The Early Years no image

Published on January 20th, 2012 | by johnw

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Starting a Career

It was January 1984. I was 17, two months from my 18th birthday and I arrived in Ballarat, 100kms west of Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria to establish a new branch of the family woodcarving business.

Mum and dad had been successfully running the business in Adelaide for 15 years when they felt ready to expand.

The next direction to set up another business, having saturated the Adelaide market, was east. Victoria was only 8 hours by car from Adelaide compared to 17 hours’ drive to Sydney in NSW, the next closest state.

It was too expensive to buy a property in Melbourne in the area required to service our market. They settled for Ballarat, a large regional centre an hour outside Melbourne heading towards Adelaide.

Mum and dad had sourced properties to house the business some months before. They came across a double storey 1918 blue-stone beauty close to the city centre on the better side of Ballarat. The only problem was, who was going to run the business?

In late 1993, during a family road trip to Ballarat, they showed us the property, told us of their plans and asked who would be interested in running it.

I instantly put up my hand.

I couldn’t believe it, this was a dream come true. From the age of 11 I had my sights set on success and this was an opportunity to do something concrete to make it happen.

So the family business Hoad Woodcarving Academy at 211 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat became my passion for the next 4 1/2 years. It also caused me unnecessary anxiety and emotional pain.


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