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Six things we can learn from ambitious entrepreneurs

Ambition is a resource available to all of us – but we don’t all use it in the same way.

With their courageous spirit, determination and optimism, CGU believes small business owners are the champions of ambition in Australia.

But even the most ambitious – and successful – entrepreneurs didn’t get where they are without having to overcome a variety of barriers. Here are six valuable pieces of advice from small business owners about acting on – and following through with – your ambition, no matter the barriers. 


Know your purpose

“Define your why. Write it out. Make it clear. What do you envision achieving? Not in monetary value, but in purpose… I’ve got an inner compass that gets me out of bed every day; the purpose behind everything I do is to inspire people to live passionately. Every time I hit a roadblock, I realise it’s another point to the story – and every great story has its setbacks.”

Cam Greenwood, Founder of Monsta Surf


“I think feeling a sense of purpose is important, knowing your values and checking in with yourself to see if your purpose and actions are aligned to your values. When you have that solid foundation, ambition is a great thing.”

Jirra Harvey, Founder of Kalinya Communications


Don’t be scared of tall poppy syndrome

“I think there are cases of tall poppy syndrome in Australia, but I don’t think it’s as prominent as you’d imagine… If you’re surrounding with positive people, you won’t experience that.”

Jamie Hayman, Co-founder of Kindled


“If you think you’re experiencing the effects of tall poppy syndrome, you need to be clear on why you’re doing what you’re doing… We need to raise more awareness of the spirit of ambition and the great things that can come from it.” 

Cam Greenwood


…or fear of failure

“You should only ever fear failure if you’re not going to learn anything from it. If you learn something, even the smallest thing, you’re learning. And you’re growing as a person.”

Jamie Hayman

“I think there’ll always be setbacks, but you’ve just gotta take those risks.”

Moana Hope, AFLW superstar and Founder of Utilities Traffic Management


Surround yourself with positive people

“Some people will constantly make you doubt yourself, so find those special people who help keep you positive and moving forward.... We’re all here to do something great, you just need to find out what is it.” 

Jamie Hayman


“I think support is a massive part of people’s lives especially when they’re ambitious. I’m so grateful to have such a supportive family who’ve been with me from the beginning.”

Cam Greenwood


Understand your worth

“It’s notorious for women in business to undercharge. It’s hard to go up against the stereotypes that if we’re leaders, we’re bossy… My advice for young women going into business is to really focus on getting to know and understand your worth.”

Jirra Harvey


Take the first step

“My advice for other young people is to just take that first step. First of all, you should set a vision for where you want to go – you’ll never know the exact path for how to get there, but you need to know the destination and use that as a compass on your journey.”

Cam Greenwood


“Give it a go. Everybody has a passion. Doesn’t matter what it is, doesn’t matter people if other people think it’s silly, or that it’s going to take too much effort – just give it a go.”

Moana Hope