Recently I attended a conference that concentrated on ways to assist our business clients. One of the guest speakers was a lady by the name of Carolyn Creswell.

Carolyn was the recipient of the 2012 Telstra Australia Business Woman of the Year, founder of Carmans (Muesli Bars), the business was named one of BRW’s Fastest 100 Growing Companies and Carolyn is a mother of four.

Her story shows that if you have the desire and drive you can achieve your dream. At the age of 18 whilst working part-time and study a degree at University, Carolyn found herself with the opportunity to either buy her employers business or potentially lose her job. Carolyn’s thinking was quite simply, “you love the muesli and you make it already”, I could buy this business.  Unfortunately Carolyn only had savings of $1,000 so this is all that she could offer. After an extended period of time and no sale the offer from Carolyn was eventually accepted.

Twenty years on, Carmans manufacturers and distributes muesli, muesli bars, oats, porridge and clusters which are available in all major supermarkets throughout Australia. They have also continued to supply the same delis and cafes that they were originally supplying, as well as exporting to over 32 countries around the world.

In Carolyn’s presentation she tells of the many knock backs, in particular trying to get her product into the major retailers, however living by the great motto of – “It’s NO for now, not NO forever  (I believe that children fully understand this motto), Carmans products now appear to be everywhere.

On completion of her presentation Carolyn gave us her four top tips which I thought that it would be prudent to share.

Carolyn’s Top Tips:
  1. Be Customer Focused
  2. Stay Focused – learn to say no
  3. Prioritise
  4. Purpose – WHY are you in business

Carolyn certainly showed with drive and passion that you can achieve your goals.