The 10 Tips That Reveal How James Packer Built His Empire
James Packer created a multi-billion-dollar empire. There were several milestones along the way that are worth mentioning. Taking a look at his career will help you organize your own in a way that leads to success in business.
As the ninth-richest Australian, James Packer doesn’t have much left to prove to anyone. He came from a family of means, but his early years were crucial in making him who he is today.
The work ethic he gained as a jackeroo on his father’s cattle station prepared him for his eventual forays into the business world.
In all his endeavours, Packer brings a unique blend of tenacity and discipline. Even as he decides to step away from many of his ventures, there’s a lot to learn from this legendary figure. His current net worth is over $3 billion. He moved away from his family ties in the media industry to become Australia’s casino king.
Below are some of the tips leading up to James Packer’s success that you can use in your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tip #1 – Build a Support Network
Packer was always aware of his place in the business world. His family had a high standing long before he was born.
He understood how to leverage his legacy to create a network that would support his ventures. At his father’s memorial he said: “I want to say today that in the opinion of his family, my father was a legend.”
It’s important to understand where you come from. But it’s not tactless to rely on your background to help you achieve your goals.
James Packer didn’t go in the same direction as his father. But he knew that he’d be operating in similar circles. Knowing how to build relationships and use them for a mutual benefit is an important skill for entrepreneurs.
Tip #2 – Don’t Rest On Your Laurels
This is a problem for a lot of business leaders, both new and experienced. New entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of reaching their initial goals and stagnating. It’s vital to keep that initial enthusiasm going beyond the first bout of success.
On the other hand, experienced entrepreneurs sometimes reach a point where they think they’ve arrived. The battle is won and all that’s left is to reap the rewards. Think again. The world is constantly changing and you can change with it or get left behind.
Packer understood this all the way back in 1997. In his own words:
“If I sat back and decided to sell the product of my father and my grandfather’s work, like a leech, you know I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror.”
Tip #3 – Honesty Goes a Long Way
Every relationship in your life is strengthened by honesty. As an entrepreneur, one of your biggest assets is creating honest ties in your community. It’s as important to be honest with your partners as it is with your customers.
No matter what industry you enter, you’re going to be in a competitive environment. It’s like going into battle, and your top asset in battle is your allies. If you want to expect honesty from your allies, you have to give it in return.
James Packer had a way with wit and brevity. He summed up his stance on the issue like this:
“I may be a f—wit but I’m not a liar.”
Tip #4 – Don’t Let Success Kill Your Ambition
Ambition is most likely what got you where you are today. It’s what drives all entrepreneurs. It’s what makes most of us get up in the morning and strive for something better every day. But many run the risk of becoming lifestyle entrepreneurs. Their interest in business goes as far as that business is able to maintain that lifestyle.
To avoid that, you have to increase your commitment as your business grows. Your ambition needs to grow along with your possibilities. This is the rarest kind of entrepreneur. The kind that can harness their abilities for ever-more challenging goals.
That’s the kind of entrepreneur that James Packer is. He summed up his opinion about coasting on his family fortune as such:
“I’m an ambitious person. I mean, if I did that… I would self-destruct…”
Tip #5 – You Need Balance to Survive Long-Term
One of your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur is maintaining a work-life balance. Often, in our drive to be productive at all costs, we can forget what we’re striving for to begin with.
Many entrepreneurs find that working less actually improves their productivity. Risking a burn-out is never a good strategy and it puts not only you at risk but your whole team.
To put that into practice, learn to schedule breaks and relaxation into your day. It may seem counterintuitive but it’s something that a lot of great leaders apply.
In an interview with Forbes, Packer touched on this struggle saying:
“The last thing I think I am is perfect. I’m just trying to do the best job I can. I’m trying to be the best father I can to my kids. I’m trying to do the best job I can running my business.”
Tip #6 – Think Globally, Act Locally
If you want to give your business the best chance of long-term success, you need to think about the global village. That means that you should have a global strategy from the very beginning.
That means everything from picking the right company names to sourcing globally and everything in between. Understanding the role that the global economy will play in your business is a vital part of survival.
The world is increasingly becoming a single market. It’s difficult to appeal to such a broad base unless you build everything with that mentality.
Packer was very prescient in this respect. All the way back in 2012, he understood that the Chinese middle class was going to change the world. He invested heavily in China and it paid off big-time.
Tip #7 – The Right Team Makes All the Difference
You’re always going to have a very close team of people but you’ll be collaborating with loads more. Thinking of those people as your team helps you generate strategies that work for everyone.
You don’t need to start off with a big team, as it will grow with your needs. One assistant will turn into two, and so on. The key is to spend enough time looking for the right team members to grow with you.
If you can’t find the right team, it will be difficult to replace them later when you’re focused on expansion. So, it pays off to invest a little more time at the start to prevent future reorganization. This is also a perfect opportunity to secure a global future. Building a local team as well as a global team will pave the way for your long-term success.
Packer always puts an emphasis on team building and how it’s always challenging. He said:
“We need to make sure we have the best people we can in our operations, and that is a constant challenge. There is always room to improve.”
Tip #8 – Big Picture Thinking
It’s easy to get carried away and start working for your business rather than on your business. As entrepreneurs, we often wear many hats. If you can’t dissociate from those roles and eventually take the role of owner, your business will suffer.
There are a few things that you should always keep in mind as a business owner. The first one is your finances. It’s important that you try to look at your financial details as unemotionally as possible. Approach them with logic and curiosity. If there are anomalies, figure out why they’re happening.
The other thing is marketing and keeping it consistent. Everything from business cards to mailers and your sign out front needs to send a coherent message.
If you have a smaller business, don’t forget to connect with your customers as much as you can. Even massive business leaders, like Elon Musk, understand this. He uses his Twitter account to engage directly with his customers.
Tip #9 – Diversification is Key
For a lot of entrepreneurs, their business becomes their sole focus. Every ounce of energy goes into making it function. But no matter how promising a business is, it’s not immune to risk. So, like any investor, the best strategy for entrepreneurs is to diversify even as they grow.
There’s a threshold where you might think it’s safe to start diversifying from your business. That’s going to be different for everyone but you have to consider that you may never reach that threshold. If you keep waiting for some arbitrary number, you’re putting yourself at risk as well as those who rely on you.
Treat your business like any other stock you’d invest in. In this case, you have a lot of insider knowledge about the stock. Take a cold, hard look at the stock and figure out how much you would realistically invest. It’s probably less than your current level of investment. A firm foundation is your best weapon against generalized collapse.
For James Packer, this means never relying on a single stream of income. He explained his position:
“In a perfect world, we don’t want to be overly dependent on any single asset or be so dependent on the cycle or where one asset is the bulk of this company.”
Tip #10 – Your Wellbeing Trumps Everything
Something that definitely gets sidelined in conversations about business is health. Your individual health is going to correlate directly to your performance. If you can’t keep yourself healthy, it will lead to long-term damage to your assets.
Sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition are critical parts of proper function. That’s brain function as well as body function. Most serious entrepreneurs understand this and know that they operate below capacity if they don’t get a handle on their health.
Packer makes a point in a 2012 interview of exercising 90 minutes a day. He insisted that it made him fitter, happier, and more active.
The best place to look for guidance is in successful people. James Packer had a head start, no question. But it was his ability to leverage that successfully that gave him his legendary status.
These tips are applicable to all entrepreneurs. Think about how you can use them to further your own journey and business. In Packer’s words, there’s always room for improvement.
At CUB our ambition is to unite those who are changing the world through their businesses. We support these people by building a private community of Australia’s next titans of industry. And we bring these titans together to accelerate the achievement of each other’s ambitions.
If you wish to be considered for membership, please feel free to request a club introduction on our membership page: www.cub.club/membership