Every year BRW magazine publish “The Young Rich List”.
The list includes the 100 wealthiest people in Australia under 40 and is read religiously by most people who are looking to create wealth.
- Back yourself.While Gerry Harvey, founder of Harvey Norman, was closing down stores throughout the year to cut costs, Nigel and Tania Austin, co-founders of Cotton On, were opening three new stores a week over the 08/09 financial year. This aggressive approach to capturing market share has paid dividends for Cotton On.
This is not to say that had Gerry Harvey opened up more stores rather than shutting them down, then his wealth would not have dropped by $400 million in 12 months. But it is to say that there is always more than one approach and being greedy when others are fearful, can pay dividends in the long run.
Nigel and Tania Austin have seen their wealth jump from $125 million to $156 million, doing just that.
- Focus on the people. Cotton On’s growth is highly aggressive, to the point where it has even drawn criticism recently by commentators who say that the growth is not sustainable. However Nigel Austin says that it’s the people in the business that have been able to ensure they have met their aggressive growth targets. “We spent a lot of money on management training to make sure our people have the right skills to drive growth.”
He attributes the success of Cotton On to, the “excellent managers right across Cotton On who are real leaders and business builders.”
- Have clear targets. Given what the economy has done over the last 18 months, most entrepreneurs have not hit their financial targets. However in business as in life, it’s the goals we choose to set for ourselves and live by, that will influence our direction more than any external factor. It has been said that what lies in front of us, and behind us, is far less important than what lies within us.
As Shaun Bonett, number 5 on the list says, “I’ve found it makes me focus on managing for the longer term. It also helps to make all the challenges you are going through at a time like this feel like a worthwhile learning experience.”
Overall the Young Rich held up very well over the last 12 months. The Rich List, which includes the richest 200 people in Australia (mainly over 40 years of age), saw their wealth drop by 18 per cent this year. Whereas the wealth on the Young Rich List, only dropped by 4.5 per cent – a great achievement considering we have just experienced the worst financial crisis since the 1930’s.
Of all the people on the Young Rich List, none ended up there by accident.