Meet Terry he helps local businesses master the internet

We are on the quest to interview business owners over the age of 60. This week we visit Port Macquarie in NSW and chat with Terry Chadban who came out of retirement to help small businesses master the internet. 

Can you tell me a little bit about your business and what you do?

The business is called Port Macquarie Online Marketing, and it does what it says on the box, it helps small business owners to market their businesses online more efficiently and profitably. We do that by showing them how to set up their businesses for success, by using systemization, automation and delegation to structure their businesses so they can work fewer hours while still spending more time doing what they love, which was why they started their business in the first place. However, most business owners tend to get too bogged down in the day-to-day administration of a business, and in the end they get reactive, rather than pro-active in their business. We show them how to avoid that problem right from the start.

What motivates you to keep working after 60?

I actually retired when I reached 65, and bought a home in the beautiful coastal village of Bonny Hills, just south of Port Macquarie. I had every intention of spending my days sitting on the beach with a cold home-brew beer in my hand. But a few local  friends asked me if I could help them with setting up a website and marketing their businesses on this new-fangled Internet thing. I said yes, and before long I was back in business. In 2012 I set up Port Macquarie Online Marketing with the mission to help 1,000 small businesses succeed in online marketing, and that mission keeps me going every day. The statistics on small business failures in Australia are appalling, nearly 90 percent fail within the first five years, and our aim is to reverse that statistic and get 90 percent of businesses to succeed. It is a big challenge but it keeps me motivated, and that keeps me young!

What do you like most about having your own business?

I love the freedom of being able to work when and where I like on any day, with no ‘boss’ looking over my shoulder. I was actually talking to an employee of a major shop yesterday, and I jokingly asked her if she was working hard, and she grinned and said only when the supervisor is around. I remember that feeling from my own days as a wage-slave, and never want to go back there. Running my own business, I am the boss! And the beauty of my particular business is that I am not chained to an office, I can work literally anywhere that has Internet access, which is pretty much anywhere in the world now.

What have been some of the struggles you have faced with running your own business?

The biggest problem that I personally faced in my particular business is actually getting the word out that the business and services are available in a town that hasn’t switched on to the Internet yet, and getting around the local habit of always using the schoolboys network when they need services. It takes time for local businesses to know, like and trust a newcomer, but I am getting the message out that it is better for the business to hire the best, not the best known, or the bloke you went to school with.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learnt in life?

I was lucky in that regard, because my grandmother taught me a very valuable lesson very early on in my life. When I was eight or nine she gave me an autograph book, and in it she wrote the following message for me, which I have never forgotten, and always try to uphold, both in my personal life, and also in business: “Always say what you mean, and always mean what you say”. Sometimes telling people the plain truth about their business upsets them, but when they realise that the advice is meant to help them rather than criticism of their baby, they usually get over it and take the advice, to their benefit.

The other lesson that I have learned in life is also simple, always treat people the way you would like them to treat you. If we all did that, there would be no wars, no hate, and life would be great!

Finally, I firmly believe in a quote that I heard decades ago from the greatly under-rated speaker Zig Ziglar: “You can get everything you need in life if you just help enough other people get what they want”. That is the principle that guides my business, helping other people get what they want in life.

What advice would you give to the younger generation?

Forget about cooking fries at MacDonalds and look at starting your own business! Every one of us has a passion, or an idea for a business, so learn how to take that passion or idea and turn it into your own business, learn how to set up a business correctly and you will never regret it. Now is a perfect time to start a new business!

We even have an article on our website to help out with this:

If you could jump into a time machine what era would you visit and why?

I would love to visit ancient Egypt and the surrounding areas back five to ten thousand years ago and see how our ancestors really lived! We have tantalising glimpses from fragments of scrolls and my feeling is that they actually had a better and happier life than we do today.

Anything else you would like to add?

No matter what age you are right now, find your passion and follow it, you won’t ever regret it, but if you don’t do it, you will regret not doing it!