Adrienne Kreegher –
I was born in Warracknabeal, a town in north-west Victoria, the second of four girls, and raised on the family farm in a small community called Lah. My schooling was in Warracknabeal and sport in a nearby town “Brim” now known for the painted silos which has been a great tourist drawcard for the area and inspired a silo art trail in the Wimmera/Mallee.
I grew up in a very sporting family, I played netball, basketball and tennis which I gave up years ago. I also took piano lessons for 8 years and guitar lessons for 2 years. With all these lessons I still don’t have the confidence to perform in public.
I moved to Melbourne when I was 17 and started work in the NAB. This lasted for 3 years, and then had a number of Accounts/Receptionist/ Data Entry roles until I was 25 when I moved to Canada for a year. On my return to Australia, I ended up moving to Sydney where I met my husband, John. With John being a Kiwi we moved to Wellington, New Zealand a few years later, and married in 2001.
Not long after we were back in Aussie, I fell pregnant and we decided to move to Horsham to be closer to my family for support. John is a truck driver and we found it necessary to move down to Melbourne for his work in 2007 and have been in Point Cook ever since.
I had 10 years off work when the kids were young, and during that time I tried to think of a business I could start up but my creative juices weren’t flowing well, so in 2013 it was back to work in a casual Accounts Receivable role. In 2015 I found my passion, and today I am a small business owner.A story of a woman who found her passion and turned it into a business Click To Tweet
Tell us about your business
I am a qualified driving instructor in Victoria, servicing Point Cook plus surrounds with the purpose of making safe drivers. I have an automatic car and a manual car, both with dual control pedals to teach in. I not only take young learner drivers for lessons, but also adult learner drivers, and those with international licences having to transfer them to a Victorian licence.
It is not only the learner who I am targeting but also their supervising driver/s, which most times is a parent or guardian. I am a member of the ADTAV (Australian Driver Trainers Association of Victoria), which encourages supervising drivers to accompany young drivers on their professional driving lessons. By doing so will reinforce and improve the skills and knowledge of supervising drivers while developing the skills and knowledge of young drivers.
Why and when did you start your own business?
Early 2015 my brother in law went for his Probationary licence and I was one of his supervising drivers. Clarence is from Zimbabwe and an adult learner driver. It was during one of the driving sessions with Clarence that we were talking about his driving instructor and he commented that it would be a perfect job for me. We often discussed potential business opportunities, so this became a light bulb moment, and I thought why not! I had taught friends and family to drive the farm vehicles such as ute and motorbikes, so it seemed logical to look into it further, I just wish I had pursued it earlier. So in July 2015 I started my course – Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics – Road Transport – Car Driving, completing it in December 2015 and in January 2016 started my business. My business logo has the influence of my husband’s home country, New Zealand.
The wheels of the car are the NZ Koru. When I looked into its meaning, I discovered the Koru symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace. My business is giving me new life, and I need the strength to grow my business. I also believe it is a relevant symbol for my clients who are starting a new chapter in their lives, and when they get their licence they will need growth, strength and peace to stay safe.
What does being a business owner mean to you?
Awesome and daunting at the same time. I have always believed what you put into your work is what you get out of it. I’m proud to display my business name and prove what I can do and show my family how my business can enrich our lives.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My Dad was the third generation farmer in our family and a savvy business man, taking on board the advice from industry specialists, his Accountant, and his father. Farmers have come and gone in our area, so to have the land still in our family is something special.
The recording of data was meticulous with my forefathers, and when I discovered ledgers my great grandfather kept I was amazed and spent hours going over them – it wasn’t just numbers, it was a record of how my great grandfather started his business and struggled to keep it going and keep his family fed, clothed and educated – sound familiar?!..
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
My first student who passed her drive test. She was using my car, so I was with her but I wasn’t in control, she was, and whether she passed depended on her nerves on the day.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Use social media on a regular basis to get your name out there, and don’t forget your target group.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
What is one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Being a new business owner, I feel I’m still in the learning phase.
Do you have any new projects coming up?
I recently became an accredited Keys2Drive driving instructor. This is a federally government funded program in association with the Automobile Association of Australia to provide a free lesson for the learner driver together with their supervising driver to enhance their learners’ needs and with the aim of improving the crash risk of a P-plate driver and ensure they are on their P’s 6 months zero harm.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I don’t play a sport like I did when I was younger, but I love watching tennis, netball, basketball and football (AFL). I enjoy listening to music (any genre, it depends on my mood) and watching movies.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Be prepared.
What is fear you faced in business? Have you overcome it? How do you manage fear?
I want to do everything right. That is, to provide the correct advice/guidance to my clients, and also having business documents in order. I haven’t overcome it, but it’s getting better as time goes by. When things get too much, I have to walk away from it, then come back and get on with it.
What are your top 5 goals you want to achieve by the end of 2016?
- Business name organised – tick
- New Motor vehicle with dual controls – tick
- Increase in clients
- Signwriting on Motor vehicle – tick
- Quit part time job
What makes you happy?
- Family, apart from my kids, I love my 7 nieces and one nephew. My eldest niece is getting married next year, and my youngest niece was born just last week!!!
- Seeing people around me happy.
- A great movie
Have you had to make any sacrafices whilst running your business? If so, what are they?
Reducing the time spent with my kids, and for the last year I was coaching with one of the local netball clubs in the junior teams, I was enjoying it but I needed to put my energy into getting my business started.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most and why?
Woodbine Inc. is a non-profit organisation that provides accommodation, day services and supported employment programs to people with disabilities. It was established in Warracknabeal in 1951 and is now the largest disability service organisation based in Western Victoria. Woodbine has been a big part of my life, as my sister, Sonya, is a client. Our Dad was a board member for many years until his death in 2010. I am so proud of how it has grown, the respect the clients are given, and the employment opportunities it has provided for people in the area.
Woodbine has been a big part of my life, as my sister, Sonya, is a client. Our Dad was a board member for many years until his death in 2010. I am so proud of how it has grown, the respect the clients are given, and the employment opportunities it has provided for people in the area.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
I turn 50 next year so I want to be a driving instructor until I retire/semi-retire. That should see me through to 70!!.
What book has inspired you the most?
I’ve been going over the road rules and associated articles in the last year so reading for enjoyment has not really been on the cards for a while; the last series I read was the “Game of Thrones”.
How do you measure your success in business?
Clients making another appointment, and recommendations from these clients.
Having a client pass a drive test is great, but really to have them be safe drivers and take the safe driving strategies I have taught them for all their driving days is how I would measure my success.
Do you have kiddies if so how many? And what is their favourite activity to do with you.
I have two children, Kaeli is 13 and Nash are 10. Kaeli is involved in netball, and Nash is involved in basketball and a cub scout, so I love watching them play and seeing them grow up within the community. They like it when I go swimming with them, and providing some cooking guidance when I’m not in a hurry.
Watching movies and playing board/card games is a chance to wind down and have some family time.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
This is a quote I came across recently and found it quite appropriate for business and driving:
This is another quote which was one of my father’s favourites:
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it’s not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved” – William Jennings Bryan
Why did you become a WBS Member?
I wanted to be amongst other women involved in business and be inspired by their stories, and gain insight that could help me.
Ph: 0438 014 735
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