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Realise (verb)  1.  Become fully aware of (something) as a fact; understand clearly   2. Cause to happen   3. Give actual or physical form to  4.  Make (a profit) from a transaction.

Realising Geoff Currie

I’m a business mentor and I get a real buzz out of what I do. I love working with business owners to help them develop the potential of their business. I also love spending time with my family, playing guitar, practising martial arts and cycling. I’ve learned how to run a successful business and still have the time to enjoy everything else I love. I’ve achieved a Work / Life Balance and now I mentor others so they can do the same.

I grew up in a country town back when target shooting was part of school sports day. When I was 12 I turned my electronics hobby into a business by collecting busted TV sets, bringing them back to life and selling them. OK, I was only making 20 bucks a set but that was more than my pals were making doing paper rounds.

At the end of Tech school my part time job at a supermarket became a middle management role running 60 staff. I had to rapidly learn a whole bunch of skills that I hadn’t been taught at school. I think this was when I realised that I didn’t want to spend my life working for wages.

I moved to a bigger regional city when I enrolled for an engineering degree. This is when my ongoing interest in the tech industry really kicked off. I ended up running the media centre which gave me access to some pretty cool tools. There were laser printers, desktop publishing software and even a campus radio station. The opportunity was too good to miss so I set up a marketing and digital desktop design company. Most of the work was band and pub promotions so I was making my money out things other students spent their money on. I also had a nice little side line selling computer disks to other students when I realised that I could buy them for way less than the going rate on campus.

Meanwhile personal computers were starting to become more than fancy typewriters. With my engineering studies, electronics knowledge and I.T. skills, I was ideally placed to pick up work consulting for a major manufacturing business. I learned a lot about keeping up with a rapidly changing world. I was mostly working on automated production and industrial problem solving which lead to opportunities for supplying hardware as well.

By now, things were starting to get a bit weird. My lecturers were handing me equipment purchase orders as I was walking in to sit their exams. I realised It was time to stop being a student and focus on my business. At the age of 22 the course was set for what would become the next 12 years of my life.

Like so many business owners. I soon found myself working more and more hours on the relentless treadmill of finding new leads, marketing the business and pushing sales growth. The business was doing great but I was losing any sense of life balance. It felt like I owned a job not a business. On top of that I was starting a family and realised that I wasn’t going to be seeing much of them at this rate.

I realised that I needed to change the way I was operating my business. I was trying to do everything including the things I wasn’t that good at. I was trying to be everywhere often wound up not being I needed to. So I built a set of rules and systems then then stuck to them. I delegated what I needed to back to my team and stuck to what I did best for my own business. Sure enough I started to get time back to enjoy life and the business began to perform better so I could work on building wealth more effectively.

During that time I also realised that profits and wealth were very different things. I began using my business profits to build my property investments. I’d done some renovations during my uni days so I put those skills to work on making my money work harder than me. The business was the thing I was doing to fund my investment growth

When I sold my business in In 2002 I thought I would magically get my life balance back on track. I was wrong. Having too little to do isn’t much better than having too much. I needed fresh challenges.

Over the next year I spent a lot of time with business colleagues talking about and working through what they weren’t happy with. The same words kept coming up, freedom, choice, wealth and investment. They were mostly on the same road I had been on so I started sharing the rules and systems that had worked for my business and evolving them to apply the principles to other types of businesses. That was the beginning of my life as a professional mentor.

I considered exactly what I was good at and what I did best to add value. I realised my life up to that point was a series of situations where I’d needed to lean things fast, get to the heart of the matter, break things down into their simplest form, understand, and act. I condensed those skills and experiences into the foundation I use to mentor business owners. The guys in the same overworked, time-poor state I use to be in.

15 years on and I still get a buzz from business mentoring.