CHAPTER 18
A final note: how to really succeed in business

We saved the best, and perhaps the most important, message for last. Why? Two reasons.

First, we wanted to reward those persistent few who stuck around and made it to the end of the book. (Did you know 87 per cent of people never finish reading a business book*?)

Second, it's the message that truly answers the question we started with in the beginning, which was, to paraphrase …

How do two schmucks with no money, no tech background and no contacts build some of Australia's most successful digital businesses?

Having written the book, and spent months reconstructing the events of our lives that led us to where we are today, the answer is very simple.

It's All. About. The. People.

Sure, there's a bunch of other reasons why we, and not others, were able to achieve so much when we started with so little. But the most important reason we succeeded is because of this: we surrounded ourselves with outstanding people, people who worked as if the business belonged to them.

This principle actually has a name. We didn't know that when we were running the business (we operated instinctively), but this principle of enabling a team to dare greatly and possibly fail in the process (and still celebrate their effort anyway) is called ‘Intrapreneurship’. We talked about it earlier and only dedicated a page to it but, looking back over the years, we believe our ability to foster autonomy, independence and courage enabled us to create a fertile environment in which intrapreneurship could flourish, and it subsequently made Catch more successful than we could have ever imagined.

It's not a management style that suits everyone. You need humility to step aside and let the team do their thing. You need to let them take risks and challenge the status quo. You need to remove the hierarchies, create a ‘flat’ organisation and give the intrapreneurs the space to act like entrepreneurs.

But the effort is worth it because when you hire, build, encourage and empower intrapreneurs, and get out of their way, the results are exponentially more than the sum of the parts. You'll be free to concentrate on strategy, knowing the intrapreneurs will carry it out beyond your expectations. You won't have an egotistical, self‐centred team of superstars working for their own interests. You'll have a superstar team, who all know their role and work towards a common goal … like Liverpool in 2020!

Throughout this book we shared many lessons and learnings that we have accumulated throughout the years, but it all comes down to this: no‐one, but no‐one can do everything on their own, so make sure you surround yourself with the right people who will treat the business as if it were their own, and together you can build on your dreams.

Note

  1. *   Don't quote us on this. We have no idea if this figure is accurate or not.
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