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Merrily Hunter

CITY: Melbourne

Business: MAC Energy Efficiency Group
What? Energy Efficiency Training and Consulting

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How did the idea for your business first come about?
I was made redundant from the business I'd worked in for 8 years and while mulling over my options, was approached by an old client, as well as an old competitor asking for advice and if I could come and work for them managing their energy efficiency obligations and I said yes to both of them.

When did you have a ‘f*ck-it moment’ and decide you were going to go all-in and start your business?
When I realised that I didn't want to go back to the corporate life of climbing a ladder, working crazy hours and getting no recognition. I thought that if I was ever going to run my own business and succeed or fail miserably.. now was the time to go balls to the wall and do it.

What were some major challenges you had when starting your business? And how did you overcome them?
Both my husband and I were made redundant from our 8 year long roles in corporate within two weeks of each other. Luckily we had already purchased a laundromat business earlier that year, so my husband jumped into that and started building it up. I knew that in order to bring in enough money for both of us, I needed to get a few key clients on board

What has been your biggest “pinch me” moment?
Walking into our Adelaide branch and seeing the team in their uniform all fielding calls at the same time, it was a real "wow" this is real and we are building something that will change the industry.

Starting a business can be gruelling - what keeps you motivated, and keeps you going?
This is a tough one.. I just became a mum about 6 months ago, so the juggle is hard especially with sleep deprivation. When I finish a training workshop or when we sign on a new client, I realise how important it is that we keep building this space and staying on top of all the energy policy changes that are taking place at present. Its an exciting time to be part of an emerging marketplace and to be able to help businesses and people understand and participate in it. Knowing I'm making a difference to the environment for my daughter is a key motivator.

How do you create a work-life balance?
I dont! I juggle as best as possible. The priority list is whichever is going to impact the most if it doesn't get done. I work from home a lot and my husband and I split parenting 50/50. Work is part of every hour of the day.