Taryn Williams is one of Australia’s most popular female entrepreneurs and digital influencers. The smart, vivacious and down to earth powerhouse is the CEO and founder of theright.fit and WINK Models.
She was awarded the 2017 B&T Women in Media tech leader and recognised for her work with theright.fit winning the 2018 Mumbrella Award for innovation. Taryn has featured in the B&T Hot 30 under 30, SmartCompany 30 under 30, and been a finalist for numerous awards including 2015 Female Entrepreneur Awards, Women’s Agenda Emerging entrepreneur of the year and AIM young entrepreneur of the year. Phew! She is one female entrepreneur kicking some serious goals.
We recently met Taryn when she was in Perth speaking at a conference.
What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
I could see the changes in our industry – a move to smaller bits of snackable digital content, a higher spend on online advertising, an the advent of social media, and I could see the traditional agency model was ripe for disruption. I had fallen in love with technology through building a platform to manage my first business, WINK models, and could see the opportunity to build a scalable marketplace for models & creative talent.
What is the vision for your business?
To build a global marketplace for creative talent to connect with brands and advertising agencies, to create world class content.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I’d hire talented professionals sooner! I spent so many years thinking I had to do everything myself because I couldn’t ‘afford’ help – like a bookkeeper, or account manager, or head of product. But what I know now is it was actually costing the business as it wasn’t allowing us to scale and grow, and my time wasn’t being spent on the areas I could really add value.
Was there a significant turning point when you decided to become an entrepreneur?
To be honest, I have never had a job so I don’t know any other way! I think I was born this way I’m afraid!
What do you believe was the best decision you made in business?
To just start. Honestly, there is never the perfect time, and you will never feel ‘ready’ or have all the time, money, resources you need. So just committing to executing an idea I think is the best decision I have ever made.
Looking back is there a piece of advice you wish to pass onto someone starting out their entrepreneurial journey?
Celebrate the incremental victories. It can be so easy to be caught up in ‘what’s next’ and that you always have something to do, and there is always something to ‘fix’ etc. But it is so important, for you and your team, to enjoy the wins along the way – whether it your 50th sale, or your new office, or a positive Google review. Enjoy the journey, as well as the destination.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Tenacity. An appetite for risk. A bias for action.
Who do you look up to in business? Who inspires you?
My incredible mentor who has both soft skills and business acumen, and is incredibly patient.
Nicole Eckles from the Sapphire Group whose honesty, advice and vision is inspiring.
Rebekah Giles who’s strategic thinking and dynamic approach is world class.
How have you personally measured your success?
I think there are a few measures, for me personally. Having a business I am proud of is important – which means happy clients, happy talent, and a happy team. Industry recognition in terms of awards is definitely something we strive towards. And personally, growth and development and learning of new skills is how I measure my success.
What is your favourite thing to do in your downtime?
Walk Centennial Park in Sydney with friends, it is an incredibly beautiful spot in the heart of the city that holds a lot of special memories for me.
What is your favourite app?
Slack – I don’t know how I operated a business without it.
Outsource the skill or learn the skill?
Depends on the skill and if it’s something you’re going to enjoy learning/executing, and if it’s a good use of your time!