IN 2015 the first Australian Apprentice Andrew Morello took 153 different plane trips and spoke in 11 different countries.
He is head of business development at Mark Bouris' publicly listed Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management, owns three real estate offices in Melbourne, a jewellery company called Bellagio, and is a shareholder of a business education company called The Entourage.
One question he is often asked is: why? Morello has answered this question and offered tips and advice for small business owners along with discussing his found success.
It started in the suburb of Moonee Ponds in Melbourne, a place most known for Barry Humphries' alter ego Dame Edna Everage, the first season of Underbelly and its famed Moonee Valley racecourse.
But, Morello is proving it is the birthplace of a businessman and says a lot of his success comes from watching and working with his dad in his service station.
Morello says his father has been in the same business for the past 27 years, working tirelessly seven days a week.
"It's great for teaching a good work ethic to your children; the bad thing is, the business is worth nothing - it is worth absolutely zero," says Morello.
Morello says one of his top tips for a successful business is to think about the future.
"This is gold; this is going to make you millions - start with the exit in mind," he says.
"The biggest mistake that people make in small business in Australia is they don't have an exit strategy in mind. They think they can just start the business, get going and then it will give them more options."
Morello's father has built a big reputation for quality service, which now sees him servicing vehicles that have travelled down four generations.
Morello says the reason people go back is because of experience. He says all SMEs need to offer world-class experience if they want to flourish.
"One of the biggest issues I find with a lot of businesses all over Australia and overseas, I've literally worked with thousands, is they might only give a world-class experience to existing customers," he says.
"They get a new customer enquiry, they roll out the red carpet and once they become a customer they get put into some system and they never hear from you again.
"The world-class experience that you give needs to be for new customers, existing customers, and most of all, everybody you come into contact with, including friends, family, parent-teacher associations, chamber of commerce, rotary club and sporting clubs. This is the biggest thing that people don't realise. You are literally on show all the time."
Morello adds that if you don't live life genuinely and authentically, you can't expect to have a very successful business.
He says if you are not offering a genuine world-class experience then the cracks will show.
Another issue for small business owners is they often let their ego get the better of them, says Morello.
Meanwhile, Morello says his father may be cash poor but he is rich in assets, having purchased the buildings he works in.
Most recently his site was valued between $5-6 million if the service station was to remain with the petrol caps in the ground. It was valued at $9 million should the tanks be removed and the soil be decontaminated. And, it was valued between $12-13 million should the tanks be removed, the soil be decontaminated and the site approved for 200 apartments.
Morello describes the valuation as the HBU the highest and best use.
"Small to medium sized business owners still think that if they are making themselves busy then they are going to make a lot of money - that is not true," says Morello.
"You don't need a lot of staff and you don't need to be really busy to be profitable and make lots of money.
"What you need is an honest and transparent conversation with yourself and ask yourself what is your HBU. You need to swallow your pride, remove your ego and do what is right for your business - that is how you get the most out of your opportunities."
As for his business career, Andrew Morello took 153 different plane trips and spoke in 11 different countries in 2015. He runs and manages an array of businesses and is tied to three different charities.
"People always ask me why are you doing this," says Morello.
"The answer always need to be authentic, it needs to congruent and it needs to be genuine.
"People often respond when I ask them the same question and they say money. If you are doing it for money, you are going to be grossly, grossly disappointed when you get that money, I can assure you of that.
"There are a lot of people chasing money and when they get it, they are very disappointed and feel very unfulfilled with their life."
So, why is Morello doing what he is doing?
"Andrew Morello wants to make lots and lots of money, to pay other people really, really well to do the things he doesn't want to do, so he can do more things that he loves doing with the people that he loves," he says.
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