Sleep for Entrepreneurs

How sleep effects high performance in Entrepreneurs

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Sleep neuroCare entrepreneurship

Thomas Mechtersheimer is the Founder and Executive Chairman of neuroCare, who has spoken with both our Brisbane and Sydney boards on the importance of sleep. While we hear stories about successful business people only needing to sleep four hours a night, Thomas assures that’s not the norm nor something that can be maintained long-term. In fact, Entrepreneurs are high performers and just like athletes would, we need to dedicate time to recovery. Thomas explains;

Medical experts push exercise and good diet as key to maintaining our health but what often goes overlooked is the importance of sleep in the mix of all things we do to stay healthy. When it comes to high performing people like athletes or indeed entrepreneurs, sleep is a vastly underestimated key to maintaining good cognitive performance and resilience and there is a lot to be gained from taking a closer look at our quality of sleep and wake routines.

The science of sleep

Quality sleep is necessary, restorative, and promotes muscle recovery and energy replenishment1. Sleep helps brain cells ‘re-set’2 and clears toxins3. It helps us remember new information4 and optimize next-day performance5. Poor sleep is annually responsible for 1.23 million missed work days, costing an estimated at $411 Billion6. An estimated 1.5 million Australian (8.9% of the population7) have a sleep disorder.

Sleeps relation to Anxiety and Depression

People often think sleep disorders are a symptom of Anxiety or Depression, but studies show insomnia is more likely to cause symptoms of depression than the other way around. We also know that people who sleep less than the required 7 to 8 hours (for adults) often don’t notice that their energy and cognitive performance is lower, which means sleep issues are more common than you think.

Why sleep is so important for Entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs often push themselves into situations where they are the expert, the decision maker and the stress diffuser – for days on end. Entrepreneurs carry the full weight, being the person where the buck stops (and literally with their own money). These serious mental stress factors are a recipe for poor sleep quality and therefore mental instability, so this is a concern which really needs to be taken much more seriously.

Sleep Hygiene

The leading scientists who work with us at neuroCare point to Sleep Hygiene as the key to mental resilience and warn that pills are not the solution. Medications often produce next-day drowsiness, can lead to non-restorative sleep, not to mention the risk of serious, debilitating addiction or overuse.

We educate patients on the impact of blue spectrum light in their environment and help them to understand the importance of the circadian rhythm. This is a much more targeted approach leading and form part of our sleep hygiene programs.

Neurofeedback training

As well as sleep hygiene maintenance, we recommend Neurofeedback training to people with sleep disorders or who want to improve their cognitive performance and resilience. By personalising the therapy, neuroCare methods have a recorded positive effect in more than 70%, following protocols proven to improve sleep onset and quality. Neurofeedback has also been scientifically proven to improve symptoms of ADHD such as focus and concentration and can be used in peak performance training, without the need of medication and with sustainable, long-lasting benefits.

Written by Thomas Mechtersheimer, Founder & Executive Chairman of neuroCare Group. To find out more about their therapy programs in Australia visit or to learn more about neuroCare, visit


  1. Bonnar et al. 2018
  2. Vyazovsky et al. 2011
  3. Xie et al. 2013
  4. Stickgold, 2005
  5. Belenky et al. 2003
  6. Rand Europe, 2017
  7. Deloitte Access Economics findings
Digital Media Statistics

How to interview a digital agency

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We all know that our customers are online but there’s so much noise with Google, Facebook, SEO (and the list goes on) that it’s easy to push it aside. Ignore that our customers are now researching and forming their purchasing preferences online. Or chose to do something, reach out to the ‘experts’ and end up spending thousands of dollars with very little result. Many businesses are left questioning how to navigate this new online world.

Russ Macumber has been working in marketing for the past 15 year and specialises in digital marketing. Our members in Melbourne heard from Russ at their board meeting where he outlined key tips on how to hire the right digital agency and more importantly what to watch out for. Here’s what Russ says:

*Phone rings*

Unknown number

Hmmm…it could be a customer…

I better answer it…


“Is this Russ Macumber?”


“Hi there Russ. Did you know your website is currently showing multiple errors which are preventing you from showing on page 1 of Google? My team have picked up a number of critical issues which need to be resolved. We can get you to the top of the ranking! Do you want more business?”

“Well actually I’m o—-”

“Russ, more business is what you need. We will get you to page 1. I will have one of my team come out and see you tomorrow. Let’s say tomorrow afternoon at 2pm. What’s the best address to meet you at Russ”

We’ve all had these calls. Often multiples of these calls…in a single day! Pushy sales tactics are just one of the bugbears that the digital marketing industry is known for. I’ve worked in and around marketing for over 15 years. I’ve owned a number of businesses. I know the digital agency stereotypes, and to be honest, lots are fair labels! Outside of pushy sales people, other labels associated with digital agencies include…

Cowboys, Rip off merchants, Shady, Unethical


Your customers are online. They start their research online, investigate options, and reach out (or purchase, for eComm sites) through your website. You need a digital strategy. So you are going to have to talk to the cowboys.

With that in mind, here are the questions I recommend you ask a prospective agency…

eCommerce businesses: What is the expected return on ad spend (ROAS)?

If the agency has done work in your industry, they should be confident to be able to generate you a return based on past experience. Eg. They should be able to say 2 or 3 or 5 x ROAS by a certain period. Things to look out for here…they (a) Won’t give you a number, (b) Give you a reeeeeaaally long answer, but you’re unsure if there was a number in there, or (c) Give you an outlandish number, say 100 x multiplier on your ad spend…RUN.

Lead Generation businesses: What is the expected CPA (cost per acquisition/lead)?

Again…if they have worked in your space, they should have an understanding of what type of result they can deliver. You should do some calculating beforehand on your current CPA so you can figure out if the agency can do a better job than you’re doing yourself.

Do you do the work yourself, or outsource?

Digital agencies are famous for projecting themselves as much bigger than they are. Any slightly digitally savvy person can whack up a slick looking WordPress website, write some punchy/engaging copy, and draw you into their funnel under the impression that they are a “team of strategists, creatives and tech heads”. When its likely they are just 1 person, outsourcing the work.

The risk of outsourcing is two-fold: (1) From a quality control perspective, wouldn’t you rather be able to speak to the person/s actually doing the work on your campaign? And (2) You need your agency to be responsive to your needs. It’s hard to turn off a Google Ads campaign if your digital agency has to wait on an email back from the overseas tech working on it.

Who owns the campaigns and the data from my campaigns? In Google Ad Manager, Facebook Business Manager etc

This is crucial: You are paying for the data in these accounts with your advertising spend. You should own the data. Don’t take that “it’s our IP” excuse from the agency. That’s 2000s era agency speak. You should expect transparency in 2018.

More questions to ask…

How much of the monthly retainer is media (advertising spend) and how much is service fees?

What does the onboarding process look like?

What does the reporting look like?

Who will manage my account? How often will I hear from them?

One question not to ask…

How many hours will you spend working on my campaign?

It’s irrelevant. What type of ROI/results can you achieve is a better question. I know for a fact my accountant is super expensive. I don’t even know exactly how much I pay! But I do know that he saves me thousands and thousands of dollars every year. And I don’t care how many hours it takes him to do it, I just know that before I used him, I didn’t have those extra thousands.

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Innovation Linda Ginger

Five potential barriers to unleashing Australia’s lagging innovation

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Linda Ginger

This month, our Brisbane boards heard from Linda Ginger, Market Strategist on Innovation and Growth as she shared her opinion on the crucial role of innovation and how Australia can unlock its full potential. Linda outlines the five barriers to unleashing Australia’s lagging innovation.

Australia’s performance on the Global Innovation Index certainly isn’t energising the world with its innovation efforts. In 2018 we ranked 20th, three points up on the previous year and the first time we’ve pipped New Zealand and China. What is going on?


Australia has experienced 27 years of consistent economic prosperity.  Could it be we’ve not suffered ‘real’ economic hardship and therefore never been driven to innovate for our survival? The problem with complacency is we’re likely to be lulled into a false sense of security with no contingency plan in times of adverse economic change.

Too hard

For some, the mention of ‘innovation’ conjures up a thought we need a magnitude of an idea equivalent to ‘Apple’ or ‘Google’.  Unfortunately, this thinking causes us to stop and do nothing.  I like to think of innovation as a path to remaining relevant to customers, being more competitive or growing our business.

Too risky

Innovation does bring a level of risk, however, the risk not to innovate is potentially far greater. Technology, pace of change, and increased competition due to globalisation and/ or changing business models means there is far greater chance our current businesses will not survive.  Four years ago, in a publication entitled, ‘Big Bang, Short Fuse’, Deloitte predicted 32% of Australian industries would be disrupted in three years. This prediction is playing out on queue. Many businesses are not prepared, and are unlikely to be prepared for the next wave representing a further 31%.

Government responsibility

Many countries leading the Global Innovation Index receive no government assistance to innovate. In contrast however, every level of Government in Australia is driving an innovation agenda with literally millions of dollars being expended via grants, research and equity funds, loans, availability to data, R&D tax incentives, start-up hubs, incubators and accelerators.  With no hard data that Australian tax-payer’s money is being well directed, it begs the question as to whether Government is killing innovation with its kindness and/ or creating a culture that sees Government vs business as the instigator of innovation.

Fear of failure

A common term used in start-up sphere is ‘fail fast’ It is seen as a positive term vs a negative one.  In the United States bankruptcy is considered a step on the journey, vs it being a game ender in risk averse Australia.  It is true that historical high rates of innovation failure have been the trend since Thomas Edison, however, there are now science-based methodologies and processes that are enabling businesses to unshackle the risk-aversion and unleash innovation with confidence.

As an innovation player I think Australians talk a good talk about innovation but we don’t know how to buckle our boots and get walking the talk.  Innovation is about a thinking, not a tax rebate.  It is about observing what is around us, seeing into the future, talking to our customers about they want, need and value, and taking the necessary steps to ensure a sustainable business.  But if you want to give Apple and Google a nudge then know how to play the game without risking the house.

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Advisory Board

Eight reasons to join a Business Advisory Board now

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Hugh Mckensey Testimonial

Our CEO, Richard Skarzynski shared with the HR Management App on the reasons why it is so important to join a business Advisory Board.

As a business leader you might think you have everything figured out already, or that your self-motivated enough, but that simply isn’t true. No matter what stage your business is at, a business Advisory Board can make you progress faster than you would on your own. Here are 8 benefits in hiring a business advisory board.

1. You’ll step outside your comfort zone.

It’s easy for business owners to become enmeshed in their own world, your business advisory board will help push you outside your comfort zone, offering you new opportunities to meet new people or give you the encouragement to try new things.

2. You’ll be held accountable.

When you operate a growing organisation, everything begins to get more complex. As you get busier you push things off– even when you know they are important. This is where your advisory board comes in, they know the vital things you need to accomplish to achieve your goals and your board will hold you accountable.

3. You’ll hear unbiased opinions.

Your advisory board will become immersed in you and your business and will have no biased opinion on your industry or company. This provides a great forum for unbiased advice – leading many business owners to “aha!” moments as they uncover solutions that the people close to the business may overlook.

4. You’ll finally have someone who isn’t afraid of correcting you.

A business advisory board consists of several other businesses bringing years of knowledge and experience to the table. They have proven methods to success and help take your business to the next level. Discussions at these meetings are not held back, these professional businessmen and women are not afraid to confront you and push you to look at things from a different perspective.

5. You’ll learn how to make your ideas a reality.

Many organisations have brilliant ideas but fail in execution, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start and what to tackle first. Your business advisory board will evaluate your plans, assess if they are realistic or will be successful and map out a way that you can implement them correctly.

6. You’ll gain confidantes.

When you run your own company, it can be hard to talk to people about your real concerns. For different reasons partners, employees, peers and friends often don’t understand. Not to mention the conflicting opinions and ideas in your head and around you. A business advisory board can provide that confidential space to focus, be a problem-solver to the priorities and challenges you face.

7. Your networking opportunities will increase dramatically.

Aside from the other great points listed above, your networking opportunities will increase dramatically when your business advisory board is out being an advocate for you. We all know that when your involved with successful people, the more you will succeed. They know you, you will be top of mind in many cases when your advisory board is out meeting new people or introducing you to their existing network.

8. You’ll develop self-confidence.

The biggest personal “pro” is confidence. You can attribute this to experience. Your advisory board has years of experience from owning businesses. You’ll leverage from their failures and successes. Helping you achieve your goals but also making sure your prepared for any situation that arises.

If your contemplating your next move or how to strive for something more, join Coraggio at our next board meeting to find out how we can help you.

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