Creative Innovation 2019 (Ci2019)

How to be an Entrepreneur?

Thursday, 2 August 2012

It’s a question asked by many. How do you become an entrepreneur? Becoming an entrepreneur is easy. Becoming a successful one takes work. It’s more than just having a good idea.

Having established a number of successful businesses and social enterprises, I have made many mistakes, learned many lessons and experienced many victories. Here’s a breakdown of the attributes I believe one needs to make a good go of entrepreneurship and forge a sustainable and successful path.


How intelligent are you? You don’t need a PHD or even a degree but if you don’t have great instincts, intuition or street smarts, you are one step behind the eight-ball.


As Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”


You have to believe you can achieve what you set out to achieve and work to inspire others and those around you. Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Be a visionary. Begin with the end in mind and refuse to be tripped up or slowed down by over analysing your actions, neglecting to make decisions or from fear of obstacles. Tackle every task head-on and with gusto.


Always trouble-shoot to find an answer, an alternative and new and improved solutions to problems you face.

 “Can-do” attitude

Always find ways of make things work when others only see the problem they’re facing.


Courage is when your strength overcomes your fear and you dare to ‘ask’ for what you want, need or desire.


You will rarely take no for an answer and when you receive a no you handle it with grace and charm.


When you fall, you fall quickly but you always get up and try again.


You can bring together the right people to support your idea and make it happen.


Luck comes to those who are constantly looking for new and existing opportunities.


Many great ideas never see the light of day. Be realistic about what is possible. Don’t expect to get rich quick.


Without a competitive spirit you will fall by the wayside.


You are a game-changer. You keep up with future trends and believe the future is full of potential.

Now you’ve assessed the attributes you have or need to develop, here are some actions you should take to get started:

Make realistic assessments of the demand for your product, system, service or process.

  • Devise a strategy and document it.
  • Gather a diverse advisory board of trusted mentors, senior leaders and colleagues around you. Listen to their feedback and thank them for their support.
  • Find the right people to be part of your team and consider innovative ways you will keep them engaged.
  • Start implementing as soon as possible. Don’t be put off by nay-sayers.
  • Monitor your progress, test and fail. Make appropriate adjustments as required.
  • Borrow as little as possible and try to retain equity.
  • Manage – don’t stress – about problems you face.
  • Continue your own development. Upskill yourself and those around you.
  • Remain focused and be positive and passionate about your project. Smile and have fun!

Celebrate your achievements and reward great ideas and innovation.

Tania de Jong AM is a leading soprano, inspirational keynote speaker and award-winning social entrepreneur and business woman. She is the founder of Creative Universe, an organisation that offers a range of Australia’s best performers, speakers and creative leadership and team building programs. These innovative programs have been designed to unlock the creative potential lying dormant within all of us. Tania is also Executive Producer of Creative Innovation 2012, which is a major conference that takes place in Melbourne each year. Tania can be contacted at and more information can be found at and


"Without a doubt the best conference in Australia with a delightful mix of creativity and big thinking bringing together an eclectic group of industry, community and education leaders. Once again, I’ve come away enthused by new ideas, more aware of future trends, and heartened by the kindness of humanity. We all have a role to play and it should be a collective one." Kerry Anderson, Founder of Operation Next Gen

"Conferences are boring. Creative Innovation is more like a rodeo for ideas, and you are guaranteed to leave wanting to make the world better for everyone." Andrew Despi, A.kin

"Kudos to Tania for organising the the 2019 CI Conference in Melbourne - it is the best I have attended so far. All the speakers and sessions were very well-planned. I have attended many conferences and this is the first I did not have the 'luxury' to skip any sessions. Your effort in this space has truly made Melbourne a global innovation and entrepreneurship hub." Danny Ong, Deakin University

"I wanted to pass along how incredible I thought Creative Innovation was and how much your passion for life and for humanity was inspiring to all of us. It was a privilege to be included and one that I am very grateful for." John Pickering, Chief Behavioural Scientist

"Creative Innovation is a transformational platform built by changemakers for changemakers. It is an educational adventure showcasing the forefront of ideas internationally." Melissa Warner, Ci2019 Scholarship Winner & Education Officer, Mind Medicine Australia

"Creative Innovation 2019 was one of the most well-organised events I’ve ever taken part in. From beginning to the end, every detail had been planned through and taken care of. Secondly, are the production values. As a result, it was possible to attend all the sessions without suffering conference burn-out, happy in the knowledge that the next piece of content was guaranteed to delight and challenge the senses." Richard Claydon (Singapore)

"Well done on another successful Ci conference. Your energy, passion and sheer determination to ensure the conference delegates get a fantastic experience is admirable." VP People & Global Capability | P&GC, Woodside Energy


There are a host of incredible opportunities to partner with us on this world class innovation event. If you are interested in becoming a partner or creative collaborator for the upcoming conference, please contact:

Tania de Jong AM // Founder and Executive Producer
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

Alrick Pagnon
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

“Remarkable, mind blowing, brilliantly choreographed – easily the best conference ever and I’ve been to plenty. Truly wonderful and amazing.”

Jim Grant, Partner, Dattner Grant

“Thank you for a challenging and rewarding couple of days. The quality of the team you had at the conference was extraordinary! These events will change people and thereby the world.”

Craig Carolan, Director Private Wealth, ANZ

“I came to learn – I came away inspired! Best conference ever.”

Paul Duldig, University of Melbourne