My thoughts on #trump

[blockquote source=”Vanilla Sky”]Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around[/blockquote]

Ok, this is an interesting one to write. Over the last 3 months I have seen some pretty poor human behaviour in the name of politics. At a local level as well as on the world stage, then the results started coming in yesterday…

I do not think Trump is a good human being, but he may be the leader America needs right now. Steve Jobs wasn’t a great human either, but he achieved some pretty amazing things. I have read trump books in the past (ghost written obviously) and whilst I wouldn’t do business in his way, he has become a success, there is no denying that. I am not sure if he planned long ago for this to be his end game, or whether he saw an opportunity and went for it….

While pondering these things, it suddenly dawned on me that I was going against my own philosophy in regards to my place in the world. I had been dragged in to the politics as a planet is drawn in to a black hole. If you get to close, you will never escape the gravitational force.

Locally I got close because of my role in the Village Voice newspaper and our desire to cover important local issues. However, as far as the American election goes, I got close because I fell into the conversation flooding my newsfeed on may social media platforms, coverage in the media and the general topic of discussion at almost every place I have been…

My philosophy with these things is – It doesn’t matter who is currently in power in any government anywhere on the planet – what happens to me is up to me. The government may shape the environment, but I am responsible for my choices and actions within whatever environment I exist.

It dawned on me yesterday, that the market crash probably allowed a greta deal of very sophisticated investors to make a bunch of cash. Even a beginner like me could have traded yesterday and cashed in.

Great entrepreneurs are always able to find a way. Great investors will make money in any market conditions… and it is investors and entrepreneurs who can do the most to change the world. That is why they have a lot at stake and get involved in politics. They want the best environment for them to operate in. As individuals, we don’t get to influence votes, only cast our own.

The democracy that we celebrate in the free world demands that we respect the office – but hold it accountable to the promises made on the way there. It demands that just because our candidate didn’t win, we don’t cry foul – I am still wondering what President Elect Trump would have done if he didn’t win… guess we will never know – and that we as a people continue to strive and do the best we can in the environment in which we find ourselves.

It’s time to focus now on the real issues, locally in our own backyards, and globally. DO our own little bit to make our patch a bit better, and if everyone does that then maybe we will just all be OK.

The day I became Ari Gold

I am struggling. I have lived my life and run my business always looking for the mutually beneficial situation. Trying to ensure we are always playing win/win. Sometimes, I have found myself in a situation where we were clearly losing but I have always ‘done the right thing’. Taken the high road. Made sure that people couldn’t ever say we did wrong by them.

Where has this got me? It has got me to a relative level of comfort. I’m happy, I don’t have everything I want, but have everything I need… LIES!

I am constantly amazed at people that will not work together for the greater good. I have had recent experience of this trying to organise cross media promotions in our region and getting other media outlets to be on the same page and work together for the good of the business community, what did we get? The same underhanded tactics of trying to out do each other and get their fair share.

I am a big fan of the show Entourage, and the subsequent Movie that came out last year (Finally). I have also been watching a show called Ballers recently, created by the some of the same guys. Both shows are about high stakes, volatile environments in sports and entertainment.

One of the main characters is Ari Gold. Super Agent to the stars, the man that takes no shit, curses like a sailor, nearly loses everything, but always comes out on top and gets the deal done.

Part of me loves Ari. Part of me loathes him. He is the worst husband, father or friend you could ver have, but he is the fiercest, most loyal agent… In the end though, Ari manages to reconcile both sides, and is able to be the good guy, but not before his final battle in the movie.

The lesson in all this for me is – get battle hardened first. I have been trying to be like the zen master making sure we didn’t upset the path along our way, but all that happens is that we hold back on truly getting what should be ours.

That has to change. In one of our businesses, our newspaper and media business we have some great opportunities to expand, and have chosen relatively soft targets in terms of your locations for launching new papers and websites, because I didn’t want to compete with other people – what if they were just like me? Had everything on the line to try and make their idea work?

I was having this conversation with Kellie the other afternoon, and her mother’s instinct is different than mine.
As a mother she is protective of her family. She wants security knowing that we have all we need. I as the docile male never feel threatened and live in the belief we will always have want we want because I am strong and brave and can do anything.

But when it comes down to it, I have chosen to be the nice guy, rather than getting what my family wants far too many times.

I need to channel Ari. I can be a nice guy later, but for now, we need to steam roll on and achieve the outcomes that we are capable of.

It’s time to get into the fight and win. It’s not that I think we can’t be better than our competitors, it’s that I know we can. Our products will be far superior, they really won’t stand a chance. Should that be my problem?

I remember a colleague once saying to me that sometimes you have to cut off the hand to save the arm. It’s the cost of leadership, making the tough choices for the betterment of many at the cost of a few.

As I grow into the leader I wish to become this year, and build the organisation I wish to build – there will be costs, human costs. I must reconcile myself with the fact that we will have a huge positive community impact in the markets we enter and some collateral damage is inevitable.

It’s not something I am completely ok with yet… but I will be.

And just because I plan to channel Ari, don’t think I am going to start wearing a suit 😉


Need to know who Ari is?

Do the work!

I have been chatting with Tom recently as he is on holidays and using his time to play Fallout4 on the PS4, watch you tube videos about Fallout4 and generally become obsessed.

Now I know what that is like. I remember the year I got HalfLIfe, I played it for hours every day, or the year I got Return to Krondor on my PC for Christmas, I actually spent all Christmas Day and Boxing Day playing it…

I did however remind him that he can use his brain and time to create games, rather than just playing other peoples.

As many of you know he has been dabbling in this for some time now, and after a few false starts has some pretty solid ideas and now some skills to actually make it happen.

What has been interesting to me though is the fact he is actually going a bit analog. He has started making his own boardgames. He made a maze runner game, designed the board, the cards, the game play all by himself. The design is rudimentary, but the gameplay is really good. It is also easy to understand, he was able to play the turn based game with his sister Oilvia who is only 5, and she was able to understand and enjoy the game.

As my career has always been largely digital (except for the whole newspaper thing of course…) I at first said why didn’t you just make it as an app, and Tom then said something that floored me – it was more fun this way.

At that statement, I had to accept he was right. He is doing what most of us dream of, doing what he loves and enjoys the most. Granted he is not making money out of it, but I have no doubt he will one day.

What is more exciting for me as a parent though, is the level of concentration he showed while creating his game, the determination to get the character cards just how he wanted them, and his dedication to the story of the game – he actually wrote a full family tree of all characters and a back story to the game.

He put in hours and hours doing this. it was this that lead me to the realisation that one of my lessons had sunk in for him, rewards are always on the other side of hard work. He did the best job he could do and finished the game to a standard he wanted before a single dice was rolled. The reward for him was not getting paid, it was the game and being able to play it.

At 11 there is not a much more you could expect of a child, that is fast becoming a man. And given the phenomenal success of exploding kittens on kickstarter last year, maybe he could even make money out his boardgames as well.

The photo is from Tom’s trip to our office at Launchpad.

Rise Early – Work Hard – Strike Oil

The only thing I would add to this… Consistently #success #quote #peristence

A photo posted by Rich Evans (@richevans) on

This week is the first week of my new schedule for 2016. Back at work properly and working towards having a great 2016.

I listened to a Robin Sharma podcast just before Christmas where he talked about morning rituals and the benefits of the 5am club.

I have had the last couple of mornings to myself at home as Kel is away for a couple of days with the kids, so I was able to get up at 5am and test how it worked for me.

So far so good. Up at 5am, straight onto the exercise bike for 20 minutes, 20 minutes of strength exercises -pushups, lunges, planks and setups today, 20 minutes of quiet time to read or think.

Today I read about olive oil producers in Tuscany, an article in the AFR from Saturday.

Then I had breakfast, today some left over tomato and quinoa soup, a tea and then cooked up my lunch for today/tomorrow.

Cleaned up the Kitchen, then went and had a shower and got dressed for work.

I had everything done and was ready by 8:30am. Easy! I’m sure throwing kids and school and extra pressure in to the mix will make it a bit more difficult, but that is why it is great to start forming my new habit now.

Robin went on to talk about how research was showing that it took 66 days to install a new habit. Not the previous 21 days idea that has been the thing everyone has used for so long, and held themselves to, thinking, how did I slip off the bandwagon after i made a new habit, well the truth is in 21 days, you are not even halfway there… so that might explain it.

The research has been around a while, but for many of us, we had read or heard it takes 21 days at some point in our past and that is just what we believed to be true.

Here is a link that explains it in a bit more detail:

What I have found after just two days of keeping this up, is I feel more energised and relaxed – able to cruise in to my work day feeling like I have already achieved things, and made progress on things that are important to me. It gives me time to reflect, time to be grateful and time to dream.

The flip side is how well I have been sleeping the last few nights. Getting up early and expending energy through the day has allowed me to sleep well at night, not wake up and toss and turn.

We all make resolutions, but most are a distant memory by the time the end of January rolls around, because we don’t have a plan to keep our resolutions. We just have a dream.

Hope is not a plan, hoping to lose weight doesn’t help lose weight. Hoping to make more money, doesn’t make more money, so you must detail how you will achieve these things.

Thos that know me well know I always have a well written goal, a plan to achieve, a supporting spreadsheet and a very clear picture of what is next. This doesn’t mean it always works though, but it does give me a track to return to if the wheels fall off at any point.

It’s never a straight forward road, it’s a dangerous rocky road no matter what you are trying to achieve, as life has a way of getting in the way of even the most aspirational dreams.

Don't let a change in the plan deviate you from your goal #quotes #hardday #stillhustlin

A photo posted by Rich Evans (@richevans) on

So far this year we are on track, and hopefully being a member of the 5am club is a step in the right direction of achieving our dreams this year.

Comfort zone? What’s that?

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you” zig ziglar. #quote #success #outofmycomfortzone …

When writing my goals this year, I decided in 2016 I wanted to add a bit more playing into my life, I wasn’t sure what form it would take, just needed things aside from work as part of the equation. And so I find myself on the morning before my first performance in around 15 years, I am singing, acting and generally playing the fool as the narrator in a reimagining of Hansel & Gretel for the next three weekends.

This week was hugely challenging for me, I felt out of my depth, not able to keep up, and like I was not a ‘real’ actor. But I was not prepared to do anything half assed so I jumped in and did the work, the only thing I could do, and now, on the morning of our opening day I am PUMPED!!!

There were two reasons I was out of my comfort zone… The first one obviously was I have never acted. I thought I had a couple of lines and a few songs to learn, but it was a lot more, and it was hard, rhyming dialogue that connects the entire show. The other ‘real’ actors were relying on me.

Secondly, it was because I wasn’t in control. Our director, my friend Cath, is a creative genius and this is her thing so I had to take direction, not something I am normally good at.

I feel grateful for the experience as it has pushed me out of my comfort zone massively, particularly the second part and given me a new appreciation for the power of collaboration.

There is no escaping the work though… Your goals are always on the other side of hard work.

If you want to come and see the fruits of my labour, blast furnace theatre on Facebook has all the details.



5 things I learnt while working from home

I remember when I started my first full time business back in 2000. I say first full time business as I had been running little side projects most of my teenage years and in to my early 20s while still working full time. At one point I had a full time job, two part time jobs and a tidy little graphic design side business.

I had just lost my job in the great 2000 dotcom bust and I had $824 as severance pay from the company where I had been working. I decided it was time to ‘go out on my own’ and work for myself.

I lived in a 3 bedroom townhouse in Penrith, and with no kids, I was able to turn one of those rooms into an office.

Day 1, I went and bought a desk and a new computer and got set up. Day 2, I started knocking on doors and trying to find work. After a morning of prospecting, I had found my first lead, and the customer was coming over that afternoon to talk about his website.

It was just before the Olympics, and the guy I was speaking to wanted to create a logo and a website for a new business called – it was all about equestrian and horse eventing.

I took the job and promised him I would have it done by Friday, that was on a Wednesday afternoon. I literally worked from Wednesday evening until Friday morning to get the job done – no sleep at all until l was finished. That might sound crazy, but I just thought that doing a good job would maybe lead to more work, I had no idea who this new found customer was at the time.

As it turned out he was involved in the sports and celebrity management industry, and was an entrepreneur with a great deal of connections. That one mammoth effort lead to over $500,000 over the more than 10 years I did work for his organisations.

Working for myself has been one of the most rewarding decisions I have ever made in my career – and it all started with a little office at home.


Here are the top 5 things I learnt about working from home in the first 6 months of my business.

1) You never know who you are working for – referrals were the source of my success in business. Do the best possible job for everyone as you never know what it will lead to.

2) Be prepared to work harder than a job. Working from home is not 9-5, you may need to do crazy things like work all night, but being the boss, you can make a decision to take the middle of the day off to get a massage.

3) Go to work. A lot of people sit around in their PJs all day – because they can. I had a routine of getting up and showered and having breakfast, then went to work. I stuck to a routine, and I never lost days sitting on the couch watching Oprah.

4) Make a dedicated space. It is hard to work from home if you are sitting in the corner of your dining room, particularly if you have kids. Try and make a dedicated space that works for you.

5) Find a support network. Joining a networking group was the best thing I did to combat the isolation you can sometimes feel working on your own. Being able to get out once a week and meet and network with people was a great way to win business and to just have a change of scenery.


The old mouse – a parable


There once was an old mouse. The old mouse lived in a cheese factory.

Every day after the cheese factory workers had finished and gone home he would wander around the factory picking up cheese crumbs they had missed in their clean up. He got enough cheese every day to have developed a nice plump belly and he was very happy with his lot in life.

Th only problem he had was on weekends. Because there was no work, there were no crumbs, and by Monday morning he was always a very hungry old mouse.

Try as he might he couldn’t think of a way to solve the problem, so he just accepted it – that was the way he had always done it.

One day a new mouse came to the factory. He waved at the old mouse, and tried to be friendly. The old mouse waved back, but in his mind he was thinking ‘I won’t be sharing my cheese.’

The new mouse told the old mouse he just wanted to help around the factory, he had some ideas to make a machine to make cheese that would let the factory make more cheese than ever before. The new mouse was going to go and talk to the foreman (because mice can speak to foremen in stories like this). He invited the old mouse to come along, and if the foreman liked his idea, the new mouse was sure there would be enough cheese that the old mouse could stop hunting crumbs.

The old mouse wasn’t interested. That’s the way he had always done it…

The new mouse spoke to the foreman, and the foreman liked his idea. They began to work on the new modern machine that would be easier for the workers to use and produce more cheese than ever before.

The new mouse was excited, and again went to the old mouse and said ‘if we work together there is more for all’. But the old mouse would not get involved.

For a while nothing seemed to change. At the end of every day there was still crumbs on the floor. The old mouse collected his crumbs and had his fill. He saw the new mouse building his machine but not taking any cheese. Crazy new mouse he thought to himself.

One day the new mouse came running over to the old mouse and excitedly said ‘we have been working hard over here and we are nearly ready to turn on our machine. Everyone is excited and we would love for you to be involved, come over and join us and you too can get your fill of cheese every day’

The old mouse said he might come by and check it out. The new mouse was happy, maybe the old mouse could see there was a new way to do things that was good for all – working together.

The old mouse watched the machine all day churning out more cheese than he had ever seen, there would be so many crumbs around tonight he thought and he started getting hungry at the thought.

The day finished, the workers the foreman and the new mouse were happy. They had made the cheese and the new mouse saw the rewards for his efforts when the foreman gave him a hunk of cheese to go home and feed his family. The old mouse saw this and was jealous. But he kept his focus on the crumbs and was eager for everyone to leave so he could scurry around and have his fill.

The workers left and the lights went out and the old mouse went scurrying around looking for crumbs- but there were none to be found.

‘This can’t be right’ fumed the old mouse. He searched high and low but there was not a single crumb anywhere! The new machine was making more cheese than ever before, but it was also much more efficient. The new mouse had perfected cheese making and the old mouse was scared – there would be no more crumbs…

The next morning after a hungry night the old mouse had tossed and turned and got angrier and angrier.

He came up with a plan. He would get in early today and get his cheese before the first block came off the line, so he climbed up to the machine and waited.

The new mouse saw the old mouse near the machine and was happy. He waved and the old mouse waved back. He went over and said hello, ‘ready to roll up your sleeves and join the team’ asked the new mouse.

‘Maybe’ said the old mouse. But secretly he wanted to just get his share of cheese.

The new mouse was happy, he knew the secret was in working together.

He rolled up his sleeve and started doing his job starting up the machine.

The old mouse looked on waiting for his perfect chance, and as the machine began to churn he thought he saw it. He went charging down the conveyor belt with his eye on the cheese coming out. He lunged arms outstretched, he was going to get a big chunk of cheese, he would show the new mouse…

He grabbed the cheese – and the blade that cut the cheese into blocks slammed down and cut off his head.

The End.

There are two morals to this parable

1) if you work together there is always enough cheese

2) when you don’t participate in building the machine, you don’t know how it works and trying to get ‘your’ cheese means you will get dead.

The Museum of Me

I am totally in love with this concept, being able to visualise your social interactions like this gives a weighty meaning to all those posts about coffee you see on Facebook.

Here is my theory, the more I learn about people one grain of information at a time, the better I get to know them. Honestly I would find it easier to buy a present for a facebook friend I have never met than someone in my own family. I know who people are, i know what they like, what music they listen to, what food they eat, how they spend their leisure time, and what they do in the face of adversity. I actively unfollow people who are negative or poor me, but I actively follow people who are taking life by the horns and say lets ride this sucker!

check it out for yourself and see what digital footprint you are leaving.

Book Review: George Lois

I am loving this book by the original Mad Man George Lois. The man behind Iconic branding and ads throughout many decades (think “I want my MTV” he created the brand that defined a generation).

The part I identify with unwaveringly is this:

Here is a link to an article that gives you his top 10 tips. It’s very inspiring for any designer, but also for entrepreneurs so you get where we are coming from 😉


Yes I am going there…

Firstly some facts.

I have made some amazing new friends over the last two years by connecting to people via social media. Without my late night excursions into facebook or twitter I may have never met some of these people, so for that I am extremely grateful.

I have also seen first hand how giving people a platform to communicate around their particular point of interest, has bought forth a lot of amazing new talent and incredibly useful information.

BUT… and it is a BIG BUT, like… oprah in her fat days big… Technology has failed you.

Yes I am talking to you.

Here was the plan. Back when we first invented machines, it was meant to do the work of man, so man could do other things like control the machines. Then when we invented computers, they were meant to control the machines so men could go and do other things. Things that only men can do, think, create, play … live!

Technology has the power to do the ordinary things for you, – you can shop online for everything from your groceries to your clothes to your house. You can do your banking online, you can pay your bills online, you can learn online, you can very much EARN online… which means that you can spend time with people.

If technology allows you to do all the tedious time consuming things online, why don’t you. That way you could talk to real people at a time of your choosing

Somehow over time, as technology has freed us from the shackles of our tedium, we seem to find a way to take those same shackles and bind ourselves to something else… for the purpose of this post… social media sites.

I have no issue with social media sites if you use them to create relationships that cross divides, find friends you would have never met or contribute to communities where you can’t tread. However to exist solely online and throw pillows, give bears or share hearts with people is futile and does nothing for the human experience.

I was recently involved in a project to create a social platform for the fishing industry, and it has been well received and united fisherman, many of whom now organise trips, catch ups and other related activity. We gave them a place to call home, they found the people they call friends.

My issue with facebook is it is random and wide, it doesn’t do anything more than wrangle a whole heap of people into one place as some kind of social experiment. These people will find things to share, and find groups with which they have common interest, but like any big gathering of people, there will be people who support it, and people that exploit it, and sadly the later tend to be smarter, quicker and there is more of them.

If I could actually communicate with someone at facebook, (it might be easier to get through to god and ask him to send Mr Zuckerberg a message), I would ask him what is his intention? Why are they allowing people to create apps with out hardly any control (My example here is how is it possible that my 12 year old nephew, new to facebook, was able to ask his Nan to take a survey of how good she was in bed… seriously?). Why are they seemingly unable to be contacted when I have a question about the site and the way it works?

Twitter on the other hand tends to move much faster, you are forgotten more quickly, and the other side of the same coin… if you have something relevant and useful to say, then you meet your tribe much faster (thanks for the word Seth). The reason twitter works in my opinion, is that it is simple. It is so so simple, and if you don’t get it, you have never got in the flow.

I spend a lot of my time on Social Media, it is part of my job, and I do enjoy the connections I make, but once I know a friendship is real, I make the effort to get off my arse and meet people. People do business with People. That is a fact of life.

The clarity and learning’s I have had over the last few days in regards to all areas of my business and my life have reinforced my need and desire to be a champion for embracing technology to improve the way we live. The internet and the evolution of digital media coming in devices such as the iPad are amazing and can do wonders for your business, and your personal life, but it will never replace the warmness of the first handshake with a new friend or the strength of the hug once you REALLY know them.

Make the time was a tweet from my good friend @mistressmia the other week, and that is what my wish for you is here.

Make the time, use technology not as a crutch but as a bridge, and walk over and meet someone new.