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It pays to pursue your passions

20 years of success

When it came time to decide on his next move after finishing the HSC, Matt Fordham knew one thing for certain; further study was not for him.

So instead, he packed away his books and found himself a job.  It wasn’t long before Matt started harbouring ambitions to be his own boss, and so shortly after leaving school, he started his own small business specialising in providing audio visual and concert lighting services. 

That was 20 years ago, and Matt’s proud to say his skills are just as sort after by companies around the country now, as they were when he started two decades ago.

 

A farrier on Facebook

Like many small business owners, Matt recently decided to diversify his working life, turning his passion for horses into a thriving venture.

After training as a farrier and offering his services throughout the Canberra region, Matt has fast become known in the district for his expertise, and is pleased to say he hasn’t had a day off in the five years since he started.

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing; Matt has found social media can be a powerful and positive tool for his business, but at times, can also be a hindrance.  

“It's not unusual to find my name on Facebook and other social media with both positive and negative comments attached to it. I was taught from the beginning that you are only as good as your last show, and I now apply that philosophy to horses as well,” Matt said.

 

The number one tip for small businesses

Matt’s busy schedule has meant he’s had to make adjustments to the way he operates to ensure things run smoothly.

For example, when it comes to book-keeping, Matt has recently upgraded to online accounting software which he says, has made his life – and his accountant’s life – much simpler.

 “My number one tip is to keep your accountant happy! Be prepared to work for your business, learn from your failures, seek out others more experienced and ask for help. Also remember to give everything a go, take nothing personal and above all, have fun,” Matt said.

“Being my own boss allows me to work as hard or as often as I need to. I'm probably my own worst enemy in that respect but I enjoy it,” Matt concluded.