South Australian Business News

Get knocked down, get up again!

Anthony Caldwell
Wednesday, September 6th 2023

Startup owners are no strangers to the relentless grind that comes with the territory. Unceasing uncertainty can at times overshadow the quest for long-term stability and success. 

In a recent conversation on the ThirtyNiners podcast, Ryan Jones, the mastermind behind Refuel Creative, an award-winning digital marketing agency, shared insights that strike a chord with the tumultuous journey of startups. 

His words echoed inspiration during his interview, urging entrepreneurs to confront uncertainty head-on and keep pushing forward.

The ThirtyNiners podcast, a platform spotlighting the rising stars shaping South Australia’s business landscape, includes a recurring segment where host Tim Lavis poses the question: If you could put a message on a billboard for millions to see, what would it say?” Ryan’s response was simple but deeply resonant: You can do it.”

This seemingly straightforward phrase sparked a conversation that unravelled its complex layers. 

Ryan elaborated, Sometimes you need to hear a little confidence, particularly when you’re in a funk”.

A chuckle accompanied an anecdote about a time when this reassurance played a pivotal role in a difficult situation he was confronted with. 

You know, I feel like the entrepreneurial journey is like that song, I get knocked down, but I get up again”.

Drawing inspiration from Chumbawamba’s 90s anthem Tubthumping,’ Ryan underscored the relationship between the song’s message of resilience and the rollercoaster entrepreneurs often find themselves on, particularly when grappling with doubt amidst a storm.

Ryan’s own journey through the unpredictability of entrepreneurship hasn’t been without its share of trials. 

He shared that two years into starting his business, the two partners he had established Refuel Creative with had run away together and he was at risk of losing everything. 

Reflecting on the past challenge, he highlighted an acquaintance’s scepticism about Refuel Creative’s survival.

I thought you weren’t going to come out the other side of that” he was told. 

Ryan’s determination meant that he needed to persevere and get on with the job at hand, which meant he needed to make some changes to his business before he could start to rebuild it.

Over the course of a couple of months, we went from a team of about ten freelancers to me and one employee,” said Ryan. 

Although it was undoubtedly a difficult time, Ryan was determined to persevere, and it wasn’t long before he had single-handedly rebuilt his business.

By the end of that year, I had recruited seven employees. 

We turned things around really quickly.

I think it was more about not giving up, keeping my eye on the prize, not sooking about it and getting to the other side”.

Today, Refuel Creative stands tall as a thriving cohort of 12 marketing professionals, based in Port Adelaide, serving clients across Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. 

The agency has earned prestigious accolades, including recognition at the HubSpot 2019 and 2020 Impact Awards, as well as the 2019 Telstra Business Awards, cementing its status as a trailblazer in the industry.

To learn more about Refuel Creative, and how Ryan Jones’s mission to create a world-renowned marketing agency from his hometown of Adelaide, listen to his full interview on the ThirtyNiners Podcast by the South Australian Business Chamber. Search for it wherever you hear your podcasts.


Anthony Caldwell

Manager, Marketing, Media, Communications
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