You’ve Got to do the Yards

It usually takes about 25 years to become an overnight success, and while we might see a plethora of reality TV shows launching the careers of singers and chefs along with the famous for being famous brigade of Big Brother et al the truth is that most of them do not go on to become true stars.  There are of course exceptions, Kelly Clarkson, Guy Sebastian, & One Direction come to mind as well as home cook Julie Goodwin and some of her compatriots who seem to spring up now and again.

Young businesswoman opening stage curtain to another reality

The banal reality TV stars though are most certainly 15 min of fame wonders with only one I can think of who has had a modicum of success as a radio host.  The true reality is that to be successful you have to do your apprenticeship, you need to acquire knowledge, apply it very well and become respected for what you do.  Once you develop expertise in your chosen field of endeavour you have an opportunity to become known for what you do; at this point if you harness it well you can command your market and demand a premium price for what you do.

A real success and terrific personality that is felt through the medium of TV is Maggie Beer.  She has not had any formal training as a chef, yet has an amazing career spanning almost five decades.  Her only paid cooking job was at a Scottish sailing school during a European trip in her early twenties.  The IPO of her company Maggie Beer Products is expected to raise $30 million, a considerable sum but one she has entirely earned from a lifetime of work and commitment.  Not everyone will make that sort of money from their profession, but it is up to you to learn, do the work and gain from what you deliver for others in life.

Maggie Beer says the greatest mistake she ever made was to give her company her name.

“Because, as such, we can never sell it. I couldn’t bear to sell the whole business. Over the last five to seven years we have had a lot of approaches to be bought and I have never entertained them,’’ she tells The Weekend Australian in an exclusive interview.

“I have spent all my life making sure there are no shortcuts. So the things that matter to me matter so much that no matter how attractive offers were, I said no.’’

Over the past 20 years Maggie Beer Products has grown to be one of the largest employers in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, producing more than 200 gourmet food products for local and export markets.  (1)
Very few people are lucky enough to put their hand into the proverbial bucket of compost and pull out a diamond ring, if you are however lucky enough to crack becoming expert at something very quickly that’s fantastic.  For the rest of us, it’s a matter of time not timing and continuing to put in the work.


Trevor Dixon

Chairman Small Business Foundation

For more on “Enterprise” – The Art of Freedom, visit:



1. Damon Kitney, Victorian Business Editor,  The Australian: Full article here

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