In this edition of Local Knowledge, the Adelaide Hills Business Centre spoke to Di Thompson, a prominent member of the Adelaide Hills business community.
Di Thompson has been a director of several businesses and organisations and regarded for her ethical, honest and can do attitude by those who know her. Locals may know her best from her recent role as General Manager of the Adelaide Hills Magazine.
Earlier in her career Di and her husband purchased the technology company they had been working for out of receivership in the early 1990’s together with financial partners.
"We owned 25% of the business and when my husband suffered a stroke in his late 30’s, I became his successor as Managing Director”.
“I had my skates on immediately as we were coping with Gary’s problems post stroke with him relearning to talk, and the business would have suffered if we hadn’t had the great relationships we had with our clients and staff”.
After selling their shares 4 years ago, Di has been engaged in project management with several organisations.
“I've tried several start ups, but due to my husband’s health issues and family problems I’ve had to let some projects drift away."
"In recent years I've had to cope with severe hearing and confidence loss, but this has proven to be an asset as I truly concentrate on listening to people rather than just 'hearing'.
Di has now recommenced her consulting and mentoring business and is drawn to young entrepreneurs and micro to small businesses.
Di Thompson’s Top 9 Tips for Business
Di has mentored and coached many business owners. Her skills are varied with sales, marketing, HR, financial, governance, risk management and director’s responsibilities. She offers the following tips and advice to business owners.
1. Engage a coach or a mentor
2. Always approach business with honesty and openness
3. Keep on learning
4. No such thing as a bad idea
5. Keep technology in perspective with your business
6. Be open to collaboration – even with competitors
7. Tell people what they need to hear not what they want to hear
8. Never walk away from a problem
9. Be true to yourself and love what you do
Number 1 Tip
Di’s number one tip for business people is to engage a coach or a mentor that complements your own abilities.
“I always knew that I couldn’t know everything and be across all the facets of a business. I chose mentors and coaches who possessed an open approach and specialists in several areas,” she said.