In the second of our International Women’s Day blog series, we sit down with Ash Matkovic, Founder of Fusion Biz Babes to hear her story and learn more about her experience being a #girlboss.
Ash founded Fusion Biz Babes in 2016; a female-only networking group focussed on bringing together likeminded ladies to support each other’s business dreams, encourage growth, and create lasting friendships before handing over the business card. Sounds like a winning approach to us!
Tell us how Fusion Biz Babes started
It all started around five years ago. I’d moved back from London and started running social networking events. I joined a few networking events as I wanted to push the business, but found a lot of them to be boring, dry, and too sales orientated. No one actually cared about your story or what your vision was, they just wanted a sale out of you. I also felt pretty isolated, since the majority of my Perth friends had moved back to the country, and so I had the idea of running networking events that focussed on creating friendships rather than just closing a sale.
I knew there would be people in Perth like me who actually wanted to connect and learn about people within networking groups rather than just sell their business, so I thought, why not run an event for women in business? So, I did. The first event was held at The Boat Shed and I loved it. I remember walking away with the feeling “yeah, this is what I’m meant to do.”
I then launched the Fusion Biz Babes membership. I didn’t want people to lose the friendship connection that they made at my events, and often you can’t always make the dates of events. The membership provides an online platform for members to connect, share stories and offer advice to each other. All aiming to strengthen the friendship bond.
You’re a busy person running a couple of businesses. How do you manage your work/life balance?
Everyone says this doesn’t exist, but I’m a firm believer of making it happen. I don’t work 9-5. My husband is FIFO, so when he’s away, I’ll spend more time working, but when he’s back, I spend more time with him. It’s all about balance, I make it work. Everyone has a different lifestyle, and it’s all about finding what works with your life and your circumstances. You always find time for the stuff that need to be done. I’m a bit believer in wellness, so I make sure I go for a morning run, meditate, and journal, before getting on with my day. It keeps me in check, otherwise I often spin out of control and forget what’s important.
What’s your biggest accomplishment to date?
My word for the year is focus. I want to be focussed on whatever I’m doing at that time. If I’m with my baby, I want to be fully present with her. If I’m working, I want my mind fully in the game.
Quitting my full-time job. I was working in the city in the resource sector and found it really dry and boring. It was not lighting me up at all. I actually felt like my soul was dying a little when I went into the office every day. For four or five years, I was working side hustle plus my full-time job, so that I could save up enough money and have a recurring income before I quit, to avoid having to draw from the business. Once I got to that point, I just made the decision to quit. You know when the time is right, and the time was definitely right for me. When I walked out of the office on that last day, I skipped! It was the best feeling ever, and the feeling hasn’t left.
Entrepreneur, female entrepreneur, or mum-preneur?!
That's a funny one because my best friend who's not entrepreneurial or business minded at all, she always says, "God, entrepreneur, that word is such w*#k." But it does resonate with me, entrepreneur, not mum-preneur. The whole mummy thing doesn't really resonate very much with me and I don't ever want my life to become just about my kids. My passion is my business and of course will be my kids too, but I would like to keep it separate. So, I guess the Fusion tagline “A Welcoming Community of Female Entrepreneurs and Leaders” means female entrepreneur does resonate with me.
What legacy do you want to leave?
I want to leave the world more of a connected and kinder place. One of the biggest things for me is when I see someone being rude or especially keyboard warriors and things like that, it just makes me so angry. I guess my mission in the world is to bring people together in this isolated world which social media has created and be positive and uplifting towards each other. We can't do anything alone, we need a tribe of supportive, kind, caring people around us. And I think the more people that do that, the better place the world will be, yeah.
What is your number one tip for starting a business?
Obviously join Fusion Biz Babes! More broadly, get networking. I think if you're trying to grow your business the best thing you can do is get out there and meet people because people do business with people they know, like and trust, the quickest way to build that is with face-to-face catch ups. One face-to-face meeting will be so much more powerful than 10 online communications and it's not as scary as it has to be.
Good things never come from comfort zones.
Want to hear more from Ash and pick the brains behind Fusion Biz Babes? You’ll catch her at the “Biz Secrets Exposed” event on Friday 8th March at Frasers, Perth. A collaboration event with Villa Management, who we interviewed last week.
Back To Media and Resources