices and I can only say at this time thank God she has temporarily returned to Australia because although I hate to admit it, I was having trouble keeping up.

I can say in closing, before the little sassy pants hussy takes the stage, that Grace is a very naughty girl with no respect for historic methodology and if we had 100 more like her we may very well change the world in a profound and lasting way.”

1.    Who are your greatest supporters.

My friends and family. Whenever I come up with a ridiculous or far fetched idea they are always there by my side cheering me on. Some nod and smile and some say “Sure I would love to start a nightclub with you on the moon! Great idea.” Not even the sky is the limit.

2.     Describe a significant Business challenge you have faced. How did you approach it, what did you learn?

Being young and in business has always been a challenge, especially in New York Real Estate and dealing with big corporations like CBS television. I found myself over compensating and pretending to know everything so people wouldn’t judge me on my age. Then I realized it’s better to admit that you don’t know everything but are willing to learn!

Grace at Key Peroon Of Influence

Daniel Priestly and Grace Mills

3.     How did you move from being a dreamer to achiever?

I have never been one to dream something and not go for it. I am the kind of person that once I have an idea in my head you can only try and stop me from doing it. I am not saying that I have achieved every dream I have ever had but I have given most of them a good crack!

4.     What does success mean to you personally?

I think the goalposts of success move during the journey toward success. Setting and achieving goals are some peoples perception of success but I think to me success means achieving happiness and satisfaction.

5.     How has the increasing success of your business impacted your personal/family life.

Sometimes it is very hard to balance work and personal life but I know that the people closest to me understand the importance of the success of the company to me and support me all the way. There have been times where I struggle to keep up with people as work can at times be all consuming but as long as I enjoy it, I don’t see a problem with that. If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. I like the saying work hard play hard, mainly because I think I do it quite well 🙂

Grace Mills
Online Marketing Specialist
Think Big Online
LG 3A 275 Alfred Street, North Sydney 2065
0412 091 539


Week 5 – Ben Myhill


Introducing Ben Myhill

A note from Kerrie Phipps “I’m delighted to introduce Ben Myhill, who’s an inspiring young man in our neighbourhood! And creator of fabulous food – including the best squid I’ve had anywhere 🙂
This nomination comes from a customer we met in the restaurant and he was delighted to share a few comments about Ben and his wife Amanda….

Both Ben & Amanda have inspired me to follow my dreams and make them a reality, I am sure their path hasn’t been easy but they still made success and high public opinion their primary achievement. They deliver excellent customer service, meal presentation and quality of food and staff. Ben & Amanda are genuine people who work hard and generously contribute to the community. Their success shows me that their character is one to learn from and to admire.” – Rod Winner

Ben Myhill

Ben Myhill was a local Tamworth man who left school in 2002 to pursue his passion for cooking. Ben started his career at 16 with the Tamworth originated Franchise sSs BBQ Barns as a kitchen hand. In 2002 this led to Ben commencing an apprenticeship, where he completed his goal of becoming a qualified chef.  It wasn’t long before he was offered the head chef position of sSs BBQ Barns Tamworth, the head restaurant of the Australian franchise. Ben assisted the franchise with supply and demand of franchise goods and often helped other stores to open their sSs BBQ Barns franchise. Ben managed the original site of sSs BBQ Barns up until November 2007 when the opportunity arose to take on a dream, to own his own restaurant. Ben and his wife Amanda took on the challenge and hit the ground running. Ben met his wife through school sports and his passion for the industry inspired Amanda to pursue a career in hospitality too. Ben and Amanda have no regrets in taking on such a challenge at a young age and have learned quite a lot from the challenges they have faced through out the years.

In May 2012 Ben created his own unique restaurant ‘The Lions Pride Restaurant’. It was an enormous leap from the support network of a franchise to a locally Family owned Restaurant, out in hospitality on his own but it was well worth all the blood, sweat and tears to achieve his long term goal in such a short period of time. This wouldn’t have been achieved without the support of his family, friends, and team, plus loyal supportive customers who Ben, Amanda and their two young daughters consider as friends.

Ben and his young family are happy to call Dubbo home, as they have both of their passions of hospitality/cooking and sport at their finger tips.

1. How do you love to explain your business to others? We love to talk about how we cater for everyone, families, business person, large or small groups. We love to make you feel welcome from the time you walk through the door, with a friendly smile and welcome, to the smile and goodbye “we will see you next time” we love to share our passion for hospitality with everyone. We love to see that smile on your face when you take that first bite of your meal, to that very last one of our mouth watering desserts. We want to make you feel like “ KING OF OUR PRIDE”

2. Who are your greatest supporters? My wife Amanda is definitely been my biggest supporter, she has always been there by my side helping push and drive the business where we want it to go. Also my family and friends. They have really helped out and supported me from the very start. They have seen the amount of work I have put in and what I have given up to pursue my passion for the hospitality industry. Lastly my two little girls, Lilly-Anne and Bianca who are always there to give me a great big smile and hugs and kisses when I get home.

3. How did you move from dreamer to achiever? Taking that first step outside of the comfort zone was the hardest, but having that passion, belief and drive in the hospitality industry, plus the support from family, friends and our wonderful team, we knew we would succeed.

4. How does your business contribute to your community? Our business contributes to local sporting teams, a lot of local community events and fundraisers. We also offer a lot of products from local producers and suppliers on our menu through the food and wine. From Lime Grove in Narromine, meat from Bunninyong Butchery and wine from Red Earth Estate Dubbo.

Contact details
Ben Myhill
Head Chef / Restaurateur
The Lions Pride Restaurant (formally known as sSs BBQ Barns Dubbo)
Corner of Cobra and Darling streets, Dubbo NSW
Phone (02) 6884 3333 fax (02)6884 3717
Mobile 0409 127 710


Week 4 – Binh An Nguyen


Introducing Binh An Nguyen

A note from Kerrie Phipps – I actually met Binh in Adelaide in 2012 at my Conversations With Entrepreneurs event. He inspired those around him and I was delighted to meet him. Imagine my delight when Dallas from Sydney recently nominated Binh and shared his skill in creating systems and building inspiring teams. Enjoy, and take notes! And share with others the valuable insights below!

Dallas says, “I have been privileged to know Binh Nguyen for a few years now. I got to know Binh due to sharing some common interests with online marketing. Binh takes his interest a step further with running a highly successful business that offers these services.

The more I have got to know Binh over this period of time, I have found him to have an extremely good insight about business and more specifically, the importance of systems in every aspect of the business.

On one particular occasion, Binh spent 1/2 a day with me discussing all thing important things that he has applied to his business to make it what it is today. It is rare that you hear small business owners talking things like company values, vision, integrity, community service and being a good corporate citizen.

Binh really gets what goes into running successful businesses and building successful teams… learning from him is always a wonderful experience.” – Dallas Kelso

Binh An NguyenIn the last 5+ years, Binh An Nguyen has helped several multi-million dollar companies around the world sell millions of dollars worth of products online. His clients come from around the world, including 6 of the 7 states in Australia, the US, UK, New Zealand and Canada.

Binh is regularly invited to share his knowledge on stage at several business events around Australia, including the CEO institute, CPA Australia, and the Marketing and Communications Executives International.

Binh also has students from around the world who pay him a lumpy 4 figure sum to learn internet marketing from him. His students come from all over Australia and he also has students from the UK, USA, and Japan.

During his free time, Binh likes to play a friendly game of basketball with his friends, and take his partner to the beach for a stroll or coffee.

1. Describe a significant business challenge have you faced. How did you approach it? What did you learn?

My biggest challenge in business occurred before I even started the business…
When I decided to start my business, I was still studying Bachelor of Engineering at Adelaide University. My parents were the typical traditional Asian parents who believed that getting a good degree and a good job was the only way to move forward in life. I had to twice quit university to chase my dreams.
The first time I tried, my parents gave me a real big guilt trip, and my dad’s health at the time wasn’t too good either. This caused me to return to university just to make them feel happy and proud of me. Once my dad’s health recovered, I quit again, as I knew that university was not something I wanted to do. I was the sort of person who wanted to get out there and make a difference. Needless to say, my parents didn’t take it very well. My dad screamed at me, and I remember for that whole month, we barely spoke or looked at each other in the eye.
This also gave me the motivation to succeed in business. I wanted to prove to my parents that you don’t need a piece of paper that people label as a “degree” to succeed in life. I was determined to get my parents to see what I saw.
Funnily enough, my parents are now my biggest supporters. When they saw that I was winning the ANZ small business award, and that my picture was displayed on large bill boards and flags in the middle of the busy Port Road to promote the success of businesses in the local area, they realised that there was some substance in what I believed in.
What I learnt from this experience is to always pursue your passion. If others don’t believe in you, or try to drag you down to their comfort zone, just ignore these people and do it quietly and keep it to yourself. If you truly believe in something and are passionate about it, no one can stop you.
My parents had all the best intentions, but they fell victim to the poor traditional mindset of believing only in what they can see is feasible, based on what they and those around them have achieved. This is not their fault, and they meant all the best for me, but in the end, it would have been harmful had I given in and let them convince me to “play it safe”.

2. What are the most important things you’ve done to grow your business?

My business only really exploded once I decided to hire a team instead of trying to do everything myself. Sir Richard Branson says that if you want to build a successful company, hire people smarter than you, and then get out of their way. I agree with this, and really recommend those who have their own business to start thinking about how they can develop their own team to take off the work load off their shoulders. Even if it’s just delegating 1-2 hours a day, the habit of delegating tasks that you shouldn’t be doing will allow you to really focus on what you do best, and on the activities that yield the highest returns. There is an opportunity cost in trying to do everything yourself.

At a dinner event hosted by the Marketing and Communications Executives International.

I actually owe this lesson to a friend and mentor of mine, James Schramko. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a day with him one on one at his house in Sydney many years ago, and saw how he ran his business. It was from that trip that the true importance of people and systems in business really sunk into my head. As soon as I returned from that trip, I spent many months creating the right systems in my business and recruiting the right people. From then on, as they say, “the rest is history”…

3. What does success mean to you personally?

Success has a lot of different meanings to a different people. To me, success has nothing to do with the balance on my bank account or the material things I own (although both of those are pretty good and are by-products of being successful).
The real meaning of success, to me, is to be truly happy. It is being able to do what you enjoy and being proud of yourself and your achievements. When one achieves those things, I believe that person is truly successful.

4. What do you believe are the essential qualities or attributes of a successful person?

To be successful, I think you need to have a mission and a dream that you are truly passionate about and believe in; passionate enough that it will drive you into massive action. You need to devise a plan to reach your goals, and to follow that passion tirelessly; never giving up or letting any hurdles along the way stop you. Michael Jordan said “I’ve failed over and over and over again in life, and that is why I succeed.” I am also someone who failed my way to success.
Many people look at a successful person and only see them once they are already successful. What they don’t realise (or don’t get to see), is that that person usually has to go through a lot of sweat, tears and failures to get to where they are at now. My childhood hero, Michael Jordan missed more than 9000 shots in his career, lost almost 300 games, and was trusted to take the game-winning shot 26 times, and missed, yet he is considered as one of the greatest basketball legends that ever lived.
The other thing that I feel is very essential to success is to be able to understand that we live in a world of value. If you can focus on delivering as much value to as many people as possible, success will come. Money and wealth is just a by-product of great value exchange.
Once you’ve got those attributes and understanding, the way to fast track your success is to get mentors who have already been where you want to be. Also form a network of smart people around you as your mastermind group. This, I believe, is how to really speed up your journey to success. Always be learning and investing in yourself.

5. What is your approach to marketing and how did you (or are you) becoming known?

We are an online digital marketing agency specialising in SEO. Unlike many other companies in our space, who focus a lot on sales (you can often tell this because of their aggressive sales approach and because their sales team matches or exceeds their operations team), we have a different approach to marketing.
Like I mentioned above, I believe that wealth is a by-product of being able to add lots of value to another person’s life. This is why we focus on two things:

  1. getting the best possible results for our clients and
  2. exceeding customer service expectations.

Even though I work with many companies around the world developing different marketing channels for them daily, I still believe that the best form of advertising is word of mouth. We still run campaigns such as seo, ppc, and offline campaigns, but the majority of our resources is allocated to delivering the best possible results for our clients as their excitement in working with us forms the foundation of our marketing.
Similar to McDonald’s not being in the “fast food business”, but instead, they are in the real estate business, we also understand that we are not in really in the “digital marketing business”; we are actually in the people business. With that in mind, our marketing approach is to focus is on our 3 main groups of people: our clients, our team and our partners.

6. How does your business contribute to your community?

Many years ago, before Market Ease became as big as we are now, I decided that no matter what, I will be contributing back to the community. There was a time when business did not go so well, and I was struggling to pay the bills, but despite that, I still decided to continue sponsoring and supporting a dozen children with WorldVision. At the time, I chose to struggle financially than to cancel my sponsorships. I believe that when you give without taking, the world will, directly or indirectly, give back to you 10 folds.
Over time, I learnt that with charity organizations, a lot of your money doesn’t actually go to the children and their communities. This is because a lot of the money is used on staff wages, and other costs. Since then, I have flown to the Philippines on several occasions, and have decided to build a back office there. While on my trips, I learnt that the Philippines had a lot of wealthy people, but at the same time, there were also a lot of extremely financially disadvantaged people as well. It was then that I decided I would contribute to the communities in the Philippines and have 100% of my money go directly to the people in need.
Since then, my team of 30+ people and I have generously donated one day of our time every month to different charities in the Philippines. We do this on a monthly basis without fail, and this has been running for a couple of years now. We have spent time and donated food to homeless people living on the streets, the elderly who have no homes to live in, disadvantaged children and many others. The most memorable one of all is when I got my team over there to spend a day with the kids with cancer and gave them gifts and food and drinks. There was a photo of one beautiful little girl who was smiling and seemed very happy playing and dancing around with our team. I found out that she passed away the following month. It was a really good feeling to know that we have put a smile on this little girl’s face and made some of her last days an enjoyable one.

Name: Binh An Nguyen
Role: CEO
Business Name: Market Ease Business Promotions
Address: Suite 1402, 147 Pirie Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000
Phone: 1300 662990
Website: http://www.marketease.com.au
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/binhdownunder
Twitter: https://twitter.com/binhdownunder

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