Semi-Professional Pool Player At 10
I commenced my business career 1976 at the tender age of 10 as a semi-professional pool player, playing against my 4 older brothers with my meagre pocketmoney as my stake.
This business soon went bust (after 2 years of losing every single game) and it was a short time later (30 years) that I discovered all my brothers were much better players than me and would only let me get close to winning so I would continue to wager my pocketmoney each week.
I spent the rest of my time playing football with the mighty Campbell St Primary team.
Around this time, at age 12, I commenced working for my father. I was quickly promoted to “Leading Hand Cleaner” assisting him in his evenings job cleaning the Dept of Main Road offices in Farley St, Glenorchy, Hobart.
Leading Hand Cleaner at Age 12!
This position lasted for 3 years and it was a short time later (20 years) that I found out I’d been given the lofty title of “Leading Hand Cleaner” to make me feel important enough to keep working for 20 cents for a 3 hour shift (that was $1 per week for 15 hours work).
My 4 older brothers had abandoned their positions after 1 night of hard work and low pay.
I like to think I persevere. My brothers, for some reason, just kept calling me “The Sucker”.
(In truth, I loved it. My dad would buy me a chocolate milkshake at the end of the shift on Friday night on the way home – those memories of sitting there drinking that milkshake with him are some of my fondest.)
A Mister Sister
My first real job was at 18 as a Trainee Nurse – commencing my 3 years nursing training to become a Nursing Sister.
My brothers and friends saw this career move with much hilarity……….. until the Nurses parties.
100 girls, 2 guys at these parties. You do the math.
Here’s a typical nurse from those days!
I started charging my brothers and friends for invitations to these parties – this recouped a significant part of my earlier pool playing losses.
After graduating after 3 years as a Nursing ‘Sister’ I started a courier business and was awarded a contract with Australia Post. This went well……until Christmas.
Apologies From Santa From 1986
Ever tried delivering 1,124,715 parcels in 2 weeks with a small van over an area of 250 square miles?
Nope, me neither. Sorry, if you lived in Hobart, if Santa didn’t come to you in 1986.
I sold that business shortly after (to “Pursue other opportunities”…..meaning avoid hard work) and went back to nursing, working Monday to Friday at 1 hospital and the weekends at another.
This did 2 things:
- Made me enough money to feed a rapidly growing family
- Exhausted me
The Right Career For Me
Looking for the easiest possible career I saw ‘Marketing’ – all drinking, golf and schmoozing. That had “Brendon Sinclair” written all over it.
After doing a few marketing bits and pieces for the hospital group (that seemed to work quite well), I was seconded (that means dragged kicking and screaming) to head up the Marketing Division at the company’s largest hospital acquisition in Queensland.
This is me in my marketing role mixing with a guy who was asking me something about missing parcels from 1986.
That job went well until “restructuring” brought some other changes – meaning I was given the boot.
Started Business In 1997
Time to put my business skills where my mouth was, I started Tailored Consulting back in 1997.
Doing general marketing and creative stuff was fun, but we identified a niche in web development (that was also where the money was) and now do web work almost exclusively (still do a bit of marketing for people brave enough to implement some different ideas).
I then wrote The Web Design Business Kit back in 2003 (it’s on it’s 3rd edition now, in the 3rd edition I have a co-author and the publishers are starting to bundle it with some other products). The book has been hugely successful and apparently one of the most profitable business books by an Australian author.
An Ugg Boot Or 200
At the height of the ugg boots craze I was selling a lot of ugg boots a day. Some days was $40,000 worth. That’s a fair bit of sheep!
We also had one of our online stores explode with sales – 1st hour after being on a national (in Australia) show was $250,000 in sales.
That got our attention. We hung on for the ride that went for quite a few years on that one!
That’s kept my wife in shoes, coffee and cake for a few years – Cool!
I continued writing a newsletter on Internet marketing and business that ended up with over 250,000 subscribers.
After writing that book and newsletter, along with:
- lots of media coverage,
- an ABC radio show,
- a couple of big web site successes with our own sites,
- plenty of public speaking (check out this bit of video below) and a bit more,
people now see me as someone who knows what they’re talking about when it comes to web development……but not playing pool.
We’ve since changed the business name from Tailored Consulting to Tailored Web Services.
Family & Play
On a more personal note I’ve been married to the gorgeous Mel (for 24 years) and we have 3 children – Laura (22), Jack (20) and Harrison (19).
For fun I try and keep fit by running, swimming and drinking beer cycling. Jack and I (that’s us below with Harry on the right) cycled across Australia – 4,500 kms in 30 days – in October, 2008.
Jack’s the youngest to ever do it, I’m the stupidest with only my massive ego pushing me on to finish with him.
We’ve also walked (January 2010) the South Coast Track (this is our site with tons of photos) and have just come back (March 21, 2010) from another motorbike trip with mates, this one was around the South Island of New Zealand. And then we rode around the North Island on New Zealand in 2011.
I also rode across America on a big assed Harley in November/December 2011 with my 17 yo son Harry.
If you want more stuff about me, check out my speaker web site here.
What’s Become Of My 4 Older Brothers?
Well, that’s a sad story of age catching up with people, rapid hair loss, eating too many pies and drinking too much beer.
3 of them are bald. 2 are fat. All of them are ugly.
Oh, and they’ll never read this page…….. I’m pretty sure.