My father started racing sidecars at Claremont Speedway in the fifties and in the late sixties he moved to road racing, he raced sidecars up until he passed away in at the age of 79, at that time I was his passenger. Having the opportunity to experience a sport such as a sidecar racing with my father is amazing, we had to completely trust each other and in the time I raced with dad I truly got to know him as a person.
I started racing with dad in 2008
We raced mostly in WA at Barbagallo Raceway, Wanneroo and at the Collie Motorplex. We also went to the National Titles which are held in a different state each year, then every January we went to Phillip Island to race in the Island Classic. This was the highlight of our year, we had so many friends around Australia who followed us and would come to catch up with us. Being a father-daughter outfit really got people's attention and they loved it.
You're probably wondering why I am telling you all this.
I was encouraged by my business mentor Roger Hamilton to share my passion for racing with my clients and to link what I learned from my father both from racing and as a businessman, back to my acumen as a business woman.
You see there is so much more to my dad than just racing, he was a serial entrepreneur. On his death certificate, we put entrepreneur as his profession. When we were kids, we would go to church on Sunday and after we would sit around the kitchen table for hours talking about business. We were so lucky because both Mum and Dad were into business and they never hid anything from us, both the good and the bad.
My parents had a very passionate relationship, so there was lots of drama and excitement. This came from my father being Italian and my mother was of Scottish, Australian descent. They gave me the confidence to be a business woman, in fact, it was expected that us kids would be business people. I have 2 older brothers and a younger sister we are all in Business.
Dad was totally prepared to set me up in business at 17 years of age.
When I was 17 I was in my second year hairdressing apprenticeship and the principal wanted to sell the salon where I was working. Dad started encouraging me to buy the salon, we got the figures and we worked through the profit and loss, added up all the clients in the appointment book and worked out what the minimum spend would be to make it profitable. From this exercise, we deducted that it was a very profitable business.
He was totally prepared to help me buy that business. But I was only 17, I didn’t even have a car, I rode my pushbike to work and I had to say ‘dad I don’t think I am ready to do this’. He just said ok, but new he had given me a really good lesson in how to judge if a business was profitable. Three years later at 20 I did open my own Hair Salon. (picture here)