Canberra WISE WOMEN Creator Lisa LaMaitreI’ve been in business in Canberra now for over 20 years. During this time I’ve started four businesses. Each one in a different industry and with different requirements. I’ve been involved with an IT consultancy, health practice, rental/retail business and a talent event.

For me being in business has allowed me to stretch myself and grow. It’s often monotonous and repetitive, terribly challenging at times, and also highly rewarding, creatively fulfilling and life affirming.

Here are 20 of my top tips from over 20 years of business experience:

1) You are the most valuable asset in your business. Take the best care of yourself that you can. So this means down time, quality sleep, good nutrition and hydration.

2) Learn to set boundaries from day one about the clients and collaborators you need to work with.

3) Connect only with people who allow you to do your best work.

4) You have permission to say no to work or collaborations which won’t allow you to do your best work.

5) Be flexible on how you achieve a goal. Things often won’t go according to plan.

Canberra WISE WOMEN Joined6) Learn to see a challenge as an issue that just needs to be solved. Become THE Problem Solver!

7) Be an innovator. Seek information and knowledge from other industries that are different to what you do. Don’t be afraid to borrow concepts and ideas from another industry and make them your own.

8) You always give your best work when you are focused on only one thing at a time. So, ditch the multitasking!

9) It’s okay for you to not be an expert in every area of your business. It’s okay to be a novice and have to learn new skills.

10) It’s okay to ask for help or seek expert support or advice.

11) You are allowed to make mistakes. You don’t have to get everything right all of the time.

12) Making mistakes will often lead to the biggest areas of growth and development in your business.

13) Network with other business owners. We are an amazing group of people who are open, happy to share and keen to see others achieve their dreams.

14) Be willing to open yourself up to new ideas and ways of doing things.

15) Learn to let go of limiting beliefs particularly around money, numbers, external influences (e.g. politics or the economy). What your mind believes it will achieve!

16) You have to be passionate about what your business and the work that you do. If you don’t have passion, then your drive and motivation will soon evaporate. Chasing the dollars or the fame won’t see you push through when the days get tough. And trust me, at times, they will be tough.

Canberra WISE WOMEN Triumph17) You have to put yourself out there. You have to be ready to take criticism and know that you won’t be able to make or keep everyone happy.

18) Business is about marketing, publicity and selling. Whether you sell a product, an idea, or a service, we need people to know about what it is that we do, we need them to understand our business and to enjoy the benefits of our work or cause. If we can’t achieve these things, then we won’t reach our potential. I believe the skills of marketing, PR and selling are vital to the success of a business.

19) Know your competitors. What do you differently to them? What is your niche and how will you leverage your niche to gain clients/sales?

20) Know your client or customer. Who are they? Where do they hang out? How do you find them and connect with them?


There have been so many lessons for me over the last 20 years. I know that I am a better person for the experiences I have had.

I hope that you will also create business experiences that you are passionate about and that bring you connection, joy and success.

Photos by: Tracy Lee Photography 


About Lisa La Maitre
Lisa LaMaitre is a Health Writer, Wellness Presenter, Lifestyle Adviser, and Business Creative. She is the Managing Director of Therapy Masters, a health practice in Canberra City. As well as being the Creator of Canberra Wise Women, which is a live event sharing inspirational stories of local Canberra women.