Globetrotter founder John Battley’s career has taken him all over the world, so it was only fitting that the next leg of the travel tsar’s journey was to the end of the earth and back.

Mr Battley attended a think tank in Antarctica with 20 other WA entrepreneurs and nearly 100 more from the east coast earlier this year, to ponder the world’s social, environmental and economic problems.

The idea behind this Antarctic expedition was to inspire some out-of-the-box business solutions to some of the world’s troubles.

The think tank combined his passions for travel and innovative entrepreneurship — qualities which have taken his own career from pharmacy to corporate travel.

After getting pharmacy and economics degrees from the University of Sydney, he took a post-graduate scholarship in West Germany with the world’s biggest chemical company, Hoechst AG, where he later accepted a management role in export pharmaceuticals, working in Iran, India, the Philippines, Indonesia and West Germany.

With every move stirring his own passion for travel, he decided to make a full-time living from the sector when he found himself living in Perth in 1979.

He opened Globetrotter Travel as a one-man start-up and it is now one of the biggest privately owned travel companies in Australia.

Despite never having worked in travel, he decided it was easier to start from scratch than handle the challenges of changing the procedures and cultures of an established business.

He later branched out into the financial transactions business, selling his company as a listed entity in 2011, and is currently involved in the software sector.

And the greatest reward for running a business?

“You live and die by your own sword, which is of course, the consequences of your own actions, ” he says.




Passion: Unless you are passionate about it, don’t do it!

Tenacity: The successful person is the one who is knocked down six times and gets up seven.

Keep fit: Both of the first two above require you to be both mentally and physically fit. I always have a one or two year ‘fitness target’ to do something I haven’t achieved before, for example, 20km open-water duo swim (2010), climb a mountain (Aconcagua 2007), or run a marathon (1997). This keeps you focused on keeping fit!

Mentoring: This started young with my father and I always have, to this day, at least one mentor, sometimes younger, whom I trustand respect and who trusts and respects me.

Associations: With groups of individuals in similar industries or positions. This gives you confidence and other insights you may have missed or underestimated. Examples I have belonged to are TEC and Family Business Association.

Don’t be greedy: Aim at an adequate, longer term, profitability.

Share: Ensure all stakeholders are fairly and adequately rewarded by your success. This will greatly assist you in actually achieving the success you desire by gathering around you people with the same passion and motivation you have.

Balance: Don’t forget to support charity (those less fortunate) and respect the environment.

Caution: Be very careful and cautious when venture capital enters your life or your company lists. Read the fine print, get legal documents carefully checked, and consult your mentor(s). There are many lions in the jungle.


© The West Australian

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