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These 9 Powerful Quotes from Australian Business Heroes Will Inspire You

Looking for a motivation boost? Discover some of the most powerful words of wisdom from Australia’s business moguls.

Running a business is anything but easy. While there will be many rewarding moments along the way, there will also be times when you’ll find it hard to push through.

When this happens, a few words of encouragement can go a long way. They can be the fuel that drives you above the hardship. Better yet, they can become your mantra for achieving the success you’re striving towards.

And whom better to seek wisdom than from those who’ve already made it? Here are what some of Australia’s most successful businesspeople have to say about success:

1. ‘I spend my time improving the things I can change, not worrying about the things I can’t.’ — Melanie Perkins

Melanie Perkins, CEO and co-founder of Canva, has certainly figured out the formula to success. After all, her company was just valued at a mind-boggling US$4.7 billion.

It goes without saying that Perkins can teach you a lot about dominating your industry. But one of the most important things she advises is to understand that you can’t control everything around you.

This goes for both business and personal life. There will always be things that you can do nothing about. If a problem doesn’t have a solution, what’s the point of obsessing over it?

So, you must either accept it or find a way around it. Devote your energy only to things that you can influence. In most cases, it will be more than enough to get you where you want to be.

2. ‘The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.’ — Rupert Murdoch

With a net worth of US$19.7 billion, Rupert Murdoch is one of the most powerful people on the planet. The media mogul has amassed incredible business experience in owning some of the most influential news outlets in the world.

Murdoch has been around for long enough to figure out how businesses work. And probably the most important advice that he can give is to act fast.

The market won’t wait for you. If your business can’t deliver, the competitors will swallow you up. Things change way too rapidly for you to sit around overthinking everything.

If you truly want to succeed, go out there and get things done. Carry out those big actions as swiftly as you can, and you’ll always be one step ahead of the competition.

3. ‘I always wake up thinking ‘What’s next?’’ — Katie Page

Katie Page, CEO of Harvey Norman, knows how important it is to have the right mindset if you want to succeed. She’s always on the lookout for new opportunities. ‘Growing a great business’ is the biggest motivator that has guided her in all her endeavours.

The heart of the matter is that there’s no limit to what you can achieve. Rather than settling for what you already have, you must always seek new growth opportunities.

One of the biggest advantages of today’s business world is the availability of so many unexplored opportunities. If you’re not as successful as you could be, all you have to do is keep looking. 

When Page joined Harvey Norman, it was only one department store. There are now hundreds of them across international borders. It was her curiosity and willingness to chase after new opportunities that made this happen.

Remember that every positive change, big or small, matters. So, keep asking yourself ‘What’s next?’


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4. ‘Sometimes challenges seem enormous, but if you can connect with others working towards the same goal, it becomes more achievable.’ — Tracey Spicer

The founder of NOW Australia, Tracey Spicer is no stranger to tough times. Her organisation connects sexual harassment victims and offers counselling and guidance.

As you can imagine, fighting against injustice and mistreatment in the world can get really hard and lonely. And yet, Spicer keeps reaching one milestone after another. Her determination enables her to power through the toughest of situations.

She makes it all happen is by not doing everything alone. She understands the vital importance of having the right people fighting alongside you. In business, this can be your biggest competitive advantage.

You’ll appreciate the importance of this whenever you face an obstacle that you can’t seem to overcome. Your people will support you and offer solutions that you might not have thought of. Everything is much easier when you look at it from different perspectives, which is only possible if you surround yourself with the right people.

5. ‘Who you think you are now has no bearing on who you could be.’ — Ronni Kahn

Ronni Kahn, the founder of OzHarvest, has lived a very rich and interesting life. After graduating from university, she spent 10 years living on a kibbutz. This is quite different from running one of the world’s most successful charities. 

As an outstanding entrepreneur, she knows how to introduce long-lasting change. Right now, OzHarvest is undertaking a project that should help halve Australian food waste by 2030. Kahn knows how to dream big, doesn’t she?

More importantly, she knows how to turn dreams into reality. Her campaigns are introducing many changes that will impact not just Australia but the whole world.

Kahn’s ability to make drastic changes comes from her panoramic view of life. She recognises the need to constantly revisit how things have worked in the past.

As a business owner, you must do the same. Most of the time, it’s the innovators that sit on the throne of the market.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo. Know that there are always opportunities to make impactful change, as long as you don’t limit yourself to the way you’ve been doing things.

6. ‘When you do something you love, it’s not really work.’ — John Ilhan

In 1991, John Ilhan opened his first mobile phone store. It would grow to become the largest Telstra mobile dealership in Australia. At one point, Ilhan owned more than 20 physical stores all across the country.

By the time he passed away in 2007, Ilhan received many awards and titles for his hard work. What’s more, he was one of the most generous benefactors in Australia who donated large sums to a wide range of charities.

The main reason why Ilhan was able to achieve so much is that he always did what he was passionate about. He steadfastly believed that this is a cornerstone of success.

If you truly care about your business, you’ll always have the necessary motivation to push through. You just have to do remind yourself why you’re doing it.

Sure, you might not love every aspect of your business. But hold onto the things you care the most about and your work will feel much more enjoyable,

7. ‘Thoughts without actions are useless.’ — Naomi Simson

Naomi Simson is the founder of online experience retailer RedBalloon. She started her company with just an old computer and $25,000. Today, RedBalloon turns over more than $60 million per year.

To say that Simson didn’t have the smoothest start would be an understatement. For the first couple of years, most of the feedback she received was negative. People just didn’t trust a website that sold experiences.

Through it all, Simson believed in her idea. She also knew that it wasn’t enough to have a good idea. This is why she worked incredibly hard for years to see her idea through to a profitable business. And in the end, all that hard work paid off big time.

This goes to show that sometimes you might find yourself the only one believing in your idea. You’ve just got to work hard to prove to the market as such. It’s going to happen if you keep giving your all. 


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8. ‘Everyone can make a difference in a variety of ways.’ — Adam Garone

Adam Garone turned jokes and drinks with his friends into an international movement. They wanted to bring moustache back but not just for the fun of it. They wanted to do it for a good cause. And that’s how Movember was born.

The movement focuses on raising money for prostate and testicular cancer research. After Australia, Garone took it to New Zealand and planned on going global.

His major challenge? A lack of ambassadors.

Garone and his team spent three years garnering support. They went out of their way to spread their message. In 2017 alone, more than 450,000 people helped to raise over $80 million.

Garone strongly believes that everyone can make a meaningful change if they work hard enough. There are so many things that you can do to inspire yourself and others to make a difference. Don’t let problems crush your spirit and keep finding new ways.

9. ‘Take care of yourself.’ — Emma Welsh

Emma Welsh is the co-founder of Emma and Tom’s, a highly popular beverage company most known for its juices. The brand’s tagline is also among her most important advice:

‘Take care of yourself.’

Business owners know how stressful things can get from time to time. It’s all too easy to let yourself go. But it’s in these moments that you should take the best care of yourself.

However hard things get, always put your health and well-being first. Without it, accomplishments will prove extremely hard to obtain.

The Only Way Is Forward

Hopefully, you now feel more inspired to chase after the success you deserve. Remember that no matter how tough things get, there’s always something that you can do to grow your business.

Success is largely about your mindset. Motivation is something that you should practice daily if you want to have the power to achieve your goals. Remember the words of wisdom on this page and use them in your business undertakings. 

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: