Benjamin Connell is a Director and Business Advisor at Emerge Business Advisory, holding the qualification of Chartered Accountant. He is well-qualified to provide business advice as part of a business owner’s personal wealth strategy.
Ben took up the role of Inaugural President of Lake Macquarie Business Limited in March 2009, following his involvement in the Steering Committee.
Ben enjoys working with and observing people who want to give a little bit back to the communities that they work and live in.
• Tell us about your career path.
I started off my career by graduating from Macquarie University. I worked in Sydney for a couple of years before coming home to the Hunter. Sydney gave me a great opportunity, but being back in the Hunter is offers a chance to work with small businesses; and that’s what I’m really passionate about.
• What motivates and drives you?
What I’m really passionate about is getting in and working with our clients to develop their business and actually making sure that they’re doing well and achieving their bigger financial goals. We work with a lot of small businesses and it’s really great to actually get in there, work with them and help them achieve what they want to, not only in their business, but also for their personal goals as well.
• What do you believe has shaped your leadership style?
I always believe that if you ask somebody to do something, know how to do it and know it from their position as well. Don’t expect people to do stuff that you don’t know how to do. With my role with Macquarie Business, I’m in a room with really high-skilled professionals and I don’t always understand what they’re doing, but it’s a case of making sure you’re in their shoes. So, if you ask them to do something, you know what they’re going to go through to deliver that result; it’s about knowing what you’re asking of people.
• What is one action or task that you’re sure you incorporate into your diary each week?
It is important to go beyond having a busy business role and a business in the community by actually making sure that you take time for yourself. That may be catching up with your friends and also making time for your family and actually sitting there to think this is why I work hard and this is the reward for doing it. It’s a case of just getting that reset and bringing yourself back to who you really are.
• Which local business person do you find inspiring?
I don’t have one business person I like to call inspiring. Rather, it’s lots of people. Through Macquarie Business and through small business, you find all the small business owners are willing to give that bit extra. Not only are they busy doing their job running their business, seeing their family, but they want to do that little bit extra for the community. These are the people who give that extra bit here and there; who find the time and make the time to help out. I think lots of people make light and I think it’s a really great opportunity for people. Anyone that can give time to a sporting club, a chamber of commerce or any not-for-profit that they’re really passionate about; those are the people I’m inspired by and we need more of them.
Emerge has been serving the region's business community since 1963 and a number of clients have been with us for 20 years and more. Our three key service areas are Business Advisory, SMSFs, and Tax Advice.
Emerge is headed by Ben Connell and Charles Gromek, working with senior accountants Kerrie Berman, Nadene Knauer and Leanne Flynn - plus a team of accountants and support staff.