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A Journey of Change and Growth

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

In my career spanning over five and a half decades, I've had the privilege of wearing various hats – first as an educator for 11 years, then in the corporate world for 16 years, and later as a business owner for about 23 years. Each phase of my journey has been marked by unique challenges and opportunities, and today, I'd like to share my personal journey of transitioning from the classroom to the boardroom and ultimately into the world of entrepreneurship.

The Teaching Years

I began my career as an educator, devoting 11 years to teaching. It was a role that allowed me to nurture young minds, impart knowledge, and foster a love for learning. I cherished the classroom experience, but as I approached my mid-thirties, I found myself pondering a crucial question: If I didn't make a change of career now, would I ever?

The allure of exploring the wider world and discovering new interests drew me in. It was a turning point, and I felt a strong urge to act. So, I made the risky decision to resign from my teaching career, despite having no clear direction ahead of me. I told Char, my wife, to just trust me. It was a moment where I was sure we could move forward together, even though it felt like taking a big chance.

Enter the Corporate World

So, I got a position as General Manager in a building company in New Plymouth. This new endeavour brought with it a different set of challenges. I transitioned into a corporate role and quickly realised that the skills I had acquired as a teacher needed to evolve to suit this dynamic environment. So I moved on into a sales role in the telecommunications field.

It wasn't long before I climbed the corporate ladder, becoming a Branch Manager and later a Regional Manager. These roles allowed me to experiment, try new strategies, and get the best out of my team. I learnt that the right people and a commitment to personal and professional growth were essential in achieving success in the corporate world.

By now I was working with New Zealand's largest telecommuncations company as a Franchise Manager. Yet, as I delved deeper into the corporate sector, I found that the environment wasn't always conducive to my values of integrity and conscience. It was a competitive landscape where some compromised their principles to get ahead. I also noticed a misalignment between the values shared by corporations at retreats and actual workplace behaviour.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

With my 50th birthday approaching I felt it was time for a change. Familywise, the corporate world provided well but I longed for something more fulfilling. That's when I came across the opportunity to buy the New Zealand license for Priority Management, and it reignited my entrepreneurial spirit.

The transition from a corporate career to business ownership was a monumental one. I took on various roles, from managing operations to strategising for growth. It was a journey marked by ownership, responsibility, and the pursuit of my vision for education and personal development.

Lessons Learnt

Through this transformative journey, I've learnt that change is a constant and embracing it can lead to personal and professional growth. My values of integrity, leadership, and making a positive impact have remained steadfast, guiding me through the diverse phases of my career. So, my journey from teaching to the corporate world and into business ownership has been one of continuous adaptation, learning, and leadership. Each phase has contributed to my growth and the evolution of my approach to education, leadership, and business management.

It demonstrates the importance of embracing change and challenging the status quo, values I've kept with me from my teaching days.

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