Speaker 0 00:00:03 Welcome to the culture of things with Brendan Rodgers. This is a podcast where we talk culture leadership and teamwork and plus business in spoon.
Speaker 1 00:00:21 Hello everybody. I'm Brendan Rogers, the host of the culture things podcast. And this is episode 23. Today. I'm talking with Andrew Peyton Smith. Andrew is the founder and CEO of <inaudible> based in wine on our beautiful central coast. He's also a non executive director at Wyong race club, whereas being part of the directorship team, which has turned it into one of the top regional horse training and racing facilities in Australia <inaudible> is a tech startup, which Andrew founded in 2015. It was recently selected as one of Australia's most promising high growth startups. And as part of the university of new South Wales founders Tenex accelerator program, <inaudible> has a vision to become the world's foremost resource for organizational success and financial wellbeing. It's a fantastic tool which helps SME businesses understand how the business is performing, what the business is likely to be worth and what needs to be done to improve.
Speaker 1 00:01:17 Andrew started his career in the it sector back in 2000 with Navigant international, he was a regional director based in the UK before moving to Australia to take up a role as regional director Asia Pacific, prior to starting <inaudible>. He was also it director for Quantas business travel and general manager for business solutions for Amadeus it group. Sadly, Andrew is also a West ham United supporter. The focus of our conversation today is resilience. Andrew, welcome to the culture things podcast, mate. Thank you. And it's lovely to be here, Brendan. And I must say congratulations, even though it hurts me to my core to livable winning the premiership in 2020 eventually after 30 years. Yes, mate. It's been a wall and thank you very much for the accolades. I obviously had a massive part to do with the whole championship winning side, couple of things. First of all, you're a bit of an podcast tar.
Speaker 1 00:02:16 I think I'm expecting that you've got your own podcasts. I know you're on a little bit of a bright you've sort of finished series one, the <inaudible> founders podcast well done on the work you've been doing there. You're also recently on friends of ours, Dan and Tim from the famous cats accounts on the two drunk accountants podcast. Fantastic episode. If you wanted to learn a little bit more about Andrew's story around your zoodles go and have a listen to that on too drunk accountants, we'll go into a bit of this today, but really our focus is around resilience mate. So podcasts you're an expert. And I wouldn't say that I've had no experience with podcasting before we basically started, I had some brilliant guests on and I think there was one guest. He keeps Ray wearing a red shirt and he was a fantastic guy. And I
Speaker 2 00:03:00 Think actually you've, you've had the biggest number of downloads your episode on the founders podcast. So congratulations on that as well. So I'm hoping by buttering you up that you're going to give me a really easy time to like
Speaker 1 00:03:11 Absolutely might look we've, uh, we're good mates. I do also have to say one other thing that I registered for the latest updates of <inaudible> recently in the, in sometime this week. And I noticed on the newsletter or the confirmation that came out about halfway down, there was a picture of a mutual friend of ours. Laura pray Ellen, her episode on the <inaudible> podcast. And what really concerned me was that we threw out a bit of a challenge about myself and Lauren who may get the most downloads. You are giving her an unfair advantage. What is going?
Speaker 2 00:03:44 I don't see any fancy share. Everything is very equitable in the founders podcast.
Speaker 1 00:03:49 Mike, let's get into the topic and resilience. And what I'd like you to do is tell us a bit about <inaudible> and also this story of yours and resilience and where all this resilience thing started for you
Speaker 2 00:04:02 From a resilient point of view. I can almost go back to most of the moment I was born. I was born back in the sixties. Didn't want to say that too loud, two and a half, three months premature a time when most premature babies didn't survive, but I wasn't going to let a little thing like death beat me. So obviously I'm sitting here now today, 55 years later, and this comes on a part of the conversation might have been later on actually, is that he's where does resilience come from? Is it in a, in a person or is it something that can be learned as well? So going back on the journey, I left school at the age of 16, far more interested in everything else going on around school, apart from academia, but always know from the age of seven that I had it in me to get a really good university degree, but I mucked that up at the age of 16, went to a number of career areas.
Speaker 2 00:04:56 For instance, I even got involved in sales and that scenario absolutely do not like at all. It just doesn't sit well with me, but I was working for a company, an insurance company, actually probably in my mid twenties. I was married. My first son Lee had been born and we've been, actually been doing quite well at work at shutter for once I'll actually sell quite a few policies. I think it was, and boss called me in and I won't say exactly what he said to me, but let's just say what he said to me would not be allowed in the workplace today. So obviously the failure I had at the time was, Oh my God, my world's just shattered. What do I do? And really, that's probably one of the big pivotal moments in my life. It's a moment of also attributed to, or wouldn't be here in Australia now without that moment in my life.
Speaker 2 00:05:45 And I could have gone two ways and I always visualize those moments in life. Cause they do come up every now and again as almost like a fork in the road, which way you're going to go. So I had essentially subconsciously two options almost so I could take what the boss had said and just withered away and crumpled in a heap. And, and then essentially let myself be a victim almost for the rest of my life. Or I could say, well, bugger you, I'm actually going to prove you wrong. I'm going to prove you that I will never need to work for another boss like you again and not always had this implant of an idea of going to university. So, and I was brilliantly supportive by my wife at the time because we did have a young family. I said, I'm going to, I'm going to do this.
Speaker 2 00:06:33 I'm going to go out. I'm going to basically prove to the world what I can achieve. So I looked into what I needed to do to, to take a business degree business that always interested me. My dad has been a great role model on that side. So I looked into the fact that I had no qualifications. I had it's like a foundation year, which, um, which was fun. And again, another pivotal moment actually, which was really important. Four years later at that time, I went to a college in the UK handed in my work, thinking this is the best piece of work, best essay anyone had ever written. And it came back a few days later with red pen all the way through it. And again, there's like, I'll write right. Maybe I'm not cut out for this, but you have to learn. You have to be circumspect in those moments and say, right, how am I going to deal with this other fork in the road almost.
Speaker 2 00:07:19 So I made sure I'd never made those same mistakes again, I was being too subjective for academic writing. I would say, no, I think this absolutely absolutely wrong what they wanted and the lesson they wanted me to learn was get your sources in place and make sure you argue from a very objective perspective. And it's funny. So later on throughout my undergraduate degree, every time I sat in the exam or wrote an assignment, I had the visualization of the red pen in my mind, every time I wrote any sentence or so forth. But again, that was a great lesson in life. I did pretty well at uni, some brilliant lecturers, one again, who planted the seeds of Jesu in my mind. And I made sure I never made those red paint mistakes. Again, I got one of the highest first-class degrees ever awarded at the university and my dissertation where my economics lecture brought me into was to look at what makes businesses successful.
Speaker 2 00:08:17 What are the variables and the factors that contribute to a business's success? So I was challenged to essentially build a model of demand forecasting for a small business in the UK, um, which stretched me massively, but also really got me curious as to, well, let's start looking at the internal side of the business and let's look at our finances and let's look at their cost controls and let's look at their revenue generation, but also there's other areas within the business, which are out of the control of the business, which do impact a business's success, such as inflation, such as unemployment rate, GDP, recession, et cetera, cetera. And I married the two sets of variables into a model or forecasting demand of a, of a business. And that stayed with me all of these years. That one day I'm actually gonna actually use what we did in my undergraduate days to do this as a firm for a commercial venture, along those a couple of really big pivotal moments in my life, which I had to decide, well, which one we're going to go in the path.
Speaker 2 00:09:20 And the same, same goes when I decided to take my masters, I'd always had a little each in my head almost to one day, take my doctorate in business and do a research based degree. And then in 2011 it just got too much. So right now it's the time to, and I was working full time, obviously trying to do a doctorate while you're working full time is not advisable or even properly practical at all. My skills were in business management and strategy as well as technology at a senior level and found a fantastic degree master of business and technology that you NSW. And that was another big changing moment in my life, on the road to <inaudible>
Speaker 1 00:09:58 My, as you said, so many pivotal moments for you in your life, I want to go back to the start. You were born two, three months premature, as you said, and even just moving through that period of being born and those early years in life, those first sort of seven to 10 years, what do you think it is for you that gave you this foundation of grit, determination, and resilience?
Speaker 2 00:10:23 I was brought up in a part of London. I'd argue the best part of London, East London, where that part of London was always built on tough times, almost. So even going back to during the second world war, it was almost bombed to oblivion because of the docs and their proximity to the docs. In fact, when I was at school, we had an air raid shelter in the playground in the school, which we've obviously couldn't get anywhere near, but EastEnders a really resilient bunch, which comes back to the thing is, is something you're born with innately or is it something that you actually gain from your environment almost. So I've put a lot down to the area, my friends and relatives, obviously they're a tough bunch and always had to fight through humble beginnings in many respects to get to where they needed to be my grandmother.
Speaker 2 00:11:09 She was a lovely, but fearsome woman at times, she had a travel business just down the road from West hand ground, funnily enough, which I've always loved visiting her first husband died just after the war and she had to rebuild her life. And you could see that. And we pick this up obviously as kids, myself, obviously my brother and my sister, that there, aren't going to be moments in life where things are not going to go great. And you do have to make the right choice. Well, what do you do? Do you crumpling the heap in the, in the corner or do you dust yourself off and start again or learn probably more so learn from where you've, where you've come from and then start again. The role model my dad's given me is that no matter what happens in life, you will get barriers coming up. You'll get things, get in the way. It's how you respond to them. That will define you as a person.
Speaker 1 00:12:01 When you had that work experience that you also mentioned, and that pivotal moment, the fork in the road, it sounds like to me, that there were at least initially there was that first bit of I'm going to show you sort of, bit of anger, a bit of, you know, I'm going to smash this in you, you know, watch me that drives you for a period of time. What drives you now? What is it that drives you after that moment?
Speaker 2 00:12:24 I think there's probably a couple of things. Actually. I've always been wanting to succeed, not for anybody else or anything else, but for my own, for my own own reasons. Almost again, it comes back to this well, you've grown up in this part of the world in reasonably humble, but good surroundings, but natural fact I can actually do so much better than for myself. There seems to be a real inner drive, not to prove to anybody else. Cause that doesn't bother me at all is proving to myself and proving to myself that I can actually achieve this goal that I've set for myself. We've <inaudible> slightly different. First of all, we've got, curiosity's played a big part in that and wanting to really answer that question about the, what does make businesses and small businesses. One of the factors that help make them successful, can you pinpoint them, et cetera?
Speaker 2 00:13:17 That's part of the drive, but also with producing something, creating something which has been in nobody else's mind before. This is purely in my mind. And now the rest of the team's mind bringing that vision. If you like to reality, to achieve what are know it can achieve, but what is going back? One of the key reasons I started is what is a curiosity was this horrible statistic that I'm up to 60% of small businesses don't make it to their fifth birthday. We know that from research, I think in 2017 and nine, that costs the Australian economy, $61 billion. Now I've seen family members of mine struggle with their small business. And if <inaudible> can help avoid that situation for, for even just one business, then oldest satisfied myself as to where our goals are, guidance oval. So that drives me as well. And when small businesses fail, it's not just about the finances, one of the big areas.
Speaker 2 00:14:19 And there was a really good university of Bristol study on this, about some of the nonfinancial effects of small business failure. And you've got things like social isolation can happen. Family breakdowns can happen. And in the worst cases, suicide can happen. I mean, we couldn't, I couldn't live with myself if I've got this ability to bring something to market, which can actually stop that happening or a director of founder plus all of their wider family as well. So we've got this responsibility and in my mind, we've got to use that the commercial side of it is secondary is helping get <inaudible> in front of people that actually need it. And I think that's one of the, one of the key drivers. Security has been a big one, the avoidance of these financial and social problems that can come from small business failure. And again, there's been plenty of research on some of the key areas of small business failure in most countries. Actually I'm one of the number one reasons is lack of strategic planning, lack of financial planning and financial skills as well. And Jesu really aims to equip companies with those two areas.
Speaker 1 00:15:32 Right? One of the things that you mentioned in the challenges is small businesses, social isolation, but also the family breakdown scenario. You've been through that yourself. You've been through a separation. How did that change your perspective on things and even give you that extra layer of resilience? I suppose when you got through it,
Speaker 2 00:15:50 Any relationship breakdown is probably one of the hardest things that a person can go through. It affects so many people individually and it's not just yourself or your husband or your wife. Obviously the kids are involved. Um, I've got four amazingly wonderful kids who actually are quite resilient themselves actually, although it's not been for the forefront of Jesu and everything else, but having that understanding of what people go through, the emotional turmoil, the anger, and which can come out from this, the fact that it can have on your children as well. My mum and dad also divorced when I was 10 years old. I think it was, you don't want anyone to go through that, but again, you have to make a decision, even though you may be six, seven, eight, nine, 10, how am I going to react to this? Now? I don't like it yet.
Speaker 2 00:16:41 I'm unhappy. And I'll sit at the end of my bed or whatever the hours on end you come to realization. Well, I love my mom. I love my dad. What part can I apply to actually ensure that that remains a case and helping to avoid that sort of personal problems for people that's such a big bonus. We know it happens in financial stresses on people through business failure can do awful things to people, how you deal with it. Maybe I'm lucky in the fact that I've got a very logical brain and I could maybe think through the situation, even at the age of sort of nine or 10 or whatever. And I think I've probably happy because we're standard probably just won the FAA cup that year, just to change a change of mood a little bit. And I had to get that in. I've been lucky management, I've got a very logical brain and, and I do weigh things up a lot and I have done throughout my life.
Speaker 2 00:17:38 And I guess that's, that's another area is potentially, I've always had the gift of being able to reflect and reflect really well. I make it a real point that I at least half an hour or an hour a day, reflecting on what's happening in my life, whether it's dessert or war personal or whatever, and then come into a stance as to which way I should go. It's something that I'm really worried about these days with access to smartphones and an always on connected population, ease that reflection, time being eroded in many respects. And I think that's a really big gift for people to have in their resilience, armory, but is that being eroded in the last sort of five, 10 years and that time and making specific time to reflect
Speaker 1 00:18:28 You just alluded to, you know, some concerns you have for the now and for the future and, and businesses in people. Can you share a bit more about your own view and your own perspective on that? Where a businesses today that grit, that resilience that determination it does seem to be my perception is it seems to be lacking more than maybe what it was 20, 30 years ago, but give us your own view on this.
Speaker 2 00:18:53 I hope I don't get into trouble for this what my previous manager said to me. And I will tell you all fair, Brendan, as well as the, as well as the, a hand gesture as to what are your yeah.
Speaker 1 00:19:05 With you feel free to share the edited version, just to give people some context.
Speaker 2 00:19:11 I said at the time that in this day and age, and probably for the last 10, 15, 10, 15 years or so, that sort of comment and that sort of gesture would not be allowed. You'd be marched straight out of a company, knowing the fact that that then spawned a series of events for me that got me a first class degree, it got my masters in business in technology, which then sowed the seeds and the final piece of the jigsaw <inaudible> that has been brought together. And obviously sitting here in Australia, I wouldn't have had that without that one moment in my life nine today that you cannot have those moments and people cannot say these things, is that going to impact people's level of resiliency? And that's just one, one small example, for instance, people's feelings. Things are often not said that maybe should be Satan, but I guess this comes down to the quality of the leader as well.
Speaker 2 00:20:07 And how you actually frame a difficult conversation with an employee, all those conversations happening often enough, or are we because of there's a fear of, well, we can't even make some criticism. So therefore it may be best if I just don't say anything and let a situation continue. Now I've seen it from people I know as well, working in health and education, but with a crop of new entrance into those, these people in teaching situations, you are specifically warned not to provide any real levels of criticism and surely that's wrong. I can't see how that would help a person grow. If your organization is avoiding difficult conversations, when really they need to be had not just for the organization, but for actually the growth of the individual. I get a little bit worried at the moment as to if you're taking some of the environmental factors away in resilience, are you then depriving that person of the building blocks if you like to be able to get through life successfully or to be able to handle knocks in life because knocks in life always come up. If not having those difficult conversations is taking that skill. If you like away from a person, then what good is actually doing for humanity. Almost
Speaker 1 00:21:25 Following that on a little bit further is some element of mental health matters in our families. And in people we're close to, neither of us are doctors or mental health practitioners or anything like that. So we'll put that out there. But so this is just a perspective from you. How do you think that potential lack of resilience maybe that is out there or reduced level of resilience that is out there and societies building is maybe having some impact on the levels of mental health in our society?
Speaker 2 00:21:53 I think quite rightly say we're not experts in that area and that's probably a difficult one to muse overall most from my perspective, if you're taking away some of the building blocks of resilience and then difficult situations will come up, which they absolutely do in every situation you're taken away, the ability of that person to be able to handle that roadblock or that challenge or that pivot moment in your life. If you can't talk about the things that need talking about, then really you're robbing this person or part, but maybe not wholly responsible, cause this has probably happened cumulatively throughout their life, obviously for some people at the moment, but you helping Rob them of those tools to be able to cope with those setbacks and what you see, what you can see as a, as a result of that is conversations that happen, where, where people who may not have those tools, where they cannot listen to a difference of opinion.
Speaker 2 00:22:51 And I think that's happening quite a lot now. And I think don't need to be a genius to say this, you go onto any social media platform and somebody puts one piece of opinion out there and you see them shouted down all the time, purely because they've got a difference of opinion. Now it doesn't matter whether that opinion is, is weighted in real hard facts or really good argument. They've got that opinion and you see that almost every day of people just being shouted down almost just because I theory is, is, well, maybe they are lacking these tools or the building blocks of, of resilience to be able to handle all in actual fact that guy's got a really important point. Hadn't thought of it like that. He may not be right. Let me just do, go and do a little bit of thought or a little bit of research on this and then come back with a counter argument and have a really good conversation. And now people are just shut down and that cannot be healthy for society. Let's link this back into <inaudible>
Speaker 1 00:23:46 Again, and being a startup founder, give us an example of a challenge you've had and then overcoming that. And I'd love you to lead that into the sort of qualities of people you really look for to be part of your dessert or team, given your experience over the years,
Speaker 2 00:24:03 It's been one or two challenges along the way to say the least obviously funding for the, uh, for the business, which banks don't tend to like you. And, and without that really well formulated ideas, um, with regards to how to present to investors and so forth, you're on a nonstarter. I think probably one of the big challenges, and this is no slight on the person at all my original team. We pulled together, we achieved some amazing things, bring in essentially our first version of <inaudible> together. So we brought what was in my mind, announced our CMO Gareth, whenever he sees me talking about the model just starts going all the workings going on in my head. I said, what we managed to do is actually, which was a massive achievement, was take all the, all the stuff swirling around in my head and build a platform where it was exactly what was in my head.
Speaker 2 00:24:55 So that was a massive achievement, but then not long after our initial launch, we lost our, our CTO and he did some absolutely brilliant work for us in the early days. But you can imagine it's a tech startup without the CTO is a little bit of a challenge to overcome, to say the least and not least we had, obviously our environment was built within an environment that the CTO was very familiar with and we had to make a decision what's going to happen with this. Now we actually need to bring this back into an environment that we could then use for new CTO, et cetera, et cetera, but without having those CTO in place, where do I start? I mean, I'm lucky I've got a good technical background with my senior management experience in technology, in a number of areas. So one of the good things we've made is people, people can't generally bullshit me on technical.
Speaker 2 00:25:48 So we looked at a number of outsource partners that could potentially right, take our environment, build a new cloud cloud environment for <inaudible> and then get it moved over without anyone knowing. And that really what the brief was, what we then found is that these outsource providers didn't have really the understanding or in many respects the care of what I actually wanted and, and saw for my vision. So really the only thing that we could do is I had to take that task on myself. Okay. So who, who, who the most secure cloud providers around? Yep. Okay. Let's look at AWS. AWS did the job now, what do I do? So essentially I had to teach myself and we've got a couple of other people involved to say, right. Let's take Juju from this place and put it into this place, get the thing tested for security and everything else.
Speaker 2 00:26:37 And, um, but we achieved that again. One of the most difficult moments of my career actually, cause all a sudden I'm on my own because I've got great team within <inaudible>, but they're not technical. I'm the only person in this team with any technical skills. I don't know how to code or anything, but I know my way around networks and bits and pieces. So the decision was just panicking and fall into a heap in the corner, or just roll your sleeves up and get on with understanding, first of all, in what needs to be done now, thanks to the previous CEO CTO. He got involved right at the very end to help make sure that the development platform was moved properly as well. So major thanks to him. But he was an awful time of Missoula. And you think, well, why are we actually doing this?
Speaker 2 00:27:23 But that's also, I like to take lessons out of everything that happens in life. I personally learnt so much about cloud computing platforms and about security and best practices, setting those platforms up that will stay with me forever. So when, so when we moved to our new version, which is coming shortly, then we iterate again and again and again and again, I've got a really good understanding where my CTO bill, who's an absolute breath of fresh air when he says we've got to do this. And then you've got a really good understanding now what is actually required on this? So I actually look at that as, yep. It was probably one of the worst moments in that career, but it's actually given me so much and given the company so much as well on that side, moving on to the, to the second part was how does that shape the people?
Speaker 2 00:28:12 I don't think it changed it actually in many respects. We'd always had this ethos within Jesu too of let's keep it simple, enjoy what you're doing. Let's have some fun while you're doing it, but work really hard. Oh, and the other thing is, and the key one is no corporate buzzwords at all in which all of us were completely wanted to. So I think we put in place policies in the early days, summary execution for anyone that comes out with any corporate buzz words. And so I don't think they will get past HR to be honest, but it was, it was how all of us felt. And so really the ethos and pulling my team together and, and builds the lightest and rye as well at the moment is yep. You gotta be behind and really believe in what ways in my head basically and where that can go for all of us and how each of us can contribute.
Speaker 2 00:29:06 I'm a big believer in, although I've had to get involved in some of the technical areas you bring in people that are smarter than you in the jobs that they do. Absolutely. Because my whole philosophy is, is I want to be challenged. I want to be challenged in my thinking in my decisions because I want to always know the answer and loss. I probably don't know the answer a lot of the times, but I want to be challenged when we've talked to bill our new CTO, who, again, he's an absolute breath of fresh air, try and visualize this. I've got about 400 tabs spreadsheet that you can have that many, but which <inaudible> next iteration is actually built upon. So we're going into all sorts of areas with individual two year scenario forecast theme. We're going into individual revenue lines, cashflow forecast at the end of it and so forth. So you can imagine what's in the spreadsheet and we've had to incorporate loan calculators and all the bits and pieces. She's great. So as bill and his team are building out the new platform,
Speaker 1 00:30:07 Probably four or five,
Speaker 2 00:30:08 Five questions a night, cause he's based in California saying, yep, I love this idea, but how can we make it better? And the really great thing about bill is each challenges. My thinking, sometimes my thing is fine other times, but we've talked it through and we've really discussed, well, what value is that going to bring for our accounting partners or our advisory partners or our small businesses, or even some of their other business services? What value is that going to bring them? So I like people to challenge me. I like people to say, Andy, you're being an idiot or whatever that I don't mind. I actually don't. I actually would prefer that to happen rather than to go down a whole path. And then six months later we've realized that path was a dead end. I like people to feel comfortable enough to challenge the ideas that have been talked about. And we've all done that across all of, so on some of the markets ideas with Gareth has been absolutely brilliant, but now, and again, you just say, well, well hold on, why are we doing this? Or shouldn't we do this a different way or X, Y, Z company. Who's part of the supply chain are doing it this way. Why don't we look at that? So in terms of bringing people into, into the business, then they've got to be comfortable enough to be able to challenge, but for the right reasons,
Speaker 1 00:31:24 Andrew, you're a very humble person in my view. So this question may be a little bit hard for you to answer, but what level of personal satisfaction does it give you and the team around you having overcome challenges like that
Speaker 2 00:31:40 Many respects, there's probably no greater buzz when you are confronted with an, I always liked to say roadblock or the other thing is a little Hill or a hillock as I call them, you know, you've got to get over it and you know, that getting over it in one giant leap will never happen. It's always going to be a series of steps to take, to break that problem down. But when you're standing on the summit of that problem and you know, that you've actually beaten it, it's probably one of the greatest, especially when the heel is very high. It's one of the greatest feelings there is. We talk about the collective of the <inaudible> team and pulling together as mishmash, as soup as in my head into a platform with paying customers and now going to be iterating through, into, in many respects. The next level, what we're trying to put together is going to be very special.
Speaker 2 00:32:32 Once we get to that launch and so forth, that's going to be one of the, probably one of the greatest feelings of pride in my life outside of obviously my wonderful children being born up in I've forgotten that one. That's for sure. But you know what I mean? We've collectively come together, looked at the hurdles and on one piece of functionality for new Virgin, we've had hurdles this morning and the questions through from bill this morning saying, well, this is how are we going to do it? And I've gone well, hold on a minute. Well, what happens if so I've had to challenge him back now. But once we get over all of the individual summits that you need to achieve, it's going to be one of the greatest feelings in the world. Getting there though is hard, but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Speaker 2 00:33:19 Therefore we have got the ability, we've got the tools, we've got the experience, we've got the skill sets to be able to achieve this. And really it's our responsibility in many respects, going back to that individual small business that may not be aware of the cashflow problems that are coming up in his business. And especially in times of COVID-19 and so forth, we've got that responsibility to actually achieve all these hurdles so that people can then benefit from. What's been swirling around in my head and obviously in the rest of the teams vision for what <inaudible> is and where we're going to
Speaker 1 00:33:55 Shown an unbelievable amount of resilience on this interview today. Why? Because we spoken a bit about <inaudible>. We spoken about your personal history and those challenges of resilience. The other love of yours is West team United football club. You've tried to get it in a few times and I've deliberately just avoid, not avoided it, but I thought I'm going to wait till near the end to bring this out. Just to test you a bit, how is West ham United football club taught you resilience?
Speaker 2 00:34:23 Oh my God. I was waiting for that question. As I said earlier in the show, I was born funny enough. I was where I was actually born is where West end ground is now in Stratford in, uh, in East London. But I lived less than a mile away from Upton park and absolutely formidable ground for many teams to go to a really tight packed, noisy vociferous ground. And I'd argue and you'll probably disagree me. We've probably got some of the greatest supporters in the world a lot here in Australia and a lot on the central coast look West time there. And from there, their song is I'm forever blind bubbles. And my God, it sums up Western so well, the bubbles, they reached the sky, they fly so high, but like my dreams, they fight and die. That's what Western does to you. So you build reserves a resilience.
Speaker 2 00:35:14 I do actually jokingly blame my dad for years of child abuse and the fact that he introduced me to West diamond to go through this anguish every year, since almost look the moment you set foot in up some part as of may, I was a five year old and no jokes about height, but with the Staller hats and my uncle had to take to stand, which I probably still would need. Now if we weren't in seats, but the atmosphere gets you. The people around you gets, you get your, the East London is really get to you. The noise, the humor, it sucks you in. And then maybe God forbid, you might actually see a Western weaning and that's it. And I think actually the first game, I wouldn't say we did actually win three, two. I think it was. And I think we were playing West Bromage Albion back in 16 nine.
Speaker 2 00:36:03 It must be all 70. The trouble we Westham is they give you glimpses of brilliance every now and again. So we went on to win the cup in, uh, 75 and got through the cup winners cup final in 76. I think it was, my dad was at that game in Belgium. I wasn't allowed to go cause I was too small. And then the FAA cup, Trevor Brooklyn, Oh my God. Hitting the winter against our snow in the 1980 cup final. I got into so much trouble that year. I don't think I missed a cup game. I went to Allen road in semifinal and what a great ground, but really daunting grounds. I was 15 years old, went to Allen road and Frank Lampard senior basically fell over the ball, hit his head and we won in the last couple of minutes and it just erupted all around me.
Speaker 2 00:36:49 And so there's been brilliant glimpses of that. There's the likes of Trevor Brooklyn and pallor to Kaneohe. And Alan Devin shear was one of my big heroes, bit of an unsung hero, but he was such a gifted. So you have really great moments like that. Then you get the 20, 20 football season. And the one before that, where we lost the first five games or four or five games, I think it was so we're here in Australia. You stay up to, God knows what time o'clock in the morning. And I was, I was sitting with one of the other couple of the central coast hammers group last year for the first game of the season. We've we've Tony and Trevon and those guys, and then we get hammered five newborn men just to sit in the middle of the night. Fantastic. So it does help build some resilience because we don't win every week. We've got passionate about our team and a real passion about our team frustrate a life out of us at times, but there are then also moments of brilliance that will just live for us forever. And don't forget westbound won the world cup for England in 1966. So I'll probably get slated for that, but yeah, Westham go back a long way and fabulous club.
Speaker 1 00:38:01 Well done. Mike, you realize I'm probably gonna edit most of that out of this episode, but I just thought I'd give you the chance to talk about it anyway. I can't wait to see what you don't edit out. I actually don't disagree with you. What I would say is that nothing beats going to Wayne field and experiencing that on a match day, I've been very, very lucky enough to do that a couple of times, but I have actually been to a game at Upton park before they tore it down. And it was an unbelievable experience. The supporters absolutely fantastic. We were really, really fortunate because of the people we were with had some connections in Westham and we went onto the ground after the match. What was really cool to me, we walked to the penalty spot and the penalty spot was a bubble. Yeah, look, fantastic supporters. It was a great day and it's really at Shannon. And I was really lucky enough to have that experience with my own son. Who's a bad footballer as well. So actually, although I don't follow West ham, I've got some really fond memories of that experience, but let's wrap this up because again, I don't want to have you talking football for the next three hours, particularly around Westham. If you were to give leaders, business owners, some advice about business today and linking that back to resilience in your own story, what does that look like?
Speaker 2 00:39:25 I think challenges happen every day in every business, in every walk of life, in every personal life. When those challenges appear, take time to reflect, it's such an almost underrated skill and it seems to be not as prevalent, maybe as it is. Maybe it once was take time to reflect on what the situation is. What is that? What is that challenge you need to overcome? And what is that? If there is a fork in the road, weigh up the options carefully. I think the other one is, um, don't be afraid to have the difficult conversations with your teams. I personally believe you're not doing them any favors at all, by not having those conversations. Now there's ways of having conversations and there's ways of having conversations and have the right conversation and the conversation that helps your team to grow because that's what really being in business all about is not just your own personal growth, but your team's growth as well.
Speaker 2 00:40:22 And they will not necessarily grow if they haven't had moments where they need to get into their reserves of resilience as well, by not having those difficult conversations, you're not equipping them with some of those skills that they will need during the course of their career. I think the other thing is we've talked about reflection time and so forth. One of the best times to, to reflect is to actually kill two birds in one stone. And that's for not only mental health, but also physical health is why not couple that with a walk in the morning or a run or whatever you do, but certainly over the last 18 months or so my greatest reflection moments have come when I've been on a fast, tough walk for an hour, hour and 20 minutes or whatever it is not putting the headphones in and listening to music, or unfortunately it would have been great to listen to Brendan's podcast during those waves. But I actually needed the time to actually really think about the events that were in front of me, what the possible options are. And it's good both for your mental health and for your physical health. It's one of the best tips I can give booze that reflection
Speaker 1 00:41:34 Time, but do it where you've got adrenaline pumping around your body as well. And it works wonders, absolutely works wonders despite being a West hand supporter. I still think you're a top bloke. What you shared with us today, I think is just Testament to the sort of person you are, again, that, that humility just oozes through the thing that really underpins business and business success is someone like you. Who's got that grit got that determination and just really thrives on these challenges. Cause as you say, getting to that top of the Hill is really satisfying. Not just, it's not about your personal satisfaction, that's a nice achievement, but you're doing that for a greater cause and you're doing it because you're really so passionate about helping people. That to me is such a great recipe for success. So I have no doubt in my mind that to Zulily is going to keep moving forward and keep overcoming these barriers and really be a fantastic, it's already a fantastic tool, but being something that really lives in breeds in the business community moving forward globally, I think he's a really strong possibility for, for where you're going.
Speaker 1 00:42:39 So my, I just want to say thank you again for coming to my home, coming to the fantastic studio that we have here, spending time with us, sharing your stories of resilience. Thanks for being a guest on the cultural things podcast. My absolute pleasure. And after Tracy's wonderful podcast last week, she was a tough act to follow.
Speaker 1 00:43:08 Andrew is a shiny example of resilience. From the very day he was born three months premature. He has been a fighter. All of these experiences since his birth, he's chosen to look at the positive and turn them into something that drives him to become better and to help people. He was too humble to mention this in the conversation, but even sold his own home to help fund his hurdle. This is the level of commitment and dedication he has to help people in business succeed. These were my three key takeaways from my conversation with Andrew. My first key takeaway your commitment to your purpose helps build resilience, Andrew shade, his own stories of hardship and how this has driven him. He has also shared some statistics around businesses that fail in the first five years and the impact that that has on people's lives, Andrew and his <inaudible> team are absolutely driven and focused on helping small to medium businesses succeed.
Speaker 1 00:44:10 Their unwavering commitment to this purpose helps them overcome barriers and build resilience. My second key takeaway reflection helps build resilience. Reflection is a key tool that Andrew uses taking time to reflect each day on what's happened, how things have gone, what could be done better. This helps process the helix as Andrew calls them. And you can then determine the actions you will take to move forward, take time to reflect, and you will find yourself building resilience. My third key takeaway your environment impacts your level of resilience. We should never be taking away the opportunity for people to build resilience too often in our society, everyone gets a prize. We allow people to avoid giving open and honest feedback and having tough conversations. Whether that be with kids at school, in the workplace or amongst friends, how is this helping people build foundations of resilience in short, it's not.
Speaker 1 00:45:15 It is creating longer term problems that are even more difficult to overcome. Allow people to struggle, helping guide them, but let them fall down and develop the foundations to get back up again. Create environments that help build resilience, not diminish it. So in summary, my three key takeaways were your commitment to your purpose helps build resilience. Reflection helps build resilience and your environment impacts your level of resilience. If you didn't want to take action on these three takeaways, then let me give you another way. Follow Westham United football club. This alone will help you build a level of resilience that will stand you in good stead for life. If you have any questions or feedback about this episode, please feel free to send me a [email protected]
Thank you for listening. Stay safe until next time.
Speaker 0 00:46:18 Thank you for listening to the cultural things podcast with Brendan Rogers, please visit Brendan rogers.com to access the show notes. If you love the cultural things podcast, please subscribe, rate and give her a review on Apple podcast and remember healthy culture is your competitive advantage.