Directors' Circle: Jodie Miles, Mackay Hearing

Taking the leap from employee to business owner is a big step for anyone, let alone when you're going up against big franchises and also have three young girls at home to take care of. What Jodie Miles has done with her business, Mackay Hearing, in such a short amount of time is absolutely inspirational.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A primary school teacher… slight change of plans there! The ‘why didn’t I think of this sooner’ epiphany that audiology was for me happened while I was at university. Sounds cheesy, but I am pleased to say that I am as passionate for my profession now as I was at that initial lightbulb moment and in my study years.

What was the biggest surprise for you about starting a new business?

Before taking the plunge, I had an idea that creating and running your own practice would need a lot of time and energy – but nothing can really prepare you before you actually do it! Having the time to attend to everything can be a real challenge. Don’t get me wrong though, I love my profession and having our own practice and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The other surprise was the amount of time required for non-audiology tasks – even with a small army of local experts helping me out with various things!

What’s been the steepest learning curve since starting a business?

Time management, prioritisation and having the ability to ‘let things go’ (sometimes having a high workload and being a perfectionist doesn’t mix well).  

What happens in a typical day for you?

We have three young kids so my day starts early (especially in the lighter summer months – bless them!). If I’m lucky, I squeeze in a bit of exercise then it’s straight into the family’s morning rush hour of getting everyone ready for the day. After school and day care drop-offs are done, I usually arrive at work about 8.30am. After a brief period checking emails, I get to see my lovely clients for the rest of the day. If time allows, I try and get in some administration/housekeeping work before going home but more often than not this gets scheduled in for the ‘night-shift’ at home.

After work, I’m back into Mum mode for after school sports, homework, baths, dinner, quality time etc. After that, it’s house chores and work catch-up and eventually I collapse into bed with a book (I aim for it not to be child or work related but this aim is not always realised!).    

How do you stay motivated when challenges arise?

For me, dealing with challenges head-on and the opportunities this can bring is motivation in itself. There is nothing worse than operating at less than full capacity and missing opportunities due to festering, unresolved problems.

I like to nip challenges in the bud before they snowball into bigger and more time consuming issues. I also try to put the challenge into perspective - will this be a big deal in a few months’ time?

How do you generate new ideas for the business?

We are still a relatively young practice, so it’s all still fairly new for us.

Our practice has a small and cohesive team, so team meetings and general catch-ups are great for bouncing ideas around. Everyone feels comfortable raising ideas and providing feedback, and our practice is better for it!

Personally, I find that exercise (especially walking) provides great time out from the craziness of day-to-day family and work life and a great opportunity to think things through and generate new ideas.

Give a shout out to three local businesses, and tell us why.

Rebel Marketing – of course! – getting our brand out there has been crucial in our practice’s early days and Rebel’s expertise, passion and contacts has made this happen for us.

Black Owl Design – absolutely nailed our logo, branding and other marketing stuff – captures exactly what we are about.

Nicole Hatfield Photography – have happily captured some wonderful (and competitively priced) images for us – sometimes without much notice!    

Bonus one: Stomping Elephants – just can’t get enough of that funky locally made bling!