Behind The Scenes At October’s BxPonential 2016


This year BxPonential gathered together a wealth of speakers, and October was no exception.  Here’s a quick wrap of the BxPonential ideas our speakers shared with the audience:

Luke S Kennedy

Luke S Kennedy was an obese alcoholic and drug addict leading a street fighting crew, constantly on the verge of death through his risk-taking and substance abuse. Not only was Luke close to death himself, he was also putting others in the line of fire through street battles.

In 2007, Luke began his journey to regaining his life for himself – he lost 47 kilos and started his own business, Punchy’s Training & Nutrition, Oatley. In the time since, Luke has become an award-winning businessman, speaker, mentor and international best-selling author.

Particularly passionate about empowering others to take back their lives and live life positively and to the full, Luke travels all over Australia speaking to troubled youth as well as visiting high schools, prisons and corporations to share his experiences, low and high.

At BxPonential, Luke compared his experiences in street fighting to his experiences in business noting the similarities between the two when it came to becoming established: he needed a big idea to motivate him, it was important to make a strong early impression, and to hustle for what he was after.

Luke shared on stage the missing ingredient during his time leading a street fighting gang was his willingness to receive feedback. “If anyone in the gang gave me ‘feedback’, I was likely to stab them,” he said. Yet what he learnt was this: Anything led by ego eventually self destructs. “I had to learn to be open to change, open to criticism. “It was only realising the importance of feedback and welcoming it from customers, family members and employees alike, that allowed me to move my business forward.”

Meet: Matt Alderton

If you’ve been doing business in Sydney over the last 20 years, you might recognise Matt – the founder and a shareholder in IWS, Australia’s largest cloud-based rostering and payroll company, as well as Bx, Aldterton Enterprises and Orderfast.

Wanting success from a young age, Matt’s passion is to share his knowledge and experience to help others achieve success through growth and development, specialising in leadership.

Matt has trained and mentored with John C. Maxwell, Les Brown and Terry Hawkins. Matt is proud to teach with John Maxwell and be a part of the John Maxwell Leadership Team.  He loves delivering an enjoyable, funny and high-energy learning experience to make sure that everyone gets as much as they can to start growing both professionally and personally.

On the BxPonential stage, Matt spoke about the difference your attitude can make in your day and in your business. Throughout his business journey, Matt has had many days where he has swung his legs out of bed and wanted to swing them right back in again; through his many ups and downs, he knows that having a positive attitude is not always possible, but it is always possible to fake it until you make it.

“Having a positive attitude can turn problems into blessings and learning experiences, it can change and define our approach to life and it can open up opportunities in business that might never have come our way before,” said Matt.

He also shared the value of taking the time to remember someone’s name. “It may not seem much, but it gives you a wonderful connection,” said Matt. “It shows how you notice and value someone. There’s no secret trick, you have to find out what work for you as a memory aid.” It may help if you think of yourself as an aural or visual learner. “One colleague will remember someone’s name as soon as it’s printed in front of her. Another uses verbal word association more successfully.”

Naomi Simson

With a hand-me-down computer and $25,000 of personal investment, Naomi Simson started RedBalloon in the front room of her house in 2001 with the goal of selling experiences and memories rather than gifts. By 2011, RedBalloon had 46 employees and today, they’ve sold over 3 million experiences and cemented themselves as one of Australia’s biggest online business success stories.

Naomi has learned a lot in her time as the founder of RedBalloon and she shares her experiences and insights through public speaking engagements, her blogs, books and LinkedIn, where she has over 1.2 million followers.

Recognisable now as the ‘Red Shark’ on Shark Tank, Naomi is a keen investor and a big supporter of the start-up community. At BxPonential, Naomi took the audience through her journey of being a business owner – through unexpected surprises (both good and bad), she knows that the learning never stops.

Naomi also has found that her two biggest choices are the decisions that revolve around how she spends her time and what she does to invest in relationships. When it comes to relationships in her business, she knows that her staff want to “belong, to be healthy, to learn, to be noticed and, perhaps most of all, they want to know that they can contribute to the lives of others.”

Naomi also reminded those of us at BxPonential that we need to be willing to ask for help when we need it – everyone wants to offer help, in their own unique ways, so by asking for help we are empowering other to serve. She also reminded the audience not to take themselves too seriously: you need a strong wishbone (your plan), backbone (resilience) and a funny bone.

John McGrath

In a small office in Paddington, Sydney, John McGrath quietly launched McGrath Estate Agents, now one of the loudest voices in the real estate industry. Armed with a philosophy based upon integrity, transparency and delivering great results to every single client, the McGrath network grew until it became the force it is today. With 87 offices spanning the length of the Australian East Coast, the network has a strong market presence and it’s only growing as it breaks into the Victorian market.

At Bxponential, John shared his passion for real estate along with his experiences and insights into the world of business. For anyone worried about being too young to go into business, he encouraged them with, “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.” He was adamant about the responsibility every individual has to take for themselves, saying “there is only one person who holds you back and prevents you from doing something and they’re in the room right now…you!”

John also offered a great exercise on self-assessment, asking the audience to rate themselves on a scale of 1-10 where 10 is world’s best in regards to planning, time management, health etc. “If you’re not rating yourself at an 8 or above, you need to make changes.”

In John’s opinion the best real estate is between our ears, and we all have to work on our “inner market” a concept he learnt from his own mentor in regards to overcoming the negative internal voices of self-doubt and becoming “a black belt of the mind.”


Why Are So Many Small Businesses Failing?

Getting Ready to Change Starts with the Decision to do so


If you’ve ever ventured out on your own in the business world, it’s likely you’ve heard a myriad of statistics when it comes to the rate of small businesses failing within their first year of operation.  As it stands, the current figures in Australia are sitting lower than 2%. This is still cause for concern but many are adamant that it’s no longer the first year of business that small businesses need to survive, the danger point is now further down the track with more and more businesses bowing out in their third or fourth years.

So, what is it that small business owners seem to be missing when it comes to the business game?

Problem: Forgetting to work on the business.

Solution:  The first thing you need is a business plan, but many business owners often overlook this. How do you plan to reach your clients? What do you want to achieve through your business? Other questions like this should arise while you create your business plan so that you can have a clear vision of the future. Don’t forget to be flexible and willing to update your business plan throughout the life in your business life.

Problem: Overlooking personal and employee training.

Solution:  A lot of business owners take a business idea and run with it without thinking it through, but before they know it, they’re knee-deep in a business that they’re not properly trained for. As a result, they often have a ‘learn as you go’ approach to training which is not always a positive approach. Encouraging employees to learn more, defining their role clearly and making sure they’re on-board with the business vision will give them a natural desire to learn and receive formal training to be able to contribute at full capacity.

Problem: Ignoring the need for marketing.

Solution:  The digital age has brought a whole new world of marketing to the forefront of our minds. It’s now easier to get your business out there through the Internet and it’s easier to be overlooked in the oversaturation of advertisements.  Harnessing your social media and using it to advertise and connect could be the best starting point for your small business – it’s only on to bigger and better things from there.

Problem: Having no analysis strategies.

Solution: The first step to fixing this problem, is recognising it. Already you’re on your way to analysing your business! To make things easy for yourself, start with the most simple and widely loved analysis strategy – SWOT analysis.

–       Strengths

–       Weaknesses

–       Opportunities

–       Threats

By looking at your business through all four of these lenses you can start to work out where you need to improve and where you need to start taking action as well as the areas in which you can be encouraged by your performance. It’s a great way to think deeply about your business without getting overwhelmed by the bad points or distracted by the good.

If you can recognise any of these problems in your small business, it might be time to start implementing some solutions, one at a time, to get your business on the road to success.