VICI Photo Exhibit – Featuring Those Who Walk In The Shoes of Giants

During the month of July 2017, Faces of Small Business will be running its Photo Exhibit, ‘VICI,’ at the Sappho Books, Café & Wine Bar in Glebe, Sydney Australia. The title of the exhibit is the Latin word for the phrase ‘I conquered,’ which is the final climatic step in Julius Caesar’s famous ‘vini, vidi, vici’ (I came, I saw, I conquered). Read More

From being lost to becoming a life coach

“True fulfillment for me was being with the love of my life – finding that person to experience life with. I was at that age where I was thinking to myself ‘Maybe having children is something that I would love to do in this lifetime of being a woman.’ It was something that I haven’t really focused on and I started to wonder whether it was going to happen for me. So, I went from having that sort of empty individual existence to now having a beautiful family, a wonderful husband, a daughter and two dogs.”

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From being a celebrity fitness trainer to owning an acclaimed Pilates studio

“The most satisfying part about teaching is being able to change people’s lives – seeing pleasure in people’s faces when they can do something special. I had someone come in with a debilitating spinal injury. All he wanted to do was to play golf again. I trained him hard and intensely until he was able to return to his passion. It’s amazing! What makes me more determined is going through difficult times and not letting it get to you. If something’s not working, try to face it and analyze it to see how you can make it better.”

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Power, popularity, peaceful protest – how one artist is mixing them all together

“My exhibition, called ‘Power & Pop,’ is portraying the use of a celebrity’s face as a vehicle not just for popularity but also as a symbol of protest, and freedom of speech. All the subjects in my work are celebrities who have been arrested for lobbying for freedom of speech, such as Martin Luther King Jnr, John Lennon and Jane Fonda. I’m interested in the notoriety that celebrities have and their ability to influence a larger audience. Take John Lennon for instance. His anti-Vietnam stance and ‘Imagine Peace’ campaign was a protest on a global scale. Closer to home Midnight Oil are a great example. Why is it that the Government was not able to say sorry to the Aboriginals, but a popular musician can do it without fear? I am intrigued at how these celebrities can cut through the nonsense and make a point.”

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The Double-Life of a Comic Book Store Owner and Modern-Day Superhero

“A little kid came in the other day but he didn’t have much money, so I didn’t sell him anything. When I came home that night, I reflected on what happened and I realized I should have given him something more. I always give stuff away for free but I get surprised and disappointed in myself if I am not more giving. The following day, I was hoping he would come back, but he never did. If someone did that for me as a kid, it would have made my day, and I would remember it even when I grew up. I’ve always wanted this business to be a personal endeavor upon myself to make people happy. That is why one of my main goals is to build up Zumps, my toy line, and then have it tied in with every local hospital, so when I sell Zumps the proceeds go directly to caring for hospitalized children.”

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This is what a medical student can teach salespeople

Doctors are very effective when prescribing drugs because they see what the patient needs without snatching control. They ask, ‘Do you want to do this or not?’ They give their patients the option to choose. So, when I am selling my products, I take the pressure out of it, and make it personal. If I notice that my products will really benefit them, then I strike up a conversation about my business. Otherwise I don’t bring up the topic at all. In the end, I don’t think of it as selling. I just think of it as helping people.

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When money is not the most important thing in business

“I’ve thought about converting my business into a franchise, but I feel that if I franchise it, I will lose so much of what dog-walking is; it becomes less about the dogs, and more about making a lot of money. Dog-walking is a great lifestyle. You can easily get by and there is money to be made, but you have to draw the line between trying to become a millionaire and doing what is best for the dogs; between getting rich and doing what is ethical. I think having an ethically responsible business is more important than making money. Ultimately, I walk dogs as a business, not to make tons of money, but to give dogs the opportunity to exercise and socialize with other dogs and to interact with people who truly care for them.”

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How to drive a business by creating a people-centred workplace

“Back when I started the business, it was pretty tough. I was really just getting by and at the time I had a young boy to support. Actually, quite honestly I could have made more money more easily by working for someone else, but this didn’t matter because I was doing what I love. I love books, and I love the sort of interaction that I have with people here. I used to work really long hours. When you own a business, you really are at risk of it becoming your whole life. So I began to pull back and develop more systems for training staff. That was when I came to understand that well trained staff are a powerful asset.”

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Surviving in a dying industry with powerful customer service

“My parents trained me to be kind to customers. There are many kinds of customers. Some are very rude, but you have to stay cool. When I do business, I do business honestly, and give prices that are fair. If I buy something wholesale at $5 and sell it at $10, but the customer is willing to buy it at a discount, then negotiate a discount. You have to give them a bargain and always be flexible with your prices. As much as possible, if people come in, I don’t want them to leave empty-handed. As much as possible, I want to sell them something.”

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The high cost of success: the story of Pizza Planet Glebe’s owner

“Every day back when I was in year 5 or 6, my dad would take us to the shop to open up before going to school around 6:00 in the morning. School was like a holiday for me, because I had to work as a kid. I loved school! After school my dad would pick us up and take us back to the shop to work until closing. I’ve been doing that for 14 years and it pretty much became my way of life, my second nature. Today, I have three boys and I would want to have something lined up for them which they could take over.”

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