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Serial entrepreneur on path to business enlightenment

A former high school dropout, it was during his brief stint as a real estate agent that Johnny Carter realised that working for a boss wasn’t for him.

Making his start as a business owner with his own charter boat business, Carter eventually became one of the biggest operators on the Brisbane River.

From those early days, Carter has since ventured into herbal supplements and distribution chains to online investment companies.

His latest venture, Lifestyle Advantage, is a coaching and mentoring business which aims to equip individuals and groups with new ideas and practical tools to eliminate self-sabotaging belief systems.

What convinced you to start your own businesses, and become an entrepreneur?

I worked at a real estate agent for six months and realised quite early on that I wasn’t a massive fan of working for someone else or waking up to an alarm clock. Plus, I didn’t particularly like the job. I’ve always had that spirit of giving something a go. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was earning my own income. I don’t think you start off in life saying, ‘I’m going to be an entrepreneur’. I think it happens as you go.

How has your business journey evolved over time?

With a little bit of trial and error plus a willingness to keep going when the hurdles come up. Allowing myself to make mistakes but learn from them and keep persevering has been the key. The greater you become, the more you do something. It becomes more of a knowing than a just a belief. Once you build that first step of creating your own business then it’s taking the action, not just thinking about it.

What challenges have you faced along the way?

The challenges never end. The bigger the business, the bigger the profit, the bigger the problems. You just get better at managing them and you’ve got to have the character to deal with it. If you don’t go through those adversities early on, you will never be able to deal with them on a larger scale.

What mistakes did you make, and how have you learned from them?

Mistakes are part of the journey. People shouldn’t be afraid of making them. I always say, ‘failure is not failure in itself, it’s just feedback for learning’. You really have to define what a mistake is, especially since you are constantly stepping out of your comfort zone.

How have you managed your personal time and the time you put into the business over the years?

That’s a work in progress. I’m only getting more of a balance now because I’ve learned to leverage myself out of my companies. I have managers and CEOs, and depending on what evolution you are on the business scale, you have to make decisions based on working on your business, not in it. Too many people work in their business, not on it, and they don’t have a life. I changed my thoughts about that some time ago.

What role do you think business has to play in the local/global community?

Wages aren’t increasing in terms of people working harder for their bosses these days. I don’t think it’s getting any easier for employees. But I also don’t think it’s getting any harder to work for yourself. There are plenty of opportunities to start your own business here in Australia. If that’s what people want to do, just do it. Life’s too short not to.

What tips do you have for other entrepreneurs out there?

It’s important that you really dig down deep about your thinking about the money and whether you deserve prosperity. You really have to lay down a foundation of abundance. Do you really believe in financial abundance and, more importantly, your power to create it? Once you remove the ‘mind viruses’ of limitation, you realise the opportunity to design your own life exists for everyone and there is plenty of money to go around. It really comes down to the way you think.

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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