Grow, Learn, Create and Lead

Grow, Learn, Create and Lead

Monday, 01 October 2012 14:57

Mark Bouris – top inspirational business tips from the Yellow Brick Road founder and Celebrity Apprentice host

Top tips from Mark Bouris – a true inspiration

We were privileged to have Mark Bouris as our keynote speaker for our Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, Melbourne chapter, retreat last weekend in Daylesford.


Mark joined us for the entire evening and was truly inspirational. Mark is a private guy, although he has become a public figure and is now famous for hosting Channel 9’s Celebrity Apprentice, a gig which has changed his once private life.


Professionally, Mark Bouris is known as the founder and chairman of Wizard Home Loans, Australia's second largest non-bank mortgage lender behind Aussie Home Loans.


Wizard was sold to GE Money in 2004 for $500 million with Kerry Packer as an investor. Bouris is now the chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial planning business which he founded in 2007.


While the many women in the room drooled all night, I took avid notes so I could share key lessons with my readers.




Some stuff I can’t repeat as it was shared in confidence, although here is a snapshot of some of the inspirational messages which have resonated with me.


Be the disruptor in an industry and the challenger


Wizard was built on the deregulation of the home loan market enabling him to take on the big banks.


What business are you in? What emotion are you tapping into?


Kerry Packer asked Mark this question when investing in Wizard. Mark’s response was that home loans are more than simply providing the finance for the shelter over someone’s head but rather tapping into people's dreams of having their own home.


Is it happiness, laughter or empathy? Your offering must be attached to an emotion.


The biggest asset you have is your time and ability to work in a business


If you’re willing to invest that, you want the return. Value your time, expertise and ability to grow and lead a business.


Have you ever failed in your business life?


If you fail, have you got enough fight in you as a leader to recover?


Who would you rather back – a front-runner or a fighter? Packer wanted to back a fighter.


You can't be a reseller, you’ve got to own your own product and control the supply


Wizard needed access to funds to lend so when they grew, they were not restricted on access to funds and pricing.


Very early on, they bought the wholesaler to protect their future risk. Otherwise you run a huge risk of being cut down later on.


Keep assessing markets


Markets change and move. Know your marketplace.


Mark is an expert in capital markets and is highly educated and experienced in accounting and law. Look at the future and take a position on where things are going.


Be fearless not reckless


Fearlessness needs to be knowledgeable. An understanding of your market combined with fearlessness will make you tough to beat – and the competition should look out!


Remind yourself who you are and why you're in business. Ask why?


This gets you through the ‘how’.


What’s your exit strategy?


How and when do you plan to exit? All an exit strategy means is that you’ve got a plan, it doesn't mean you sell.


How far are you prepared to go?


What are you prepared to risk and put on the line?


Are you prepared to do what it takes along with the potential impact is may have on you and your family?


Will your family support you?


Have you been honest enough and explained to your family what you’re about and willing to do and the commitment required? Make sure they're agreeable.


Have you been truly honest with your family and do they accept you for who you are?


The reward comes with risk-taking, hard work and commitment. If these preconditions are not met, marriage breakdown and family dysfunction could be the result.


Mark’s mantra:

  • Work hard
  • Play to balance the hard work
  • Love what you are doing. Love every minute of it
  • Fight for what's worth fighting for. Don’t fight every battle
  • Believe in something

And finally, success is measured by the family you raise


Mark has four boys, all of whom he is very proud and shares a close connection with.


Thank you, Mark. You’re smart, hard-working, inspirational and a bloody cool dude.


I hope we can connect over a beer again and I have promised my colleagues that I will be as active, fit, energetic and passionate as you are at your age, along with a full head of hair!

Jonathan Weinstock is the co-founder of (formerly known as, Australia’s #1 Sports Deals site and founder of specialist recruitment company Launchtwo People which helps companies find top talent. Jonathan is on the board of Entrepreneur’s Organisation, Melbourne chapter and a mentor to start-up incubator Angel Cube. Jonathan’s blog aims to help others "Grow, Learn, Create and Lead" better.

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