The path to success can be long, arduous and especially varied, as demonstrated by these five successful Australian entrepreneurs. From a Ron Bakir-type story of building your empire from the ground up to using your business acumen to get you ahead à la Matt Barrie, there is no surefire or conventional way to reach the top. Here are some profiles that will no doubt inspire you to think outside the box and realize anything is possible:
Entering the entrepreneurial business at just 17 years old, Ron Bakir’s story is undoubtedly one of the most inspirational out there, especially for teenagers with big dreams. Moving from Sydney to the Gold Coast with only $120 in his pocket, the ambitious Bakir embarked on a mobile phone business venture that saw him skyrocket to success. Almost 20 years later, he is now the founder and CEO of HomeCorp, a successful urban planning and development company that operates across the country.
Look around any gym these days and you’re bound to see at least one woman wearing stylish workout gear plastered with motivational phrases such as ‘Never Give Up’ or ‘Only You Can Make It Happen’. Travel back in time to the early 90’s and no such thing would have existed. It was precisely this lack of variety in fashion exercise clothing that prompted Lorna Jane, a dental therapist from Cairns to design and create her own range of exercise clothing. Today, Lorna Jane stores can be found all over Australia and has begun expanding its empire to include America.
Leaving school at the age of 16, Janine Allis’s path to her current status as wildly successful entrepreneur and businesswoman was interesting to say the least. The mum of four worked in many different roles and trialed a few different business ideas before striking gold with Boost Juice Bars, the health juice ‘bars’ that provide customers with quick, healthy and most importantly delicious juices. Recognizing the the lack of healthy fast food options in the market, Allis proves that researching your market can take you a long, long way.
Another young prodigy, Josh Guest is one of the more recent arrivals on the Australian entrepreneur scene. His penchant for business was obvious from an early age: Guest began creating websites while at high school, turning his spare time into profits. The 29-year old Melbournite is now the founder and Managing Director of b2cloud, an app development company that both creates new apps and improves existing apps. Riding the burgeoning wave of technology, b2cloud has designed apps for over 100 clients, including Minter Ellison, Bupa, Ansell and Alzheimer’s Australia.
Arguably one of most successful Australian entrepreneurs in the last decade, Matt Barrie took an existing business and turned it into one of the most popular sites globally. With over three million users, Freelancer.com is a huge online marketplace where individuals connect to request and provide their services. Originally a Swedish site with 500,000 users, Barrie bought the business and began investing in regional marketplaces around the world. Barrie currently remains as the CEO of Freelancer.com and is also an established lecturer and presenter. Do you have a favorite success story? Why not share what you took away from this article? Leave your comments below and let us know your thoughts.