Starting my own business in year 10
Needing an after school job
I started running my own Lawn Care and Garden Maintenance business in high school. I found that there wasn’t enough available work for me as a 16-year-old. So I thought instead about starting my own business.
I was about three quarters of the way through year 10 when I got it going. I kept it going all the way through high school and through uni. Once I finished year 12 and started doing a bit of uni I was able to work my own hours, making the business fit into my uni schedule. Every spare minute I got between uni and everything else, I was working on growing the business.
I was working in both Tatura, and around Shepparton (where I was going to uni). It worked really well because I could leave home around 6.30am, do a bit of work before class, go to class, then after class do a bit more gardening work.
Why I studied marketing
I have a passion for seeing businesses grow, I love being able to see businesses succeed – that’s why I started marketing at uni. I really want to be able to apply my passion and what I’ve learned at uni into other local businesses, not just my own.
My current marketing job lets me look to the south pacific region, like Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and even parts of Africa as well focussing locally. Getting the opportunity to, while staying in a local area, have an international mindset is a really great chance to develop myself professionally. I love thinking local too, but being able to work at an international scale is really cool.
Staying local was key to my success
For a little while I was doing uni, a part-time marketing job and running my business part-time. I wanted to see which one I enjoyed the most, and also keep all my doors open. I also started as vice captain of the local golf club. I loved having a go and getting that experience, which I don’t think I would have got in a city or metropolitan area.
I wouldn’t have had the same opportunity to get involved with business and community in the ways that I have in my rural community. Whether it be one-on-one tutoring at uni, starting a business and getting the word out there about it, and even with golf, being able to be a vice captain at 19, and with landing my full time job marketing. In the city it would have been so much more competitive for that sort of role. The benefits of staying local are pretty good.
Now I’m managing the marketing for a company called Commodore Australia, which operates in the renewable energy industry.
This role gives me a chance to work internationally, and see how businesses are run in other cultures, which I find really interesting. Being able to look at this bigger, global process has been really cool.
Advice for others
My advice is to try and give every opportunity a bit of a go, whether it be looking on the uni noticeboard, or if you think you have a really cool idea, just give it a go, ask a few mates what they think of it, and don’t be afraid. It costs nothing to set up an ABN, which is the start of a business, so I’d say give it a go, see where it takes you, and ask other people for a bit of help along the way. A lot of it comes down to the people you know, and being able to network with, whether that be at uni with your lecturers, or with the general community. That’s the biggest thing for me, don’t be afraid to try it out.