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EO Brisbane Event - No Downside

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Brisbane Powerhouse (Rooftop Terrace)

119 Lamington St, New Farm

New Farm, QLD 4005


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No Downside is an event where three entrepreneurs will share a story of the most challenging and painful part of their entrepreneurial journeys. They will talk about what happened, how they came out of it and what they want everyone to learn from their experience.

This is honest and raw. Absolute forum rules apply here. Our first three entrepreneurs to step up for this event are all EO Brisbane Members, Wayne Romer, Maciek Fibrich and Sue-Ellen (Sel) Watts. Their quick stories below.

Hosted at our favourite venue, Brisbane Powerhouse, there will be drinks after to catch up with everyone in a relaxed and social setting.

If you (or know anyone) who has a great story to tell (can be outside of EO Brisbane), please let us know for the next event.

Wayne Romer
Wayne Romer is founder of Deswik Group, a developer of software and provider of consulting services in the planning and scheduling space for the mining and civil construction industries. Employing over 200 people in 11 offices around the world.

Having started his first software business at 25, and learning through bitter experience the pain of both buying and selling businesses he will impart some, in retrospect, obvious, words of wisdom on how to not sell, run and buy businesses.

Being the eternal optimist, all of these mistakes, while costly and painful, have all been learning experiences and each of the mistakes made have never been repeated, and have all contributed to the well run business that Deswik is today.

Maciek Fibrich
I have been in business basically my whole working life. I started my first business at 15, washing cars for my mum's clients, which led me to starting a training college with my mum at the age of 20, and then at 23 I moved interstate, purchased a car, apartment and started my own 'consultancy' business.

Just over 16 years later, I am still running RTO Consultancy although it has morphed many times during that journey. The most significant change happened just over three years ago after a near-death experience, in business, followed by a 6-month chess game ended with a win.

In May 2013, I realized that if I something didn't change, I would have serious business issues. In December of that year, I realised that I was a month away from having to declare bankruptcy! It was a crazy journey, but I learned a lot from the experience.

Some might call it over capitalisation, others mismanagement and some might even say there was ego involved. I personally know it was all three and more.

Sue-Ellen Watts
Known to many simply as Sel, I am Sue-Ellen Watts. I have disrupted the HR industry pretty much since my career began over 17 years ago.

Launching my HR business wattsnext in 2007, was a steep learning curve to say the least. I started my Brisbane office at aged 30, just months before the 2008 global financial crisis with no business plan, no financial backing, no local connections and no family support – and a newborn baby!

My team and I match vision with action to enable our clients to bring the power of commercial HR into their boardrooms, to their lunchrooms and beyond. We love to deliver results with gutsy honesty married with commercial prowess and we have solid expertise in advising CEO’s and Founders on people related challenges and opportunities. We can be best described as forward-thinking and results-driven HR ninjas; who strategise, innovate, engage and get things done!

In addition to wattsnext, to fuel my entrepreneurial desire, I have recently returned to startup life with my most recent start-up Scrappi. Scrappi is a reverse incubator with the purpose of building scalable, global tech businesses. We recently launched our first startup Your Secret Sauce which was successfully crowdfunded.

I am open about my shortcomings when it comes to official qualifications, having dropped out of university three times. Needless to say, there is power in admitting that traditional education and traditional paths to fulfilment and success are not my forte. In spite of this, I have a deep love of learning and that is what I offer those around me in spades. As a self-confessed personal and professional development addict, I have gained my knowledge from hundreds of external sources including many hours of coaching, mentoring, courses, workshops, and travel, reading, conferences and networking gatherings.

There is also power in vulnerability and sharing the times that you would never include in your ‘bio’! In this session I will share the experiences of a year that nearly broke me and everything that mattered to me. I will promise to be raw and real about what I did to cause this disaster in my business, the impact it had on my team, my family and my mental health and what I did to recover and thrive as a result.

Adversity is our greatest gift!

Event Details:

Date: Thursday, 1 February 2018

2:15pm - 2:30pm (registration)

2:30pm - 4:00pm - presentations and optional AGM after followed by drinks and light nibbles.

Location: Brisbane Powerhouse (River Studio Room) - 119 Lamington St, New Farm

Parking: Limited free parking available onsite or surrounding streets (please check parking restrictions)

Ticket availability: EO Brisbane Members only. Forum rules apply.

RSVP: 25 January 2018 or when fully booked

Cancellation date: 26 January 2018 or $100 fine will be incurred

Date and Time


Brisbane Powerhouse (Rooftop Terrace)

119 Lamington St, New Farm

New Farm, QLD 4005


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