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15 Entrepreneurs Share 3 Key Things They Attribute to Their Success

Whilst I am very proud of Strictly Savvy and the immeasurable labour put into creating and maintaining a successful business, it is still a fledgling in the eyes of the business world. I approached some key business owners across the country and asked them what they believe played a hand in their success, in the hopes that we can all continue to learn and become even more successful in our chosen industries.

What 3 key things can you attribute to your success?

  1. Having a talented team that you can trust. Amongst my co-founders, we have a nice balance of technical, creative, and commercial expertise- which was a great foundation to start a business. As we grew and started to hire the wider team, it was important that our team shared the passion for delivering what customers needed- and due to our remote nature of working, we had to trust them to get the job done. I’m always delighted when the team delivers that extra bit of goodness, whether that be an extra refinement of the website builder, or helping a customer with a support query
  2. Look after your customers. This one is so cliché and basic but its so important. When we started Rocketspark, our templates were very basic and you could only add text and pictures. In the early days, if someone wanted to add a YouTube video, we would do it for them as it wasn’t yet a feature we’d built. Providing great service overcame the challenges of a limited feature set and those early customers could see good progress to know that things were going to keep getting better. Our first 6 clients in 2009 are still clients today which is a testament to this focus on looking after our clients. The majority of our business still comes from word of mouth referrals
  3. Marry well! My wife has been a great support through this journey in so many ways

-Grant Johnson is a co-founder at Rocketspark, the beautifully simple website builder. Rocketspark enables non-technical people to create their own website or you can have Strictly Savvy create the site for you. Check out the Rocketspark’s easy to understand blog to learn more about how to make the most your online presence. 

  1. Good business partners and a supportive family
  2. My Christian faith that has given me the opportunity to serve others and therefore takes the focus away from it being all about me
  3. A desire to ensure that what I am doing is understandable and makes life simpler for others

-Bruce Stormer is a Chartered Accountant who seeks to help business owners make the difficult understandable by explaining business and accounting terms in a way that his clients can relate to. For an example click here.

  1. Huge support from people
  2. Willing to invest back in the business and take a risk
  3. Willing to be vulnerable and open

-Karl Baker is a creative entrepreneur who enjoys breaking rules and building innovative businesses. He is the founder and managing director of Mindfulness Works, the largest mindfulness training organisation in Australasia.

Passion, positivity, and persistence

-Cathy Sheppard is a leadership and team development specialist, with a passion for transforming businesses and changing people’s lives. She is the founder of BSI People Skills Ltd, helping businesses and organisations develop happy, healthy, high-performing teams.

Amazing support and feedback from friends, family, and clients; a burning desire and drive to work for myself and have that unparalleled level of freedom; and a constant curiosity about everyone and everything. Never stop learning - Google is your friend!

-Jess Menon has built a business with clients all over the world, is an exceptional writer and a passionate vegan. Check out her CV writing and design company and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

  1. I have a rock solid belief in myself. I don't know where it came from but it is there. Maybe it's something bigger than me - like my divine purpose in the world is to help people in this way. It guides me and cheers me up when facing adversity. I am a coach and trainer in the area of personal power so I use my own tools to coach myself
  2. I channel my inner accountant and keep a close eye on cash flow. I have a script for talking about money and how much things cost, because otherwise, I have a feeling I might sound apologetic or needy for asking for what I am worth. This gives everyone clarity
  3. I spend time with customers who have got great benefits out of working with MindMeld Coaching. We become each other's fans and I try to walk with them on their journey. I don't spread myself too thinly trying to attract new customers all the time. Repeat business is a privilege and needs to be treasured

-Brenda Ratcliff is an experienced MC, presenter, trainer and leadership coach. Her business MindMeld Coaching continues to flourish. Her weekend job is as a marriage celebrant, themed weddings especially.

  1. Integrity across all I do
  2. Massive action taking over perfection
  3. Transparency across all of my dealings and transitions

-Natalie Sisson is a self-proclaimed Freedomist and Founder of the Suitcase Entrepreneur and she's dedicated to ensuring entrepreneurs create freedom in business and adventure in life through better systems, daily freedom routines and the right mindset to grow and scale your business without you. You can catch her live podcast updates on Quest for Freedom here.

  1. Having an underlying, overwhelming, genuine desire to help people become financially organised
  2. Hiring our team on attitude and fit rather than focusing 100% on skillset
  3. We have a crystal clear vision of what we want to be and to whom

-Carissa Fairbrother is an Authorised Financial Advisor, Co-founder of RIVAL Wealth, a Financial Wellness Warrior and Keynote Speaker. Always happy to talk to one on one about getting financially organised.

  1.  Vision
  2. Passion
  3. Determination

-Assia Salikhova is a dynamic entrepreneur, founder of NZ's largest business database and creator of profitable marketing ideas guaranteed to work for businesses of any size. Join a growing community here for the soon to be launched B2BMarketing Club.


  1. Persistence
  2. Happy to be challenged and have tough conversations
  3. Big dreams

-Nigel Fowler is super passionate about the products and services smart entrepreneurs are inventing every day. He is on a mission to tell the stories of businesses worldwide and write their web content for their website.

  1. Using our own product and being our loudest critic. If it annoys me to use Private Box it is highly likely to annoy my customers - hence I use it every day to manage my personal mail and provide physical addresses to my businesses
  2. Being willing to develop myself and invest in my own development to break down those negative self-beliefs
  3. Knowing that life is really lived at its best when you are doing something fun and that you care about. We are only here once (as far as I know) - so better enjoy it while you are here!

-Gareth Foster runs Private Box - a mail forwarding company with its HQ in Wellington. Think digital mailroom, outsourcing your mail, virtual office and living your life anywhere. Secure, fast & addresses in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. Your Mail. Sorted. Gareth also runs Office Box - a one-stop shop to get everything you need to start a business online and Adventure Kiwi - a free advertising platform for your campervan, motorhome or caravan.

Energy, enthusiasm and envisioning the future.

-Youssef Mourra is the founder of Nonsuch Consulting. Follow his irreverent utterances on the world of project management and strategic alignment on Twitter.

It depends on what you label a success. Things that have got me to where I am today are:

  1. Trusting people. And yeah sometimes they are gonna let you down. But more often than not, they don't.
  2. Trust your gut.
  3. When something's not right, sort it out. Don't let it fester. It's the old ostrich principle - get your head out of the sand. Get it done. Get it sorted.

-Jono Rees owns Boostnest, an accounting firm in Wellington, and provides direct, results focused advice for any stage of your business.

  1. Not being willing to ever accept 'No' if/when I believed something to be possible... On so many occasions (throughout my entire life) I've found opportunities/solutions AFTER people have told me No...
  2. Hard work - as cliché as it sounds... There are definitely times when rolling up your sleeves and putting in the time and effort (that the masses won't) is necessary. Never shy away from what looks like hard work
  3. Consistent learning! As long as you are learning and evolving as a person, your business will continue to grow and evolve with you

-Lance Jensen is the founder of Red Hot Business Coaching. Check out his business blog and YouTube channel #FromTheCoachesRoom

  1. Low fear, low negative self-talk
  2. Belief that I can do almost anything
  3. Action, action, action - I make things happen and get things done

-Me, Jo Muggeridge. The founder of Strictly SavvySavvy School and Savvy Spaces. Currently on a mission to upskill job seekers and mentor start-up virtual assistants so they too can have flexibility, freedom, and control in their lives.


In my next post, entrepreneurs share how they decide what to say yes to. There are some very insightful answers.

Jo Muggeridge | Founder & Leader at Strictly SavvySavvy School & Savvy Spaces


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