Where do I start? I’ve lived in the Sutherland shire, south of Sydney, my whole life. Being the youngest (by far) of three siblings was such an advantage (Even if it didn’t seem like it at the time).
Having older siblings exposed me to many of Life’s experiences much younger than most.
Whilst i would never admit it to them, my parents and siblings were great role models.
Thanks to the age difference, I was able to ‘shadow’ them as they embarked on their respective careers, managed their own businesses, and took strategic decisions.
They weren’t afraid to give a little “constructive criticism” as they would say (More like brutally taking me down a peg.) They set the bar high, but seeing their handwork pay off has been a great motivation for me.
My Lucky Break:
My lucky break came at the tender age of 15. Struggling to pay my touch footy rego and needing somewhere to complete my year ten work experience, i struck up a deal with the manager to do a weeks work experience at his accounting firm.
On my first day i was sat down, introduced to a never ending spread sheet and shown the screen i’d be entering the data in line by line. Quickly realising I could use keyboard shortcuts to speed up the task, I finished in three days what they had expected would take close to 2 months. They we so impressed I was invited back for the school holidays for more work.
I absolutely loved the office environment! School holiday work soon led to my being offered an IT traineeship. I interviewed, finished my Year 10 exams, and started working the next day.
When I joined the company, the company had around 12 employees. I was carrying out the usual data entry tasks, virus scans, fixing computers… You know the drill.
Going from strength to strength, the company ultimately grew to include 40 staff members led by a visionary businesswoman.
And then? The perfect storm hit….
A few projects went bad. Significant layoffs were made. But I was promoted to sole manager of the company’s IT unit… at the tender age of 22. What a golden opportunity!
Over the next couple of years, led by one of our no nonsense owners, we simplified a lot of our processes and got back to what we do best. I concentrated on simplifying the network. This was a good learning experience for me!
As time marched on, we started to grow again to the point where we set up shop in the City with a remote office. Once again, what a great opportunity to cut my teeth on the concept of working remotely and what setting up a new business unit entails!
Ultimately, my boss feared I would outgrow my IT roots, and asked if I might be interested in moving into other areas. I jumped on the opportunity, saying that I had always been interested in the psychology behind HR and Management.
From there, I was promoted to Operations Manager, and in due course to General Manager. In balancing both my IT responsibilities and my managerial role, I quickly learned the importance of simplifying business processes, identifying gaps and core targets, outsourcing server and host services to save money, and upgrading the telephone system to increase cost-efficiency.
But then I basically made myself redundant… Huh?
In our quest to streamline the business’ processes, we rebuilt the entire network, using virtualised fault-tolerant servers, and moving to a Citrix Xenapp environment, replacing all the desktops with thin clients.
But here’s the catch: In going from managing 30 PCs and 5 servers to literally just having to manage 2 physical servers, I practically made myself redundant in IT. How warped is that?
From redundant to abundant, thanks to system efficiency
Over the last few years, I’ve been focusing more on marketing and running the business. In the meantime, cloud- based accounting platform Xero has taken the industry by storm offering highly efficient accounting, invoicing, and payroll management systems.
Tasks that once required 7.5-8 hours of work now take a mere 30 minutes per week.
More recently, in early 2015, I was able not only to greatly reduce the company’s outstanding debt by implementing a debtor management system, but also help redeploy significant amounts of wages to other departments.
We have so many plans for the future. To name but a few: we’ll be migrating our document management system to Microsoft Office 365, reducing our server needs even further.
Through various life circumstances, i’ve come to really value my time and learn to focus on whats important.
I grown to love the beauty of minimalism and simplification. I’ve become passionate about the idea of boiling things down to their essential, most efficient, and purest forms.
That’s how I like to run a business.
My goal today? Simply put, it is to use my personal and professional skills and experience to help you – as small business owner – enjoy the freedom of simplified business processes through modern software.
My extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of IT systems, staff and server management, cost reduction, process streamlining, and my taste for simplification and efficiency can all be your added value.