Tracey Smith - How 20 years of real world experience enabled Tracey to seize the right opportunity

Interview with
Tracey Smith
Tracey Smith -  How 20 years of real world experience enabled Tracey to seize the right opportunity

Biding your time means waiting patiently for a good opportunity to do something; waiting for the opportune moment. For Tracey Smith, waiting for the right moment to conceive Ruby Bay Design Co. lasted over twenty years.

But Tracey was hardly sitting around twiddling her thumbs for the duration.

Tracey’s brainchild, Ruby Bay Design Co., finally came to fruition when she pooled all her many experiences to create a product any consumer could do with: personalised, tailored, attractive name labels.

In our podcast today, Tracey explains the benefits of holding fire on a new business idea and how good timing is at the essence of its launch. She also tells us how ‘clicking’ with the business associates who ‘share your page’ is the best way to move your enterprise forward.

What attributes do you need to become self-employed? Apparently, it’s all in your DNA and Tracey had the idea back of mind since high school that she could do things her way …. That, and the fact that the thought of a 9-5 job scared her silly. She needed to forge on with her passion, and the time was right.

Tracey used her stint as business partner with her husband to test the waters and learn practical strategies, some of which she adopted for Ruby Bay Design Co., like:

  1. Keeping a close eye on figures, analysing what is being spent and where
  2. Having a fantastic accountant, but not relying on him/her to do all the bookkeeping
  3. Accepting that completing (tedious) red tape paperwork is a useful tool to track and review 
  4. Knowing the game plan and company direction
  5. Training staff and setting clear roles
  6. Communicating with clients and suppliers (always key).

Things Tracey decided to do differently will ultimately impact on the future value (sale price) of her business, its growth long-term and its potential to run without her being front and centre. Her objective then, was to have systems in place to lessen Ruby Bay’s dependence on Tracey’s hands-on governance.

One system Tracey has embraced is outsourcing: design, manufacturing, distribution, consultancy and marketing. Outsourcing is a way to keep permanent staff numbers down and enable Tracey to focus on positive, big picture stuff – “allows me to manage, rather than work at the everyday ‘nuts and bolts’ duties of Ruby Bay Design”.

Not an easy transition for Tracey though, who is “still that controlling person who thinks no one can do it better than me …”.  One relationship she is delighted to utilise is that with Rachel Klaver of Identify Marketing

Rachel exemplifies the value Tracey sees in ‘clicking’ with her associates – there’s no point in slogging it out with someone who is not articulating the same core values as you.

I asked Tracey what she sees as the main benefits in outsourcing everything from physical everyday tasks to advisory and mentoring services:

  • Giving the challenge to experts means you’ll receive expert solutions
  • Constructive criticism and objective feedback
  • Connecting with the right fit helps temper over-enthusiasm, and encourages creativity
  • Provides support. Business ownership can be a lonely endeavour -

“I’m sitting here alone at my desk with some amazing ideas. Who do I talk to about this, who do I bounce this off?”

  • Aids direction, momentum and acts as a pacemaker –

“Write that in your diary to do down the track, let’s get back to what we are doing today!” Rachel Klaver,

Ruby Bay Design Co. has taken Tracey out of the shadows and into the self-created business arena she’s been dying to experience for over twenty years.

She’s well on her way to labelling the world.

Email Tracey:

Or connect on her fabulous website:

And by the way, if you need more help in moving your business from chaos to control visit me, Craig Oliver at:

Or read the show notes from our other amazingly informative, inspirational and gritty podcasts at:

So many insights, tips and ideas to be had! Just sit back, listen and learn.


Go on, smash through the glass ceiling and move your business from ordinary to extraordinary!



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