Meet Nikki and Rachael

03 March 2016

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From big dreams to Tiny Hearts

"If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough."

Balance in business is often as important as it is in relationships. In the case of Tiny Hearts, it’s balance that has helped drive their ambitious goal of redefining first aid training. And in the case of sibling co-founders Nikki and Rachael, it could be a big secret to their success.

Finding life-saving inspiration

It seems that Nikki and Rachael always knew they wanted to start a business together. They just didn’t know what it would be. Nikki, the intrepid one, was always ready to forge ahead. Rachael prefers a more cautious approach. Finally, after many ideas over many cups of tea, Nikki had what she calls her “text message moment”.

While working as a paramedic, Nikki had firsthand experience responding to medical emergencies with children, where every minute counts. And all too often, basic first aid training could have dramatically changed the outcome. One day Nikki thought, “enough is enough”.

She realised that many parents might take first aid at their workplace, for example, but nothing empowered them with the knowledge to save their own child. Here was an opportunity to channel their ambitions into something that could actually save lives across Australia.

Rachael’s phone buzzed. The message was short. “I have a business idea”, it read. And the idea for Tiny Hearts was born.

The audacity to overcome

As is often the case, the idea was the easy part. And when their first major setback hit, their balance of personalities helped them persevere.

They had failed their first major audit on the road to accreditation. The auditor was sympathetic, but gave them a 3% chance of success. While Rachael was devastated, Nikki says she never had doubts. And together they worked through the details over long nights.

When they showed up at the auditor’s house just under the deadline, their t’s were crossed and their i’s dotted. And the auditor officially became a fan.

This would be only one of many challenges, but Rachael credits their unique partnership with meeting every one of them. “I couldn’t do it without Nikki. Going alone is the hardest thing to do”.

Secrets to success

Balance is only one of the secrets behind the continued success of Tiny Hearts, which grew from their parents’ garage to employing 26 people across Australia. The founders shared some of the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

“Always go back to the big picture”.

There will always be challenges. Always take a moment to remember why you’re doing this in the first place.

“Don’t think outside the box—think as though there is no box”.

You can’t redefine while focused on limits. Work as though you can accomplish anything and you may surprise yourself.

“Find a business mentor”.

Having somebody who’s been there as a sounding board is a great way to stop worrying about the little things and focus on what really matters in running your business.

To learn more about Tiny Hearts, visit

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