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4 Unconventional Business Growth Strategies From Leading Entrepreneurs

Written by Jack Delosa
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The world has changed. The old rules of business growth are no longer relevant. And conventional wisdom won't bring business owners the sustained success they strive for.

If we continue to do things the way they've always been done, then we will continue to get what we've always gotten. In order to move forward we need to innovate, change and disrupt.

Now more than ever, all of us as entrepreneurs should be challenging conventional thinking if we want to build a scalable and sustainable multi-million dollar business. The world needs us as leaders of industry to throw away tradition and think differently.

What I know to be is true is this - it's those who are quick on their feet and able to respond to high change with calm, courageous leadership who have the advantage. This is exactly what we teach at The Entourage.

Earlier this year, my team at The Entourage and I brought together some of the world's leading entrepreneurs at The Entrepreneurs' Unconvention, Australia's largest and most transformational event. The purpose of Unconvention was to empower business owners to think differently, challenge the status quo and harness the strategies and ideas that enable real-world business growth in these unprecedented times.

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Discovering unconventional business strategies

Named Top 3 Events for Entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur Magazine and having hosted 45,000+ entrepreneurs and business owners over the past 11 years, The Entrepreneur's Unconvention is a truly unique event.

Recognised as the home stage of entrepreneurship in Australia, Unconvention brings together small and medium sized business owners and some of Australia's most remarkable entrepreneurs under one roof, to be immersed in the mindset, principles, practices and unconventional behaviours that will drive their business's growth forward and build meaningful lives in the long-term.

With real-world business growth strategies from some of the greatest businesses across Australia including that of:

  • Larry Diamond - Founder of Zip Co
  • Lorna Jane Clarkson - Founder of Lorna Jane
  • Simon Griffiths - Co-Founder of Who Gives A Crap
  • Samantha Wills - Founder of Samantha Wills Jewellery
  • As well as myself and my team at The Entourage

This year's Unconvention was a transformational one. That's why I wanted to share the experience with you too in our newest episode of Unscripted!

Unscripted is the raw, authentic, unfiltered, behind-the-scenes journey of my entrepreneurial journey at The Entourage. In Unscripted Episode #31, you'll have the chance to see my favourite moments from Unconvention and hear the strategies shared by some of Australia's best. No boundaries, no filters, no scripts. This is Unscripted.

Check out the full episode below.

4 biggest business lessons from multi-million dollar founders

Throughout Unscripted #31, my team will have given you an inside view into how some of the top entrepreneurs in Australia run their businesses, and the unconventional growth strategies they have used to become industry leaders. With $8.5 billion in combined revenue, these are some invaluable, hard-earned lessons that are not to be missed if you want to elevate your business to the next level too.

You need to push for new ideas

Lorna Jane Clarkson is not only known as the Founder of one of the most successful activewear brands in the world, 'Lorna Jane', she is also known for literally coining the term 'activewear'. She found a gap in the market from her own dissatisfaction with workout clothes and took that opportunity to take the fashion industry and fitness industry to the next level.

For Lorna, it's important to be a leader who pushes new ideas because that's where success is. If you want to stand out, not everyone will get what you're doing immediately. If they do, then you're just acting like everybody else. Instead, trust your gut and follow your instinct because that's what got Lorna to where she is today.

30 years in business, over 200 stores across the world, and recently appointed Celebrity Apprentice advisor as well, Lorna knows overnight successes don't often just happen, especially when you're changing the face of an entire industry.

Measure your team against the real metrics that matter

If you like toilet paper and you like helping the world, you'll most likely have heard of Simon Griffiths, the Co-Founder of Who Gives A Crap, a profit-for-purpose toilet paper company that uses 50% of its profits to build toilets in the developing world. One of Melbourne’s Top 100 Most Influential People, Simon and the success of Who Gives A Crap are well-recognised due to their philanthropic nature, not just in their company vision but spread throughout their business too.

While most traditional businesses bring focus onto KPI's, performance reviews, and other profit-driven activity, Who Gives A Crap's leadership team's strategy is to bring focus on other goals such as happiness within the team. They are able to help achieve this in 3 ways: with (1) Autonomy, (2) Mastery, and (3) Purpose developed within their team.

Autonomy is all about setting clear goals for their team members, then getting out of the way to let them achieve them. Mastery is helping develop the skills that their team members truly care about. And purpose is about connecting the team to the company's purpose and a greater good overall. These growth strategies are what have helped them create the largest impact on the world, by starting from within.

quote from Simon Griffiths

Lead your brand with authenticity

For Samantha Wills, most of her business journey led her down unconventional pathways. From humble beginnings making jewellery at home, then selling her pieces at Bondi Markets, getting into $80,000 credit card debt, then exploding as a 'Break Out Star' named by The New York Times and being featured on A-list celebrities across the world, to then shutting it all down! Samantha's authentic journey was embedded in her designs and brand values, making it a cult favourite amongst hundreds of thousands of women even after its closure.

While the business was up and running, the one time Samantha followed her ego, gave into her imposter syndrome, and stripped the brand's authenticity completely back to look like other tier-one jewellery brands in the States, it nearly destroyed her entire business. She knew immediately afterwards that it was only because of her authenticity and trust in what she knew and what she was good at that she had found success, not in being like everybody else.

"Anything that is built not on authenticity has no foundation and it has no roots of origin."

Her advice? Stick to your brand, your values, your lane and the things that have made you and your business into what it is today. Once you've truly done this, you will not need to push for results, as you'll simply attract the audience and community who align with you, your values and what makes you unique.  This is the community that will stick with you through thick and thin, allowing your business' growth to truly flourish.

Know that your business is like any relationship - there will be ups and downs

I've had a lot of entrepreneurs say to me that they've fallen out of love with their business as their business grows. And I've always challenged any business owner who says this because 90% of the time it's not that you've fallen out of love with the business, it's you've fallen out of love with the stage your business' growth is at.

Conventional wisdom might tell you to sell the business or look for other strategies to get out of the business and do something else instead, but business is like any long term marriage or relationship. There will be ebbs and flows. You've just got to know what to do to get unstuck and get some movement to fall back in love with it.

Remember that while you will inevitably face a lot of challenges as an entrepreneur or business owner, human will can overcome insurmountable obstacles when you decide to.

Wrap up of The Entrepreneurs' Unconvention

These are just 4 unconventional strategies and mindsets to growing a sustainable and scalable multi-million dollar business from some of the most remarkable entrepreneurs in Australia. Check out the full Unscripted #31 video to view more key moments from the event.

Unscripted 31 watch now on YouTube

I hope you can take inspiration from these business growth strategies and lessons to help bring your business unconventional success too.

If you're an entrepreneur or business owner that wants to attend an Unconvention in person or even just continue to learn from Australia's top entrepreneurs with been-there-done-that-experience, join the movement with us at The Entourage below to get free resources, tools and templates from the world's best.

Join the movement.

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