Palmer showed a spirit of risk taking and unwillingness to accept defeat that reflected the spirit of being an entrepreneur. When Palmer was 14 years old, he was impacted by the election of Petersen as Premier, an impact that helped to establish the early stages of an entrepreneur in the making: "He [Petersen] talked about the need to see the state grow, the need to make differences and of course he went about doing that by practical examples."
This emphasis on seeing how things can be improved in a practical sense can be seen in his application for his first job in real estate. When contacting firms on the telephone for a position, he was told that he was too young and that they were looking for someone who was "about thirty or forty." Palmer would not take refusal for an answer and then called back saying he was thirty one years old: "So I went and saw him and he employed me and I guess I worked there for about six, six or seven months and um at that time I was going to go back to university and I probably earned about $300,000 at that time. I was the top selling person in Australia." Palmer's practicality and ability to seize moments as his own helped him secure his first job, and represent the initial embers of a career as an entrepreneur.
Palmer's success in real estate helped to illuminate how his success in business would be evident. Palmer was able to network with people and use one sale as a way to generate another. He saw things that were not there and envisioned doing things that others could not. He was practical in taking advantage of situations that others left behind. These traits are essential for a career in entrepreneurship. This relentless pursuit of doing more and seeing that more could be done assisted in him real estate and played a major role in his role as an entrepreneur. Consider Palmer's description of how he made his money in iron ore:
At the same time I set up an oil training business, which functioned OK, it was going good and I established Mineralogy, our minerals company and we took over large iron ore deposits in Western Australia from an American company called Hannah Mining who'd been the first miners of Australian iron ore back in the 1960s and were leaving Australia because of the aftermath of the Vietnam War and that America was generally retreating from this region at that time.
One can trace this back to Palmer's experience with practicality. Palmer has always been pragmatic, driven with being able to maximize real world situations into beneficial reality. In making his money in real estate and in iron ore, one can see this trait, which helped him become such a prominent entrepreneur.