My heart, and soul, and passion are going into this. You always want to be better than your competition. So, you always look above, you don’t look down.
— Lawrence Stroll, 2020 (Drive to Survive)
Born in a small town about 55 miles south of Melbourne, Australia, I was raised in an entrepreneurial and academic family. My father is a now-retired professor of applied mathematics with a PhD in continental shelf wave dynamics. Energy from the ocean ftw! My mother owned a successful small business in the garment trade. As a kid I a ran a paper route during near freezing winter mornings and much more friendly warm summers.
From the age 16, I worked nights and weekends in Australia's equivalent of Radio Shack. During college I worked in the telecommunications group at the university, continued work at the electronics store, and volunteered at a student outreach organization on campus. I suspect by "student outreach" they meant recruiting spies.
Looking back a decade or so, in third grade I socially engineered my elementary school cafeteria to get (free) ice cream during summer. I had a simple hypothesis and iterating through tests I eventually found the correct answer. It was a win, but I crossed a line in the process.
Beginner's luck and a entrepreneurial approach that I've taken into a talent management and marketing career spanning the music industry, book publishing, open source software and SaaS, information technology, and agribusiness.
Creativity is core to many of the entrepreneurs who inspire me, along with the artists who move the world with their work. I believe everyone is creative, but I know from experience it takes a certain type of bravery to live it.
Creativity changes the world more than any discipline. Whether business, the arts, humanities, or sciences, all great innovation starts with someone who viewed the world a little differently to everyone else.
I’m a lifelong musician, albeit not a very good one. Gifted enough to have played several instruments for a time, but not confident enough to make a career. Turning that love for tunes into a career in the music business, I co-managed bands signed to Universal, Warner Music. Some of the best days of my life.
Transforming a love of reading, with my amazingly talented wife I co-founded Australia’s leading book publishing services business. Clients included global publishers HarperCollins and Random House.
Always on the move, after relocating the family from Australia to the United States in 2012, and then with a startup fail in the history books, I returned to marketing.
My family has now lived 10 years in the United States, 5 of them as proud Lawful Permanent Residents.
Thinking back to the ice cream saga, I've learned along the way that there aren’t any hacks. Just focused, deliberate, considered work. Well, add good timing and more than a little luck.