‘The Lucky Country’, rich in agriculture, minerals and other natural resources — Australia’s economic history has always shown fortune to its ability to trade with the rest of the world.

Agriculture, textiles and resources paint our history, but what about our future? Yes, there has been a global downturn in commodities and the underperformance of the sector is certainly in part cyclical. But even before our resources boom ended we were seeing competitive tension from West African and South American mining operations.

I don’t mean to insult anyone that works in the space, but in a relative sense the work is becoming unskilled, meaning economies with low education are becoming more competitive with Australian incumbents, due to lower labour costs.

And so our economy has reached yet another inflection point, but I think the title of The Lucky Country still holds — we are lucky because we possess an incredibly smart and educated workforce, in fact according to the United Nation’s Human Development Index, Australia was ranked third by mean number of years of education.

Hence the motive becomes clear, I have to help the public and commercial sectors realise what’s already here, our very intelligent population.

I am convinced the next stage of our economies growth will rely on our ability to export new technologies and business concepts to the rest of the world.

Australia doesn’t have many best-in-breed companies, one that does come to mind however is BHP Billiton — the largest mining company in the world (by market capitalisation). BHP employs more than 120,000 people globally with a large portion employed right here in Australia.

Now I’ve already lamented the mining industry, but if we were able to create best in breed in other industries we could create more jobs, reduce current account deficits, increase government revenues and compete more effectively on the global stage.

Like anything in life, it starts small. Facebook started in a university student’s dorm room, Apple in a young man’s garage — both are now global behemoths, employing thousands and creating billions in value for the US economy. So why can’t we?

UberPITCH Sydney confirmed we definitely can. There is so much talent sitting right here in our own backyard, we just need to better identify and create environments for it to grow.

That could mean more government funding and tax concessions, not just for the start-ups but for investment in start-ups (reducing CGT for qualifying investments). We also need to further promote the space at a state and federal level, we need to change investor attitudes towards start-ups and early stage businesses to be inclusive of alternative investments — not just ASX 50 equities, property and fixed income vehicles.

On October 29 2015, the inaugural UberPITCH Australia campaign kicked off in Sydney. The event was my absolute pleasure, over 5,000 PITCH requests in just four hours — so much energy and passion and a lot of fun I might add.

But people want to know, why am I doing this? And for that matter, why do I rock up to the X Studios week in and week out to do my podcast? It’s because this country deserves more, more from its business leaders and more from its government.

I can only do so much. I am thankful to my fellow Business Leaders on PITCH day; AirTree Ventures Co-Founder Daniel Petre, co-creator of successful global fashion label Sass & Bide, Sarah Jane-Clarke, appliance king John Winning of Appliances Online, PR guru Roxy Jacenko of Sweaty Betty PR, Entrepreneur Creel Price and Freelancer Founder Matt Barrie plus others over the last 25 weeks that have given their valuable time freely to promote start-ups and small businesses — but it’s not enough, we need the government to step up and make changes at the macro level like only a government can.

Hopefully I can get the ear of relevant officials over the coming weeks to put forward recommendations and get Australia on the right track. With the many regulatory shortcomings this country has towards start-ups I was genuinely shocked to see how much progress and innovation was being shown to me on PITCH day — imagine what this country could achieve with the government on side working with start-ups, not forcing them to expatriate to Silicon Valley or Tel Aviv.

Hopefully the new Turnbull government recognises the gravity of our situation and can affect and expedite change.

The minister for innovation, Wyatt Roy, being a young man himself probably understands the plight of the start-up better than most MPs — I would love to connect him with some of the guys and girls I spoke with on PITCH day so he can hear firsthand the impediments they face and how the government can help.

Source – http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/mark-bouris/innovation-australia_b_8456224.html?utm_hp_ref=australia

Be the disruptor in an industry and the challenger
Wizard was built on the deregulation of the home loan market enabling him to take on the big banks.

What business are you in? What emotion are you tapping into?
Kerry Packer asked Mark this question when investing in Wizard. Mark’s response was that home loans are more than simply providing the finance for the shelter over someone’s head but rather tapping into people’s dreams of having their own home.

Is it happiness, laughter or empathy? Your offering must be attached to an emotion.

The biggest asset you have is your time and ability to work in a business
If you’re willing to invest that, you want the return. Value your time, expertise and ability to grow and lead a business.

Have you ever failed in your business life?
If you fail, have you got enough fight in you as a leader to recover?

Who would you rather back – a front-runner or a fighter? Packer wanted to back a fighter.

You can’t be a reseller, you’ve got to own your own product and control the supply
Wizard needed access to funds to lend so when they grew, they were not restricted on access to funds and pricing.

Very early on, they bought the wholesaler to protect their future risk. Otherwise you run a huge risk of being cut down later on

Keep assessing markets
Markets change and move. Know your marketplace.

Mark is an expert in capital markets and is highly educated and experienced in accounting and law. Look at the future and take a position on where things are going.

Be fearless not reckless
Fearlessness needs to be knowledgeable. An understanding of your market combined with fearlessness will make you tough to beat – and the competition should look out!

Remind yourself who you are and why you’re in business. Ask why?
This gets you through the ‘how’.

What’s your exit strategy?
How and when do you plan to exit? All an exit strategy means is that you’ve got a plan, it doesn’t mean you sell.

How far are you prepared to go?
What are you prepared to risk and put on the line?

Are you prepared to do what it takes along with the potential impact is may have on you and your family?

Will your family support you?
Have you been honest enough and explained to your family what you’re about and willing to do and the commitment required? Make sure they’re agreeable.

Have you been truly honest with your family and do they accept you for who you are?

The reward comes with risk-taking, hard work and commitment. If these preconditions are not met, marriage breakdown and family dysfunction could be the result.

Mark’s Mantra:

  • Work hard
  • Play to balance the hard work
  • Love what you are doing. Love every minute of it
  • Fight for what’s worth fighting for. Don’t fight every battle
  • Believe in something

And finally, success is measured by the family you raise
Taken from – http://www.startupsmart.com.au/blogs/top-tips-from-mark-bouris-a-true-inspiration/201210017732.html

Audit yourself
Just as you occasionally have to clear out the garage and get rid of all your excess stuff, making an audit of your outgoings is always rewarding and is something you should do at least once a year. You could start with your mortgage payments: are you getting the best home loan? Could you pay less elsewhere? Would you pay less in interest if you started paying fortnightly? You can use an online comparison service like Canstar.com.au, or go to a broker and get them to find you the best loan. It’s worth it.

Insurance
Another expense that people tend to set and forget is insurance. When you go through all of your policies, I bet you’ll find insurance you no longer need, premiums that are too high and premiums that are wrong because your status has changed. I’m sure you could find savings of at least $100 a month by calling the company and negotiating for a better deal. If you don’t feel you can do this, use one of the online comparison sites or go to an insurance broker and ask them to streamline your insurance.

Utilities
Okay, so now you’ve saved $200 a month on financial services, so have a look at your utilities. With power and gas, there are some excellent comparison websites such as Switchwise.com.au where you can input your current provider, usage and tariff and the service will return you a provider and a plan that you should be on. There are people saving $50 a month by using these sites, so why aren’t you? The same goes for phone and internet plans. Why pay more when you can pay less?

Groceries
Most people shop at the supermarket that’s closest to their home or work. But these are not always the cheapest. There are many cut-price supermarkets out there. You may have to bring your own bag and put up with a smaller selection, but you could save $100 a month.

Smart savings
These are the most obvious monthly overheads that most households have to spend on, yet I’ve identified a conservative $400 a month in savings. If you’ve never done a financial check-up before, it could be greater than that. Good luck! The money you don’t send to insurance companies and banks, phone companies and supermarkets, instead finds its way back into your wallet. It’s as good as money earned, but you didn’t need a second job to do it.

Taken from: http://homes.ninemsn.com.au/blog.aspx?blogentryid=1008670&showcomments=true