Business proves a perfect fit By Yazmine Lomax

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Vickie Saunders is a successful business owner, author and international speaker who specialises in sports sponsorship. She chats to Mornington Peninsula Magazine about her passion for her work and her roots in our corner of the world.

Where did your interest in sports and sports sponsorship begin?

Funnily enough, I was never really into sport. I had a career in marketing but about seven years ago my boyfriend, who was an athlete, needed sponsorship as he planned to run the length of Australia on the Bicentennial National Trail. I realised there wasn’t great information out there on how to get sponsorship so I transferred my skills and knowledge and developed my own methodology. It’s very much about relationships, values and conversations and I think having the experience on the business side allowed me to really understand athletes.

What are your top tips for young people wanting to start their own business?

My top tip is don’t just start a business for the sake of starting a business. Start a business because you’ve got this burning desire to make something happen, or because you’ve got a product, service or idea that can help people in some way, or because there’s a problem you can help fix. If you believe in what you’ve got, keep trying to find those opportunities to grow your business. Also, don’t feel you’ve got to go it alone; collaboration and mentoring are really important for young people in business.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is being able to share information with people that they can put into practice and create positive change. For athletes, it’s engaging sponsorship and staying in their sport, or growing their profile so they get to travel around the world and speak at events. It’s not so much about what I achieve in my business, it’s about what other people achieve through that.

Why do you love Frankston and how does it inspire your work?

It’s home. It’s changing constantly but there’s a beautiful energy and calmness about the place. It also reminds me of where I come from and where I am now. When I’m running down Olivers Hill I often reflect that when I was 10 years old I couldn’t wait to get out of the place, but now I go back with such gratitude about where I’ve come from and my life now. It inspires my work because it refreshes me, allowing me to recharge my batteries and get some perspective.