Tag: Entrepreneur

An old Greek parable for entrepreneurs

What will you build in your lifetime?

A man had two sons and he assigned each of them to build a house for themselves in a tired old town that showed prospect. It appeared to be a good investment for their future.

The time came for the father to inspect what each son had built.

He visited the first son who built his house on top of the hill overlooking the town below.

When the father started looking throughout the house on the hill, it was evident that this son spared no expense and the architectural detail and materials used was of the highest quality.

The father compliments his son on the building, however the father makes one comment that could be taken as negative. “As I walk through your house appreciating the building, it feels cold and isolated”

The father went on to visit the second son’s house which was apparently built in the township.

As the father and second son walked through the town, a voice from a shop keeper calls out to the son “Please have dinner at my house tonight and bring your father”

… then another shopkeeper calls out “You must have lunch this Saturday at my house, I’d like to introduce your father to my family”

…. voices of strangers called out to the son and the father offering a bed and food or transportation.

The father amused by all the generosity and how sociable everyone was and in particular how much they admired his son.

Then the father asks to see the second son’s house. The son responds, “This is my house, this town. I invested in all the businesses and the people, helping them rebuild their town. They provide food for me, a bed and company.

The father mused by the unexpected answer. Being a wise old man, he responds to his son’s choice of investment. “You have indeed built the most magnificent home rather than choosing to build a house yourself”

Note : My father shared the above parable to me as a young boy and it has always resonated the question “What will I build in my lifetime, a house or a home

~ Dimitri Smilovitis (My father)

The picture was drawn for me to illustrate the parable by my good friend and artist Mark Bruning, look him up on Instagram.

Australian Migrants Rock

Children of unskilled, unlearned and non English speaking migrants 51 years today, 16th April 2019

My parents arrived at the Fremantle docks with all their woes and sorrows of poverty, civil war and hopelessness into the arms of a country that gave them a chance.

My brother ended up getting two degrees, maths and music while working in the family business. I remember him doing his homework while the filo pastry was drying. He became a teacher and a pastor in Sydney and Melbourne. Now he’s teaching in a Perth Christian high school influencing the next generation.

My sister is highly intelligent and can serve an army with her hospitality skills. She’s brilliant with her money which has helped her wild journey as a missionary to Indonesia, Vietnam, China and India with her husband and family.

Me, well don’t worry about me, I’m still a work in progress and love what I do. I’m just glad I attracted the most awesome Australian girl who married me and we’ve had children that are larger than life adding value to Australia, New Zealand and India.

Thank God for Australia who allowed unskilled, unlearned and non English migrants like my parents into this country 51 years ago today.

Imagine the impact of the migrants that we question regarding their value due to their unfortunate circumstances. The sky is the limit what they can do for this country and the world around us.

Judge every person on their own merits rather than be damned with lazy group thought.

Survival tips on starting a new enterprise

No matter how grand the vision is we must pace ourselves

Just because change is needed or you see a market opportunity doesn’t mean success will happen on our time schedule.

You have a dream to start a business and you take the leap. It makes perfect sense because you see the need and you’re equiped to facilitate that need.

You’ve been endorsed by family, friends and your own personal sense of past accomplishments. When you start you have the energy you never knew you had which we’ll call the honeymoon period.

It doesn’t take long before negativity sets in. People aren’t buying into your vision or engaging in your services and you lose focus wandering if you really have anything to offer?

It’s at this point where the real opportunity can be revealed. It’s called a reality check.

1. Do people really want to change providers just because you need their business?

2. Do you have a competitive edge that can influence decision makers to change service providers?

3. Are you committed for the long haul?

Like any worthwhile relationship, we get what we put it. The most exciting part about starting a new business or enterprise is that it strips away all our preconceived ideas about ourselves. It allows us to scratch that itch that’s been bothering us for a while.

Most businesses won’t even see the real effect of their efforts within the first two years. For a first time pioneer, two years can feel like an eternity.

Can I encourage you not to lose heart and go back to your original vision and do the following.

1. Clarify to yourself was it a vision or a mirage. Did you really want to go all out and do something that you saw in your mind’s eye or did you want to avoid getting a job.

2. Is your service recognised and if not you may want to extend the two plan of return to a longer one. It takes time to evangelise and let the world know your unique and much needed product or service.

3. Do you have the resources to continue until your vision is realised?

4. If you no longer care and it’s not that important, there’s no shame in shutting shop immediately. You are never a failure for venturing out. You may become a huge failure when you don’t recognise that the horse is dead and you refuse to dismount.

On a positive note

There truly is nothing more exciting than the romance of a visionary. To pioneer a new idea that has been deposited in your heart makes perfect sense.

1. Write out your vision in as much detail as possible and leave it be to reference off when the going gets tough.

2. Take baby steps when first starting.

3. Talk to positive people that will encourage you and also advise you with a bit of tough love.

4. Make as many real connections as possible and engage.

5. Always reevaluate and adapt.

There is no greater reward than realising your vision should you press in.

On a final note

1. Do it for yourself.

2. Look after your well-being

3. Don’t forget those around you because reaching success alone is the most unsuccessful thing you can do