Greg Van Borssum has the most incredible mindset of anyone I have ever met. Everything else he has achieved is self taught. He demonstrates that you can literally acheive anything you set your mind to.
In this podcast episode he speaks very candidly and from the heart about how he sees opportunities everywhere and makes the most of what he has, including digital tools to create the life he wants.
On Going Digital
Digital helped Greg send his message across on a global level. It helped him in his speaking, giving advice to people who are struggling, to make better live and make a difference. Listen to his insights on why digital needs to have more personal touch and why we need to bring people out back to the personal level. Don’t miss out on his take on digital marketing – having a balance, being authentic, honest and true to people.
As a filmmaker, he also shared a very practical tip about taking videos for social media that you may find really useful.
About Our Guest
Greg is a Hollywood filmmaker, 2nd unit director of Happy Feet 1 & 2, Fight Choreographer and Weapons Specialist on the Academy Award Winning Mad Max Fury Road. Greg is also, a Mr Australia Bodybuilding Champion, World Pistol Shooting Champion, award winning filmmaker and international martial artist. Mental health advocate, ambassador and speaker for Lifeline, Suicide Prevention Australia and Mates In Construction.
Hello. I’m Serena dot Ryan and welcome to the See Digital Clearly show. This show is dedicated to inspiring action. Each episode, there is an interview with the forth-later doing great things for digital. They will share their insights and experience to get you inspired and focused to create the life you want thanks to digital.
In this episode, Greg Van Borssum, filmmaker, multi award winning pistol shooter, and bodybuilder joins me. Greg is someone who is incredibly infectious when you meet him. His determination is awe inspiring, and if you ever want to know someone, who can do anything he sets his mind to, this is him. In this episode he shares with me how and why he is so driven to achieve what he wants, and how he is looking at and using digital to leverage, to get the best of what he wants. And that is to have the life he really wants.
S: Hello Greg! How are you?
G: Im very well Serena yourself?
S: Fantastic. Thank you so much for, you know, having some time in your schedule to have a chat. This is really a unique opportunity to as I was saying have a chat and talk about what you’ve been able to achieve with lovely world of digital.
G: Well, whatever I have to achieve, I’m still trying to figure it all out there’s so much to do. The digital world goes so fast that you’re always behind the 8-ball you know it’s an interesting one.
S: Yeah, look, I think it’s easy to feel that way when there’s so many thing you could be doing, and I see that you have a knack for just jumping and getting things done which I absolutely love. And you’re really driven. I am interested in knowing, where does this drive come from? Like, what did you wanna be when you grow up.
G: I mean if you look at what was expected of me, that wasn’t much. Right back when I first threw the gate in kindergarten, my kindergarten teacher told my parents I’d be the reason she’d quit profession. And it just went from there so I never improved much. There was something in me, that, and I think it was probably my, the actual office secretary Ms.Pam White, is now passed away. She was the one, after my parents made a call to the school, got me so many times about my behavior. She was the one that said this kid got some spank and if he directs his behavior and learn his focus and energy there is nothing he won’t able to do. She said that to me when I was at second grade. And that was one of the things that made me kind of sit up and go you know, maybe I can do something. And then I think there was really a point where I sat and dreamed of what I can sort of be, and then the focus came when I was about 12, 12 and a half. The first thing I wanted to achieve which was bodybuilding.
That was something I discovered I was a skinny kid I was bullied and picked on I was the youngest kid in the Rocky area life was a bit tough sometimes so I thought if I get bigger, I can get rid of people I can get them out of my way so. I just found a magazine when I was training one day went across my friend’s place so I was training with them I found a picture of a guy called Bob Harris, he just won the US heavyweight national championships. l was skinny as a rake, I jumped up and said that’s what I want to be, I’m gonna be the national champion and it made mom bursting laughing out of the house.
And that was the day I went back to the gym I said to the bench, yeah you watch me. Watch what I do. And you know, that’s what I wanted, that’s what I wanted. I went pro at 20 and won Mr.Universe at 21. And you know, I was the world’s youngest professional natural bodybuilder in the world and by the time I was 23 I kind of had enough. But I realized, I very quickly learned that the focus and mindset is was what was gonna get you where you wanted get in life. And I’ve just, George Miller calls it my re-application of mastery. He said you get very good at one thing you must move on. That’s one thing he always enjoyed watch me do. I suppose I’ve known him for so long. But I’ll probably set my mind to one thing only, and I’ll just finish it, and when I’ve had enough of it I’ll move on to the next thing.
S: That’s such a valuable skill to have. In this world of, I guess, digital media, we can get so caught in I say it, like not being able to focus on one thing at a time. With all these trends.
G: Oh we’re like bloody goldfish these days. You know, were surely like goldfish we have such a short in memory and attention span and all the rest of it, it’s terrible. And I think what’s happened now instead of taking all your focal energy at the head of the spear and the tip of the spear becomes your focus, because of so many things and this is the negative of digital. Its you have so many aspects of digital around us now. You have social media, and you know, Instagram twitter, Facebook and the rest of the stuff you got linked. You can get so tied up and you’re not actually gonna do anything. And I find that that’s something we have to really address when it comes to digital. I’m going to speak to the heads of Lego in about 3 weeks time about this very thing. About the world of digital and how it can be positive or negative. Because it can be valuable as you know, really positive and valuable to get a message out there and internationally and a business, running your business 24/7 all those things I’m still trying to learn. It’s getting that focus and maintaining that focus that’s gonna make or break as I believe the future.
S: It’s so true. When we talk about positive and negative side of it. When it comes to value in how its helped you in what you’re doing, when did you notice that it could be valuable for you?
G: Its funny cause I mean after I’ve always used emailing systems, just basic email not social media to write and do my film work. And you know, we started working from home just emailing to each other, but you still had to have that face to face you still needed that I think because so many things can be misread or misinterpreted in when its in typed format that’s really valuable in having the face to face. You cannot do face to face, you come up with Skype or Zoom, things which you can actually use in looking seeing someone. I think it’s a really valuable tool in that respect, for having you can look at those of a person and see what they’re actually doing and where they’re at. But where it became valuable to me was in the, when I talk about leadership and mental health and any videos that I do, it’s about getting the message out there on a global level. Some of my messages are get picked up by lifeline USA and they got millions of people. And even though you don’t see it in your own webpage, that happens and I don’t mind that at all. As in my opinion, if one person sees it to save and help one person, that’s just what I need.
S: I love how you say that. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on your website to be valuable. Like, within the digital space.
G: Yeah that’s right. I mean it’s very simply getting the message to someone who needs it. And I mean, I’m still trying to get through in getting it out there, I suppose targeted campaigning is still something I’m delving into myself. You know, a lot of people don’t like doing lots of stuff, you can even become jack of all trades and master of none. I mean I like to focus on one thing at a time cause I like to speak and I love to do certain things. You know and I like writing and filmmaking at that. You know, social media has helped me and the digital world has helped me a lot with my videos and that sort of work to get a message out there for a lot. But I mean there’s still a lot to learn for me and they’re changing so fast.
S: Yeah absolutely I can see its, it keeps being very busy just keeping to one area of it and trying to keep up as well. I love how you do, you’re a learner and that’s actually an incredible trait to have when you always feel like your learning you’ll end up absorbing a lot more as well.
G: Yeah, you do and you have to. It’s kind of like, you’re in the, while I was at school at deep end learning for me I always been a little bit to always to be with my naivety my stupidity taken me further to the world than my intelligence. Because people that are really smart think about stuff so much that they find all the negatives and all the possibilities that could go wrong to the point that the possibilities negativity outweigh positives and they don’t do it. So I’m a big believer in going in, I’m not that strong guy whether things will happens along the way I think we’ll deal with them when they happen. You know, that’s how we roll.
And for me that’s always worked out better, it hasn’t always worked out financially better but it’s a big learning. For me the world isn’t about money, it’s about bettering the place and so when you leave here one day you’ve left a legacy that’s worth living. So I mean that’s why I’ve written my latest book and that’s one of the things I write. Its all for people to give something worthwhile. And I write honestly and I speak honestly I don’t bullsh*t to anybody about what I think the world should be and shouldn’t be and I’ve bluff about life you know. Some speakers do. I’d tell people the truth about it, and you know they’ll either love it or hate it but at least you now where you stand.
S: Yeah, I think that’s what to be said for that. I love the fact that digital marketing and social media tools are here to help us. And from what you’re saying you believe the same. We’ve got to actually use them to be straightforward rather than you know, the whole spoken mirror side of things cause that does catch up with people thanks to digital marketing as well. Cause’ you’ll actually know you don’t have longevity in the space if there’s any of that. Trying to put the right image out there.
G: Well it’s true. Exactly what you’re saying there is exactly why businesses keep stuffing up. They keep to find a work on what face they need to be and the public should think of them like just freaking be honest just tell people what you are planning to do, what you are, what you stand for and see who it is. That’s your market, you know, right there, I mean for me, these positioning statements all those things that people get into. Its kinda silly. But, you know, really believe in just being honest. And if you are honest, you tell it as it is and you stand for something in the market space. Then, the people that want that, they’ll come to you.
S: Yeah, that’s well said. Its like you give them the choice. They don’t have to like you but if they do you’ve got the right people.
G: Yeah, exactly right, and I mean you will get and then what happens if you’re a little bit dishonest and a little bit shallow, you don’t quite, and you hadn’t need to ask the public what you should be, then people won’t believe you for very long I suppose. It’s more what were getting at. And you know, once you’re distrusted it’s really hard to earn trust. It’s very easy to get something negative set around you. You know it’s very hard to get rid of that. I believe if you stand for the right thing and you actually aim in your marketing everything you put a clear message out there, this is what we do, then you’ll get the audience you meant to get.
S: Oh I love it.
G: Cause what I don’t like if if when you see things like on Facebook, then everyone’s leaving a superficial BS lies and selfies of you know, lots of stuff they do everyday. And what happens is they could be doing that in the middle of their, you know, bathroom and pretending to have a life that they’re not. They’re all, isolated. And I think that’s one of the downfall of social media and the digital world that can make people feel isolated. I think one of the journeys for us I suppose in digital marketing and digital world and its reminds me of our status in the next number of years is to bring people out and back into the personal space again you know. I remember a few years back and I was thinking about it today, in regards to when the insurance companies you bring up, you get a computer, and then they said Oh we want to speak to a person again. And then they shifted off to India. And so you’re talking to some Indian person who seem to know all about you. And people even got more offended about that its like people want to talk to someone in their own home space, you know. Its just, I think that people on connection again, I think there has to be a way in the social media social marketing that network marketing of the digital age I think we need to work at how to bring people back into being people again I think we’ve lost that ways. You know there’s something missing right now.
S: You remind me when I’m caught up with the, this guy called Chocolate Johnny. He has a chocolate shop in Rose Bay. And he was talking about how, it’s in the news a few weeks ago a digital agency created a social media account based on the person but it was fictional, it was created they created beautiful images and put them up on the Instagram of this person that didn’t actually exist. Built up the audience for this person and because it had this huge audience they were able to then go and market that to a business who wanted to have influence of marketing with this fictional person. And they signed up and said yep, we’ll actually, we’ll pay so that person can be talking about us in Instagram. And they took this all as a case study to demonstrate that it’s so, we’ve gone off track in looking for these perceptions of people that aren’t actually even there. Because we think that’s the right way to be doing digital marketing.
G: That’s right. And it’s always like the, you know, I know that I messed up, if I flash up photos in Instagram of me when I was 21 doing Mr.Universe, the hits go through the window. And then if it’s one of me now, you know, nearly 47 years of age with my mind warrior stuff, you know, you get a lot less in regards to what you look like now than when you were 20. And so it’s all about the look and the deception of this superficial thing we’re into now. We don’t wanna know what’s under the surface you know and it’s actually the same person who is a lot later in life
G: There’s a lot more we need to get into these days. I think we have very very, and I say I see when I’m working with actors I see it when I’m working with stunt performers, some are very very superficial but scheme across the top of stuff I think they got it, I think you got to get on the skin of it find enough balls to fix the world really know now down, you know how to get through this.
S: Yeah, I think it’s a fine line because I actually admire the fact that your putting photos out there with you doing your bodybuilding, it’s actually you. So I see that’s quite authentic. And the engagement is with an audience that sees you know, its value at the same time it comes from an authentic place which is a unique space it’s not like its someone else it’s actually you.
S: Its a fine line though I agree with you as well. You have to get the balance there.
S: When did you decide to use digital tools for your business? Like you, decide to for example, have videos and you’ve mentioned emails obviously worked effectively for you so that’s actually a good start as well.
G: Email’s back before everything else started up you know, cause my family has been connected with computer stuff since the dawn of time really. My uncle was one of the head of IBM and you know, many moons ago, he lived around the world. So we sort of touched on computers over here. Not that I actually go to use them when I was a kid I kind of a self taught. I bought myself a couple of laptops and absolutely destroyed them by wiping parts of the memory you shouldn’t wipe you know all the things you learn. So that’s really, I bought another one and kept learning. But for me when it really started to make sense was when I’ve got on into speaking you know. And I wasn’t speaking to make money I started speaking to change people’s lives so obviously and to get that message out on a regular basis, I mean I got my leadership just started up. And I’m, you know same deal when you try and do everything yourself. But, it’s the whole series was to be on a regular basis of people who are struggling could get connection with someone.
And I’ll be very open, people who are struggling I give them my contact number. I’m very happy to talk to anybody who’s having a rough time or needs advice from me. That’s just what I like to do I like to help people. And that was a way of really getting the email out there, the web-page out there, or the YouTube channel out there to people and it happened very quickly it worked really well. So I found that just by doing that and having the other links on there as well so people click on that and get on to LinkedIn so people click on that and get on to Twitter or the other accounts you have. It sort of really spread a lot more, you know, a lot faster. As I said I’m still learning the stuff. I’m still in the very very early days of this and learning the stuff. I’m still gonna pull myself out of the 80’s and 90’s forward to where we are now.
And you know I focused on writing for a while and I’m writing another screenplay at the moment and so, I got, God! I’ve got a Mind Warrior Series and I got to this and I gotta get that done so I lift it out and I bash it out as quickly as I can. And then I got a material that I’ll have to edit. So there’s so many aspect of the digital world cause digital editing systems are amazing. I mean, still thinking of the digital world, I mean where we were linear film editing which was just horrendous, and into digital editing you got to drag and drop and move things around it just changed our lives. So for me to get together a video back let’s say 10 years ago, it would have taken days compared to now we can do it in about two hours. And then I can get it out there, get the links out across everyone of my networks and get the word out as fast as I can. And that’s to me that’s being great just using all those tools to the best of my ability i mean there’s, I guess you can use it better than me but it’s just that’s how I sort of bash my way to the forest of this stuff.
S: Yeah it’s an interesting one though. I think that one thing I am quite passionate about is you have to learn how to do it yourself before getting others to do it for you so even if you went out and got others to help you, the fact you know how to do it is a lot more valuable as well.
G: I agree that’s the same way we learn film making. I mean when I started out, I’m an untrained filmmaker and I taught myself everything about it. And while I learning to write, learning to film, learning to edit, learning to produce, direct, all that sort of stuff you know. And learning how to shoot on a film and all the other aspects of the work. When I actually finally got into movies for real, like this is a career I knew how things should be how long it should take, you know, what the jobs speaks for and run things. And that what got me so much further ahead than someone who might have been to film school cause I’ve learned the hard way.
And I think sometimes, as I said that naivety and stupidity, things that I keep talking about is helpful cause you’ll bang a lot of stuff and you’ll find out. The other thing you do is you find that, sort of, I want to say a sort of back door entries. You’ll find a little secret entry on how to do things that might not be little hot case in a setup, it might not be by the book but it kinda work. And that’s how I’ve done a lot of my stuff in time. Its kinda work that other ways it make things happen or it couldn’t make it work that way. And instead of banging my head against the wall 55,000 times and wondering why its not working, I’ll find another solution. And that’s been one of the greatest assets, I think I’ve ever had in my life. Look for the other way. If it doesn’t work this way, how else do I make it happen?
S: Yeah, I love that. In fact, I’ve been learning in your video editing program at the moment. And I had a breakthrough today cause I’ve had a problem with the quality of the video. I couldn’t figure it out. So what you just said there, I finally, I’m so determined, I’m like dog with a bone. I’m like I’m gonna, this program starts to get the better of me. And I got it today I had my hand and right, I’ve been pressing the wrong format, and I fixed it. If you’re ever looking for a new program, its called, you may already know about it, Hit Film Express?
G: Right, now you sound like a pro. I’ve always used that cause that’s free. That and other two industry standards that you normally use and I think I find better.
S: Yeah for me, just trying to find different programs so I can work really good and getting my head around at all it’s been one of my passion projects for sure.
G: Yeah and learning the right music and how you do things, and the rhythms of the cutting pattern and all that. I mean I taught myself all that stuff. And I think that makes at all ends of the other bits of you do. I mean if you learn how to edit and cut and put together a video, then you can take that presentation if you are doing an actual hands on face to face audience-based workshop, you can end and cut video sections throughout your presentation and then the whole thing just look so much better and at least better than if your fumbling around like some people do on stage. You know.
And I get there and do speaking to but sometimes it’s nice to flash out some of the things you do cause my life is very action packed. So I mean, sometimes people go like wow you smashed up that and you blew that up and you crashed those things in here. You know, so when people see what you do for real the get wow, that’s kind of out there. And then they’ll have a lot more respect to the person they’re speaking to and they kinda listen more.
S: Oh, that’s good to know. It’s just that I hadn’t thought of it like that as well. I think I recognize that in social media the no.1 thing to be doing to get the right visibility for your audience is video. So I’ve been dedicating 12 hours a week purely to video editing at the moment. And learning that, that’s my thing to actually to be self-taught.
G: Twelve hours! I have to teach you what I’ve, I’m sorry for laughing. My wife knows that I started going to my office for a quick edit she knows I’m gone for six to ten hours.
S: Ha ha Okay.
G: That’s cause, when I sit out professionally, I spend almost 36-40 hours before I walk away from the computer. Cause I just use getting to the zone you start getting, and when you start fading out, things are not working properly then you walk away. But you know, some things you can’t, like big projects would take a year and a half.
S: Its interesting you say that because my frustration has been wanting to put more hours to it but not having the capacity to at the moment. Because I can see its engrossing. It’s like the level of digital on it is incredible once you actually get into it, I found.
G: And camera angles, and the position of the camera and the distance of the camera and the lens, like all that sort of stuff make huge differences in what you do in video. Specially I mean, simple things I teach people which is the height of the camera matters. I mean if you’re above the eye-line of someone, you are now looking in on the situation. But if you drop the camera down just below the eye-line, now you’re part of it. So if you’re talking to people, don’t have the camera above your eye-line have it below your eye-line so when you’re talking to people, they feel like you’re talking to them.
Otherwise it feels more like a security camera footage looking down on someone and it’s got a different feeling, a different output. So all these little things make huge differences down the line because it’s the emotion you’re trying to give you know. And when you do anything, video, whatever might be, audio, it’s what you leave the audience with. Its their journey that you’re trying to give them, not yours, its theirs. So when you do anything it has to be with their mindset, with their outcome or takeaway at the back of your mind the entire time.
S: Wow. Thank you. That helps a lot.
G: That will be $700.
S: Ha ha ha.
G: But those things matter they really do. Even if crossing the line, all these little things that make huge differences down the pipe and the way you structure your music, everything. Specially if you’re putting that stuff on social media or YouTube or this channel of leaking it out everywhere else. Because we did a viral campaign with Happy Feet 1, we leaked out a little clip of a tap dancing penguin. And we just leaked that into different sites and then it went viral but at the end of the week I think it has been seen by three and a half million people. And we went wow, this is, that was the first time that was back in 2004 or 2005 we realized that there was real in social media. And that was interesting because, wow, we’re onto something. And so we started doing more and more of that, the clips are among little clips, you know. Some may even wanted to see this Happy Feet movie. So it was interesting for me as a learning curve from directing that stuff to realizing the behind the scenes marketing and know a little about, realizing all about the other aspects not just the movie. The movie,the little bit. I mean the other stuff, all the merchandising, all the way they sell it before the film even come out that makes a difference. So this whole, you know, digital marketing stuff is so important.
S: Yeah, wow. I think it’s amazing when you actually say that, it’s a lifetime ago when you talk about 2004, 2005, its before we even had smartphones in our hands. Yeah it’s amazing to think how far that has come.
G: Yeah and we were you know. We are the forefront of the world in technology with that time with. And we had a great media. We and the Warner Brothers back us up 100% so they had a lot of you know, vested interest in what we did. Cause’ we took, I mean I am going off topic now but Happy Feet went from a small about 40-50 million dollar movie, to suddenly a ten power film when I realized what it can do. So it went to become one of the ten power film was one of the films that profit the studio for the year. So at the end of it it became about a 100 million dollar profit. So it became rather important. So when I get to be part of the marketing side of watching how all that sort of stuff came together and worked really interests me.
S:Absolutely, my goodness. It’s really at the, that would have been, I think, stage in the digital space as well. Very much in that heavily learning because it was quite still untested, the social side of things.
G: Aye, and the whole film was a learning curve from a carpenter. I mean it’s the only qualification I have as a carpenter. I mean I’m a self-taught filmmaker, self-taught whatever everything. So when I, when I got into directing into Happy Feet, when George said hey do you want to direct a movie with me? Yeah, what the hell, let’s have a crack at it. I mean same deal. That’s why some people always say yes, just work on the other crap out later. Cause’ I never directed a major feature film in my life. Happy Feet was my first feature movie. And I mean, you know I’ve done three short films, and a couple of video clips for rock bands, international rock bands, and that was on my back you know, that’s some brilliant big rock band international names, big names. And to go, to get to be doing basically a little tying grabs in my hand and then suddenly someone oh we love what you’re doing. You’re writing, we’ve seen your fine work, you want to direct this film with Phil? I mean yeah, what the hell.
I knew nothing about penguins, nothing about computers, nothing about tap dancing, nothing about any of the programs but I tell you I promised George, I said by the end of my time here, I said I’ll be one of the world leaders of this. And I immersed myself in it and this is the important thing that people do. I immersed myself in every facet of it, so I understood how to use Maya, ExecEye, Jive, Motion Capture work, every single facet of how everything works. So by the end of that film I knew how long everything should take and I do most myself anyway. So when we lose crew member…so the process, I’ve learned all those programs and understood the capacity of what can be done with that stuff and we made it. I mean one of the greatest learning curves I had with that film. And then the biggest thing I think we’re losing on the way now I think, in the digital world, we need to get back is we’ve lost that personal touch. And I think one of the things we’re lacking a lot of is you know when I see people shooting an email.. and I get really.. So I mean, you know … if there’s a problem get off your back and talk to someone. And if they’re not.. cause that’s a better call than shooting email.
So you know, I think there’s a balance you’ve got to find somewhere. And I think we’ll get there one day. But I think it will be like, when people watch a tsunami, all the water disappearing 3 or 400 meters they’ll walk out. So anyone who ever understood or what it does to balance itself out, it kinda get out and it will come all the way back in. So that’s what’s gonna happen I think with the media in the marketing as we kinda get old, we’re kinda get the other way….
S: Good to hear that’s part of my mission. My passion is making sure people are actually using digital for what’s its intended for. And what you’re saying there is were meant to be using it to have better lives which means it should be enhancing who we are in person. So yeah, I get exactly where you’re coming from too. It’s not just here to replace us.
G: No, I mean. I still use it just to surf porn, but I mean other than its you know, who will cut the rest on how its being used for you know I think we should go under that.
S: Yeah exactly…so..
G: I mean, anyway, keep going.
S: No, it’s alright. I was going to just say, like, what have you found most challenging when you decided to do all these things what has been your challenged in being in the way of you actually getting to where you want to be?
G: Sometimes, I think mostly, it’s believing in yourself enough. I mean for me, I mean, some of us may very go all the way to the bottom and came back up. That’s just.. I mean, you know my early stages in life are kinda like that. So, sometimes, I think I’m my greatest challenge. Because, you know, everyday I have like a war with myself, I get up in the morning and you sit there. Some days seems just not working. The wheels are not spinning and nothing is happening. And you know, you kinda want the way you do it. I mean these days with social media marketing stuff that I do, I mean putting my videos out there specially. That, you get up and you go why the hell do I do this? Does it even matter? Does anyone care? You know.
And just off the bat, you get a message that says what you did saved my life. Why you did last week, if I have not seen that I would have taken my life, you know. So when I get those messages, then okay, you know, it’s just one person, I’m cool. So I mean, I do get down on myself on certain aspects when I think things aren’t going ahead like they should be. You know, I’m very driven so life seems to happen fast. And I know that they don’t, cause I mean it took me 15 years to get a film, took me eight years to win the world shooting championship, took me seven to win national body building title, I mean they take years. When you’re in it, you don’t notice it so much. But even my speaking journey, I mean me speaking these days I spent three and a half years now I think since I started. But my aim is to go and speak internationally and after about two years I did that you I’ve been to 2016 tour in the US. But, you know, there is so much more to do and so much more I want to do.
And I get frustrated at myself that I’m not doing more. And I do that often, I often get very frustrated myself because I know there’s more I could be doing I waste all this time sleeping you know. I’m down to 4 hours a night 5 hours a night on average. Which is just, you know, it’s sleeping more than I get really .. But you know, you get up, and you start doing stuff. And then you tally it up and extra one hour each side of the day, 2 hours a day, 720 hours a year, that’s an extra month of life a year that you have wasted sleeping so. You know, I believe that it makes a difference. If I get an extra month every year, I work hard and a quality time to do stuff and I’m gonna do a lot more than someone else will. And that’s my drive, everyday that I get up and like get why I want to do it, I have an internal battle with myself cause you gonna get up and gonna do it so shut up and get up. And that’s how I do it. And I think we all go through that. I think everyone goes through that stuff. It’s not just me. Its, everybody goes through these negativity. I mean it depends on how badly you want it and how willing you are to take the hit.
I mean I have broken every bone in my body, I fractured my spine, a snapped my hand, my leg. All kinds of injury, my fingers are numb every morning that I get up. I have to shake my hands for 3 or 4 minutes to get a feeling in my two or more fingers in each of my hands. Because there’s so many elbow injuries in years of martial arts and training that my fingers have no feeling anymore. So, and then I’d do it all again. Because I love what I did back when I did it. So, you got to be ready to take the pain, and get through the hits and go without sleep and go without food and all these things that people moan about. Cause sometimes you just got it. If you really wanna do it, you gotta do it. I mean that book I write, its only about 65,070 words. But I mean that took me about two and a half years. But if you don’t start, you’ll never get it done. I noticed, well I’ll do a couple of pages everyday. And I’ll just chip away, and chip chip chip chip. And then, you know, now there’s a book that’s been written. So I mean, that stuff, you know, same with film. You start writing it out and you just keep going. And that’s what does it. I mean, if you don’t have that drive, you’re not gonna make it anyway.
S: It’s interesting though how you, put it out there saying your not sure, it’s something that you know whether your story is anything special to anyone else. Its like, its good from what you said before about how we knew doing video and you put it out there and somebody said thank you, that saved my life. That one person, that’s the motivation for interviewing you today. It’s going well, I know how much everyone’s story counts, and your story is one where, people are gonna see the value at what someone’s doing. Like what you do, what I take from what your saying as well is that, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. I think the biggest challenge is you deciding what your mind wants to be set on.
G: Yeah, and be willing to know, and also it’s to know that, sometimes it’s just gonna be, you’re gonna be doing free for the long time. I mean, I was making movies, my god, I didn’t get paid for film for years. And when I finally got in to the industry I’m getting a thousand bucks doing enough oh that’s cool I’d work for nothing cause I just want to be in the film. And that is one, making movies. You know. I remember my first pay rise, my first pay rise was like, I’m never telling Debbie before we got married, it started with payroll, she makes so much they gave me an extra 70,000 a year. And the next one went up again, the next one went up again. I wasn’t asking for this. I was willing to do it for free forever cause I just love to do it. That’s what it is. Even when I speak, there are so many times you’ve met me speak… And drive all the way to where was it, that’s three and a half hours for me in a car to drive for free to go and talk to you know, a ladies group business ladies group about, you know, my story. And because I hope that it helps someone.
And I hope the message help someone or inspire someone to go a bit further by that extra day or put that extra work to that business opportunity that might not be there if you have given up. And you know those books like Chicken Soup for the soul, and those things and they went to a 150, 60, 70, publishers no one ever said yes and finally when someone did they sold, god knows how many million copies. But, you know if you just keep pushing something, if the passion is there and the emotion is right, you gotta love it and you gotta do it no matter what. And that’s the difference. If you do that, it seems to work itself out.
S: And I found when I heard you speak the first time this couple of years ago, it did make a difference. That was when I was compelled to come speak to you afterwards. Because it was that, yeah, your story does make a difference. When you realize that someone’s going through challenges and its actually powerful to hear both sides of the story. Often I see, well, you’re talking about social media, he hear one side, he hear the roses, not necessarily what the thorns are in between the roses. And when you understand that someone, you’re not alone in going through the challenges. That’s a big impact. And I think that’s why your story is powerful because you keep it real. You get it out there, what’s and all.
G: And the comeback journey is the best thing, and you know my, when we saw the film went to casting and it looked like were gonna lose the rest of our staff on being in labor for every year, and life made it a real edge. I mean the comeback journey for that, was me writing, me getting another screenplay down the book done and me winning the World Pistol Shooting Championship in the USA in that same year. All from being lost, to coming back and the come back journey is always so much more powerful. Because you seem to find this resilience that you never had before. When you kind of give life the finger, you you’re not gonna beat me, up yours I’m coming back at you you better be ready and that’s what happens and you just, that’s the point where people sometimes give up. That’s what I say can help the most then that’s fantastic you know.
You know I was really stable, I was really, did the whole page on me, my life in some of the stuff that I do and talking about. It was really cool to see that that’s and I’m just, … a regular guy…People look at all the stuff, Academy Awards all these crap. I mean it’s all bull, I mean all this stuff it doesn’t mean anything you know. I think that they’re all doorstops. And so what it comes down to is the journey you have on the way and the people you meet, the true relationship you form and then how many lives you better on the way you know. And having that true respect to people and you’ve got someone on your team, know everything about them. You know everyone that ever worked with me for me, whatever that, that if you’ve got your team that your managing, your running your working with, if you know everything about them and you actually care about them and they know you’re willing to go to the wall for them and you’re willing to lose your own position for them, they will give you everything. You know, that’s the honesty and the truth about if you live your life that way then good things will happen. They just do.
S: Yeah, I love that. I’ve got a question for you. So where do you see yourself in 10 years?
G: Ha ha, I’m still on the top side of the grass! Uh, I mean my aim, I mean, the whole aim for doing the book that I wrote, actually the book I wrote is for my kids. ‘Cause when I nearly died about a year and a half ago, we were just getting ready training for Everest and I did a huge train day and it was 4 day straight of training, I nearly died of stroke. And so, that was, suddenly very interesting, cause that was, the time I was sitting at the hospital and I was in the stroke ward, I was really young cause everyone else was about 95 except me. I mean I’ve been in the void sitting there and all I thought about was my kids. I didn’t care about anything I ever done, none of it, none of that many things. So all these people get hung up, all this crap about going about it on what they want to achieve, I’ll tell them it’s frankly true, no one gives a . At the end of the day, what matters is what you’d leave behind or what you’d do for your family. So that’s what I thought about its my kids and how do I get better for my kids how do I make the world better for my kids when I leave them behind so I wrote the book to that. And when I finally finished someone see it, I should get it out there and to help with my speaking, help to get my message out so I’ll do it. So, ten years time I’d love to be speaking globally. I mean that’s something really important to me. And it’s not for the money, I would happily give all my money away.
I mean , you know, I speak around Australia I get paid half the time I just do it because I love it and I do it because it helps people. If I get to a building site and speak, you know the heads of, whatever.. any big medical company that I’ve spoken for in their conference and things. And I do what I do there, sure some of the companies pay, but any of the charity work I don’t ask for a cent I just do it because it’s something that matters. And I love to speak and I love to help. So ten years time, I think, or I hope or I’ll work towards, you know, you can say what you want, but I’m gonna be working towards international speaking. And we may have another film or two out of the doorway as well.
S: Awesome! I look forward to seeing what the next 10 years unfolds as looking at what you’ve done in the previous 10 years, I’ll never quite know. You seem to grab opportunities and run with them.
G: You have to, I mean cause you never know when they are gonna come up. I mean they’re always circling somewhere but you just got to be very aware of when, you know, and when anyone says can you or anyone says yes, just go with it. You just to it, just rob. And if it all goes to absolute garbage, wonderful at least you know. I’m a big believer of falling down and just scraping it off and get up and get on again. I mean that’s just the nature of life. And if you don’t, your’e for a very hard journey. I mean, actually it has something to do with the electronic world that I think older people are gonna struggle with. And I think I struggle with it now, I’ve spoken to you about this the other way, it’s the, I think the hiring system has absolutely gone to the sh*t to be honest with you. When people have to fill at, and I couldn’t imagine myself if I try to get a job or career or whatever, XYZ and some company, I wouldn’t get past the first tick a box thing in the computer because I don’t have those qualification I don’t have those qualifications I don’t have the things they are asking for. And I wonder how many businesses are cutting off those who knows their phase.. when you got this wonderful experience out there with so many people, to have their face to face interview.
You know, I related my first year running a fitness center… when I was 18 years of age. And I had no qualifications… But i beat a 190 fully qualified instructors and college-trained people because they met me face to face. And I went “Guys I’d show you how to set your gym up better, I can show you training people better. Cause that’s what I grow up doing as a young kid.” And, that’s got me through. It wasn’t because I had the qualifications. But if it came down to a computer, and me having to tick the boxes I won’t even get looking. Because they met me, that’s what got me through the door. And I think we have to really look at how we balance out that hiring principles these days because I think we’re losing some great people. From industries, it would benefit so greatly to having people that have so many more life experiences that could well benefit the business.
S: Its interesting you said that, cause that’s something I’m really passionate about, helping to educate people with the tools they have available to them so I don’t have to worry about the tick a box approach. So I see the real power in doing that, like if someone can be empowered to know, how to use Facebook and LinkedIn to get their next job without having to tick those boxes, is that’s where I see my ability to make a difference as well. Because I’m with you on that.
G: I know you do it for the right place. I just think a lot of companies are lazy and need to re-address that cause you know, there would be much better place if they hired so many other people that they actually got to meet.
S: Cause your right, if I can help someone see that if they can must a video, and be able to put a video out of who they are so its like they can meet their potential employee and get to know them online, that’s a more effective use of social media to be able to do that get in front of the faces of the people who’d be doing the hiring. I can see ways, I know ways to do that now, and I’m with you. I don’t have the background of the traditional marketer. So it’s when it comes to ticking boxes, I’ve seen that approach about businesses do constantly cut their nose off despite their face, by looking at that traditional approach they need to be shaken up.
G: Yeah and I think you know that day it happens people are gonna be thankful. I mean it’s funny I always laugh because I absolutely have no qualifications in any area, but yet, in a few weeks time I’ll get on to speak in the Australian Museum and CEO’s of Lego. You know, and I’ve actually I’ve asked to be paid in Lego, I said, wow I want some really cool set of Lego that you can’t get so they’re going to organize something. But, they will talk to me and I’ll speak to them all about how to manage and run their teams in the company better. And there’s no miracle to it, just giving a rest back side.
You know you just care, and if you actually cared about your team and you put them at the forefront of what you do, every decision you make is based about them, you don’t blame them and throw under the bus like so many managers do. They’ll fight for you till the end of time. I’ve got guys that will fly from the other side of the world for me, any tick of the clock I’ll get them because they know that I actually care about them and I’ll fight for them. You got to be a little creative, because if you use micromanagement, same thing you lose them too. So I think there are so many facets and we got to be careful when it comes to management, but I think you know, digital world, I think we’ve got a lot to learn still I do. So you know, but I’m enjoying the process, I’ll put it that way.
S: Ha ha that’s good, that’s good. Yeah I just went to the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego this year. They were talking about how, we are handling the first 10 years of social media. We are at the cutting edge but we’re still defining, how things, what the pioneers, and I hadn’t looked at it that way before. But of course they’re right, it’s so new, and the dust hasn’t settled. We’re still trying to figure it all out. And anyone who thinks it’s all figured out, has actually missed the point of it.
G: I agree, I really do. And I’ll look back to my grandmother you know, I think back when she, back in 1921, when she gotten a rick in the old rag sticks and by plane in a guy called Hudson Fysh and gave a ton of money to fly with it when no one would. And that was the forefront of aviation, you know, the Hudson Fysh took the money she gave him helped start Quantas. And had she not flown with him maybe that wouldn’t have worked you know. So I look at what she did back then and what she has forefront of which then, in her lifetime she was able to go from you know, growing up riding horses in the back of Queensland, to go on seeing the first electric trains to finish her life in a bullet train in Japan but also to see a Scottish biplane and to a propeller plane and go to a jumbo jet and finally Qantas.. at 65… I mean to see aviation to where, within the time space of you know 80 years, 70 years. I think we will travel a lot faster in social media world, electronic world, in the next 5, 10 years, there is gonna be huge differences.
S: Yeah, I was looking forward to the wild ride!
G: Yeah, life is a journey you got to get on the boat and have a crack in it you know that’s what it’s all about. You know, if you make a mess on the way who cares, you know. It is what it is. Enjoy the mess, make a big mess if we’re gonna make one.
S: I love that, enjoy the mess, yes I’ll go with that. Well brilliant, thank you so much for your time today. This just has been a fantastic chat and insight in what you do as well.
G: I have no idea even if it helped anybody, but I hope it does
S: Oh I definitely think, it started with me, definitely helping and I look forward to putting it out there to the world and have the opportunity to learn as well.
G: Well fantastic.
S: Thanks Gregg!
G: Thanks Serena we’ll talk again soon..
Thanks for listening, the best time for you to take action is now. Get out there and use digital for what’s its intended for, to make your life a better one.