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Learn Why I’m So Passionate About Helping Business Owners

Hi, my name is Toby Hollington. I’m the creator of SMART business coaching in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. I have spent the last 15 years as an accountant, coach and a successful Gold Coast business consultant.

I have worked hands-on with hundreds of business owners from many different industries while continuing to learn and develop my own skills. My fascination for helping people and my passion for business started way before this, though.

It All Started at School

I’m dyslexic (I just had to look that word up. Thank God for spellchecking!). Back then, schools weren’t very understanding of dyslexics. I was put into special classes, which I hated, and my classmates would laugh at me (kids can be so cruel!). In the end I lost interest in learning.

I recently dug out my last report from school. Here’s a quote that sums it up nicely:

“Toby is limited in academic skills, but he does little to help himself by adopting a lethargic and uncommitted approach in most subjects.”

I love the language here. It’s just a nice way of saying “Toby is stupid and lazy”. Lol! Well that’s the way I took it, and when enough people in authority tell you that you are stupid, you tend to believe it and take it on as your identity.

I did pass one exam, though. I managed to get a B in Business Studies! Even then I had a flair for business. But at that point I gave up on education and took a job in a cardboard box factory.

Toby Hollington
Toby Hollington

Losing My Mum

During this time, I lost my mum to cancer. I was lost and heading in the wrong direction. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was living as a victim, blaming everything and everyone else for my lot in life.

I had no education, I could barely read or write, I was working in a dead-end job, I didn’t have a relationship with my dad, and my mum had just died of cancer.

I wasn’t happy. I was just waiting for the next bad thing to happen, which life being the way it is, is never far away.

It Just Got Worse

A few years later I found out that I had a hereditary eye condition that was causing me to lose my sight. I was going blind.

It turned out that I had the same eye condition as my granddad, who was blind. I was diagnosed when I was seven years old, but for whatever reason my family chose not to tell me.


Although this news wasn’t good and I didn’t take it well – who bloody would – it did change me. I went from being a victim to taking responsibility of my life. I thought to myself:

“Bad things are going to keep happening, but if I want a good life I can’t keep waiting for life to give me a break. I need to do it myself!”

I switched my mentality from being a victim to taking responsibility.

  • I took voluntary redundancy from the cardboard box factory and went back to school.
  • I enrolled in a residential college where during the day I studied accounting and at night took extra English classes to improve my reading and writing.
  • At the end of that year I passed all my exams, including (believe it or not) an English exam, and above all I really enjoyed it!
  • Next, I got my first job in accounts – not in a factory anymore but in an office.
  • Over the next five years I carried on working full time while studying in the evenings, until I became a fully qualified accountant.
  • I passed all my exams first time and even came second in the country for one of them.

This process completely changed my belief system. I proved everyone wrong, including myself, and I no longer believed I was stupid (although my spelling is still terrible).

I came to understand that the limiting beliefs I had about my own ability and the identity I took on as a child were far more disabling than any physical disability, like losing my eyesight!

I became fascinated with this understanding. I had met many people in life who had more potential than I did, yet I saw how their own limiting beliefs were holding them back. I wanted to help them.

Toby Hollington
Sales Growth Driver

Helping Business Owners

I was now working in an accounting firm, I loved working with business owners and really enjoyed my studies. Then I went to my first business seminar.

As I listened to the speakers at the seminar, I knew I had found my calling. This was it. This was how I could help people. I could help business owners change their mentality and improve their business.

Starting your own business is a huge step in taking responsibility of your own life. I wanted to help people who were willing to take that step.

15 Years of Coaching and Growing

During my career, I have become an NLP Practitioner and continued to study business success, devouring hundreds of business and personal development books and spending thousands of dollars on personal development courses.

I have now spent the last 15 years working with business owners from many different industries and have helped them grow their businesses in ways they didn’t think possible. Here are just a few examples:

  • Helping grow Clarke’s Design & Construct, a commercial builder, from completing 2 or 3 projects a year to completing over 15 projects, and developing a management team to run the business which allows the owner to take time away.
  • Working with Eco Superfoods, a business that manufactures and distributes fitness nutrition brand PranaON, to manage and continue their rapid growth and develop their management structures, sales team, supervisors and leadership team.
  • Working with a mid-tier firm of accountants, MWM Advisory, to help them create a new style of firm to support their clients, support their growth and develop their team of accountants and leadership team.

I would love to do the same for you too. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, then have a look around our website or give us a call on 1300 300 746.

Coaching and Growing


Business Coaching

Click below to find out about our business coaching services including our one-on-one coaching programs, or click on ‘Get Started’ to book your complimentary 90-minute introductory business coaching session.

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Click below to find out about our bookkeeping services including data entry, BAS, budgets and management accounts, or click on ‘Get Started’ to book your complimentary 60-minute bookkeeping health check.

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