This guy built a retail empire, got incredibly sick then chased down his passion.

This guy built a retail empire, got incredibly sick then chased down his passion.

Tony Gattari lead an inspired team to take Harvey Norman Computer Computer Superstores from a $9 million minnow to a $570 million empire. Burnt out, he then considered joining the ministry, he coughed blood daily for 3-years and was told he wouldn’t live past 50. At that point he chose to forget about money and live his passion. PLUS in this episode of Australia’s #1 marketing podcast, I respond to a listener who’s successfully implemented some of this show’s email marketing and website design tips. PLUS I announce a series of events that I think any small business owner keen to make an impact should attend. 

Back to today’s guest, Tony Gattari of the Achievers Group.

Deciding early on that he didn’t want an ordinary life, Tony graduated from the University of Western Sydney with a business degree and secured a job as an organiser of Harvey Norman’s computer and communications division. Within a few years he was promoted to general manager and increased the division’s turnover from a healthy $12 million to a staggering $570 million.

This is an inspiring business and personal story of a real life doer. Through hard work, (sometimes manic hard work), a wonderful belief in the power of team, of big ideas, of action and momentum, and never taking no for an answer, Tony was responsible for a business fairy tale.  Listen in as he shares the highs and lows of his journey.

Here’s what we cover:

  • How to capture ideas whilst on the road.
  • How to use Google Hangouts in your business.
  • Why is marketing the oxygen of a business.
  • How Tony made Harvey Norman Computer Superstores in to the success it is today.
  • How NOT to write a marketing report!
  • How to pitch your idea successfully.
  • Why being proactive is critical to business success and how you can be.
  • Why momentum and vision are two critical factors to successful marketing.
  • What happens when you forget about money and follow your passion.
  • Why the curse of knowledge is dangerous and how to avoid it.
  • Can you action too much?
  • The importance of finding your true North.
  • Working for the man versus running your own small business.
  • That magical moment in business called the tipping point.
  • How to optimise supplier relationships to ensure a major promotion is a success.
  • How to package up a promotion in order to build a seriously strong emotional engagement.
  • How to recover from failure.
  • Why we’ve got to laugh more.


“Focus on direction NOT perfection.  #sbbm #marketing #inspiration”

“You don’t need to get it right. You just need to do shit.  #sbbm #marketing #inspiration”

“Sometimes we mistake movement for achievement.  #sbbm #marketing #inspiration”

“No one gets out alive.  #sbbm #marketing #inspiration”


Other marketing G O L D covered in today’s episode …

Small Business Big Marketing Forum Member Nick of Walls By Design shares his email marketing and website structure successes:

Hey guys. I wanted to let you know how this stuff has been effecting my business. I’ve only been around since the end of November, and the seeds that I have been throwing are already taking root. I had an earlier post on ROI, and I have to say, I do think it is a hard one to put numbers too, but I have definitely been seeing fruit to my efforts. 

I had never done much email marketing over the years, as I HATE the junk stuff I get in my inbox. So, in the past I really would avoid this one like the plague. I think I had sent out two in the last two years! BUT, I decided after listening to one of the episodes on email marketing, that I needed to do something. I came up with an idea to adopt a non-profit (I honestly don’t know where this idea originated from, maybe the show, maybe from another friend), so I sent out an email to my customers announcing that I would be adopting a non-profit a month. Then announced who the non-profit was. The feedback has been great! Customers I have not heard from in years emailed me back. Great engagement. Then, I send out an email informing customers of a resource to buy carpet at wholesale. Needless to say, the email stuff has gone great. Everything I send out is based on what Timbo recommends (little to no pics, one idea, and in a note format). Open rate has been over 50%! My plan is to send out an email blast twice a month. 

That is the big one that has been obvious. Content creation has been another big focus, after I restructured/updated my website based on feedback from Timbo. I ‘ve had the best January EVER so far, and it is only half way through. We usually don’t see this much activity until mid February. At the rate we are going, we might hit a sales volume of $XXK, which is usually what we see in our peek spring time season. That coupled with my focus on profitability, I am confident that this year is going to be great from a sales perspective AND a profit perspective.

PLUS I announce the launch of this year’s Key Person Of Influence (KPI) Brand Accelerator days which I strongly suggest you all attend. They’re particularly powerful sessions if you’re looking to become more visible, valuable and connected in your industry. And who isn’t!

OK, enough jibba jabba!

I encourage you to keep the marketing discussion going over at the Small Business Big Marketing Forum – it’s where motivated business owners hang out to share, challenge and discuss each other’s marketing ideas and initiatives.

Finally, be sure to visit the good folks at Netregistry – they’re ready and waiting to get your online marketing sorted. And tell ’em Timbo sent you!

Until next week, may your marketing be the best marketing …

Tim signature
Timbo Reid
Marketing Speaker
Host of Australia’s #1 marketing podcast

14 thoughts on “This guy built a retail empire, got incredibly sick then chased down his passion.”

  1. Peter Karaoglanis

    Timbo great interview with Toni Gattari, I listened to it 3 times in a row last friday and SMS’s it to a few key business builders. 3 key take aways for me was
    1; Focus on direction not perfection.
    2; Mistaking movement for achievement.
    3; the curse of knowledge and no action
    the last was qualified by starting with the big stones and i’ve spent time with the pebbles.
    Timbo I enjoy the diversity and opinion of your guests, i like even more that at times you challenge their assumptions or critique aspects of their business.
    Your wisdom comes not in the statements you make but the questions you ask.
    Im new to your podcasts as of 3 weeks ago, i would say i’ve listened to well over 50-60 and will look forward to biweekly episodes.
    Keep it cranking big guy

  2. tonygattari

    Peter glad you enjoyed the interview. Timbo does ask challenging and stretching questions that get you thinking and keep you honest based on your convictions and beliefs … I like you enjoy listening to them and discovered when a mate told me about the great content being pumped out by Timbo

  3. Peter Karaoglanis

    Tony the bit that struck me was your inspiration centres, you covered being well read that was obvious.
    The key wisdom centre was your study if Theology and the manifest and practical applications that still brings.
    You eluded and had the conversation not diverged it being a central component in rebuilding the man and your worldview.
    That is a discussion that would be mist interesting to tease out.
    I like that your well read, so your more than the some total of your own thoughts.

    If your comfortable PM me or Friend my FB page.

    Best Wishes
    Peter Karaoglanis

  4. tonygattari

    Peter yes, essentially I got really tired of how “success” was defined and found great wisdom and pratical business applications in “ancient scriptures” and was so convicted by my revelation that i wrote my first book “The Pillar of business success ” around this insight. If you are keen to read it send my your postal address in a private email and i will post you a copy …. It was a bit of a hit in spiritual circles and many people enjoyed the practical business nature of it . Not to eveyones liking, but life is not always a popularity contest. Cheers

  5. Thanks Peter – I really appreciate your take on my approach to questioning guests. And well done, I think, on devouring 50+ episodes in 3-weeks!

  6. Greg Cadorin

    Great interview Tim.

    I thought this was one of the best episodes you have done for a while. (Not that the bar has been low of course).

    I loved Tony’s no nonsense approach and he made some very clear and compelling points.

    I actually posted

    “You don’t need to get it right. You just need to do shit.” Quote of the day – Tony Gattari

    on my facebook when I was only half way through the episode and you had not yet dubbed him a quote machine.

    Keep up the good work.

  7. Thanks Greg … I think we all love a good quote or two. They get us thinking and move us in to action. A bit like a good dose of fibre ;0)

  8. What a ripper episode and I absolutely love Tony’s passion and insights.

    You guys mentioned a book called the tipping point. Who was the author?

  9. Luke Gallagher

    One of my favourite episodes, great guest. A very candid and
    entertaining interview.

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