Entrepreneurship has no boundaries – just a code of ethics that one must follow
The negatives, believe it or not, I forgot. But my journey back as an adult, the ‘small town syndrome’ hit me firmly straight in the face, knocked me back a few steps and as I was about to trip, I somehow found my feet and continued.
Small towns have so much to offer the world. Where else does someone you don’t know invite you into their homes for a cup of tea, and some freshly baked scones, with jam and cream? It’s in that moment, that you realize the beauty that small towns have to offer.
Each town is unique, and what makes it different to the one next to it makes it special.
I didn’t grow up surrounded by entrepreneurs. Instead, there were a few business owners, tradespeople, builders and shop owners. Of course, the local Accountant, Doctor and Solicitor – but that really sums up business in the town I grew up in.
I never wanted to be more than anyone else. Why would I? The country was good, and who doesn’t want to hang out with animals and cattle all day long, and listen to country music by a camp fire, even though you would always go to bed in the house?
There was a change that happened somewhere along the way, and I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I always put it down to upbringing, and the need to respect your elders and if you start a job, finish it.
So, my first foray into business, was working in an Advertising Agency for Alex McCormack, an Irish immigrant, who had built the best client base in Queensland at that time from Townsville. He was powerful and everyone ate from his palms, but deep down, he was quiet man who went about his business, with his clients’ interests always put first. There were only five of us in the office, but that really didn’t depict the success that this man had achieved. Everyone was across the billings and what we all needed to achieve each month to reach the company’s goals. His idea of culture worked too. Every morning and every afternoon we sat down and had a cup of tea and a low-fat cookie that was tasteless. It gave us all the opportunity to catch up on each other’s lives so when we worked on clients advertising, we were not distracted.
I went on to be headhunted by a media company, then worked in marketing for a retail chain before finding my feet in marketing the technology industry in Brisbane.
That’s when my life changed – for the better. I was able to listen to hundreds of entrepreneurs talk about their software, games or internet businesses they were building. It was exhilarating to say the least. I listened intently on every conversation, and learned more in three years, than I had learned in a lifetime.
Eventually, I honed my skills as a marketer, and had enough contacts under my belt to start my first business, Insomnia, a specialist marketing firm in the technology and biotechnology space. It was fairly easy sailing to be honest. You meet a few people, sign up a few deals, then deliver on what you promised. Not only did I earn a good living, but I started to realize exactly what was out there and I was curious.
At 30 years of age, I started Marketing Eye. The company grew exponentially, after getting through the first five years of working out where we sat in the market and how we would deliver upon our original business plan.
“Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand and the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.” -- Henry Ford
We are a marketing consulting firm, a technology company, run our own self-titled Marketing Eye Magazine, provide education with learning and development programs and teach other marketers how to own their own marketing firm. Building a multi-million dollar empire in Australia, US and more recently, the Netherlands has been the best ride of my life, and it has given me freedom I never experienced before in my life. What it has taught me is:
- Power comes from within; if you are confident, then you are powerful.
- Giving back is not an option; it’s necessary. If you are fortunate enough to make money or become successful, don’t just turn up and think you are charitable – give. I shake my head at people that believe that by turning up to a charity event, they are charitable. Look in the mirror and think again.
- The people you meet on the way up are the same one’s you meet on the way down. Treat people with respect always.
- Be the best version of yourself at work, at home and in your life. Never settle for being a version that is less authentic or respectable then you would have liked.
- Challenges will come your way no matter how good you are as a person. It’s how you handle those challenges and the lessons you learn that define you.
- Most successful people don’t realize they are successful. It takes a pivotal moment in life, where you look in the mirror and you wonder whether the person they are talking about is really you.
- Life is short. Don’t waste time on people that are not nice or doing things that you hate. I have never hated a day of work since I was 17 years old.
- Respect your elders – period.
- Good manners never goes out of fashion. Even if someone shows appalling manners, look them in the eye’s and realize that they must not know what it is like to have good manners because their parents never taught them right from wrong.
- Always do more than is expected of you, and never let ego get in the way of a good decision.