‘What I've learnt about … being an entrepreneur’

By Kym Cairns | Oct 10, 16 10:05 AM

“When you look at the most successful businesses, no matter what size they are, you will always find a very passionate, motivated person behind that business.”

Name: Kym Cairns
Age: 41
Location: Darwin
Business: Cairns Industries Pty Ltd 
Website: www.cairnsindustries.com

What’s the toughest business challenge you’ve faced, and what did you learn along the way?
I have faced many challenges throughout my journey so far, and I believe that I have learnt something valuable in all of them, from living remote and trying to run a business in a small remote town, to learning to be a woman in the construction industry. The toughest challenge, however, was learning that you cannot please everyone all of the time, and sometimes there are people that you will never please.  I have had to learn to let a lot of things go, to not get emotional or angry when someone comes back at you about something they didn’t like.  I have learnt that as long as I believe that I am doing everything to the best of my ability and that I believe I am doing the right thing by myself, my family, my employees and my customers, then that is all that really matters.  

What have you learnt about growing a business?
The more passionate about it you are, the easier it is to grow it. One of my personal quotes is “from passion comes brilliant business”. When you look at the most successful businesses, no matter what size they are, you will always find a very passionate, motivated person behind that business. Passion generates motivation and hard work, and if you genuinely love what you are doing, then doing it is a lot easier. 

What have you learnt about culture in your business?
I am a huge advocate for creating a culture of ‘giving back” in business.  I believe it is the responsibility of business and entrepreneurs to give back to the community.  I personally volunteer for a number of organisations, and as a business, Cairns Industries is always donating money, time, materials or whatever is needed to various organisations, especially those in our own community. 

Business should be the role models for this, and they should all be setting the example.  Ultimately, businesses rely on community, therefore they should be giving back to that community.  One of my favourite sayings is, “You much be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi.  I also believe that the more you give, the more you receive in return.   

What have you learnt about staff (or business partners, or other relationships) in business?
Your staff are your biggest asset, and should therefore be treated as such. Having a business located in a remote town in Northern Territory, we provide everything for our staff, ie. accommodation, food, entertainment etc.  As we are in that situation and we all have to live and work together, we have created a family environment amongst our staff.  We have created a staff environment whereby there is mutual respect, and they all feel as though they are looked after.  This then creates employees who are happy and will work for you to the best of their ability.

What have you learnt about leadership in your business?
Leadership is about leading by example and being a good role model.  I do not expect my employees to do anything that I would not do.  It is also about mutual respect, as you cannot lead people who do not respect you, and if you respect them, they are more likely to respect you. 

Kym is a Premium member of Business Chicks. Connect with her here




post a comment


You need to be a member to post a comment. Please or become a member.