- February 13, 2020
Jodie Imam – Entrepreneur, Advisor, Mentor
Jodie started her journey founding Occasional Butler, a marketplace for outsourcing odd jobs, which was later acquired by Airtasker. She also started Depo8, one of the first co-working spaces and startup incubators in Australia.
Jodie now works as the General Manager at SBE Australia, an accelerator for Women-led businesses, as well as working as a mentor and advisor in seed funding and accelerator programs such as Startmate.
On today’s episode of The Daily Talk Show, we discuss:
– Starting Depo8 & Occasional Butler
– Timing and exits
– Women in tech
– Asking for funding
– Co-founders and being the CEO
– Gaining Independence
– The Australian Tech market
SBE Australia: https://sbeaustralia.org/
Jodie on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jodieimam/
Email us: email@example.com
Send us mail: PO BOX 400, Abbotsford VIC 3067
The Daily Talk Show is an Australian talk show and daily podcast by Tommy Jackett and Josh Janssen. Tommy and Josh chat about life, creativity, business, and relationships — big questions and banter. Regularly visited by guests and gronks! If you watch the show or listen to the podcast, you’re part of the Gronk Squad.
This podcast is produced by BIG MEDIA COMPANY. Find out more at https://bigmediacompany.com/
It's the daily Talk Show Episode 607. And we've got god man in the building. What's going on God? Wow. Welcome.
Thank you. Thank you. I'm exciting.
The so you created Depo. Right? Yeah. Which is a co working space essentially, right?
Yes, that's right. The big question is do you have biscuits on tap? No.
biscuits. That's a good one.
We know what happened. Yeah,
it's an absolute trap.
Yeah. Although today we did have our regular coffee and brownies. Oh, yeah.
All right. You got some goods? Yeah, yes.
Yeah, we got to limit them.
Yeah. Well, because it feels like co working spaces. It's it's been a trend like it was saying the last three years and then with everything that happened with way work. It seems like it's sort of muddy the whole industry, what people perceive Used to be this sort of fun community thing?
Yeah. And saying that you've had it for Yeah. Why?
Yeah. Yeah, it's interesting because we saw this trend in the US co working, taking off 2000 spaces opening in the US in that year in 2012. And thought, That's brilliant. What a great way to work. And you know, we we those warehouse right near our house, and several are fantastic. Let's make it into a co working space. And then we started advertising co working and getting no hits. Like at all, we actually had to go back and start calling a shared office because people weren't looking for co working. Yeah. And now it feels like we need to go back and call it a shared office because it's not the beer on tap. It's not the Friday drinks. It's not the lunchtime yoga, it's not theirs. We don't have all of that we just have people who want to come and share an office and work together and get the job done.
Well yeah, good because what the beer and the yoga and the biscuits and it did a good job at the PR around getting people into the spices, but doesn't necessarily equate to a good business model. Is that?
Well, I just don't think it's for everyone. Yeah, so a lot of our members, I think naturally our age, they've got families, they just want to get their work done. They've got clients, it's not a start up. It's a business. I've got customers I need to produce work for and then they want to get home with the families that I really want the rora
definitely, well, that's it, you're speaking my language. And when you describe it, because it feels like with the rah rah, other things happen, like I could only imagine the amount of sort of people that go through the door, some of some of these co working spaces because they go in with it like they've got their startup t shirts and they've got the everything that they've like, they've got the the business card that says they're a co founder and they tick all these boxes, but they don't actually have a sustainable business and they end up sort of leaving. Have you noticed that by setting up Depo white, the white you have that it's He's a different type.
Yeah, well, I guess it wasn't deliberate. We really were. It was kind of a panic decision to open it in the first place because we were already had a business and we'll work on these things and take a while to make money, let's do something else that makes money hopefully quicker work, we didn't really over analyse the whole purpose of it. And then we just we didn't try to make it it's for this type of personal that title was for anyone anyone who who wanted to come in so naturally that guess you just that law of attraction, you know, people that are similar to us have naturally been attracted to the space and, and so we're similar kind of demographic. And yeah, as I said, small businesses getting work done as opposed to start up with Yeah, we've had startups but yet they don't last long because they have to pay the rent when I've got my customers.
I love it. When you've got you've created a business which I want to talk to you about. But at the same time, you're thinking it's not going to be a while before we make money. Let's create another business.
I should go get a job.
Korea. I mean, that's that's true entrepreneurial spirit with your husband. Yeah, that's right, which is, you know, working relationships with your partners is another thing in itself.
To back on we already jumped off the cliff so it sold the house quit our jobs. So we've already, you know, elated to be in the business that we were building. Yeah, we didn't want couldn't a job wasn't really an option. And yeah, I guess we still had some cash to them.
What What inspired you to make that leap and to do your own thing?
I think I always wanted to do my own thing from from very early on. So it was the catalyst for the rule change was having babies so I'd had one baby already and was the general manager for Leon Evanston, which was a fast growing retail fashion business and it was my baby up until that point, so then juggling a real baby and the baby that I you know, created over the 10 years together with Jeremy Lana was a bit Much and this one was more demanding
the real life. It all was real life as well.
No, definitely the business.
But then I fell pregnant again. I knew by that stage, there's no way I could have a toddler have a real baby and then the business so I couldn't do justice to me. But then that's when that was the catalyst to say, Okay, let's create something on our own that we've got the true flexibility to, to run around the family.
So that was occasional battler.
Yeah. I love that now.
Yeah, it's, I mean, it's one of those ones where it's like, we saw stuff happening, like TaskRabbit in the US how much and you talk about the, the CO working spaces and seeing it happening. We spending time in the US were you seeing all these things
I really admire people who do the side hustle and still get the job. I just couldn't do it. I just were too tired at the end of the day to start working on something else. And so for us, we just quit everything literally packed up, sold the house, quit everything. Then did well on the cell went to Bali and just sat there with a blank piece of paper and a margarita and, you know, tried to figure out just literally a blank piece of paper writing down all sorts of ideas of what we might want to do as a business. And then we got back and moved to Melbourne. So we're in Sydney before that. And I was pregnant. So we had this looming deadline and he was having a caesarean. So we knew when the baby was coming, and we decided by the time that that date, whoever had the best business plan on an idea, that's what we're going to go with,
wow, how many ideas were thrown around
six, six, from all sorts of things there was there was like a food truck, one of Turkish muslimah kind of things. There was some fashion ideas marketplaces for, you know, vintage wear and stuff. We combine the markets you couldn't buy online. In em jams, we had all sorts
the Better Business Model, it was I was
the fashion marketplace ID and occasional but Well,
yeah, yeah, I actually want to show up a little bit. And so what makes a good business model on a piece of paper, like crunching numbers and seeing them
is one way but what are you actually looking for?
Well, that was that was one of the biggest things we had this awesome looking spreadsheet we're going up very quickly. And I think it just resonated with us because we had had a similar problem ourselves with renovating our place in Sydney. We bought into it expensive suburban a badly rundown house and we didn't have much money left. So we were trying to fix it all for not much money and that's when we had the problem of you know, you can't get a try to just common tile, one wall, that sort of stuff or they wouldn't come without a million call out fee. And that's that was what we were trying to solve that problem just getting a small job done. But just a little little disclaimer, the often we don't we can claim the rest sort of thing. And that's but that's when we started to research what The trends were happening in the US.
And the first thing that you actually do outside of having your business plan was they're hiring someone is finding a developer, what would you do?
Yeah. So then we decided, Okay, this, this is it. And they said, Actually, let me just high fiving with you.
Like, yeah, we're competing, we're buying the domain, at least, you know, something like that. The business name.
Yeah. And how exactly that was first was, okay, this is the deadline, and we'd like this, but now let's have the baby. And then we gave ourselves six weeks to recover from that and just not do too much. But I guess percolating the idea. My husband came up with the name and yeah, we would have jumped in and bought the domain pretty quickly. And then, and then yeah, we just went into full scoping mode, like who's going to build it? What's it gonna look like and my husband's project manager in telco industry, so very sort of Technical, not coding but technical background and very, like over engineers everything. So had every single possible scenario that could happen all scoped out. And then yeah, it was the search for looking for who could develop it for us. Did
you have people around you that you could actually bounce ideas off?
We asked a few mates.
And when they sort of looked at our business plan and looked at the idea and spoke to us and Sarah, we don't really think so. We were like, Okay, that's enough for me, then. I didn't really take on advice.
And yeah, because you could look for people that are positive about the idea, which is not necessarily what you need or a you with an idea you looking to get some stimulus, whether it's, I don't think it isn't like okay, great that someone doesn't like it or, and then finding someone that does, is that what your aim is when you have a business model on paper that you actually want to show it to people?
Well, I enhance it. It should be potential costs. As I who is going to actually use this, that we, we, we learnt the hard way, but in hindsight, you definitely would go and talk to potential customers and lots of them to see if they would use it and if so, how?
And so you're talking OFF AIR about just that and maybe building something and hoping that people would come. When was the first sign that you realised hang on maybe, maybe we've missed the mark.
So probably took us three months to Skype, six months to build. Then we we had hired someone, a market partner, marketing assistant, we're done all this sort of pre marketing before it was ready. We had Facebook going and then we announced it on Facebook, and we got our first job posted in the first hour of going live. And the job was by packet of data is ADA and take a photo you're
watching You see where this was coming from back in LA,
it's just, I was just pacing around the lounge around the kitchen. Just what the hell, you know, we're trying to build something here to help young families. What the hell is this? Like? What was it?
Was there a lot of those transactions after that, like, uh, did you have to start to create policies? So photos of faith? Well, actually a
bit more calm and started researching in the back end and found out that that that job was posted by the user testing guide at tasca. Ah, yeah, so we generally wouldn't do the job and then found out we had a bug in the pilot system, and we couldn't actually process the $5. That was. Yeah. And then after that, we didn't have a job for months. Like it was really, really terrible. Wow. And he really hadn't built anything in except for the tech, anything, you know, as far as the community.
And so was there a point where it did change? And yeah, and what was that feeling? Welcome Pichu it's great.
Celebrate the Raiders.
Yeah, it took a long time and it was stressful as anything and we're trying every single type of thing and we'd had this marketing assistant who came from a political background. So she had us out on the street handing out lollies and postcards. We had a mascot. You know,
we tried doing public debate.
Um, but then eventually it was a case of really Michael bright. I, we didn't get this thing happening. We're gonna have to give up on it. And so it was just it was just looking for anything that would get it going and in the end, it was Gumtree. So I started posting jobs for bottlers, Gumtree, and then they started coming crossing hundreds like just heaps and heaps of Butler signing up. And then eventually the butler started becoming customers. So one Butler would build a trampoline and then post a job to have a way to their party. And so then I realised will actually fit Butler's, who've come from Gumtree customers and potentially the customers would come from country as well. So Then I started posting jobs for the customers on Gumtree and they started coming in droves. And then Gumtree kicked us off. I did I
did. What's that moment? Like? I mean, it was it violating their services or
well, effectively moving one marketplace.
Did you have revenue goals at this point?
Yes. Which were nowhere near hitting.
Yeah. And so, like, What did it look like? Were you looking at say, how many transactions were happening through the site?
Yes, I think I had, you know, it was just on us because a small percentage of a small transactions I had this beautiful looking spreadsheet, but we were having to hit like, 100 transactions a day by the second week kind of thing. And we're still at zero. Yeah, that was that took a lot of re expectations in
what is it? What's your view on setting these things like 200 100 in the first couple of weeks, like did you know that that was kind of projects are really my
we said, okay, we were going to invest all these take a risk, quit our jobs, you know, in five years time when we sell this thing, we want it to be worth x. And then we worked back from there.
And so the user was you in the regards, like you're solving your problem, which is what we want to make. Direct and part of it is like you're also very early within the Australian market. Yeah. What? What have you learned about timing?
Yeah, I mean, I think we were both is Jeff white and occasional Babita ahead of the curve, as well as they weren't marketplaces co working was brand new. There's advantages in that you can be established when that's when the demand has come. But then it's just the disadvantages. You have so much education that you have to do like it. We were having to educate people we didn't realise is that we would have to educate people to trust their neighbours. To do jobs like their trust Jim's knowing that they wouldn't trust someone down the road. And we didn't realise that that would be such a big behavioural change that we have to overcome. And that education piece is huge.
What's prayer Uber, like, even when you think about when Uber first started, and people sort of hesitation around getting into Yeah,
into that, to do look at pivoting the business, you know, when it wasn't working, or you weren't having jobs? Is that a moment where you're like, should we need to shift this in some respect, like we need to move direction,
not still not still very, we're so naive, like, we just was so headstrong that we had to make it work. But down the track, then we had a steady flow of jobs before we then thought we'll actually we're not going to be able to do this on our own steam forever. We're going to have to raise some money and so that's when we really sad actually more analytical about it and where we were on such talk about pivots and
all the different options How do you ask for money?
Again, some are wired in a digital or wrong way. We went to an advisory firm who said that they would go and ask for the money for us as a few good for the money. Perfect. So we paid them a lot of money to go and ask for the money, but they didn't in the end,
they asked you for the money
So things like investors and equity. When it's you and your husband, it's one thing getting other people involved. You have to change the business, like the company structure, much to actually allow for that type of thing.
Yeah. Again, I had no idea like when you sign it, when you start a company, you have a registration and there's two shares. We had one each with 10 bucks each. And then all of a sudden when you want to raise capital magically, you can dilute their shares and 700,000 shares up
to the advisor stuff did you actually put Should or or did that end up being put to the side?
So what are the strategies from this advisor was to appoint a board and that board members would become investors. And so they knew that and so we advertised for board positions and it was amazing. Actually, we had some amazing people want to be on our board for no pay and potentially give us money. I'm trying to
it was the ASAP
website as well as women on boards.
And so you put out this request and how many people put their hand up?
We had 100 people apply right.
That was how many Butler's
people putting their hand up to give you money or
be on the board? Yeah,
yeah. With no money exchange it. That's right. And so and then did you feel it? Did you feel the order I was well,
yeah, we did. Yeah, we we chose three. Yeah. And so that was Yeah, that was good. By that point, we were had a steady flow of business. And we're growing and we built a community. And it was now what do we do to really scale it and to raise capital? So
yeah, and so when a business is just getting started, you have the projections of where you think it's going to go. But then when it comes to actually defining what equity within the business is worth, like if it you know, x percentage or whatever, how did you come up with a number, like when you're speaking with, say, the board, and you're trying to get by in either a conversation at that point of like, your percentage right now is worth x based on this valuation?
Yeah, I mean, typically, how it happened for us is in the end, because we were so early and it was very hard to value. We just decided to make it more of an advisory role than a formal board. So it was it was it was I had all agreed that let's get it to a point Where we can value it, and then we can decide the shares.
And then so getting to evaluation because I mean, you hear of businesses like Uber that are worth X amount of dollars, but they're also in a billion dollars debt wherever it is crazy, but it seems counterintuitive to value something high price when it doesn't have any profit values and
you see someone ticking it off or you just send it to the Butler's number. It's
like a black violation. It's Yeah, there are models that you can follow. But it's really, yeah, it's based on opportunity. But also, of course, a business that already has capitalised on some historical, it's much more easy to develop value. And that's why you do see these huge valuations and then business goes bust or whatever, because it is based on future opportunity.
And so you gave it a valuation based on the performance it had done or
a little bit but much more about the projects, the projects.
The industry. The cap on the
Yeah, yeah, that's right. Any comparable size That sort of stuff is the way it's not the way Yeah,
what's the now being on the other side and looking at investment? Yeah, what's the first question that you asked a potential startup that you you might invest in?
I guess for me it's
Will you wait this pack of Doritos?
I don't think it's that instant for me like I like to get to know a founder or get another business before I would even talk about money yeah, I think 50% of the equation with a with a startup is the founder on their tenacity and their drive and their purpose and while they're doing it and that sort of thing.
The the jury their thing in the mentioning a task because the task it ended up buying your business. Yeah, I mean, that's pretty crazy. That was the first job from inside.
They built air Tasker was this earlier.
Launch just stopped her off like the next week. Really? Yeah.
And so what was the founder right like
him now there was a user testing I did launch with that already rise one and a half million dollars before they launched. Oh wow. Yeah, that could afford user testing guy
yeah. What did it What did it tell you when you saw them launch a week or two later did that validate that you could be on something or did that scare
very wise back then and so that scared us a lot?
Oh my god i cuz we were gonna be the TaskRabbit of Australia. And then there was another one. It is a validation definitely because especially the education they have to do with something so new if there are other people doing the education as well then it's easier
at the sale of a business. You know, something that is your baby. I mean, you you've got Did you have three that time or two? So you got two you got three babies. Essentially once the business to the actually three. Get your husband and What's that like parting with a baby?
Yeah it's emotional
yeah emotional but it was a good outcome you just weighing out wonderfully for if we do it'll be we get this if we don't we might get this or might not you know so it for us it was and I was pregnant with our third baby at the time and it was really good
outcome and good timing for us
how much you think about the narrative of all this stuff because it seems like sometimes if it's not working and the exit doesn't have to be that like just an exit where you come out unscathed. Good exit how much pressure is there when you're selling a business to try and create this narrative or even the the external perspective that if you sell you must be rolling in it all the wind? Yeah.
I'm sorry, we're so
like, I guess the what you felt about it at the time? Did it feel like a massive win? Or what? Like if you're viewing Okay, in five years time we want to be worth this. Yeah, yeah. And then you selling for a small percentage of whatever that was? Yeah. How does hell wasn't
it? Yeah. So it wasn't a euphoric, you know, we're off to Hawaii for the rest of our life. Oh, for sure. But um, I think it felt
back to Bali.
Live but yeah, so it was it was a bittersweet in a way like it was really good at home. We were really happy. There was a lot of press about it. And and for that was one of the things right at Oscar at the time that we're about to take on another capital round of about 20 million. And some of that was from overseas. And so for them, you know, it was really great for this story, to be acquiring an established business.
When did you have to work within the business?
There was the option but we didn't have to because we literally been mirroring each other's work and say,
What does I take from it? Do you look at a task now and say, Oh, that's the
very same list. Yeah, well, the branding and all the tech, they had already their own, so it's more the community that that was the value for them.
And so did they, do you think like, are they going to shut A lot of it down? They're gonna, like, you know, these kind of just trying to get that out of the ethos to be out of
it. Yeah, that's a really good thing. We're lucky that it's grown on and become bigger and bigger and bigger. And it's part of, you know, our vision is, is being, you know, felt more broadly than what so you know, we get to see our vision continue, which if you had filed that would be little risk more sad than it being really successful.
Yeah, cuz I mean, some people's businesses get bought, just purely to get them out. Yeah, why the ponents? Yeah, why just making it a part of the business? Yeah, that's Yeah. So it gives that's kinda nice. Your baby leaves. Yeah.
You mentioned when looking for advisors or board members you went to which organisation women in
Australian industry of company directors, this is a sad so that's a organisation that they you can do a course to be accompanied to learn about being company director and they also have dropped balls for looking for a position as a company director. And then I have a surface sister website at the time, which was aluminium bullets, which is a different organisation. So it was business wise at the time is the sister organisation, but I think that's just the job board side of it.
What was what was the experience, especially at that time, being a woman in tech, was it something that was so obvious that you could see differences or Or is it just your reality? So you don't really yeah, I
guess that was again, just that naive it and just doing our thing. And at the time, we thought we were running a small business. I mean, we wanted to build tech and wanted to be global and scalable, but at the time was a small business still. And so yeah, we sort of got thrust into this world of startups and capital rising, and we just didn't, you know, now before, but women in tech is niche, whether or not that many women in tech,
and more and how does that actually express itself within the industry? Do you think where do you notice that?
Especially when especially or now at SBA, we're supporting women growing tech businesses, it's it's at that point where they're really looking for big capital, you know, injections, and that's where it's noticeable that it's harder to be a woman in tech, when you're raising capital.
Where do you find that say, organisation that specifically looking looking after women in that space? Where do they need more assistance? Where's the area that you find that bit? Whether it's sort of is it in asking for the cash is that in? Like, where does it sort of fit?
Oh, it's just the unconscious bias experience. I it's I mean LSP we have a support network of you know, women and all and men supporting these women who've got amazing businesses and incredible drive that they still are up against this unconscious bias when it comes to asking for money.
You think that they were there on unconscious things that you had felt throughout the process that you now realise was being part of that system?
So So what so my or the woman the man
so I guess like I seen that also projects the other way so in the sense of like, when a system is telling you do not seen nothing I've been in tech you're not saying like that ends up going? Yeah, yeah. So did you notice that even within the space of the unconscious bias from the industry, that you ended up sort of not doing a bunch of things? Because you don't actually see women doing?
Yeah, for sure. Hence, getting an advisor to go and get money for me. Yeah, yeah. At a fee that I didn't want to be that in that room asking for that asking for the money.
And so do you think like, what's been the development or the the learning in that, like, what could if someone is starting a business right now? And they're really aware of all of this stuff? Yeah. Obviously, it can feel a little bit helpless, because it's like, well, people need the system needs to change. People need to change. decision makers need to change. Is there anything any learning that you've had that has empowered you through that? Yeah,
absolutely. First thing is, there's no one else that can ask for money for your business, better to ask for it than yourself like no one else is going to sell as well as you And the crucial thing is to seek out mentorship for peep from people who've done it before. And that's, that's absolutely a game changer. If you can go and speak to another woman who's just raised capital in her career has raised capital, and you can talk to her and get that advice, then that's makes a massive difference.
Tommy and I talked about with a co founders should be CEOs. And so whether, like, obviously, some co founders just assume that role because they have two at the time. Where do you see see it all fitting in regards to do you find that most co founders make good CEOs?
I think so. point I think mostly the founder needs to do all the things at the start and drive it to a certain point. But once it gets beyond that point, it starts to become more corporate, if isn't 30 plus employees, and they're going to be needing to put in place processes and cultures and divisions and that sort of thing. That's when it's time to question Am I still the right person to run this business now that it's more more of a corporate size. Come Money.
I mean, people probably get far down the line of doing it all and being the leader. And it gets even harder to sort of go the other way and release the control or handing over the key. Yes to somebody else. Yeah. I mean, being alongside your best mate, your husband in business, how How's that? What are the what are the pros and cons of being in a business with you, your life partner?
Well, definitely the prize that you can get home at the end of the day and and talk about the same thing and when you're at something, and you're in the same situation, as opposed to my boss today, and I want to hear about your boss again, you know? Yeah, and, and, you know, I've got to take the kids, I'm really sorry, I'll be back honest. And then my kids do.
All that understanding and just being on the same path and you know, working towards the same goal and everything's, you know, together. And, you know, this is the person that you chose to be That you love the most out of anyone in the world and you get to hang out together all the time. So that's that's a really great thing on the concert, I think it's alright, it's just the I guess it's the reverse of that sometimes you just don't get any space on your own. There's nothing that's yours individually so that everything is the combined and you don't have your own thing. So I guess, you know, it's important to have your own on Planet volantis. And, you know, do do other things that does give you some some individuality.
How much I mean, like I always think about if you end up in a business and it's you've got there by it being something that you're in love or you're passionate about, or you just see the opportunity, but then you kind of have that step back of what does it really mean? Like for this game of life and you know, the grand scheme of, you know, perspective shifts of having kids or seeing what really matters. What does that sit with you in terms of what it all means for your journey and where where it fits.
I think one of the main reasons that I wanted to start running my own businesses was when I started in corporate and I saw a whole lot of redundancies pretty early on, and men and women who'd been there for 30 years, you know, their whole life and then suddenly redundant, probably.
Yeah, this redundancy drain, which I think we've got a skewed perspective of redundancy, but I think like redundancy, could be at like if you get paid to then start your next thing, but it's being able to the next thing Yeah,
and I think if you've been that institutionalised as well, he didn't necessarily have that what you need to know devastated. I sort of realised like all they've worked really hard as back in the day. This is telco where mobile phones were going crazy and it wasn't even bad times necessarily, but they'll still cutting costs and cutting out people. I just realised you can't rely on a corporate even in the good days that I care ultimately about you. It's all about making money and growing the company and they don't care what age individual when they be global company. And so I thought I just never want to get to that point where I'm 50. And I'm out of a job. And then what I do, I'm stuck, like, so I just want to be able to build up my own revenue streams. That would be, you know, I wouldn't ever face that.
It seems like a unique perspective, because many people end up as employers because I think that's the safe. Yeah, the safe option. Yeah. Was that a challenging moment? Where did you think that it was a safe option before all those redundancy?
Well, I didn't think anything else off of it. Like, you know, you go to school, you go to uni, they split you out into a Graduate Programme at the other end, and you don't think about it until I saw that, and that made me think about it. But Steve sammartino I was watching one of his talks the other day, and he says it so well. Like if you know if you're a business and would you reverse it, you you've got one customer like is that really cool? You've got one customer you're happy with that? Yeah, probably not know. And so but that's the thing with with your time is you've got one job, you're dedicating Hold on to that one job. So it's official I having one customer that's pretty risky.
When you're seeing a lot of startups and and businesses pop up, you, you inspired by what's the shift of what's happening with more smaller, you know, people doing their own thing, choosing their own path across the board versus the sort of older styled structure of the big corporate businesses employing so many people.
Yeah, absolutely. There's such a shift and even it's at the school level, you know, entrepreneurship is becoming more and more topic. And, you know, for my kids, I want them out there with a lemonade stands when they're older assumes they're all
in the lemonade stand. That's right. That's right. And so the school system, obviously, they can add the entrepreneurial side of things, I can add these little classes. How do you feel about the system in general well,
did you do it? How did you do it?
I think I love school. I'm a bit of a studious nerdy type.
That's probably the structure. Yeah, probably is.
But I think you can't rely on the school to do everything to educate your kid like you. It's it's part of it. And it's only one small part of it. I don't get too stressed about what they learn at school and what they don't learn and what school they're going to be going to and all that sort of stuff because I think you can teach them just as much in external activities as they learn in school
without homework. I used to hate homework.
Mike is one promise to do much homework.
Like I think that isn't that pushback against homework. Kids name time for their side hustle.
Getting home and doing two hours of homework.
That's how I had the fight with my vice principal because I was doing 30 hours a week when I was doing my freelance editing. And it was that I feel like that would be a very conversation. Very common commerce conversation now with students and and teachers, the intimate like, go and get a job. Like if you want to do some work and make some money outside was like Mac is where this is the big one. It's like if you had a job at Mac is you learnt all these other skills.
Did you have any job like that? growing up? Yeah, lots. Yeah. What was your first ever job?
At Australia's Wonderland in Western Sydney? What is that? It was a fun Park.
Really? I was gonna say,
Yeah, same pack. And I was very shy. Oh my god. I wouldn't say boo and a friend of mine got me this job where I had to welcome people as they came into the fun part was the best job
because no one ever asks
them and asked them to take a photo pose for a photo so that at the end of the day, they could come back and buy the key Shane
character building The people in America that do that and they just so charismatic like they hire almost actors. They probably are in Los and yeah
everything's a photo you can get a fuck. Like, before you go into Alcatraz you get a photo in front of a green screen and then they give you the photo you're on. It's amazing. I went to Lego Land on the weekend last weekend. Have you been they should go but that is like it's like a wonderland. It's like Lego.
Do I like play there? I do. Yeah. even need to like it. Like I wouldn't say I like Lego. But there's Lego everywhere. And it's you can see a nice little ride and there's like, it's just unbelievable, but it's sort of there was people at the front welcoming and so you go through these doors into this maze into the you know, party area. It's really crazy
the with kids and where they're going to end up and what they're like what the future of work looks like. Obviously what you were doing was playing into the the gig economy and and I guess now that as it's dying to happen more and more we see some of the negative sides of it where it's like people forgetting that they need to keep their own tax or even sort of the the legal issues around, okay. Is this person an employee? Is it a contractor? How much do you think that the Law Society government needs to actually evolve? For where all this is going?
Oh, yeah, I need to catch up quickly. It's very slow to catch up to what's going on. And that's why there is all this controversy. I think, for me as well, one of the things I knew early on was that you need to learn about money, and that's something schools don't teach you. And so I went and taught myself a bit more about money. And I think that's, that's a that's the most important thing. If people understood more about their own money, then they'd be more equipped to
manage those things. What was something missing for you? Do you think, you know, in learning about money? Well, you know,
I guess it was just really having that because knowledge is power. Know why and if you if you have the knowledge, then you have the confidence to then go and do things. I wouldn't did a master's in financial management to learn how to trade on the stock exchange and learn about the
way that you've described it versus like you did that little course. One day so what did you walk away with? Like, what what was the biggest learning?
I think that's just building that confidence. Like if you've got if you have this tools, and you have the knowledge, then you have the confidence. So I've always had my own bank accounts always been in control of my money. It's never been, I don't know where my money's and I also started trading and so I started a small portfolio and that was a good
take out. How do you get started with that? Michael, what do you like? Because obviously, like I've done my whole finance, I went to a financial advisor. Once I heard
you say I read the best.
I went to a financial advisor, and it was sort of like, just like a general conversation. And then I come come back in a in a few weeks or whatever and we'll we'll tell you what you think we think you should do and then I can add over like an invoice for 800 but but 900 bucks but I hadn't been clear on what was going on and it was all as felt like I don't know what the deal is with all of this like what what's the commission are they making what? Like how do I even see how they stocks and going what's the being someone who is independent and who aren't like really owns all of this Where do you think we could start to do this independently Do you think what's like if I wanted to start getting stock or starting to invest what would that look like?
Well this it's a back then even though it was calm second a trade like this tech now so you can jump on and you can start buying shares really
quite easily. Is there anything you need to know is it like a sports bit of a sports bit? What is it like sports like thought about it like I was travelling, like a year ago or whatever. And I was like, so a Tesla like 218 or 319 don't whatever it was, I was like, I reckon, if I getting that, like, I think Tesla's gonna be great. And I do that like passive investing, which is just saying, like, I did the same thing in 2012 with Apple, American Apple is going to be good. And of course, these things end up being good. Unless you're actually investing. What does it look like? Like when should? When do you think, personally, someone should consider putting some cash down?
Or what I did, and I guess what I'm doing in the startup world is I just had a supply play portfolio. So you can just put it set up a portfolio on one of these sites and just pretend like to sell Okay, I just bought 100 shares, like a mock sort of portfolio and then you just watch that for a while and then you can, you know, test your skills, I guess, before we actually put any money. Okay,
I think about these things is, you know, like if you want to get an amazing body Be like in the bodybuilding spaces, you actually have to get really educated on how to eat food, when to eat food, the right types and trains as protein, but it's the same. It's the same interest level and I've done that right I got super into understanding macros and you know, all of that stuff and when how much and it worked. But I feel like you need to have a similar level of interest. Yes, because I hear Victoria divine talking to us about finance. It's her thing. She gets it, she knows that I'm just like, I don't know if I have the interest level that you do. And I see that you need something, a strong interest. It shouldn't be all like if that's
a shorter life like caches the whole thing but if like we've worked if, like, if we spend all of our time working for this thing, yeah, money if there's an easier way to do it, like No,
of course, like that's that's the answer. Logical, right, but I think there would be so many people like myself that so How do you get yourself excited? So we know that it's like, how do you get yourself interested? And for you, you went back to uni and got a degree in it. But there had to have been some level of interest. Like, I think if you say to somebody, do you want to be financially secure? Everyone would say yes, yeah. But then it's like, Are you up for doing everything required and learning and understanding? A lot of people probably aren't. Yeah, but then we still have to exist and make money. And we want we have dreams of, you know, travelling and all this stuff. It's like, it's hard. It's hard. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's it's such a good point. Like if you're not interested, probably managing a stock portfolio isn't necessarily the thing, although, you know, there are set and forget stocks that you can invest in. So you don't have to really be watching it. But you have to be very interested to be a day trader.
Do you use Uber rates much?
Not that much. That's good.
This guy, I get a lot of Uber rides. I feel like if I was to like every time instead of I could like every time I don't have a burrito I could put the 30 bucks.
What are you doing when you haven't yet?
I'm just watching TV on YouTube. No my
man stop. much time right like, and I've got nothing on.
Real I have kids. I seriously have time
for you God with three children. Have you used kids in his excuse? It sounds like heaven to be honest. If you were trying to get the business plan locked in before, I feel like a lot of people would be like, you know, tired, super tired. Lots of responsibility. Don't have time to work on shit. What is it? What's it been in your mind around the children and business?
Well, I think you know, my grandmother's said I'm a workaholic. For me, work keeps me sane. I hats off to Women who can stay at home with their kids all day, I've just would go insane. I love them. Don't get me wrong, but just it's I like the balance of being out, I just use my mind and work on something that, you know, hopefully sets setting a good example for him as well. But again, we've created a life where the The office is a two minute walk from our house. So that's where you know, I'm home fairly early and can sit and have dinner together and still be around but also have a bit of myself where I can do some work.
perspective on the future, where technology where all these things are going specifically in Australia. Are you optimistic, or do you think that we're headed into some form of like.com esque bubble?
Now I want to channel optimist Yeah, it's all good.
Yeah, I think, you know, there's so many things that are scary. But also, there's so many great things too. And I think, you know, people having more of a voice and being you know, there's so many more people that can really move the dial is really exciting. And from from kids becoming entrepreneurs to people having a voice on climate change, and we had a lobby and all that sort of stuff I think we're in it's a really good position, like it's a great time that we're in where we can all have some contribution over what the future looks like.
And what about shifting sort of the bias of women in tech and women in business? I think it's heading in a good direction. I think so
yeah, there's definitely like all the support networks like SBA area in place that weren't before when we were when I started, this wasn't such a community in place. And now there is and again, there's a voice on it. So it's been called out and, and you know, once it's recognised, then you can do something about it.
You're talking about the importance of the founders when it comes to making an investment or the success of a startup. Who were some Australian up and coming founders that you've got your eye on at the moment, or that you think are doing great, great things?
Yeah, there's a couple that have just recently graduated from our programme and SP so Suzy Jones is one who has a company called cinch security. And she is an expert in cyber security and has now got this business that is helping small businesses. And she calls it become cyber feet. And so I love it because as a small business operator, it's breaking it down this huge unknown thing of cyber security into five minutes sessions so that every you know, you just have five minute chunks of it getting educated on cyber security, which is awesome.
The first hint to these people is take your password off your computer screen where it's you
know, in offices where people just put a little security is a password
web manager Good. Yeah. I started using one A while ago,
I didn't know what I'd do without it. Like, I mean, the service security thing is you just don't think about it right? You just log in anywhere you spend it. It's like, especially if your business like if we got hacked or something, so no, I think the smaller the business, the less you actually think about saw
the impact Canada
was like, what could they get? It's like,
get everything Yeah, but
what about if you're a business that doesn't have much and you're like, I've got nothing to get, but they can actually destroy you.
Well, whatever it is, and look at like a lot of the bigger organisations that we work with now, when we're sending it will be like external like it will say on their email that it's like it coming from an external place because they've had people like spoofing emails pretending to be another business as a supplier or whatever, sending an invoice getting it paid. It's like a, it can have a huge impact on a business like if you accidentally pay an invoice that's not meant to be paid.
They I was talking to I know a guy that's what is that black hacker like a black hat black hat hacker Where were you worked for a bank trying to hack it was of white hat like
the good hacker.
We showed you a naughty one. But he was saying that I'm wanting to kind of be more, you know, more, you know,
more criminal. I know. Yeah.
Definitely more, more like that. But like the small businesses, the ones that are a bit disjointed, that's what they're actually the easy prey for people that are sending over invoices to be heard. It's like, you end up just yeah, it's it's an easy target. So it needs to
Yeah, anyway. good bit of cyber chat.
Actually, like, I'd like to, is it Susie? Yeah, I'd like to meet Susie. Right. Yeah. Maybe she can hack into
Oh, yeah, that would actually be fond of it. Yes.
Strength, how much? How much have you thought about personal strength throughout your business journey? Like how how well do you know what you're good at?
But I haven't done that much analysis. Have you?
Yeah, I think I'm constantly I focus a lot on what I'm not good at. Yeah. And so there's a little bit I think that we're trying to work out at the moment. The benefits of when do you focus on the bad stuff to make that better? versus when do you just resource for that? And just like, if I'm not good with admin, how much time do we spend trying to get me good at admin, if I can actually do all this other stuff that can afford having someone Yeah, absolutely. And so that i think that that
doubling down on your strengths Yeah,
yeah. And it's but valuing your time Exactly. If he could double down your strength perfect. create more money for yourself then pay someone to do the stuff you don't
really good in. Do you do a lot of outsourcing in your life now?
I'm not that much. No, not that much. But yeah, it's interesting. I just saw a coach for the first time today and he does all this personality stuff on what's natural, your personality and what you're naturally good at. And so we're going down this journey so i'll i'll be able to ask that question a lot better in a few months time, but yeah, it's um, it's interesting. And when you dig into who you naturally are and what you're naturally interested in, then that's usually what your strengths are.
Because I feel like we spend a lot of time just trying to because the, that our weaknesses are very obvious because it creates resistance and friction every single day. And it's the thing that we're most normally disappointed with.
It seems easy to focus, like easy to draw your attention to
the weakness and also when you're a business you have to communicate. It's like when you have to be interfacing with other people when it's like, you can get away with hiding your weaknesses when you're too You and you just dealing with your own shit. But when you actually have like staff and other things and all of a sudden it's like, I have a choice to like, pretend like this is not a thing. Or say I actually Yeah, like, I know I'm not good with email. Are you good with email?
People person, Robbie, I tend to be out of meetings and with people then my mouth a bit out of control. What's your,
what's your unread? I miss you.
It brings a lot of my friends into the states writing for me.
chances of getting your books here I
have more than 85,000 please let us know.
What are they just?
Yeah, they would be.
Yeah. Well. What's the Yo, cuz there's a whole thing called if you had an inbox bankruptcy. So you just archive every email and just send an email to everyone, the team out you and say hi, I've just declared email bankruptcy. I mean, not like I'm not going to write back to anything. If it's still relevant. Send me another email. Tonight actually, did I did you ever read four hour workweek? Yeah, yeah. So I read four hour workweek and I was like, a freelance us I attain, you know, straight out of high school, I thought was a bit of a top dog, you know, read four hour workweek, you know, just my parents were still paying for my petrol and, yeah, I thought I'm gonna set up an autoresponder because I'm only gonna check my emails one hour a day, you know, everything terrible when trying to build a service business. But I ended up packing it up and sending just an email to Everyone in my contacts I only check my emails when I try to do like a ruling. I would love to have you back on talking. I think there's so much happening in Melbourne, especially in 2020 with like it's grown so much and you've seen from when it was this little speck of a community to where it is. So it'd be great to get your input over the over the next year. The Daily talk show Hi, the daily talk show.com is email Mr. 97 will write back because we've actually set him the challenge of 38 minutes sending 38 miles a day, right because he's has a lot of resistance to email, because he's 20 years old and he's never,
never not as much as God
gave us a review otherwise said Mr. Guys. See ya.