Entrepreneurs, Innovators & Great Businesses. We get behind the scenes of Self Made success.


Before I contacted my next guest, Toby Strong, to request an interview, I was (and still am) a heavy user of his Urban Brew coffee pod products. I love the product, their subscription-based service and their unique value-adds (and no, this isn’t a paid product endorsement).

Toby runs a business where he is both a manufacturer of his own product, as well as a manufacturer for others, a wholesaler and an online retailer.

We uncover a lot in our conversation, including:

1. Are you BRAVE enough to have an open book policy with your staff on your profit & loss?

2. Diversification can be very important in minimising your market forces risk…but how diverse is TOO DIVERSE?

3. Is OWNERSHIP of “things” from a bygone era, and will we move to SUBSCRIPTION for most things in the future?

4. For busy executives, listening to AUDIOBOOKS can be an invaluable way to turn non-productive time into positive returns.

5. A simple “WALK & TALK” with a staff member can create a great connection with you, the CEO.

We started talking about the challenges of running a business, and particularly the roller-coaster of highs & lows (both financial and emotional)…we also cover some of Toby’s “life hacks”.  The episode starts after we were talking about his introduction of environmentally friendly biodegradable coffee pods into his product range.

Until next episode….keep INNOVATING, OVERCOMING and PROSPERING

Toby’s Book list

•           Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business.  Gino Wickman

•           The Great Game of Business.   Jack Stack

•           Extreme Ownership.   Jocko Willink

•           Contagious.   Jonah Berger

•           Purple Cow.   Seth Godin

•           Made to Stick.   Chip Heath


Toby’s Contact details






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A double guest interview this week.  Brendon and Connor, co-founders of Nuago, describe themselves as a “born in cloud” company providing IT services to their customers.  They’re obviously doing something right, ranking No.7 in the Australian CRN Fast 50 award.


Lots of gold in here if you’re building a business.  We discuss:

1. Different isn’t always Better, but BETTER IS ALWAYS different

2. If you want to be a good IT provider, stop talking about WIDGETS and start getting into your customers’ WHY

3. The difference between working for someone and putting your HOUSE, LIVELIHOOD and FAMILY FUTURE on the line to start your own company 

4. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT might not be talked about much anymore, but it’s important to your customers.

5. How do you keep your FINGER ON THE PULSE when your business is growing?


You can just tell from the conversation and the passion in their voices how much providing a great experience for the customers and their employees mean to them.


I think it’s easy for leaders to focus on other things from time-to-time, and even focusing too much on what you as a leader need….but I guarantee that if you look after your team and your customers, it will return dividends.


We reference a couple of authors in our conversation, some of whose books are available on my website.





Interview with Dr Jana Matthews.



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In this episode, I interview Jim Whalley, who has been appointed as the Chief Entrepreneur for South Australia.  Now, while it might seem strange to interview a Govt employee for a show that’s all about Founders, Entrepreneurs and Great Business people, Jim just doesn’t fit the mould of what many might consider a typical Govt Employee.

1. He isn’t PAID! It’s a volunteer position

2. He has a track record in building a successful business

3. If you look at his photos on my website, and his background, you might see him as a bit of a cross between Tom Cruise and Richard Branson

4. He’s no slow-moving bureaucrat. He’s a make it happen kind-of-guy.


Beyond this, we discuss some important & interesting topics like:

1. Executing & planning business is not dissimilar to a FIGHTER JET MISSION ….you have to observe–orient–decide–act

2. That EXPERIMENTATION is a much better word to use than FAILURE

3. The first ever Visa Scheme designed to attract Entrepreneurs to Australia

4. DODGY OPERATORS are on notice! There is no place for you in the SA Entrepreneurial community.


A big thanks to Steven Marshall and the Government for putting the investment they have into the SA Entrepreneurial community.



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#oodaloop #fighterjet #fighterpilot #flighttest #lotfourteen #innovationaus #southaustralia #adelaide #innovation #entrepreneur #StartupAus #theselfmadetheory #startupADL #FIXE #innovateovercomeprosper

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This is one of the most fascinating interviews I’ve done.  I’m not really into super high end fashion and I’ve not really understood it until this interview.   I talk to Paul Vasileff, who founded Paolo Sebastian, a Couture Atelier that has collaborated with Disney and dressed the likes of Heidi Klum, Poppy Delevingne, Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian ….you get the picture.  His work is stunning.


In this interview, Paul and I discuss:


  • If you bring your client’s DREAM TO LIFE, then they will travel from the other side of the world to buy from you.  
  • To be the very best in your field, PERFECTION may well be the pursuit that will take you there.  
  • When there is NO PRECEDENT for your business idea, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try.  
  • How to move from being a SOLOPRENEUR, to hiring your first employee….and how to make this work if you’re a perfectionist.  
  • If you’re in Year 12, think hard about your research project….it may just launch you into an international career working with the stars!  


Even if you’re from a different industry, the challenges Paul faced, the drive for perfection and the elements of learning to run a business will resonate with many people.


If you want to find out more about Paul, and Paolo Sebastian, I’ve got some amazing photos and info in the show notes and on our website.




Contact details for Paul and Paolo Sebastian


Instagram:    @paul_vasileff       @paolo_sebastian





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Many of you with have heard the terms Big Data, Analytics and all that very boring sounding terminology…..wait! Don’t tune out! If you’ve seen the movie Minority Report, where Tom Cruise is walking past digital signage where the advertisements are tailored just for him, then you’ll get an insight into what this episode is all about. You can look at this episode in a few different ways – from the lens of a “big brother-esque” conspiracy theorist or from the lens of how you can use big data to drive truly compelling competitive advantage and experiences for your customers. I interviewed Kelly from Expose Data who is an expert in this space, at the new South Australia Lot Fourteen innovation / entrepreneur precinct (where they were the 1st tenant). We discuss:

1. Imagining a world where a retail store KNOWS YOU’RE SAD when you walk in, and tailors your shopping experience to make you happy
2. If you have good LEFT & RIGHT BRAIN thinking, then a career in Data Analytics is for you
3. How to be a MOTHER, PARTNER, EMPLOYER, LEADER and help grow the EDUCATION of our young people
4. How PLANNING and structure is important, but not at the expense of being able to THINK ON YOUR FEET
5. If what you’re doing is EASY, then it’s a COMMODITY and you won’t make good money

I’ve got some pretty big names coming up in our next few episodes, so don’t miss out, subscribe on your favourite podcast app (my favourite is Pocket Casts, a homegrown in Australian app that just does it better than anyone else).


Contact details for Kelly & Expose Data










#exposedata # wedodata #bigdata #analytics #software #bigbrother #retail #Stpetersgirls #lotfourteen #microsoftpowerBI #powerBI #minorityreport #chamonix #iot #databricks #predictiveanalytics #innovationaus #southaustralia #adelaide #innovation #entrepreneur #StartupAus #theselfmadetheory #startupADL #FIXE #techstars #innovateovercomeprosper


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In this episode, we talk about how manufacturing is DEAD in Australia……or IS IT?   I interview the Managing Director of Advanced Focus, Mark Fusco, who tells us that:

1. Manufacturing isn’t really DEAD, it’s just CHANGING, from competing on price to competing on VALUE & DESIGN (isn’t this the same for many industries?)

2. Starting EDUCATION early enough in new technology is critical – especially if you want First Mover Advantage

3. We should stop saying NO to new ideas and instead start asking WELL, WHY NOT?

4. It’s time to stop eliminating all RISK….if we don’t, we will eliminate our FUTURE

 Mark_from_Advanced_Focus_1080_x_1080_Instagram_2.jpg  Mark_from_Advanced_Focus_1080_x_1080_Instagram.jpg


The interview certainly throws a different light on the opportunities in cities like Adelaide where there has been a traditionally strong, big-end of town manufacturing industry.  I’ll be watching this sector pretty closely over the coming months…there’s lots of exciting things happening (just Google Brabham BT62 Supercar , which is being built in Adelaide)


Contact details for Mark & Advanced Focus





Twitter:         @advanced_focus

Twitter:         @mfusco4


#advancedfocus #redarc #manufacturing #advancedmanufacturing #impactawards #brabham #innovationaus #southaustralia #adelaide #innovation #entrepreneur #StartupAus #theselfmadetheory #startupADL #FIXE

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AgTech, Food Security, Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence AI, Machine Learning, Startups, BlockChain, Drones, Sustainability, Wine…this week’s episode covers all of this and more in my interview with Andrew Grant, CEO of Availer.

Andrew tells how:

1. Technology is fundamentally going to change the way YOUR FOOD is going to be produced.

2. Are you creating a $MILLION DOLLAR solution to a $100,000 problem?

3. You don’t have to jump into the ABYSS by leaving your Job to create your Start-Up

4. Combing what you LOVE with LEARNING will drive you to do great things

5. You don’t have to be a 20-SOMETHING to be an entrepreneur – life experience is very valuable for innovation and startups

Until next time….keep INNOVATING, OVERCOMING and PROSPERING.   

 Contact details for Andrew & Availer




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#availer #agtech #fixe #innovationaus #sardi #uniofadelaide #wineaustralia #meatlivestockaustralia #CSIRO #cybersecurity #genetics #machinelearning #ai #agritech #blueskyresearch #supplychain #smartsupplychain #iot #smartfarming #bitcoin #foodwaste #foodsecurity #meqprobe #spectralchange #trustprovenance #blockchain #Worldclassscience #farming #wine #foodproduction #southaustralia #adelaide #innovation #entrepreneur #StartupAus #theselfmadetheory #software #startupADL #hortinnovation


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January 17, 2019

Tobi Pearce from “Sweat”

The numbers are astonishing – 30 million customers, combined wealth of $486m, built in just over 4 years.  Phenomenal results.  My guest, Tobi, has with his fiancé Kayla, built a global powerhouse business called SWEAT in what you may consider the Fitness industry, but really, it’s a story not dissimilar to Netflix – it’s about innovation, technology, business models and discipline.

Tobi shares with us:

1. What to do when you receive 25,000 email complaints within 24 hours of your App release (& how to end up as No.1 in AppStore only 2 weeks later

2. How Money is a motivator of diminishing returns

3. You can’t re-invest time & how important it is to invest in yourself

4. Being a Founder is about discipline, not sacrifice

While it might be easy to look at SWEAT & their success & think they’re so big that their story doesn’t relate to you, well, I think there’s a number of great gems in there that relate to everyone who’s running (or starting) a business, regardless of its size / market.   The building blocks of a successful business are pretty universal.

BTW, we have a totally new website – it has lots of goodness in there, all the podcast episodes plus our Blog, along with a recommended book reading list for leaders (hey, what did Harry Truman say? Not all readers are leaders, but all Leaders are readers), plus info about my business coaching, mentoring & advisory practice.


Post Audio for this episode was handled by ‘Pod Productions’. For enquiries, contact

Tobi_2.jpg   Tobi_1.jpg


Contact details for Tobi Pearce & SWEAT


Facebook:   @Sweat 

Instagram:   @Sweat   @Tobi_pearce

Linkedin:     @ Tobi Pearce


#sweat #tobipearce #southaustralia #adelaide #innovation #entrepreneur #StartupAus #businessgrowth  #theselfmadetheory #softwarestartup #healthcare #techstars #techstartup #software #softwaredeveloper #startupADL #fitness #softwaredevelopment

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Following the recent Aust Space Agency announcement, I interview Lloyd Damp, CEO of Southern Launch, who is fulfilling a childhood dream involving rockets by building a Rocket Launch facility in South Australia. It’s a pretty fascinating story, and we learn through this interview that that:

1/.Sitting around having a DRINK WITH MATES can *launch* some great business ideas (see what I did there?)
2/.Maybe it’s time to look back into your CITY’S HISTORY and see what it used to do 40 years ago that can be re-invented and done again today.
3/.The importance of the role of GOVERNMENT in providing foundation support for industries like Space.
4/.The challenges faced when you’re doing something completely NEW.
5/.Finding your NICHE is important in every industry

It’s a testament to when you have a great idea that you need to be bold and bring it to life.

If you want to find out more about this episode, jump on our website BTW, we have a totally new website, so check it out – it has lots of goodness in there, all the podcast episodes plus our Blog, along with a recommended book reading list for leaders (hey, what did Harry Truman say? Not all readers are leaders, but ALL Leaders are readers), plus info about my business coaching, mentoring & advisory practice.


Contact details for Southern Launch

small_atlas_v_on_pad_at_night.jpg   southern_australia.jpg





#southaustralia #adelaide #innovation #entrepreneur #StartupAus #businessgrowth #theselfmadetheory #innovateovercomeprosper #techstartup #software #startupADL
#southernlaunch #wecandoithere #space #spacerace  thinclab @uniofadelaide @thinclab @thinclabADL
#myriota @MyriotaGlobal ‏@myriota #fixe @FIXEeffect ‏ @fixe.effect @inovortech ‏#AustralianSpaceAgency @Australiaspaceagency @AusSpaceAgency ‏#sasic @sasic_aus 

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Many of you leaders will have engaged recruitment firms in the past to find staff for you – and you probably wouldn’t think there’s too much innovation that can happen in the recruitment industry.  Well, co-founder of Harrison McMillan, Jodi Walton, tells how technology, transparency and billing models have contributed to their significant success.

Some things we learn from Jodi’s story:

1.You can create your own niche in a traditional industry by CHANGING the business model

2.Customers love TRANSPARENCY if you do it right

3.Why having the COURAGE to turn down work is OK

4.The concept of a DIGITAL DETOX to support flexible working policies.

5.Why the relationship between FOUNDERS is so important

I’m not sure about you, but I love hearing stories where people take an existing industry, and decide they’re going to respond to customers by competing completely different to the existing market.

I’ve got some pretty amazing guests coming up in our future episodes, including a young couple who have, in just a few short years, built a business that has seen their estimated net wealth rise to over $450m!  Stay tuned!


Contact details for Harrison McMillan








#recruitment #headhunting#HR #IChooseSA #HumanResources #southaustralia #adelaide #innovation #entrepreneur #StartupAus #businessgrowth #theselfmadetheory #startupADL #innovateovercomeprosper

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