Ten years ago, Employsure was a one-man start-up operating out of a spare bedroom in Bondi Beach, Sydney. Today, the firm is the largest provider of employment relations and work health and safety services in Australia.In this series of ‘Walk and Talk’ Ed Mallett chats with the founders of real businesses to get to the heart of what exactly motivates them to get out of bed in the morning. If you’ve ever been curious about: what makes a successful small business successful, what makes it really stand out from the crowd, and, if you’ve ever wondered what makes the owner or founder of that business tick - what inspires them, what drives their discipline, what sustains their belief in their business through both the good times and the bad - then ‘Walk and Talk’ with Ed Mallett will reveal small business owners telling genuine stories of how they thrived… and not just survived.
Episode 1: David Koch From Pinstripe Media
In Episode #1 of ‘Walk and Talk’ Ed goes for a stroll with David Koch.Alongside his role as host of Sunrise, David is one of Australia's leading business and finance commentators. A small business owner for 30 years, David has a passion for the sector and is currently Executive Chairman of his own start-up business - Pinstripe Media. [Transcript]My name's Ed Mallett. I'm the founder and managing director of Employsure, a business that helps other small businesses with their workplace relations advice. I'm fascinated in how businesses deal with growth, how business owners manage their day-to-day existence. And for that reason, I'm walking and talking with business owners to discuss with them why they got into business and how they go about it. Today, we're talking with David Koch. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have the chance to catch up with Kochie, going for a walk around his neighborhood here in Sydney. Hi, David.David: Ed, how are you, sir?Ed: I'm good, thank you. Thanks very much for joining me today.David: It's my pleasure.Ed: It's our first ever one of these. And we were...David: Right.Ed: ...we're setting up this thing that we call the "walk and talk," hence we're walking and talking.David: Yeah.Ed: See what we've done there?David: At the same time.Ed: Yeah, amazing. But the idea is that we, as an organization that deals with a lot of small businesses, want to talk to small businesses, particularly our clients, and have a chat with them about their roles, how they got into small business, the highs and lows of that. And what we noticed, what I noticed at least as a small business owner as well, is that a lot of us are spending time going and clearing our heads with a walk. So, is that something you do then?David: I do exactly the same thing. My wife is in the business as well, so I have rule... Because I get to work at 3:30 in the morning. I have a rule now I'm home by 4:30, quarter to 5:00, and then the two of us go for a walk, and I bring her up to date with what's happened in the business during the day. Because I always believe it's her house on the line as well as mine, and she's got to be involved in the business. And when she sees us struggling and I go, "Well, I don't have any extra cash this month," it's not a surprise to her because she knows we have a got a client that hasn't paid on time or whatever, so she's fully briefed. I think that's important.Ed: So it gives you a really good way of communicating as much as anything and staying transparent on what's going on.David: And old buggers like us get fit.Ed: Absolutely. So it's quite...in terms of that communication, I read once that...I think it was Gail Kelly, she used to metaphorically when she got home put her bag down outside just to not take it inside. It sounds like you take the opposite approach and then you collaborate with your wife around with these questions.David: And we do it all on the walk and then get home, no talk about business.Ed: Then you stop?David: Don't wanna talk about it.Ed: So the kids don't hear about it?David: Yeah, yeah. And I think for a lot of small business owners, particularly with the younger kids that I know, it was in my case when I first started it, we'd share too much with the kids and they'd be, "Oh, dad has a business going." And you go, "You shouldn't have to worry about that," and they were picking it up over the dining table. And so, yeah, we have a rule, don't talk about it.Ed: So we get told a lot that we as leaders, you're meant to wear some sort of mask certainly around the workplace so the people don't take on board your stress, but I think we're probably a little bit guilty of dropping our guard a bit when we get home being who we are really.David: And, in fact, I think, because running your own business, you gotta be positive, you gotta drive the culture, and the innovation, and that is all about