The night was full of positive energy that vibrated through the whole place, setting the scene for an unforgettable experience for the many people that attended. Apart from being well catered for by local suppliers, the forum was introduced and closed with a superb didgeridoo performance by Stan Yarramunua.
Stan Yarramunua at CoWork Me
Christopher Mulcahy from Enabir moderated this free event, a resident of CoWork Me.
Three artists and entrepreneurs; actress Tottie Goldsmith, artist and author Stan Yarramunua (Yarra) and tech entrepreneur Blake McIntyre were special guests who shared their stories and insights of their achievements.
CoWork Me image by Simon Barnett Open Media
Chris believes that the journey of an artist and an entrepreneur has many things in common and one of them is the fact that it’s often a very lonely road. Coming together and supporting each other at an event such as this is incredibly invaluable.
Chris said, “Courage is something that is the first step in being your own person and to do what everyone here tonight does. Being an artists and entrepreneur and to be true to that courage and remain committed to that courage is sometimes a difficult thing. I would just implore everyone that if they ever felt that courage was weakening reach out to someone here tonight or someone who is like minded, because they all deserve it in droves because what they are doing is amazing.”
Tottie Goldsmith’s father was a nightclub entrepreneur and had several wives so she came from a large family and they lived in a big house.
In her words, wives coming and going, children being born, shit going down, new clubs opening … it was nuts, it was beautiful, it was breaking bread and drinking wine and sharing stories and life.
“I’ve had so many knockbacks I can’t tell you, and it’s ok because not everything is meant to be. Just keep your clarity in what you want but with flexibility,” said Tottie.
“I think with flexibility you can move and grow as you’re going along. Keep witnessing what’s going on around you and where your strengths are, because I think as we grow, we are still exploring ourselves.”
Stan Yarramunua came from the streets of St Kilda, his father was a Frenchman and worked with the Brother Circus as a lion tamer and temporary boxer and his mother was aboriginal.
Growing up he mixed with a lot of men and women who didn’t have a lot. He didn’t want to go hungry, so when an opportunity came up as a kid, whether it was real or not, Stan went and got what he needed to eat. One day he picked up a paintbrush and never looked back.
“Yes it was a struggle, but I don’t look at it as a struggle. I look at it about growing … there’s no pain, there’s no gain and that’s what life is about, there’s a bit of pain in it, but that’s what it is. That means your living, and it’s the spirit of my ancestors that I believe are up there and they choose certain people to be role models, to be out there as examples on the good part of our culture,” said Stan.
Blake McIntyre is a videographer and was filming a social entrepreneurship competition when he ended up at the Branson Centre in South Africa filming a journey of the winner of the competition that happened to be Christopher Mulcahy. While on the job, Blake learnt a lot about being an entrepreneur and has since embraced what he has learnt in his new business. His business is now worth around the eight-figure mark. He developed Pospay a system for restaurants and also used by casinos.
“If you don’t try it, you’ll always regret not having a go, take into account whether it’s viable, and if there is even the slightest chance that you could actually pull it off, go for it,” said Blake. “It’s a roller coaster, every business is. You have really good highs … and then there will be crashes … after a while you just learn to level out and stay in a plateau … don’t get too emotional.”
The evening was a networking success, invaluable conversations were had and the final after party at the Espy was a delight, enjoyed by everyone who attended and can be summarised by the following comments.
Michelle Cain said, “It was amazing, all the speakers were very individual … very inspiring.”
Isobell Vescovi from Just Graze Melbourne said, “Yeah, I’d definitely come again, it was a great night. I’m just sort of starting out and it was really inspiring to hear the speakers … and what inspires them to keep going when things get tough.”
“It was really good to see this at a local level … and all these people in the room together so it was great to hear their [celebrity guests] experience,” said Ciara Walsh.
Tottie summarized by saying, “Have an idea but be processed driven and keep [the thing], trust your gut.” “Some people don’t like you, that’s ok, it’s not an ego game, and not everyone is going to love us. We’re not here to be loved by everybody, we’re here to live our truth.
“As Ford said, if you think you can or you think you can’t, you right. Trust your gut! We are all dreamers and don’t let anyone take that away from you.”
by Simon Barnett