21st June 2007

The following Mortgage Talk is dedicated to the book Job Fever – Breaking the Shackle” an 80 page easy to read resource written by Mr Ray O’Neill, Chairman and Founder of La Trobe Financial Services.

“Since I first coined the phrase job fever, I have never ceased to be astonished by the number of people from all walks of life and in every industry who spend the whole of their working lives in a salaried job, and quite often with the same employer. This is not just about those occupying management positions. I have seen all too clearly that there is as much natural ability and nous on the factory floor as in the executive suite. I hope this book helps to stimulate your imagination and expand your horizons – to create thought and action.” Mr Ray O’Neill.

This book will assist reader’s understand the following unique insights of La Trobe’s founder and his 54 years of business experience in working to build his own business. It is applicable to all ages whether you are about to start, or are currently running your own business.

JOB FEVER TOP EIGHT (8) TIPS
of operating a small business successfully
  1. Choose something you deeply believe in. Have a conviction about what you do.

    Businesses with a cause (e.g. housing the poor, or putting a PC in every home like Microsoft) survive and evolve beyond the mere financial; have a cause. Forget mission statements and large verbose five year plans with complex spreadsheet models; start out small and build organically.

  2. Plan the first two years, with NO cash flow

    Make business budgets at today’s interest rates plus 3.00 to 5.00% extra. Can you still survive? Try to anticipate everything - small or large.

  3. Have a valuable product/selling proposition

    Operate in niche markets with high margins for success, or where others won’t because of size or costs. Specialize and don’t try to be all things to all people.

  4. Maintain a disciplined work approach and ethic

    Be able to start early, leave late and sacrifice; purchase furniture from liquidators etc, (second hand is cheaper). It is only the participant, not the spectator who truly understands the way the business world works and the forces at play. “Experts ranked in serried rows.... filled the enormous plaza full.... but amongst them there is only one who knows.... And he’s the one who fights the bull” - (Robert Graves – Scottish Poet)

  5. Don’t be overcome by fears about competition

    Focus on your own game. We had lunch with David Parkin several years back and he talked about a young player who David asked to speak to Yabbie Jeans pre Grand Final. The kid was real talent but high media profile, car, celebrity girlfriend etc,...Yabbie asked him how he was feeling and the Kid spoke about himself “me...me...me” Yabbie said to him... “stop worrying about yourself and think about your team mates... then all your nerves and worries will disappear...” 
    “The more times I failed, the better the successes,”
    Michael Jordan NBA All-star Basketballer.

  6. Have a life time enthusiasm for learning…you are never too old to learn

    Continuously train and educate yourself and your team in everything you do. Education unlocks the “mind” and can invigorate the organisation. We often get asked at La Trobe, “You spend a lot of money on training and don’t your best ones leave?” Well yes….some do and would anyway, but consider the alternative, don’t train them and the bad ones stay. Come to work every day fired with enthusiasm or you surely will be! Enthusiasm rubs off and is contagious.

  7. Control the cash yourself

    Sign the payroll and have weekly reports on what goes on…..do not delegate this until you intimately understand what your team really need to buy in running the business. This is the Dr. John Hewson, “How much is the cake without the GST?” question ...you must know this. EXPENSES ARE THE ONLY ONE THING YOU CAN REALLY CONTINUOUSLY CONTROL IN any BUSINESS, not revenue, not sales but YOUR EXPENSES.

    Keep the business structure simple and focused on serving the public.

  8. Persistence, persistence, and persistence…hard work pays off

    Don’t forget what Sir Reginald Ansett said when asked about the three (3) most important things for business success: “PERSISTENCE, PERSISTENCE AND PERSISTENCE." Remember also Einstein’s definition of genius, “1% inspiration AND 99% perspiration.” 
So get in and work your business - it's waiting for you.

Please visit the website www.jobfever.com.au to learn more from the book and to place an order – RRP $19.95. or call 1800 707 707 asking for Ms. Trudy Alcoe, Executive Assistant to the CEO.

Click Here for a copy of speech on Job Fever given by Ray O'Neill to Melbourne Business Forum.


Best regards
Iain Pepper




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Iain Pepper
Head of Lending

Iain Pepper is a Vice-President and the Head of Lending for the La Trobe Group.Read full profile here.








La Trobe is one of Australia's leading independent specialist mortgage Financiers. Its business includes residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, and investment services operating one of Australia's largest Mortgage Funds under AFSL 222213. It employs over 145 staff and has raised over AUD$10Billion to assist over 100,000 customers since inception in 1952.

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