My Story

It is Not Every Day

My Version of University

I was definitely no Rhodes Scholar, my final school results were average at best. In fact, my English result was so poor, I was made to sit an English test to show that I had enough command of the English language to even be able to attend university!

As I sat in that test I looked around the room as I thought. I realized I had little or no desire to spend another 3-5 years in this environment, especially when I had no idea what it is that I wanted to do. I got up and walked out as a sea of stressed nervous and confused faces watched me exit the room only 10 minutes after the exam had begun.

I worked in several jobs over the next 3 years but mainly I was knocking on peoples doors, changing their telephone provider, selling them home security, roller shutters, garage doors, water systems moving any product or service which I was employed to, in the process meeting and starting to deal with thousands of people and learn how to speak to people from all walks of life.

I didn’t just learn sales, I learned that I genuinely loved people, all kinds of people. Didn’t matter where they came from what they looked like or where they lived, I would find that throughout the time I spent with a vast majority of people I was exactly where I wanted to be, talking to them.  In just a few years I was 20 years old earning over $100,000 AUD a year, and somehow I blinked and I was on the verge of bankruptcy. It series of parties and decisions such as buying a sports car not a house had pushed me to the edge financially, so when that sports car was written off 7 weeks after I bought it, and then the insurance company refused to pay out the claim, I was left with a pile of debt which I could not see a way through.

I saw this as an opportunity to press pause on my career, and go off and see the world. So I put a pack on my back and headed off to see the world (One pub at a time). After a year I returned home to face the music of what was now a critical financial situation and one which many under 25 find themselves in shortly after leaving schools. Debts with credit cards, phone bills, car loans, and anything else I had racked up before I left.  I put my head down and bum up and within the next 4 years I had negotiated my way out of settling this and purchasing my first home. It wasn’t much but it was a goal I had set to turn my life around.

The Pivot Point

I had started work in Insurance working for my father’s company and this was the first time I got to see the workings of a small business and how they operated as my father shared with me some of the wisdom he had picked up over the years. But it was a struggle, I was now down to half my previous wage and learning at the speed they were letting me was a frustration for me.  I had a couple of personal challenges in my life that all hit me at once, my career was no longer giving me any of the success and happiness it previously was, and I found myself in a low and dark place.

I didn’t remain there long when I made an attempt on my life.

That night, my father found me in my office, and with hardly a word, stepped into action, assisting me, making sure I was OK then taking me to the family home.  I knew things had to change, I knew for me it was essential for me to find happiness in my own way, I could not follow the dreams of others, it only even left me letting myself down and I had shown myself this was I life I simply could not live.

“Weeks later I started my first company Elliott Insurance Brokers”

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Living Life By Design

A life by design

  • Ever since I was a young boy, where other dreamed of being a pilot, or a fireman, I wanted to have my own business.  I bred pigeons as a 12 year old to sell to a guy down the road and I kept writing down ideas and concepts that could one day be the thing that I was meant to do. I always had reasons or simply procrastinated even starting my own serious business. I had been in the insurance industry now for about 2 years, and at 26 I decided that I needed to start my own Insurance Broking company.   It now was not just a case that I wanted success, it was something which I knew was a key part to my happiness. I set rules for myself:
    1. Don’t get out of bed until you have slept as much as you feel you need to
    2. Don’t get out of the office until you have worked as much as you feel you need to
  • I needed to start respecting and valuing myself as much as I did my work. This gave me a renewed passion and over the first few years the business exploded.  The average age of an insurance brokerage owner was 61 and had 40 years experience and a large cash pool behind them to start.  My other competitors were the insurance companies, with thousands of employees and multi million dollar budgets.
  • And then there was me, 26 with 2 years doing low level broking, and a couple of grand in a one man office and a few ideas. Now that I was happy and doing what I wanted, and this was my biggest tool that always set me ahead of many of those around me.  I could work longer, network more, I got to again spend time with a massive range of people which as I said earlier, I loved.   I started to do what I loved and the results came through.
  • Over the next 9 years the company and the other businesses I became involved in won several awards including Top Ten Australia Insurance Brokerage for over 6 years and BRW Fast 100 awards 2 years running putting us in the fastest growing businesses in Australia. I had the pleasure of at one stage working every single role in my company that exists today.

Adventure Awaits



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