Aussie John Symonds – some gems of wisdom and experience

I was fortunate to be ‘at the table’ when ‘Aussie’ John Symonds spoke this week about his approach to business, courtesy of Siimon Reynolds and his Fortune Institute.

John doesn’t hide his flaws; is honest and transparent. Here are a few notes that you will be fascinated to read…

Aussie Home Loans wasn’t planned – it was born out of adversity.

On planning and business

One needs a written set of goals, simple is fine, effectively a business plan – to be revisited and consulted often.

Don’t be distracted, retain focus; be at it full-time. Don’t spend time on a plan B or C.

Be laser-beam focussed – don’t be a part-timer.

No-one knows your business plan better than you.

Be clear on your value proposition –and that it is sustainable.

Understand how to differentiate from your competitors. Price is not a differentiator today.

Best way to predict the future is to create it.

If you are passionate, get constructive advice.


Every big thing he’s done was during uncertainty – the tougher it gets, the more opportunity.

Started with a $10k loan – which he couldn’t get from a bank, in part at least because of what he wanted it for. Always been contrarian.

His marketing sent the banking system into chaos – ie classic disruption.

He is a relationship builder – shear a sheep for life but skin it once.

Has always been over-optimistic.  You gotta dream.

On leadership

Employees / team are his first priority ‘customer’ – they must share and understand the vision and believe in you. A boss/owner / leader must earn his stripes – to be a strong leader, you must take people with you.   Does your team and peers respect and trust you? Act with integrity and cred. Stay away from negativity – that starts with you.

Never say never

Read and act on the future! And embrace change. Commonwealth Bank’s investment in Aussie and their acquisition of Wizard are salient cases.

On marketing etc

People never forget how you make them feel. Do things that make you uncomfortable.

Never forget the customer or presume they’ll still be happy tomorrow (ie is the business sustainable)

His emotive marketing features strong human brand management. With a sense of humour.

He is conscious of the risk potential to his personal brand.

On time management mastery

65% of what we do is necessary but secondary. Don’t confuse effort with results

Spend time where you can be productive and really add.

Go for collaboration and partnering – Identify those that need you and those that know you.

Eric Winton

Director, New Millennium Business

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