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Eddie Machaalani is the co-founder and co-CEO of Bigcommerce, the leading e-commerce platform for small businesses looking to grow their revenues faster. Starting with $20,000 in credit card debt from a rented office above a friend’s shop in Sydney, Australia, the company has grown over 100% year-over-year, has raised $35M in capital and processed over $1 billion in transactions.
Eddie holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Technology, Sydney and is an active angel investor and speaker.
A prodigious reader, he has found business books to be an invaluable resource as he’s built his business along with partner Mitch Harper, and we’re delighted to have him share his choices in this latest instalment of the continuing series, “3 business books that changed my life” …
Extreme Revenue Growth: Startup Secrets to Growing Your Sales from $1 Million to $25 Million in Any Industry by Victor Cheng
An incredible, “best kept secret” book for startups that touches on every part of the business and really drives home the strategies of all great businesses and how to fuel revenue growth.… Read more …
Flying: In your seat pocket
This month, if you’re flying Virgin, reach into your seat pocket and you’ll find a huge report written by yours truly in the Virgin inflight magazine. It’s a comprehensive guide to setting up a small business. The guide starts on page 105. You can view the online version of the April issue here.
Cuddling: Gus the Boxer at the Haul wrap party. Years ago, a dog called @GusTheBoxer started following me on Twitter. At first, I didn’t follow him back. I thought: “A dog. On Twitter. I mean really.” Plus, I was in Sydney. Gus was in Melbourne. It would never have worked.
But Gus was so funny and engaging that I ended up not only meeting Gus in real life, but also his human @scottkilmartin. Turns out that Scott was the brains behind sustainable streetwear brand Haul.
I’ve loved Haul products for years now so it was sad to see it close its doors recently. I was honoured to go to the wrap party, cuddle @GusTheBoxer, bid the Fitzroy store good-bye and wave owner Scott Kilmartin off on his next big adventure!… Read more …
Off with her head! That’s been the theme for this week. I’ve been watching The Tudors on DVD – and Henry VIII sure loved a good beheading when it came to getting rid of the traitors (or wives) that got in his way. I channelled Henry when I did the gardening earlier this week and got immense satisfaction from dead-heading 93 roses in the backyard (yes, I counted). Then I heard that publishing house Bauer Media axed another two magazines (Madison and UFC) after already putting Grazia on the chopping block. This inspires this week’s Enterprise post.
Earlier this week, publishing house Bauer Media announced the axing of two magazines: monthly fashion magazine Madison and martial arts magazine UFC. This comes hot on the heels of its decision to shut down weekly fashion rag Grazia.
These kinds of decisions are never easy – for management, owners, staff or readers – but sometimes, the best strategy is to clean house as swiftly as you can so you are not bogged down by under-performing products.
The same can be said for the products and services offered by small business owners.
Loving: This awesome poster from PosterCandy.com.au.
This is a great new service where you can turn your Instagram photos into a poster. It’s all done online and, using the PosterCandy application, you can drag and drop the photos you want into posters of various sizes.
I chose a poster that’s 100cm x 70cms, it arrived last week and I love it! Apparently, it fits standard IKEA frames so I’m going get that next time I visit that monolith.
(And no, this is not a sponsored post. I just think this is really cool!)
* Social Media Knowledge did this interview with me here.
* 612 ABC Brisbane radio. I did a 10 minute segment on “The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media” this week.
Reading: The latest issue of Latte
Well, since I’m editor of Latte magazine (published by Business Chicks), I’ve obviously already know it intimately. But there’s nothing like the feeling when the printed copy finally lands in your hands. In this issue, I interview best-selling author and creator of Sex and the City, Candace Bushnell. [...]
Timothy* is an abdicator. He has an amazing business that has a lot of potential to grow, and a service that’s in high demand. And yet, even though he’s been in business for seven years, he just can’t seem to get to the next level.
The reason? He’s an abdicator. Timothy is afraid to make decisions about his business that will move it forward. So he either delays making these decisions, or makes them the responsibility of someone else – so that he has someone to blame if it all doesn’t go to plan.
Do you recognise any of this behaviour in the people you deal with – or maybe even in yourself?
1. Abdicators find suppliers they can blame. I’m all for delegating and outsourcing. However, there is a huge difference between delegating and abdicating.
Timothy wants to hand over important functions of his business to suppliers and then expects them to work miracles, with little support or input from himself. The reality is that while he can delegate the role to them, he still needs to take responsibility for this decision. He might need to:
* ensure they are fully briefed on the overall business and how their roles fits within that
* be clear on his expectations of them, and query their expectations from him
* consider a regular monitoring or “catch up” meeting to see that everything is on track
* most importantly, gain a minimum level of understanding of their skill or at least their KPIs to be clear on whether they are doing a good job. [...]
Excited: That we have got the keys to our new premises in Melbourne. I’m so thrilled that we’re now one of the arts and culture organisations at The Abbotsford Convent. This precinct is a thriving creative and artistic community and our new neighbours include Drama Victoria, Illustrators Australia, Complete Works Theatre, The Creativity Institute and more.
The Abbotsford Convent is located right in the heart of inner city Melbourne (the nearest station is Collingwood). The grounds are beautiful, there are two bars, gallery spaces, a bakery, restaurants, 3MBSFM, stunning gardens and lots of training rooms where we’ll be holding our courses.
Loving: Best. Invitation. Ever.
I love this clever invitation from Dell. It’s the size of a computer, my photo is included on the top right, and the whole thing is MADE OUT OF CHOCOLATE. Did I mention that it’s the size of a computer … that’s a lot of eating …
Welcoming: Phoebe is the newest member to join our team. It’s her first week at the Australian Writers’ Centre and it’s as if she’s already been here for ages. Welcome Phoebe!
Honoured: To be included in Shopify’s list of “30 books that will help you increase sales”.
I’m so honoured that my book “Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business” is in the same company as books that I’ve admired for ages. These include Robert Cialdini’s “Influence”; Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink”; and Anthony Robbins’ “Unlimited Power”.
Catching up with: I love catching up with my writerly buddies Kerri Sackville and Allison Tait. There’s nothing quite like a lunchtime discussion on agents, readers, and the writing process that’s guaranteed to be full of everything from angst to inspiration. These talented women are a wonderful support and are full of sage advice. [...]
Melbourne Writers’ Club: It was great to connect with fabulous people in the writing community at Melbourne Writers’ Club last week, which is a monthly networking event organised by Sandi Sieger, editor-in-chief on Onya Magazine. I was honoured to speak at the event at the The Honey Bar in South Melbourne.
Oscar’s Table: While we’re on all things writing, I do love restaurants with a literary theme. I had dinner at Oscar’s Table at Docklands in Melbourne. It is full of Oscar Wilde quotes, lampshades are made from pages from books and there’s a giant original painting of the man himself adorning the walls.
Getting ready for his closeup
My little doggie Rambo had a photo session with celebrity photographer Gina Milicia last week. He also stars in Gina’s latest book “Making the Shot” which is full of her pro tips on taking portraits.
A very pretty high tea
It was great to check out high tea at Christine Re Tea Rooms in Collingwood in Melbourne. This was the venue of Rhiannon Colarossi’s WellbeingWeb event. Check out how gorgeous it is! [...]
I have been following my entrepreneurial dreams for quite some time now, first with the Australian Writers’ Centre, and lately with socialcallout.com, but I haven’t forgotten what the hunger to further your career aspirations feels like.
But I also remember how tough it can be starting out, and how you are grateful for any assistance, material or otherwise, that helps get you on your way.
Which is why I am excited by Instyle and Audi’s launch of the 2013 Style Scholarship, which is focused, in their words, on “celebrating innovative ideas and helping to foster the talent of future Women of Style”.
They’re offering a $10,000 bursary to help one woman take another step towards her career goals – it doesn’t matter whether you’re starting out or already on your way – and all you have to do is tell them in 150 words or less you should be awarded the business scholarship. [...]
When I was little, I used to play a game called “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” (Did anyone else used to play this?). You had to follow Carmen around the world as she pulled off clever heists and other crimes in exotic locations. It was a great way to learn geography!
These days, I feel a little bit like Carmen (minus the crime). I’ve been away from Sydney so much that it’s a case of “Where in the world is Valerie Khoo?”
Regular readers will know that I’ve been doing a lot of work in Melbourne as the Australian Writers’ Centre has launched there. I’ve been loving every minute of it and I can’t wait to meet everyone who has enrolled in our upcoming February courses.
So here’s a peek into what’s coming up. If you’re going to the same events, come say HI and connect.
MELBOURNE WellbeingWeb event – Sunday 3 February
WelbeingWeb is the brainchild of the talented Rhiannon Colarossi. When I first met Rhiannon, her business hadn’t even started yet. So I’m thrilled that her passion for empowering women has become a reality. One of her first events is detailed below and features bespoke stationery creator Christina Re. (And you know that I’m a sucker for stationery!)
So you’ve come back from holidays and you’re wondering what to do with 2013. You may have even succumbed to an entrepreneurial seizure and think that you want to start your own business.
Before you chuck in your job and sell your first born to fund the new idea that’s going to make you richer than Mark Zuckerberg, here’s my guide to the underbelly of entrepreneurship.
1. You’ll work harder than you ever did in your “regular” job
If you think that being your own boss means you can swan around having long lunches and leading the good life, think again. You’ll probably work longer hours than ever before. But the long hours aren’t even the tough part. The most challenging thing you need to deal with is the stress. Your livelihood is on the line. So is your reputation. And that kind of pressure can cause more than a few sleepless nights.
When you work for someone else, you can be assured that you’re getting that paycheque every single week. You don’t have to worry that a team of employees, suppliers and customers are all relying on you. But when you run your own business, the buck stops with you. If business isn’t going well, it’s YOUR mortgage that’s at stake.
On the plus side, while you may work darn hard, this also means that you’re creating your own destiny. The stress might be palpable at times but the sky is also the limit. Focus on moving forward and growing your business.
2. You’ll meet people who will try to take advantage of you
It sometimes amazes me when people want my products – but simply don’t want to pay for them. Some have actually said: “Well, I don’t expect to pay for it.” I kid you not.
And I’m not referring to some tiny little promotional product that costs next to nothing to produce. I mean real products where each unit can only be created with considerable time, effort and significant costs involved.
I have no explanation for the logic behind this kind of thinking and I find it utterly confounding. But it happens. More often than you think.
Fortunately, you also come across wonderful people in business who are a pleasure to deal with. When I started my business seven years ago I didn’t expect to become such good friends with so many of my customers and suppliers. I feel truly blessed that my business brought them into my life.