Recently I was interviewed by Robert Gerrish from Flying Solo (Australia’s micro business community) for a podcast on the topic of ‘Building a business in the bush.’ I was delighted about this, all the while feeling a weighty responsibility to represent the diverse business community of rural Australia and accurately portray what it’s like to run a business in the bush. I hope I did you justice! You can listen to the podcast below and let me know!
I’m thrilled that the podcast seems to have resonated with many people, as evidenced by these warm comments that have been shared in the Flying Solo community forum:
“The people who choose to live in the bush provide us with our food and wool and cotton and deserve access to services, business services included. While many businesses in the bush may not be primary producers themselves they form a vital part of their local community, many ultimately supporting and enhancing the everyday life of these producers, despite the challenges they face. Benita has painted a great picture of business in the bush and this podcast is very much worth a listen, especially if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like. Thanks for raising the profile of the bush Benita and Robert!”
“I admire those who work the land and live in isolated areas as I couldn’t.”
“I’m Melbourne born and bred but I have such admiration for those who live in rural areas and grow our food (partly as I kill almost anything I try to grow, the kids have survived). I’m constantly telling new doctors they’re needed out bush.”
“I’m a city girl too, grew up in Sydney, lived in London and now in Melbourne. 1 of 3 brothers went bush nearly 25 years ago and has not looked back… I admire his entrepreneurial and community spirit! It’s always lovely to see him, his wife and 4 boys when they come to the Big Smoke, but home for him is the bush.”
I was intrigued to experience a similar attitude from some metropolitan-based pharmacists when I spoke at the Pharmacy Business Network (PBN) Conference in Canberra on 21 September. I presented a 1.5 hour session on building a brand and marketing for small businesses but what do you think I was questioned most about that afternoon and that night over dinner? It wasn’t branding or marketing! It was farming. I got questions about things like: what we do on the land, what it’s like, what the outlook is for agriculture, and what the main sustainability issues are. There was genuine interest, empathy and admiration towards farmers. It warmed my heart.
These experiences have shown me that while not as many Australians have the opportunity to experience life in the bush anymore it doesn’t mean they’re not connected to it in some way, or at least interested.
As I said in the podcast, running a business in the bush has many commonalities to running a business anywhere. Certainly we face unique challenges and at times real hardship; however we also have great joys to celebrate like open spaces, clean air, a simpler way of life, a connection with the land, the communities we’re a part of and the regions we live in.
The bush is a special place and there’s something about the spirit of it that can’t really be described in words. It stays with you, becomes part of you. It’s not for everyone but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
What about you?