Interview for Sydney Western Access

Following is the content of an article recently published in Western Sydney Business Access: “IT stands to reason that businesses are more likely to seek guidance on improving their performance when encountering a problem or crisis”, says executive business coach Ralph Anania.

He goes on to explain, “This is the reason why it’s critically important that whoever is offering the advice has previously survived the business threats and challenges they’ve been called in to fix”.

Anania, who advises a variety of professionals – including speakers, authors, SMEs, coaches and entrepreneurs around the world – on how to position themselves as authorities in their field, has experienced the extreme highs and lows of business and everything else in between.

“I built a $130 million empire and it wasn’t always smooth sailing. There were many challenges – there was a lot of money lost, there were a lot of mistakes made and I’ve come close to bankruptcy three times in my 30-years of being in business”.

“But it was those challenges and those mistakes that drove me to building one of the biggest fresh produce businesses in the country.”

He says the difference between what he teaches and what others teach “is that I’ve lived it.”

“I teach what I’ve lived. I don’t teach you what you’ve been taught at university, I actually teach you what they don’t teach you at university,” he says. How to be aware of and overcome the real life day to day challenges that the economy dishes out to small businesses.

The famous Walt Disney is the man whose principles Anania has always sought to model his businesses on and has inspired him throughout his 30-odd years in business.

“I’ve modelled my businesses on his philosophy and that is to create magic and by doing so, there has to be an element of passion,” Anania explains.

“There’s got to be some culture and culture is something that’s lacking in many, many businesses. There’s the customer experience – it’s not about customer service. It’s the customer experience that drives businesses to become successful.”

Anania says it is crucial for a business proprietor to be self-critical when measuring up the competition and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of their own businesses.

That includes looking at the strengths of their staff and looking at what competitors are doing in all facets of their businesses and working out how to do it better than them.

“You’ve got to go and become a client of your competitors so you know how they’re servicing their clients,” he says.

“A lot of people can go and pick all the faults that their competitors have got, but very, very few go to their competitors and look for the one thing they’re doing better.”