Wardy

Andrew Ward is the CEO of 3 Minute Angels Australia’s largest massage company and one of my old fellow members of Entrepreneurs Organisation. +Andrew is actively involved in shaping the debate on Crowdfunding and has created a community website www.csef-Australia.com.au to help stimulate discussion and formulate a submission for the Australian Crowdfunding Legislation review.We all know him as Wardy

Tansel Ali is Nailing It!

This Nailing It goes to Tansel Ali, once you know his story, it’s very hard to forget.

Tansel Head shot

Tansel is 3x Australian Memory Champion, represented Australia in the World Memory Championships, featured in two award-winning documentaries on the brain, completed two masters degrees (IT and an MBA), is a bestselling author of ‘The Yellow Elephant‘, and memorized two Yellow Pages phone books in only 24 days.

Tansel-Wardy

Tansel & Wardy

He now speaks internationally on the topic of memory and personal development.  And, I think he may have the “key” in this field.  Let me explain, personal change is: taking a new thought about yourself and giving it primacy and frequency so it becomes your default “operating system”.  Yet many of us struggle to hold a new thought and return to the old “operating system” having essentially forgotten the idea you want to install. 

School Mind Games

Tansel has techniques to introduce and stick new information in his brain at large volumes.  Drawing on these techniques for personal development sounds like a winner to me.

For school kids he recently developed the world’s first School Mind Games event where students from different schools speed read a whole book in 10 minutes, mind-mapped the details out on a wall, presented it back and memorized an 11 minute TED talk word for word. They did this with only three prior training sessions.

The core skills he teaches these kids in just 3 sessions includes speed reading, memory, mind mapping and incidentally confidence in themselves. 

Tansel’s mental gymnastics are not limited to the games of memory championships, like recalling a shuffled deck of cards at great speed.  Whilst these are impressive they’re rarely useful.  Instead he is using memory techniques to break down every day borders like learning a new language. 

School Mind Games 2

He has been teaching himself a new language every 30 days.  Next year he is proving anyone can do this by taking a group of people through learning a new language each month for a whole year including languages as diverse as Hebrew, Cantonese, Portuguese and Mandarin.

Tansel has overcome so much in his life – like Crone’s Disease, bullying, discrimination, his love of heavy metal and poor choice of football team (I’m only joking, Richmond aren’t that bad). 

With his wife Monique Toohey (she’s a firecracker), they’re huge contributors to Muslim Australia. Their kids are beautiful and their faith and humanity are amazing.   

Tansel is constantly opening my mind.  After speaking with Tansel I feel like I’m sitting on a winning ticket and that I just need to cash it in.

Tansal-TEDxAt first he opened my mind to how good he was when he spoke at TEDxDubbo, now he is opening it to how good we could all be and that’s what makes him so special. 

Thank you Tansel Ali you are Nailing It.

Derek and Kirrily Bloomfeld are Nailing It

Ed: Some readers may wonder why we are profiling agriculture and farmers. Although many tech commentators are focused on the latest apps, cloud services and gadgets solving 1st world non problems and wouldn’t know a cow if they fell over it, we see agriculture as being a real world problem which in our opinion is one of the top 5 sectors that technology startups should be focusing on.

There is something very elegant about a business done well.  Each bit of the business process re-enforces another bit, in a virtuous cycle.

I like crowdfunding for the same reasons – capital, wisdom, iteration speed, forgiving early adopters and a marketing force – all at once.  It makes ideas real and faster if they resonate with a community and take off.  It’s beautiful.

But many industries and the businesses within them are not sustainable.  An unsustainable massage industry is one thing – an expensive inconvenience.  But an unsustainable Agriculture is another thing entirely.

Agriculture is the most important industry because we all eat.  Agriculture is where man intersects with nature most directly adding and taking away from the environment.

This ‘Nailing It’ goes out to – Derek and Kirrily Bloomfield who as I’ll explain thoroughly deserve it because they’re making something ‘elegant’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘regenerative’. 

Bloomfield Family.jpg

Derek and Kirrily have built an elegant business.  It’s elegant and regenerative because each part helps the whole in a virtuous cycle. 

They are working with nature to regenerate soils, which grows more crops and grass, which slows water runoff and lets more rain sink in, which reduces seasonal risk and becomes more product, which they sell directly to customers who want organic foods. 

Calm cattle

Being organic and selling direct to the consumer increases the price they receive whilst reducing it for the client.  They then have reduced their costs (by not spraying or using chemicals) and get a better margin.

It also reduces the amount of time spent in the yards, which is conventionally needed if you’re injecting artificial factors into beef production.  So they are spending more time planning and marketing and less time stressing their stock and paying money to lose a war with nature.  This business is elegant and that probably explains why Derek and Kirrily are so in love with it.

It’s not just elegant because of the business model and regenerative because of it’s increasing biodiversity and profit, it’s beautiful. 

It’s beautiful to understand that just 12 years ago Derek and Kirrily were thinking of leaving agriculture altogether.

Twelve years ago Derek described their circumstances as typical of many farmers: “We were newly married and living with my parents at Colarado (the property name).  But it was tough we were struggling every year and going backwards. There were mental health issues.  Everyone felt despondent and inadequate”.

The light turned on when they learned about Holistic Management in 2001*.  This allowed them to change their livestock management and start to capture many of the benefits of a better ecosystem.  In 2006, they repeated the course and this time found more value in the goal-setting and emotional stuff – the “social stuff” as Derek calls it.   

This learning in 2006 coincided with a direct external threat.  Their land was part of a rich agricultural region known as the Liverpool Plains.   Miners however were keen to access coal and coal seam gas in this region.  Some neighbors sold out at premiums and tensions were high in the district.  It was made worse by the corrupt politician Ian Macdonald retroactively changing laws to suit the miners that had paid for licenses from his department.  Some of these miners were upstarts but many were big names like BHP.

Blockades

BHP Blockade – Credit theland.com.au

Derek and Kirrily blockaded BHP from their property gate for 2 years.  They joined the Caroona Coal Action Group and SOS Liverpool Plains Group.  They paid out of pocket for legals in a David v Goliath battle.  The mining and facking they feared would impact their water and their organic programs and they had to engage in something farmers weren’t used to at all i.e public relations.

The miners and farmers war rages on despite the obvious stupidity of sacrificing the Liverpool Plains food bowl for 30 years of gas production.

Derek and Kirrily have a beautiful business because this and all the other challenges in their life have made them a stronger unit and seen them extend beyond their comfort zones, so they could reach out and connect with farmers, consumers, policy makers and government extension services. 

When times were tough (and you bet there have been many of those times) they spent time on themselves.  Engaging in annual personal development courses.  Converting the dining room table to the boardroom table and the office as they needed.  They assigned themselves professional roles of CEO and COO and they made themselves accountable by getting a business coach. 

As an example to any business owner, this is what you have to do to get through – you grow through your problems and don’t let them overwhelm you.

Not many farmers market their beef direct to consumers but Derek and Kirrily have made it happen when they launched theconsciousfarmer.com.au.

The Conscious Farmer

It started with Kirrily giving some meat to her cousin who lived in Brisbane.  The neighbor enjoyed the meat at the BBQ hosted by her cousin so much that they she ordered too. 

Pretty soon the whole street were buying regularly and sharing it.  Derek and Kirrily would provide information on how each beast was bred, handled and what to do with each portion for best cooking and nutritional results.  They now supply from Brisbane to Canberra.

Not many farmers have recognized the need to market their process and not just the product.  But that’s precisely what Kirrily does with her blog theconsciousfarmer.com

Kirrily-Blog

In her Blog she shares the practical ways farmers can implement regenerative agriculture in broadacre situations like theirs (sustainability is not just for small farms).  It’s a personal and highly engaging blog that works perfectly as window into their inspiring world.

Kirrily has driven The Conscious Farmer blog.  It’s growing each month through Facebook and word of mouth.   She has connections to Conscious Enterprises, Conscious Chefs, Conscious Parents and Conscious Clubs in the city that resonate with her as the Conscious Farmer.  Beautiful marketing,

They are now also working closely with Oz Harvest and other groups.

There are very few Farmers that are running their own crowdfunding campaigns.  But, here are Derek and Kirrily offering to report back and share their insights from attending a US based conference with any of the crowd that support them ( Gofundme.com/healthyfarms .

It’s just a really great business when you think about it.  They have engagement strategies, production strategies, organizational meetings and structures, they plan and they get things done.  They have a story to tell which they do through social media, crowdfunding and direct to consumer product sales.  This beautiful business with it’s elegant model is paying dividends far bigger than the recent recognition of Derek and Kirrily as NSW Farmer’s Of The Year.

Derek and Kirrily Blomfield, Quirindi, and president of NSW Farmers Association Fiona Simson Credit: TheLand.com.au

Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson with winners Derek and Kirrily Blomfield, and president of NSW Farmers Association Fiona Simson Credit: TheLand.com.au

I have no doubt that Derek and Kirrily will meet their next few decades with same ingenuity and courage as the last 12 years.  I’m sure they will have made their patch of dirt better and more profitable.  I’m sure they will have taught their sons about farming and given them the permission to do anything else they want.  I’m sure that people will be still looking to them for thoughtful ways to regeneratively farm. 

Derek and Kirrily, you are totally Nailing It.  Well done.

Gavin Blake is Nailing It

A thoughtful person knows that a picture tells 1000 words and a wise person knowing this chooses their pictures carefully.

This is what Gavin Blake, the subject of this weeks ‘Nailing It’ does.

Gavin-Blake-At-Work

Gavin is an expert at condensing ideas, systems, procedures and conversations into a graphic anyone can understand at a glance.  Check out his business FeverPicture.com.au .

When your job is to make audible information visual you have to have a special brain that switches between listening, digesting and depicting. It’s a skill most of us don’t have.

Gavin-Black-Fever-Pictures

Too much or too little information the result is not representative of the message. Just the right mix and the result is amazing.  Check out his work with Collaborative Consumption advocate and guru Rachel Botsman.

Gavin provides his services to big companies like Google, Unilever, PwC and education institutions like the Australian National University.

Gavin is most famous for graphic facilitation at TED in the US and TEDx in Sydney, Dubai, Canberra, London, Dubbo and many more – in fact, he has the world record for most graphic facilitations.

What Gavin does is help speakers who have these mind-blowing ideas communicate better.  What he does is cool, but who he is, is even cooler.

He’s a great friend to many, father of two and husband of one.

Few people understand innovation the way Gavin does – having facilitated innovation from the best in the world.

Gavin subscribes to the Gladwell “10000 hours of mastery” philosophy that basically says focus on your strengths and unique qualities and the world opens up.  He is an embodiment of this belief.  This is why talented cartoonists and such line up to learn from him.

On top of this he knows how to build customer relationships with humans.

An example of this might be when he turned up at the hospital after my brother suffered a heart attack. He said with a laugh “I hear you need a heart starter” and he threw on the table the latest issue of Boars and Babes Shooting Magazine.

This created laughter amongst my waiting family who were mostly concerned with grave thoughts of “what if…”. Giving us a chance to laugh at bikini clad women atop 100kg dead pigs was the perfect “break-in-the-vibe” that no well meaning phone conversation would have come close to achieving.

What made this moment equally special was that we had only 12-months earlier got to know Gavin, when my brother and I put on TEDxDubbo.

Gavin had provided his services at cost to our little TEDx event in Taronga Zoo (Dubbo).  We got the opportunity of knowing Gavin that bit better when he missed his plane the day after the event. He says it was because he didn’t wake up in time but I suspect it was just so we could all hang out more.

Whatever the reason I’m eternally grateful for him missing that plane.

It’s not just because he makes me laugh, has a great brain, an amazing talent, awesome personality or charitable heart.

It’s because he is Nailing It with such fun and genuine enthusiasm. Thanks Gavin for being such a humble yet inspirational person that I look up to.

Photo Credits for this article go to the fantastic Natalie Hunfalvay more of here work can be found here http://www.nataliehunfalvay.com/

Ben Thompson is Nailing It

In Australia, everyone has a mate called “Thommo” and I’m proud to count a few. This weeks Nailing It goes to my mate Ben Thompson (aka Thommo) who is going from strength to strength.

Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson

Thommo is a wonderful mate who is generous with his time and wisdom. He and Caz (his wife) and beautiful children Henry, George and Grace have been a model for my Partner (Sally) and I.

It was overlooking a stormy Bondi Beach, Sally and I had learned we were expecting number 2. We were anxious about it living up to the experience of a first child – who we were very much in love with.

Ben who had his 3 explained, “You have your first child and you think: “wow a real person!” – “How amazing is this” – “How can the second one top that?” But then… you’re there, the 2nd emotion. You reach a higher place than you ever thought possible. You are filled with so much love. You think to yourself wow not only did that top the first it added to it”.

His sagely words helped both Sally and I. We were going to have another child and wrongly thought some sort of law of diminishing returns applied. Maybe the best definition of a being mate is not telling you when you have it right, but teaching you when you have it wrong.

When I met Thommo in 2006 he had just taken over his fathers legal firm that specialised in Workplace HR, Litigation and Enterprise Agreements.

This side of his businesses remains in good nick, but all the growth has come from his innovations – not his birthright.

Ben has created a few businesses since that all complement each other. I use the term Empire, but I could as well call it a family of businesses.

He has in addition the the HR law firm an outsourced payroll company – that in turn has become best known for its software Key Pay. Key Pay now powers Quickbooks Online payroll functionality.

KeyPay

KeyPay

Thommo started licensing a rewards and recognition software called Power 2 Motivate from a Canadian firm in 2007. This has grown 100% year –on-year since he started selling it across the Asia Pacific region. It’s now an 8-figure business.

It’s been so successful that he has actually “Done a Ronson”. To “Do a Ronson” is when you like a product so much that you buy the company.

Thommo now owns most of Power 2 Motivate internationally, which counts multinational giants like Cisco amongst its clients. He has diversified the customers for Power 2 Motivate so that now instead of 100% of the clients coming from employee recognition programs only about 40% come from employee recognition programs and 60% comes from reseller channels and one is coming out, and you are flooded with all this channel partners that need incentivizing for sales.

Power 2 Motivate is huge – and its range of clients impressive – but Thommo’s Empire is building due to his Employment Hero business. Employment Hero has the goal of helping 10000 Australian businesses by 2020.

Employment Hero aims to become the Xero of HR. It enables a business to recruit, on-board, manage, pay and incentivise staff. It’s sold on an as-a-service basis for $30/mth making it ideal for high growth and startup companies right the way through to listed companies.

Employment Hero

Employment Hero

Between HR, Legal, Payroll, Incentives and Processes he has created an Empire. It’s basis in the most fundamental of business practices – employment. Layer upon layer he is adding technology, smarts and soft skills that employers may lack.

Then giving them robust processes like they’re a huge business, cheap prices and expert advice.

Whilst Thommo has built this empire he has had a few scary occasions, every business owner does. But year after year each business unit has achieved 100%+ growth and he’s now at that level of security and success that he’ll survive almost any wrong turn.

Thommo is not a workaholic. He finds time to swim, bike, travel, cook pancake brekkies for the kids, teach them at nippers and be involved with organisations like EO and YPO (where he is a mentor).

He also funds a charity True Blue Dreaming that financially supports remote townships and gives them access to things like tele-health and culturally specific school of the air. Not to mention keeping the airport in a condition that should the royal flying doctors be required to, they can land.

The remote community of Looma in WA 300kms East of Broome is supported by and large by Ben.

Thommo you amaze me with your business skills and you charm me with your personal skills. Your business and family are a credit to you.

You my friend, my mate, are Nailing It.

And if you decide to do that NZ coast to coast trek you’ll nail that too.

 

Will Davies is Nailing It

Will Davies is the subject of todays ‘Nailing It’.

He is a lot like me except for being tall, handsome, physically fit and commercially far more successful. 

That is to say, I look up to him on many fronts.

Will has been a friend since Uni days where he was already expanding his mind by heading off to the School of Philosophy before getting to the pub. Will was studying Finance and Philosophy simultaneously.

After a brief stint at Ernst and Young, Will trained for his real estate qualifications and became a mortgage broker. He built his book and had a staff of 20.  But he sold the business after realizing what he really loved was protecting the environment and not mortgage broking.  

The money in mortgages wasn’t a sufficient enough reason to live in a way that wasn’t doing absolutely what he loved.  

Mind you he still is heavily into property with his own portfolio in Australia and a fund with 4 others that has purchased 70 properties in the US.  He also part-owns a Gym and does Angel Investing.

He is now a social entrepreneur, addressing the very real environmental issue of car pollution with a collaborative consumption inspired business – Car Next Door.  Car Next Door wants to reduce the demand for cars by 70% by 2020 and take out the associated carbon and solvent pollution in the process.  This is an audacious goal.

CarNextDoor

CarNextDoor

In the time between selling his mortgage broking business and starting Car Next Door, I was Wills neighbor.  I witnessed how he was going through his search for the right business that aligned his commercial interest and passion.  

At the time he, his wife and baby were living on a top floor balcony in a block of units but had somehow managed to get these huge water tanks, drums and reed beds onto his balcony.  He was actually seeing if an aquaponics business could work.   He was testing it by putting his food waste into a tank that fed algae that in turn fed silver perch that he ate. 

It was a genuine engineering feat and worked practically if not financially.

Will and Suz Wedding

I was so impressed that he wasn’t guessing – he was experimenting – albeit like a mad scientist.

Will is not just a business guy or greenie.  He is also really socially connected.  One of his side projects is match-making.  He has introduced 8 couples that have since married through his speed dating events each year – Willsmate.com

At 35 he is still playing Rugby and recently told me his list of injuries “so far this year I’ve got a perforated eardrum, damaged rib cartilage, corked leg and got my foot stomped on”.

Will Football -2nd row middle

Will is actively helping others find what they love to do by being a Director and Coach in Living Leadership the program that caused Will to find his purpose and ultimately sell his mortgage broking business back in 2007.

You know he “gets” leadership and would be great in the role when you hear him justify his football heroics.  He adds casually after listing his injuries: “its good for my kids to see me running around”.  He has 2 boys under 3. 

Will Davies Dad

(I think with that list of injuries its possible to put them off).  

Will is creative, inspiring, entrepreneurial, green, pragmatic and friendly.  When you add that to his ethics and charms you know he is going to keep ‘Nailing It’ with Car Next Door or whatever comes next.  

Will Davies, thank you for being the great leader and social entrepreneur that you are. 

3 Equity Crowdfunding Platforms Australians Can Use Now

Three months after the submission of the CAMAC Crowdfunding Legislation recommendations we are expecting further delays of 12 – 18 months before we see meaningful change in Crowdfunding legislation in Australia.

Clearly this government has more pressing issues at hand including passing even a few of their budget measures, acting on the recommendations doesn’t appear to be a priority as nothing has been heard of the recommendations since being lodged some months ago and CAMAC has now been disbanded.

Unless it’s a legislative change the Government of the day is sponsoring the process will probably go something like this

  • Government delays action for 6-12 month until the noise gets too loud
  • If they are being pushed into the change it will take two years to work out what they want to implement
  • Political announcement to gain mileage Month 1
  • They form a working group and terms of reference – Month 3
  • Working Group calls for submissions – Month 6
  • Working group study the submissions Month 8-12
  • They complete their report and submit their recommendations to the Government, Month 12
  • The Government reviews the report month 12-18,
  • They work out what is manageable given the political tone of the day,
  • They make pubic political mileage announcements Month 18
  • They request a draft amendment to the relevant Act to be drawn up Month 18-20
  • It goes through many rounds of negotiation, review and amendments in the party room and then the Lower and Upper house Month 20-24
  • Gets stopped at the Senate so they can bend the Government over the pork barrel to get whatever that particular Senator wants for his district that month,
  • Gets amended again
  • Then 18-24 months after the initial a watered down version emerges from the mess, but by the time it is enacted the party is now in election mode and a few months later after a either a leadership or Government Change the amendments get pushed aside…….

Despite this local Crowdfunding players are not sitting on the sidelines waiting, these companies are getting on with crowdfunding or near-crowdfunding platforms or establishing their platforms overseas.

Pozible, i-Pledge, The Crowd (as proposed by Mark Carnegie) and CrowdfundUP have all announced they will provide equity platforms when legislation allows.

The delay in updating Crowdfunding legislation is causing major headaches with some of the Crowdfunding platforms deciding to focus their efforts overseas and others using non obvious paths via New Zealand to provide a workaround.

ASSOB

After raising $140,000,000 over the last 6 years ASSOB is claiming its place as the oldest and most successful equity crowdfunding platform (Ed: ASSOB was crowdfunding before it was called crowdfunding). They have been operating in accordance within a well-defined exemption of the Corporations Act.

ASSOB-Funded

ASSOB can only act as a business matching service and can’t advertise deals publicly or allow participants in the market to do so using social media tools that have become “tools of the trade” in crowdfunding generally.

ASSOB however is ready to transform Crowdfunding locally and recently struck a deal to license its IP to OfferBoard in USA and OfferBoard now has active fundraising campaigns underway.

Offerboard

Offerboard

Offerboard

Offerboard

Yes it appears that despite our home-grown world-class Crowdfunding talent and technology, we can only export it at the moment.

ASSOB has also started a Regional Hub strategy that allows the local community to fund local businesses within the processes of ASSOB and the existing law.

They have started with Far North Queensland (Cairns) and have plans for another 7 Hubs in the near future.

ASSOB is well positioned to spread the word and capacity of local businesses to get funding.

Local Businesses and communities rather than high tech businesses may have a greater appetite for Crowdfunding judging from some of the results from both the UK and USA.

VentureCrowd

VentureCrowd is the well-backed fund-of-funds operated by Artesian Capital – one of the most active VC’s in the country.

VentureCrowd

VentureCrowd

Their platform is only open to Sophisticated Investors ($250k, PA income + or net assets of $2.6m).

This method is legal and probably very good for high net worth individuals that want to play in the startup ecosystem and “pick winners’.

But this model necessarily leaves out a crowd of people that are not Sophisticated and who would like direct equity in the company they support, its a very narrow base.

Equitise

Probably the most interesting player at this stage is Equitise . Equistise has launched a licensed equity crowdfunding platform within the NZ regulatory framework.

Equitise - NZ Based Crowdfunding Platform

Equitise – NZ Based Crowdfunding Platform

The Australian Law Society advocated such a strategy 3-months ago which is achievable due to the longstanding bilateral trade agreements between Australia and New Zealand that encompasses aspects of financial products and markets. As a result Equitise can now offer a Crowdfunding platform to Australian companies and investors  as long as their plans include a NZ branch of the business.

They are in effect an Australian equity crowdfunding platform with access to the Australian market but governed within the New Zealand laws.

This is not a situation any proud Aussie should ignore. We are losing talent and markets for funding businesses to New Zealand!

When we hand New Zealand the mantle of being more innovative than us we might as well collectively pick our sorry butts up and go back to mining.

By delaying Crowdfunding Legislation Amendments Australia has stupidly and unnecessarily ham-strung our startups at a time when sophisticated capital markets of the USA are evolving quickly and the red-hot Asian markets like Singapore or Hong Kong are taking off.

For many years our established startups have had to move to the US to access growth capital, while access to local Angel & early stage funding market appears to be improving Crowdfunding holds the promise of allowing startups to access a wide base of local funding, but continued delays along with the destruction of Commercialisation Australia means that the startups of 2013-2015 will probably have to go offshore to get funding.

Despite the self harm our government is causing with the delays to Crowdfunding legislation it is great to see the likes of ASSOB, VentureCrowd and Equitise finding ways to meet the market needs.

Dr Tim Sharp aka Dr Happy is Nailing It

This weeks Nailing It goes to Dr Tim Sharp – Chief Happiness Officer of the Happiness Institute.

When Dr Tim Sharp aka Dr Happy suggested we get his business and my Angel Massage business together so that all of the customers had a “genuinely happy ending”, I laughed very hard (and then promptly used the idea, we now use a “leave-behind” with some of his happiness hints after massages….).

You might expect Dr Happy to be somewhat like the Robin Williams portrayal of real life Dr Patch Adams, who makes jokes to make the sick happier in times of need.

Dr Tim Sharp aka Dr Happy

Dr Tim Sharp aka Dr Happy

As demonstrated by Tim’s suggestion on happy endings he is not without a sense of humour, but Tim displays more calm and contentment than Robin would have ever been able to portray.

His work is less about making the ill better and more about making everyone better. You don’t have to be suffering from mental illness to enjoy the benefits of positive psychology.

You can be “ok” and still massively benefit.

Positive Psychology for anyone unfamiliar in this day and age is the science of happiness.

Dr Tim was an Academic and clinical Psychologist in his 20’s to mid 30’s, but over the last 10 years has spent his time literally writing the book on happiness.

Via Penguin and Finch he has penned: The Happiness Handbook, The Good Sleep Guide, 100 Ways to Happiness – a guide for busy people, 100 Ways to Happy Children: a guide for busy parents, Live Happier, Live Longer – a guide to positive ageing and The Happiness Diet (you can find them all here on Amazon).

Live happier live longer - Dr Tim Sharp

Live happier live longer – Dr Tim Sharp

I’m trying to write my first book now and appreciate what an epic feat it is to do this. Yet Tim includes 50+ corporate speaking engagements per year and his work as Adjunct Professor at UTS and Adjunct Professor at RMIT sees him teaching a new generation of business and health students.

Dr Tim 2

Then there is his work as a coach to executive leaders, being Chief Happiness Officer at the Happiness Institute, owner of Tim Sharp and Associates and regularly appearing on TV and in the media.

With some people when they have such demands on them they close off from others – friends and family included. Dr Tim knows that is not the path to happiness and has instead managed to become somehow more open.

It’s actually a fantastic business story in itself. The way Tim sets up his information inputs – from the apps on his phones to his Google alerts – he gives himself a rich and relevant information diet.

Then he manages his time beautifully using lists, calendars and priorities in a way that I envy. Finally he has mastered using social media and timely one-off chats to maintain deep relationships with a wide and diverse network.

Dr Tim Sharp - 100 Ways to Happiness

Dr Tim Sharp – 100 Ways to Happiness

It’s not just his great attitude – it’s his skills that cause him to be Nailing It

Outside of his professional life Tim loves sports of all codes and attends regularly. He has genuine concern for Australian society and sits an advisor on various charities and corporate funds that address social issues. He is also an Australia Day Ambassador.

In 2010 he was recognized for this whole area of his work with the Future Leaders Award.

Dr-Tim-Sharpe-Family

Dr Happy has a wonderful relationship with his wife and his two teenaged kids. They manage to have holidays that look really cool.

Every year they make there way North to the famous Woodford Folk Festival.. Tim usually speaks and then they spend the days hanging out a listening to live music. That’s a cool family!

Dr Tim Sharp is not a comedian. He is a thoughtful, funny, engaging, “renaissance man” who has helped thousands of Australians. And he is: Nailing It.

I personally want to say thanks for his ongoing kindness, patience, generosity and positive influence in my life. Thanks.

Cash Flow Crisis? 10 Ways to Kickstart Your Business

Ed: If you are in business sooner or later you are going to hit a Cash Flow Crisis. Its embarrassing and stressful but you have to take action to deal with it. This week Wardy of 3 Minute Angels shares what he did recently to solve a short term cash problem.

Can you really think through your own growth tactics objectively? This was the question I found myself asking myself last week.

Are you too close? Is this all too subjective for you? Usually people get consultants for this…

You see about a week ago I had a cash flow issue. I had more bills than income. I had over extended myself by working on my stable of startups.

There was certainly bad management on my side.

I’d also had my fair share of bad-luck events contributing to it. Including two deaths, a typhoon, two quick turn around international flights and bad man-flu.

Whatever the reason I knew I needed to liberate some cash and quickly.  Going to a sheet of paper and pen I jotted down what my massage company does already as business models.

For the sake of the story let me tell you about this business so you have a context.

I have been running 3 Minute Angels (one of the largest massage companies in Australia) for over 13 years.

3 Minute Angels had early success with pioneering a new pricing mode for casual massage. We introduced the “pay what you think it’s worth” pricing model to our customers which were typically delivered in short bursts in a casual setting in bars, airports and festivals.

This business was a lot of fun and cash based however  the hours were long and the margins low.

We then added a business to business offering for corporate wellness and reward for their staff and event massage for corporate promotions.

If you’ve worked for a big tech company  – you may have been the recipient of one of our massages in your offices, big companies such as Google and Atlassian use our team regularly.

The business to business market is better hours, better margins and now makes up the majority of work we do. It’s main weakness is fluctuating demand where month to month we see swings of up to $100k in sales.

Clients ring us,  they don’t want proactive sales for massage. In fact, they can only be attracted in and sold massage when they want to provide it to their staff.

We are an order taker in this market. Our product in corporate land has what we call low GAFF (give a f..k factor).

The business has revenues of just shy of $1 million (Ed: Thats a lot of massages) and gross profit of about 30% and ebit of 10%.

After so long running the business having a rainy day reserve for fluctuations and bad runs makes sense, but alas I’m the sort of entrepreneur that puts everything I earn to work.

So faced with only 2 things written down on a sheet of paper I challenged myself to think like a consultant and liberate my creativity on my old stalwart of a business.

3Minute Angels doing a Corporate Gig at Bondi Beach

3Minute Angels doing a Corporate Gig at Bondi Beach


Here is what I did

  • I smoked a joint
  • I went on the websites of overseas massage companies
  • I wrote a list of strengths and weaknesses of our industry
  • Repeated point 1
  • I then gave myself 3 minutes to write down 9 ideas *
  • I did that 8 more times

I went and removed duplicates and scored ideas on ease, cost. And time to test

I’ve now got 6 decent ideas including providing

  • Full body mobile massages with huge discounts for locked in regular gigs
  • Full body mobile massage quick turn around service
  • Retail massages in pop up areas of existing retailers
  • A return to pubs and clubs with an alliance with promotions going on for anti hangover pills
  • An alliance with concierges that sees our services listed with uber and other services people use in hotels
  • Expanding our airport operations beyond Virgin blue lounges


And then there’s the 60 other ideas I couldn’t do for free or in a single month. Or ones that require capital or ongoing time from my diary.

We then used the following free resources

  • Leadpages.net to create a’squeeze page’ (there are other firms like my landing pages, use what suits you)
  • I recorded a video on my laptop, uploaded to YouTube and embedded in the squeeze page template
  • I setup an exit grabber
  • and sent a well crafted email to my existing clients’


Less than a week later I am running the first test. And it seems to be ok. 2-days in and we have a$1200 sale and $3250 sale.

I’m excited instead of fearful about the business prospects and I’m back in the swing.

This was pretty easy to execute and didn’t take much time or cash to create.  It’s possible you have all the answers. It’s possible you are your own best consultant.

The real lesson here is not that consultants are unnecessary for objectivity – or maybe that’s too subjective for me to call – what do you think?

Check out our new test landing pages here – you may even like a massage for you and your team.

* the process of rapidly developing and assessing ideas is derived from blitz thinking which comes from Australia’s very own Dr Ken Hudson