Successful Endeavours - Electronics Designs That Work!

Passion Matters

Because we design other people’s products for them, we get to meet a lot of people who want success. There is nothing wrong with that. Some want to Make a Difference and are pursuing a cause they are passionate about. And I get the most satisfaction from helping them to succeed at doing that.

Stephanie Alexander

Stephanie Alexander cooking at home

At the most recent Casey Cardinia Business Group breakfast session I had the chance to hear Stephanie Alexander share her journey. And it was an inspiring reminder that passion does indeed Make a Difference.

Casey Cardinia Business Group

Casey Cardinia Business Group

Stephanie grew up in a family that believed in the value of education, discussed topics of interest, and ate home cooked food. Her Mum not only liked to cook tasty meals but was also interested in the meaning of food and it’s social context.

Following her graduation she traveled to Europe and in France discovered a love of food that has stayed with her for the rest of her life.

Although her first commercial efforts weren’t successful, she persevered and was able to use her systematic organisational skills developed in teaching and library work to run a successful restaurant. She also discovered a passion for educating people about food, cooking with confidence and enjoying the taste and texture of well cooked, fresh, seasonal produce. This led to writing books and developing the Kitchen Garden Foundation program to teach primary school children the benefits and joy of growing fresh vegetables and cooking them.

The success of the books bankrolled some of the other activities and their success attracted philanthropic investment as well as government grants.

She didn’t start with the intent of being a leader. It was her desire to influence people’s view of food and their choice of what to eat that led to it as an emerging position and allowed her to make the difference she has been able to make.

Influencing the coming generations and how they perceive food will affect many modern issues including climate change and obesity. Stephanie believes that obesity solved by calorie management and powdered food. She believes it will be easier to overcome once we rediscover the joy of growing and cooking great produce as an alternative to convenient food that really doesn’t have the same taste, texture and quality of nourishment.

The Cook’s Companion was intended as a complete education in produce, cooking and having confidence in being able to do that. And it has been a huge success in helping cos achieve just that. It wasn’t written to make money. It was written to help people. That it had also been a commercial success shows the value of doing something good to help others and doing it very well.

Success Lessons

Her story parallels many others I am familiar with. And they all seem to share the some common characteristics:

  • trying to do something to Make a Difference, not just to make money
  • having to push through initial failures and learn from them
  • building a team around you and energising them with your passion
  • having a message big enough to capture the attention of the world around you

In my case, it is making it possible for Australian Electronics Manufacturers to be both locally and globally competitive.

In the case of Stephanie Alexander, it is awaking the value of good food grown and prepared well to an upcoming generation who are mostly being fed the message of convenience.

The Cook's Companion

The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander

Last night I broke out our copy of The Cook’s Companion and thoroughly enjoyed preparing a good meal.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In Australia. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2016 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Casey Cardinia Business Awards

The City of Casey and Shire of Cardinia have been actively collaborating and cooperating for many years now. This is an inspiring example of how to buck the current Australian trend against collaboration. And one of the ways they are doing this is with a combined business program including the Casey Cardinia Business Group and the Casey Cardinia Business Awards.

The Casey Cardinia Business Awards Finalists for 2015 were announced in August and last night the winners were announced at a gala dinner at the Cranbourne Turn Club. We are pleased to let let you know that we won the Business and professional Services Award.

Casey Cardinia Professional Services Award 2015

Casey Cardinia Professional Services Award 2015

A great night was had by all with Jean Kittson as MC.

Jean Kittson

Jean Kittson

We also had a full table with us to celebrate the win.

Casey Cardinia Business Awards 2015

Casey Cardinia Business Awards 2015

And our congratulations goes to Wastech Engineering who won Casey Cardinia Business of the Year for 2015.

You can read about the other winner Casey Cardinia 2015 Business Award Winners.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2015 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

National Manufacturing Week

Each year during National Manufacturing Week we have the opportunity to celebrate and explore Australian Manufacturing. It alternates between Sydney and Melbourne and in 2014 it is being held in Sydney from May 13-16 at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.

National Manufacturing Week

National Manufacturing Week

From the messages in the press recently, you would think that manufacturing in Australia is dead. But the truth is a long way from that. Recent announcements from the Automotive Manufacturing sector are disappointing but that is not the only manufacturing we do here. Manufacturing is the equal third largest sector of the Australian economy and the largest sector in Victoria. The sector it is equal in size to is mining. That’s right, the same size as mining!

So it is worth looking after a little better than we have been.

It kicks off on the 13th May 2014 with the exhibition followed by a networking function and the Endeavour Awards gala dinner. This year we entered the awards so are hoping to have some news about that soon.

The National Manufacturing Week networking event this year is being sponsored by the Casey Cardinia Region which is where Successful Endeavours is located. This is a very progressive venture between the City of Casey and the Shire of Cardinia. and a great example of the collaboration we need to become a lot better at in Australia. We are also a member of the Casey Cardinia Business Group which is one of their strategic initiatives.

Casey Cardinia Region

Casey Cardinia Region


Casey Cardinia Business Group

Casey Cardinia Business Group

We will be going to National Manufacturing Week this year and hope you will consider it too. If you haven’t been before, you might be pleasantly surprised at both the breadth and depth of Australian Manufacturing.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2014 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

What makes a champion?

I took the title of this post from a blog written by our Business Mentor,  Dr Marc Dussault  The Exponential Growth Strategist. We heard a different perspective on what it takes to be a champion when Brooke Hansen shared her story at the Casey Cardinia Business Group breakfast this week.

Brooke Hansen

Brooke Hansen, Olympic Medalist

Imagine spending 20 years to get to your dream?

At the age of 6 Brooke Hansen decided she wanted to represent Australia at the Olympic Games. In 1994 at the age of 16 she was the youngest member of the Commonwealth Games team. So the trend was good. The years of training had gotten here that far. But in 1996 and again in 2000 she did not make the Olympic Team. She felt like quitting. And the statistics show how hard it is to make the Australian Olympic Swimming Team.

  • 100,000 swimmers in Australia
  • 1000 serious competitive swimmers fighting for a place in the team
  • 42 swimmers selected for the Olympics Team
  • 2 of them Breast Strokers

So she decided to give it one last try. She knew she had to change something or her results wouldn’t change. She also knew she would be considered too old to be competitive. So she got a different coach, a different training regime, focused on the little 1% things that would make the difference she needed, broke down her 4 years into individual 6 month goals and the final year gave up her 4 favourite things to eat or drink and pursued her dream with single minded conviction.

She made the Australian team for the 2004 Summer Olympics and came away with an Olympic Silver Medal for the 100m Breast Stroke and an Olympic Gold Medal for the Medley Relay. Not only had she represented Australia, but she had done us proud. She knew it and we heard it in her voice as she shared her story with us. However her story doesn’t end there.

Ray Keefe, Junette Keefe, Brooke Hansen's Olympic Gold and Silver Medals

Ray Keefe and Junette Keefe with Brooke Hansen’s Olympic Medals

Six weeks later she competed in the 2004 FINA Short Course World Championships where she won six Gold Medals. She is now a member of a very elite group to have ever done anything like that.

Her message to us was both inspiring and simple. Never give up on your dream.

I also recognised that she had done something else. She had focused and she had stepped up with courage and determination.

How to inspire

And she did something else that was both inspiring and moving. She brought her Gold and Silver Olympic Medals with her and they were passed around the room from table to table so we could hold them. They were heavier than I expected and it was quite an honour to hold them, the indisputable emblems of her champion spirit. 

Ray Keefe with Brooke Hansen's Olympic Medals

Brooke Hansen’s Medals

I went into the rest of my day more determined than ever to make a difference. Thank you for inspiring and challenging me.

If you enjoyed this post then you might also like to visit the official website of Brook Hansen and the Mindset of a Champion blog.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2013 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.