Your Business Club


The School of Hard Knocks for Stressed Business People and Reluctant Entrepreneurs

This is a business club conducted by our law practice and The Reluctant Entrepreneur. It is open to all owners and managers of businesses, no matter their industry or the size or type of business.

Meetings are held quarterly, with keynote business speakers, discussion groups, business book reviews, handouts and legal spotlights. For a snippet of what takes place, view this short video clip.

The School of Hard Knocks is a hands on, very practical club. The aim is for local businesses to improve and be successful. We want business people to learn from one another and to pick up on ideas from others who are outside their own industry and business experience and who might have quite different perspectives. As an owner or manager of a business, you are warmly invited to attend any of our business club meetings.

Our Next Meeting

Our next meeting for the School of Hard Knocks will be held Tuesday 27 February 2018. Our event usually commences from 12:00pm for a 12:30pm start over lunch and finishing at 2:00pm.

Our guest speaker will be Des Mueller speaking on “Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works”.

Click here to see our last event’s invitation.

Business Club members can access handouts and material from previous meetings here.


Previous Guest Presenters

2017 Guest Presenters


Our last guest speaker was Leanne Faulkner, a champion of small business and an advocate for mental health awareness.

Her topic was: “Stress Busters for You and Your Team!”

We also had additional guest presenters:

Jessica Lancashire from Online HR, shared on “Self-Care for Employers”

Philip Heaven from Sharrock Pitman Legal, shared on “Workplace Stress, OH&S and Your Enterprise”


Our guest speaker was Ron Gauci, who has experience at the top levels of the business world in globally listed companies, as well as in a range of not-for-profit organisations and start-up ventures.

His topic was: “Optimising the Performance of your Organisation

Our very own Reluctant Entrepreneur, David Sharrock, also shared useful points for businesses. His topic was “Planning for Enterprise Success (Part 1)“.


Our guest speaker was Shaun Coulton, from Coulton Consulting being a company which demystifies social media tools for businesses.

His topic was: “The 12 Steps to Building Your Personal and Business Brand on LinkedIn

We also had additional presenters sharing on digital media trends:

Adam Laurie from Digitial 360, shared on  “Current Trends in Digital Marketing Strategies

Phil Speers, from Catch All Digital, shared on “SEO Do’s and Don’ts

Mitchell Zadow from Sharrock Pitman Legal shared on “Your Business on the Web: Managing the Risks


Our guest speaker was Craig Rispin, an international speaker, author and leading expert on future trends in business.

His topic was “Bullet Proofing Your Business for the Future”.

The Reluctant Entrepreneur, David Sharrock, also shared useful points for businesses. His topic was “Leading on L Plates – 5 More Things I Learnt in 2016“.


2016 Guest Presenters


Our guest speaker was Chris Helder,  an international speaker, trainer, consultant, writer and business strategist.

His topic was “Useful Belief – as a game changer in the field of motivation and performance”.

Our very own Reluctant Entrepreneur, David Sharrock, also shared useful points for businesses. His topic was “Generating Business Momentum“.


Our guest speaker was Glenn Manton, former AFL footballer, media personality and philanthropist.

His topic was “Positive Conversations and Life-giving Relationships”.

The Reluctant Entrepreneur, David Sharrock, was joined by his business partners Andre Ong and Mitchell Zadow as they had a panel discussion on ‘Positive Conversations, Positive Relationships’ in their law practice.


Our guest speaker was Jason Cunningham, television personality and accountant.

His topic was “Have Your Cake and Sell it too: The 7 Key Ingredients of Business Success”.

The Reluctant Entrepreneur, David Sharrock, also shared about a key ingredient to business success. His topic was ‘Business Values’.


Our guest presenter was Graeme Joy an intrepid explorer and adventurer.

His topic was “Leading Your High Performance Team”.

David Sharrock, Managing Principal of Sharrock Pitman and a reluctant entrepreneur at heart, provided some great insights on leadership. His topic was ‘Leading on L Plates’.


2015 Guest Presenters


Our guest presenter was Vanessa Hall, a leading thinker and teacher on trust. Her simple but profound model for trust is creating significant change in businesses.

Her topic was ‘Marketing – the Maker or Breaker of Trust’.


Our guest presenter was David Parkin, former AFL player and coach.

His topic was ‘Team Building’.

David Sharrock, as the Reluctant Entrepreneur, shared some red hot tips for firing up your business.


Our guest presenter was David Penglase, a bestselling author and leading expert on the ethics of selling.

His topic was ‘How to Build Intentional Trust to Boost Business Success’.

The Reluctant Entrepreneur, David Sharrock, also provided some inspiration on boosting business success. His topic was ‘For Business Success, Build a Bridge of Trust’.


Our guest presenter was Iven Frangi, a business builder and recognised thought leader on customer experience.

His topic was “Outstanding Customer Experience for Business Success”.

We also heard from David Sharrock again. His topic was ‘Customer Service’. David is the Managing Principal of Sharrock Pitman Legal and a most reluctant entrepreneur!


2014 Guest Presenters


Our guest presenter was Russell Pearson, brand strategist and director of Crimson Fox Creative Studios.

His topic was about the ‘Elements of Effective Brand Design’.

David Sharrock spoke on ‘Business Branding’.


Our guest presenter was Tom O’Toole, the baker from Beechworth and franchisor of Australia’s greatest bakery.

His topic was about ‘Workplace Culture and Team Building’.

David Sharrock spoke on: ‘Let’s go fishing …. for a vibrant workplace’.


Our guest presenter was Amanda Gome, a successful business person, journalist and media entrepreneur.

Her topic was on ‘Entrepreneurship – Crikey, I Forgot My Skirt’.

David Sharrock , our very own Reluctant Entrepreneur, facilitated a panel discussion and Q & A with three local entrepreneurs, Christo Christophidis, Craig Lane and Adam Laurie.


Our guest presenter was Tim Costello, the CEO of World Vision.

His topic was ‘Becoming the Business Leaders we can be’.

The quintessential reluctant entrepreneur, David Sharrock, shared a few thoughts on business leadership.


2013 Guest Presenters


We had a panel discussion on how to deal with tough financial times.

Our panel comprised of:

  1. Tim WilsonPartner, Wilmit Australia Pty Ltd: 5 Hot Tips on Surviving and Thriving in Your Business in Tough Financial Times
  2. Paul HumphreysDirector, Accountkeeping Plus Pty Ltd: 5 Hot Tips on Having Great Business Cash Flow in Tough Financial Times
  3. Mathew ThongBusiness Banking Manager, National Australia Bank: 5 Hot Tips on How to get Bank Finance for Your Business in Tough Financial Times
  4. Mitchell ZadowPrincipal, Sharrock Pitman Legal Pty Ltd: 5 Hot Tips on Protecting Your Private Assets from Business Creditors in Tough Financial Times
  5. Ashley DavidsonExecutive Director, Pitcher Partners Advisors Pty Ltd: 5 Hot Tips for Dealing with the ATO in Tough Financial Times


To kick off the first School for Hard Knocks our presenter was, David Sharrock, Managing Principal of Sharrock Pitman Legal. David is both a stressed business person and a most reluctant entrepreneur. Our business club was started for like-minded business owners and managers.

His topic was “What’s the Key to Sustained Success in any Business”.