Insights into why I started my own business – Part 2

Insights into why I started my own business – Part 2

As mentioned in the article from last week I was invited to be part of the judging panel of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Victoria Young Business Hustler competition 2015. The program is designed to give young business entrepreneurs the chance to further develop their capabilities and their businesses.

Here is Part 2 of my interview about how I started my own business and what continues to drive and inspire me today.

Interviewer: What do you believe is your greatest achievement in life so far?

Sue: I cannot point to any one achievement as being the greatest because that would diminish all the little things that we do every day that really make for the success or otherwise of our achievements. Each of us alone can only affect so much but working together in collaboration we can achieve so much more. Doing my best every day whether that is being a mother, a partner, keeping fit and healthy, not being a burden to society, having a career, leading a team and helping people look at their world with new eyes or different perspectives so they can make better decisions about how they sell and service others is what I see as my focus every day.

That being said there are some specific achievements:

  • First in Australia to get Selling a university qualification as a Diploma in Business, Sales (Swinburne University of Technology), 2012
  • 1997 Winner of Telstra & Victorian Government Small Business Award
  • Inducted into the Business Women’s Hall of Fame 2000; Finalist in 1998 and 2001 Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award;
  • Built the first Sales Competency Dictionary in the world, based on Australian and international research mapping 40 sales competencies across 5 levels
  • Publish the Barrett Sales Blog with 500+ sales blog posts to date distributed via Barrett Sales Blog and across Australian Business Media including Smartcompany, BRW, and the Institute of Public Accountants. Published 21 e-books on sales and sales management. Publish Annual 12 Sales Trends Report 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. Publish whitepapers on a range of sales topics
  • Developed Paperless Sales Training via the online sales education and resource business platform
  • Sponsor of the Victorian of Institute of Sport ACE since 1995. Currently delivering the highly successful Barrett Business Scholarship Program for VIS athletes looking to start their own businesses
  • My business is 100% solar powered, aiming to be carbon negative 
  • The mother of two teenage boys and lives and works with my partner of 25 years
  • I am also a competitive swimmer and field hockey player, as well as a keen practitioner of yoga and meditation.

Interviewer: What qualities did you develop in high school or as a young adult that have helped you later in life?


  • Playing teams sports – teamwork, cooperation and commitment to others
  • Playing individual sports – self management, accountability, self awareness, courage, determination, resilience
  • Public speaking: performance, debating, etc.
  • Prospecting – knowing how to introduce myself and get people’s attention with something that is of value to them so they would hear what I would have to offer them
  • To own my own thoughts and ideas and think for myself rather than falling in with the crowd and lazy thinking. I learned how to stand up for myself and not be bullied or tyrannised by prevailing views and group think.
  • So many more I can’t remember at this time!

Interviewer: What drives and motivates you to go to work every day?

Sue: Making a positive contribution to the world.

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It is our aim at Barrett to protect and nurture growth in the environments in which we operate, and to support and contribute positively to the community and clients with whom we work.

Our aim at Barrett is to ‘Sell Better’ and ‘Be the best business for the world’ and by doing so encourage other businesses to do the same.

This means:

  • We help organisations to sell better by introducing and embedding ethical, effective and sustainable selling practices they can take into the business world with confidence and success
  • We are on our way to become a carbon neutral business by minimizing our Greenhouse Gas emission and offsetting the remaining ones
  • We are now 100% solar powered
  • We are delivering paperless online sales training programmes, e-books and assessments thus reducing waste and landfill
  • We strive to have a positive impact in the community in which we operate via our sponsorships to VIS Ace Program, and other not-for-profit organisations
  • We endorse the philosophies that ‘selling is everybody’s business and everybody lives by selling something’ and effective selling is about the ‘fair exchange of value between seller and buyer’.
  • This is how we introduce ethical effective selling into the business world. We base our business operation on the fair exchange of value where both our clients and ourselves are better off as a result of our partnership than before we started working together.

Remember, everybody lives by selling something.

Sue Barrett is the founder and CEO of the innovative and forward thinking sales advisory and education firm, Barrett and the online sales education & resource platform



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