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Welcome to the
CommBank
Entrepreneurs
Hub.

The exclusive resource for entrepreneurs.

Episode 7:
Tony Maiello's
beaut biz.

Former teacher Tony Maiello now gives back to the community as CEO of Essential Beauty

Individualist
Tony Maiello
is a
Self starter
Individualist

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Entrepreneur

James Tuckermann 

James Tuckerman is an entrepreneur, angel investor, professional speaker, and Editor-In-Chief at Anthill Magazine. He is best known for launching Anthill Magazine in 2003. In 2009, he reinvented the business model towards 100% digital production. In 2004 and 2005, he was named Best Small Publisher in Australia by ABA (now Publishers Australia). He founded the 30under30 among other programs and initiatives designed to support entrepreneurs in Australia.

Are you working on
your business or in it?
By James Tuckermann 

Tony Maiello knows what it means to be a ‘successful’ entrepreneur. Sure, he runs a successful business. He probably makes some good coin too. But Tony knows that success is not purely about wealth. It’s about freedom. Tony talks about flexibility. “So, that might mean you’re working at 11 o’clock at night, but you may not start the next day until late.” But his key turning point clearly came with the birth of his first child. In Tony’s words, he took himself “out of the business.”

Tony has achieved a rare thing. He operates a service based industry that is scalable. By franchising the model and focussing on the people, he can do what he loves best, identifying areas of improvement and working “on” the business, rather than “in” it.

His entire story reminds me of a close friend who embarked on a similar path but, unlike Tony, lost sight of his purpose. He built a successful enterprise but became so overwhelmed with stress that he could barely sleep. His marriage started to struggle and eventually he sought help from an old mentor. (This is a true story, so I’ll be keeping his name a secret.)

Here’s what his mentor said:

“When you are overwhelmed with work, what is the first thing you do?”

Here is how my friend replied:

“I prioritise, so that I can take care of the most important things first.” (Smart answer, right?)

Here’s how the mentor replied:

“And what is an example of an ‘important’ thing?”

My friend thought for a moment, then answered:

“Cash flow. Generating revenue. Managing staff.” (Again, a sensible response?)

The mentor answered:

“And why do you want to get all those things running smoothly?”

My friend replied:

“So, that the business runs well.”

The mentor said:

“And why do you want it to run well?”

My friend said:

“So, that I can take care of my family.”

And here’s the moral of the story, as delivered by my friend’s mentor:

“So, the number one priority is not cash flow. Nor is it generating revenue. Nor is it about managing staff or all the other things you need to get right as a business owner. It’s about looking after the people we love and care about. That is always the first priority.”

And that has guided everything that my now successful friend has done ever since. While the sentiment of this short story is easier said than done, it strongly influences the foundation of Tony’s entrepreneurial mindset and the mindset of many like him.

Entrepreneurs are measured by the success of what they leave behind. Not by how many hours they work. Some business builders like to feel needed, they get off on the idea that their business cannot run without them. But, in reality, a good entrepreneur creates a business they work on, not in, that will survive them in every way.

This is key to Tony’s success. He has his priorities in order and, in doing so, has found freedom.

What are some of the smartest way you have been able to remove yourself from the business?

James Tuckermann 

Entrepreneur

James Tuckerman is an entrepreneur, angel investor, professional speaker, and Editor-In-Chief at Anthill Magazine. He is best known for launching Anthill Magazine in 2003. In 2009, he reinvented the business model towards 100% digital production. In 2004 and 2005, he was named Best Small Publisher in Australia by ABA (now Publishers Australia). He founded the 30under30 among other programs and initiatives designed to support entrepreneurs in Australia.

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