President's Message

Q&A with Hilton

Our April Luncheon was booked to capacity.

A broad mix of business people had turned out with the expectation of listening, learning and enjoying some great networking.

There was a real buzz in the room as Hilton Grugeon AM, one of Newcastle and The Hunter’s most successful businessmen, joined Belinda Mae Smith on stage to have a conversation about some of the things he loves the most.

Hilton spoke of his fondness for small business, encouraging small business owners in the room to never give up, to feed their businesses (or they’ll starve)… and he spoke of the indomitable spirit of small business owners that cannot and has not been suppressed throughout history – likening them to cockroaches with an innate ability to survive the most difficult of times…even outliving the dinosaurs.

“Change is inevitable” Hilton reminded us, saying how it sometimes comes in ripples and sometimes in roaring waves. He encouraged us to be fearless, to have a real ‘go for it’ attitude when jumping on a new wave. And don’t be afraid of falling off the wave. Hilton shared with us a few key principles that foster success:

  • Don’t fear change
  • Break with tradition
  • Don’t get distracted
  • Surround yourself with the right people
  • If someone else is on to a great thing, don’t be afraid to copy it

Hilton has a reputation for getting things done and shared some strategies that have helped him turn ideas into successful realities:

  • Collaborate with others, rather than going it alone
  • Be courageous enough to ‘have a go’, without fear of failure
  • Take risks with your own money, be discerning of the professional advice of others
  • Get outside your comfort zone

We really appreciated Hilton, his insight and his wisdom, and I believe everybody left our April luncheon with a new enthusiasm for their businesses…I know I did.

Next luncheon topic: Healthy People, Healthy Business – Tuesday May 7

A stressful workplace is proven to substantially reduce productivity, restrict creativity and job satisfaction, and in the bigger picture, increase workplace and management pressure. It can also increase team member absenteeism, trigger 70% of doctor visits and 85% of serious illness.

We’ll hear more on this, and what strategies we can use to optimise health and wellbeing in our workplace from our expert panel: Dr Trent Watson, Jaelea Skehan and Charlotte Thaarup.

The discussion will be facilitated by Meg Purser, NBC Life Member, and promises to be an amazing luncheon and I encourage you to get in early to secure your tickets.

Once again, I encourage you to join the Newcastle Business Club if you’re not already a member, to enjoy the many benefits. Each month members in attendance at a luncheon go in the draw to win a $50 gift voucher, donated by Westfield Kotara.

Come and have a chat with me or any of the NBC Committee after the next luncheon.

Craig Wellings | 2019 President