Leadership

‘The Founder Journey, It’s A Marathon Not A Sprint’: Founders Share Their Greatest Advice

Adore Beauty's Kate Morris, Matcha Maiden's Sarah Holloway, Liven's Grace Wong, and Sidekicker's Jacqui Bull share their greatest advice at the FW X Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Talks in Melbourne.

By Emily J. Brooks

Leadership

Adore Beauty's Kate Morris, Matcha Maiden's Sarah Holloway, Liven's Grace Wong, and Sidekicker's Jacqui Bull share their greatest advice at the FW X Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Talks in Melbourne.

By Emily J. Brooks

The spark of an idea often provides the drive to get a business off the ground, but as four successful female founders revealed last week, the most valuable trait any aspiring founder can have is endurance. “The founder journey, it’s a marathon not a sprint,” Adore Beauty founder, Kate Morris, told a packed room on Tuesday at the FW X Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Talks in Melbourne. Morris was joined by Matcha Maiden founder, Sarah Holloway, Liven co-founder, Grace Wong, and Sidekicker co-founder, Jacqui Bull. FW editor-at-large Jamila Rizvi led the panel discussion as these four impressive women spoke about the value of learning on the job, tweaking as you go, and staying ahead of the game.

And maybe the most valuable piece of advice was shared during a discussion on protecting your wellbeing while you’re busy racing toward your dreams. “The way that you have to think about it in terms of looking after your own mental health and wellbeing so you can stay in it is to go, ‘OK, I’m the most valuable resource that my company has.’ What needs to happen for this valuable resource to be protected, so that this resource can continue to add value over the next five, 10, nearly 20 years in my case,” Morris said. “You have to look after yourself enough to stay in it. You work hard, right, but you’ve got to be able to hang in there. For me, I probably dropped a lot of things out of my life. Because for me, it just gets to be a little too much. I don’t really do dinner parties any more. If we go on holidays, it’s to one of the same two places we’ve been to before because it’s just really easy to organise. On weekends I like to organise zero activities. All I do is hang out with my kids. That’s pretty much it. That’s what sort of keeps me sane and on an even keel. Just kind of refining your life down to the things that are really important.”

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Here are the other key pieces of wisdom from the evening:

Sarah Holloway: “In anything you do in a new business – in a new phase or a new product or a new market – you tend to want to do it all straight away. Launch with all your SKUs or launch with a warehouse or launch big bang kind of stuff but that will blow all your budget before you’ve tested anything out. So go slowly, be willing to refine, be willing to be really adaptable,” said the Matcha Maiden founder. “The best way to learn is to do it on the go because the market changes so fast, that if you just sit down and do everything in theory and research it and be ready before you launch, you’re going to launch and all of it will have changed by the time you actually get there. So the best way to market something is to test it on the go and then tweak.”

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