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Edition 200 – The Double Century

And there you have it, the 200 is up. When I first started writing Growth in 2016, little did I imagine that we’d achieve this milestone.

Over the years, I’ve often been asked if I write it all myself. When I was first asked this question, I was taken aback, perhaps even slightly offended, when I responded “Of course, why do you ask?” It seemed there were more than a few people who thought I’d engaged a ghost writer to put my thoughts down. I quickly took that on board as a compliment – that someone would think it’s professionally written, when it’s not.

For me, writing this weekly is not only a joy, but a creative outlet. I have colleagues who see writing a newsletter or a blog, as a slog. Not me. It’s something I love to do.

What very few people know about me was that in my high school years, my original plan was to make my way into journalism. I’d always loved reading the paper and watching the news as a youngster. For some people, sportsmen were their heroes. For me, the gold standard of newsreading, Brian Henderson, was one of mine.

I dabbled in journalism a little bit. I did some Film & Television School stuff in the early ’80s as a teenager. One of my school friends who did the course with me went on to become a Sports Reporter for the Ten Network. Another of my school friends, for a long time, fronted a very popular weekly programme for the Nine Network.

In the late 80’s in my early university days, I enjoyed a stint doing radio newsreading for a community radio station in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. My uncle Kevin, a towering man with a great personality and an incredible talent for music, was friends with Bob Taylor, a former Mo Award winner. Twice engaged to the same lady, but never married, Bob was an eccentric. He had the most beautiful radio announcing voice that was a joy to listen to. He taught me a lot, in a short period of time, about radio. His eccentricity extended to owning over 6000 records of mostly jazz and blues music. They were great times, even if the early morning starts were hard.

There was a slightly greater love than journalism through those years – politics.  Nerdiness is one of my traits that I’ve grown to be comfortable with over time. Being able to recite almost the entire ministerial line up of Malcolm Fraser’s government in the late 1970’s, as a 10 year old, is just about as nerdy as it gets. I had a desire to go into politics and in my opinion, being a journalist was not the background that was required of a future politician. That’s when the numbers side of things came along – which I happened to like as well, thanks to the efforts of some great teachers in my final school years at Palm Beach Currumbin High School on the Gold Coast. Margaret Harris, Maria van Balvaren and Errol Crone were mentors in the days when their roles were much more than merely being your teacher.

Today, I love being immersed in the world of family business. I’m fortunate to work alongside a number of family businesses. They’re all different, but often the issues are the same. They each have their ups and downs. What works for one business, can often work for another, even though their industries, management styles and economic stage of life cycle can be vastly different. All of them, plus others I observe from the sidelines, and my own life experiences give me an incredible source of material for my writing. Here’s to 200 more. 

Do what you love and love what you do.