When I meet someone for the first time I like to get to know a little bit about them: if they’re a business owner, I want to understand why they got into their business – what they enjoy most about it, the types of clients they like to work with and, most importantly, where they want their business to be in the coming years.
Given that I like to dig deep and explore my clients’ motivations and aspirations, I figure it is only fair to share a little background about who I am and why I am known as the person who can ‘Unscramble your Numbers’.
I consider myself lucky to have grown up in two places: Australia and Canada. While Australia is my home base, I consider Canada my second home, and I try to get back there regularly. There is something about travelling that frees my spirit and opens my mind to new ideas. In my downtime, I’m a voracious reader. Good fiction, business books and Canadian history are my “go-to” genres. I love to cross stitch (you’d think I have enough of counting in my “day job”); I find the repetition soothing, and creating something with my own hands is highly rewarding.
I’ve always been a numbers person. Even at school, my favourite subject was maths. Looking back, it feels as though I was predestined to work with numbers, and like the pathway to my current business had been well laid out for me.
Along with a passion for numbers, I have a keen interest in business as a whole.
My insatiable curiosity and desire to learn has led me to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on business courses and seminars. I am strongly influenced by many of these, particularly Key Person of Influence Brand Acceleratorand Business Blueprint. You name it, I’ve probably read about it, studied it, or implemented it within my own business. I also value mentors and have sought out and engaged the mentorship of some of the best business minds in Australia. My strong desire to add value fuels my urgency to pass on my knowledge to others.
My unique blend of business intrigue and a deep understanding of the numbers makes me the “secret weapon” for any business owner.
Regarding formal financial qualifications, I started my career back in 1978 at a mid-tier accounting firm in Sydney. By 1984, I had my CA (Chartered Accountant) qualifications, and ten years later I started my own business. Like most first-time business owners, I had a steep learning curve ahead of me: managing staff, learning how to market my own business, taking care of clients, and, essentially, keeping the doors open all gave me a substantial appreciation of the tenacity it takes to just be a business owner.
Six years later in 2000, I sold that business and spent the next seven years as a financial controller. Though there was just something about being a business owner that I couldn’t let go of, and so I bought into another accounting practice and eventually bought out the other two partners. I ran that business until 2015 when I decided to focus on helping business owners in a particular way – through management reporting and by assisting business owners to unscramble their numbers for better cash flow and better business outcomes.
For me, there is something very liberating about working with an existing business owner, someone who feels overwhelmed by their numbers, to turn those (often complex) figures into easy to understand, simple reports. The difference this step makes to my clients is nothing short of magical.
Around five years ago I decided it was time to scale my own business and find ways to reach and help more business owners. Under the guidance of one of Australia’s most prolific business authors, Andrew Griffiths, I’ve written not one but three books.I won’t go into the details of those here, but in particular, I’d encourage you, as a business owner, to look at “Unscramble Your Numbers”. It’s a no-nonsense guide that will give you the framework I use with my clients for making the complex simple, and getting on top of the information and tasks needed to make your business thrive.
Another thing you should know about me… I love technology.
I’ve been adopting and adapting systems for myself and my clients for as long as I can remember. From Lotus 123 spreadsheets through to modern day cloud computing, and I could go on and on about what a total ‘Xero’geek I am. Anything that is going to save me (and my clients) time and help generate cash flow, I’m all for it.
Finally, if we get to work together you’ll figure out I’m a pretty private person. I like my downtime, and I love my family life. Though I do understand that in business you need to build a profile (I encourage all my clients to do the same).
I have been fortunate enough to be featured as a guest, mentor, educator judge and contributor in conjunction with these amazing businesses.
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Oh, one last thing before I go. I’d like to take a couple of moments to tell you about one other passion of mine. B1G1 or Buy One Give One is a social enterprise whose mission it is to create a world full of giving.
It just makes sense to me to create wins all-round in business. I look forward to meeting you so we can create those wins together.