Petina Tieman is our 2020 AusMumpreneur QLD-NT Indigenous Business Excellence Gold Award winner.
Petina Tieman of Complete Business Solutions and iiHub actually owns and operates 7 x businesses in FNQ and is soon to launch an 8th business. Best described by Femeconomy as an Indigenous serial entrepreneur, Petina has been recognised with numerous leadership, community, training and business awards and accolades, holds 14 x VET qualifications and has overcome significant hardships including major spine surgery, recovering from business loss and $700,000 debt 5 years ago rebuilding without handouts or credit, through to legal battles and dire 58-71% revenue loss as a result of COVID during 2020.
When did you start your business?
What was the inspiration behind starting this business?
At the end of 2014, Petina and her husband Paul started a business with a third party on the Gold Coast. They enjoyed very high profile careers, waterfront luxury lifestyle, fancy cars and boats but wanted more so they partnered with the devil, which resulted just a few short months later with them losing everything … their careers, all of their assets, their income, their reputations. During 2015, the travelled extensively in the outback with just their 4wd and a trailer of belongings and started all over again. During 2015 and 2016, Paul was unable to work due to mental health break downs as result of the stress of losing everything. Early 2016, they relocated back to Cairns. Paul was keen to return to work but was unable to secure employment in Cairns due to being a highly skilled specialist so Petina said she would build Paul’s dream of a consultancy business. In 3.5 years and working 60+hr weeks EVERY WEEK, we have grown organically without any investment in marketing and with boot strapping every step of the way, from home based consultants to 60sqm office to 325sqm to 800sqm and $700,000 turnover with further expansion plans in the pipeline.
What are you most excited about in your business?
Every single day I get to live my life through my passion and mantra of ‘Lives Changed, People Empowered!’ … my core business focus is to build skills, capability and capacity in others through education, empowerment, connectivity and collaboration!
I have personally mentored over 300 x businesses through COVID, I provide at least 45% of my work pro-bono, and I get to do things MY WAY! If I want to work extra hours, if I want to travel OnCountry, if I want to do things for FREE …. I CAN! I have no restrictions and am not hindered by the negative opinions or toxic mindset of others.
The thing I love most about my businesses is that I get to genuinely MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the lives and livelihoods of so many people every week of every year! I do this through my very unique methodology of combining my spiritual healing abilities, my intuition, my business acumen and education, life coaching and counselling mixed in with business mentoring. My team and I create individually customised solutions for every single client, no matter what walk of life they’re from, their industry or whether they have any money. I’m a NO FLUFF, NO BS woman who just gets shit done! I will not do things for you, I educate and empower you how to do it yourself!
What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?
Beating the tall poppy syndrome, working against the judgement of others and those who steal your ideas and claim them as their own ……very few people know the truth of what I’ve had to go through or still go through to get where I am today! I don’t railroad anybody, I don’t cheat or steal from anyone, I give my money, my time and my knowledge to absolutely anyone who demonstrates they are genuinely determined to make a difference in their own life. I have balanced the self-sacrifice of juggling helping everyone else through their stuff, whilst struggling to walk before major spine surgery, the legal battles with landlords through COVID and through the challenges of being married to my business partner who also suffers PTSD and chronic depression.
Whilst going through major spine surgery 2 years ago, I also entrusted a chartered accountant to take care of my business financials which resulted in monumental malpractice that got us into all sorts of strife financially with the ATO and super etc.
We have, and often still do, struggle through $0 in the bank with unpredictable cashflow issues, to then enjoying a fancy seafood dinner and trips away. I wouldn’t change a thing because I have learnt so much from the school of hard knocks.
What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?
Ask for help! I pick up the pieces of too many people who have started a business because they don’t want to work for someone else, and they think they have the skills to do so. But running a business requires you to have skills and knowledge across ALL areas of business OR have the money to pay others to do it, which most don’t! Most importantly, clearly define for yourself ….. do you want to start a business to be successful or just to pay yourself a wage?! Most people I mentor start a business purely to pay themselves a wage and when you ask them what their business goals are, their turnover $ target etc, they fall apart as they want to be big and have staff and a shop, but never set the goals or targets to achieve it.
Why did you enter the AusMumpreneur Awards?
To be honest, I didn’t think I was eligible or suitable because my ‘Mum’ days are long over with my daughter recently giving me a 3rd grandchild. But then I realised, I AM STILL A MUM and I miss the connectivity that I thought the AusMumpreneur community provides.
What did you enjoy the most about being part of the awards?
It was actually a depressing time to be honest ….. I was self-isolated due to it being the early part of COVID, so I was working from home with no friends or family around, and my husband and already gone to bed. I didn’t even have a glass of bubbles to celebrate as we had decided to have a dry spell for a bit. Lol So I’m looking forward to potentially being part of these awards and being surrounded by women who I provide strength for, and in turn they provide me strength.
What surprised you most about the awards?
That despite COVID zoom sessions usually seeing people in PJs and without makeup etc, the AusMumpreneur Awards women were all dressed up with bling and makeup and bubbles! I quickly turned the camera off and ran upstairs to put on my tiara, some blingy earrings and a dressy jacket over my PJs. Lol Also receiving the ‘gold logie’ looking trophy in the mail was beautiful!
How did the awards help you in your business?
It created some additional online exposure and connectivity that I didn’t previously have
What advice would you give to others mums thinking about entering the awards?
Go for it! You’ve got nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain! Just make sure that you stay connected to the people in the AusMumpreneur community.
What has been the best thing about starting your own business?
Having the freedom, autonomy, challenges, rewards of doing what I love the most with the only restrictions and limitations being those I impose on myself ….but then I kick myself up the butt in the new day and find another way to overcome that obstacle!
What’s happening next in your business?
Hmmmm ….well we are constantly improving, changing, evolving our product and service range, adding new programs, expanding into new locations, taking on new projects. I am soon about to launch an 8th business which will be my first ever business that I’m taking across global platforms and will provide phenomenal outcomes for numerous Indigenous micro businesses and remote communities. I’m also currently undergoing assessment as a Chartered Manager with Institute of Managers and Leaders.
What are your big plans for the future?
One of the only business goals I haven’t achieved yet is to buy the building we occupy, which will then provide not only my businesses but all of the hundreds of startups, micros, SME’s and Indigenous businesses we help every year with a stable permanent business home base.
The obstacle is I need to secure a partner to invest $1m into the building asset, to enable me to meet the commercial lending terms. Our above market monthly rent of $20,000/mth already covers more than the commercial loan monthly repayments. My other big plan is to open another office on the Gold Coast.
To learn more about iiHub, please visit here.
All images featured here are from Complete Business Solutions.
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