If you witness Julia Spicer at work inside Goondiwindi’s Business Hub, it is hard to see how she manages to get any work done at all. Her phone is constantly abuzz but it does not frustrate her, rather she answers each call with the same enthusiasm and excitement.

Callers range from local leaders and business owners to entrepreneurs, who are all looking for a bit of guidance from the experienced businesswoman who founded her business, Engage & Create Consulting, seven years ago. The flurry of phone action is the inspiration behind her latest venture, ENGAGE — a five-week e-course to help business owners and big thinkers with their strategy. “When I was asking businesses ‘why’ they did things, they couldn’t give me a straightforward answer, so I wanted to create a tool to encourage them to work on their business instead of in it,” she said. Spicer uses her extensive knowledge in business to ask the hard questions around values, strategy, goals and success.

These are the same things she asked herself two years ago, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The now 40-year old was forced to stop work to undergo surgeries and subsequent chemotherapy and radiation treatment, which made her realise certain aspects of her business needed work. “My business was only me, so if I wasn’t there nothing would run properly. I started asking myself the questions I now ask through ENGAGE to ensure my business was sustainable,” she said.

ENGAGE guides participants through five video modules, with the goal of giving them clarity, purpose and confidence. Spicer has also created an online group, which has encouraged an emergence of entrepreneurial activity in regional and rural areas. “Many of the participants are new business owners, so the ENGAGE group is giving them a supportive environment to discuss their ideas, which in turn is giving them a lot of confidence,” she said. Spicer has had 15 years experience in regional and rural business, through owning her own business and advising for not-for-profits and boards. While the demand for her skills is often from the movers and shakers across Australia, Spicer is always happy to return to her home in Goondiwindi. “There are so many great things happening in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia. There are lot of innovative thinkers — and it is an honour to be of assistance where I can,” she said.

Readers also enjoyed our story Surat Basin Energy Awards