Business can be a vehicle for wealth. It can also become a burden on your time, a drain on your finances, and a risk to your relationships. In this episode, Terry brings on one of his mentors to explore this tension and how to deal with it.
Lachlan Smith stepped off the career ladder to build a 60 person civil engineering company from scratch. He’s tackled many of the toughest issues in business and built a machine that’s made him both wealthy and wise. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing, and Lachy shares much of his hard-won wisdom in this episode.
What you'll learn
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Hey it’s Terry here and welcome back to the show. In this episode, I’m bringing on another business mentor to help us understand and navigate the opportunity and the obstacles that business presents as a vehicle for wealth.
I’m really happy to be able to introduce you to someone I’ve only recently connected with, but who has taught me a lot about how to think about business as a career path. A mutual friend of ours introduced me to Lachy Smith a few months back. And when he told me about Lachy’scredentials and what he’s doing, I was really surprised he’d actually have time to chat. And to put it mildly, he’s a long way ahead of where we are. And if we ever achieved even half of what he already has, I’ll be extremely proud and content with our contribution. And Lachy is co-founder and director of FSC, a fast-growing civil engineering company that manages many of the major projects around Melbourne.
And he got together with two of his mates and decided to go off the beaten path and do it a bit differently. This decision has proved to be incredibly fruitful for lucky his mates, but also his employees. He’s created an environment and a culture that can not be compared to those that he experienced as a young professional, who never quite felt right about the way the industry functioned.
And even though I became a dad, he graciously gave up his time to come on the show and share his story. And his most powerful lessons about building something you can be proud of. Now, you might be thinking, but I’m not going to be starting an engineering business. So maybe I’ll just skip this episode. I want to explain why that would be a mistake.
See the conversation you’re about to hear isn’t about building an engineering business. It’s about being very intentional about the business that you do build so that it works for you. And here’s just some of what we cover:
How volatility signals trick us into playing it safe and what it can cost us in the long run.
How to think through the risk you’re taking when starting a business and the insight that allowed him to bet big on himself without fear of failure.
The big idea that has led to the growth and success of his business and how it applies to any business.
How to increase the odds. You’ll succeed by knowing the top of business environment you’re in and the type of business that you’re building.
So if you’re toying with the idea of doing your own thing, listening to this episode could be one of the most important investments of your time that you ever make. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do, and I’ll see you on the other side.
Lucky welcome tot the show..
Lachlan: Thanks Terry
Terry: first things first, congratulations on the new bub
Lachlan: oh, thanks. Very much. Yeah. Look, it’s been an absolute whirlwind month. Day is night and nineties David, you know, it’s a really happy time. So yeah, we love the little guy and it’s all going well at this end. So
Terry: Flint isn’t it?
Lachlan: yeah, his name’s Flynn.
Terry: Excellent, well, mate I really appreciate it because we actually organize this podcast and we’ll try and get it in. We’ll try to sneak it in or a week or so before, uh, before Flynn came along, but he came along a bit early and you still hear about the after, so I really appreciate you taking the time.
Lachlan: Nah, no worries. Yeah. The best mode planter. So
Terry: Exactly, exactly. And um, how’s the sleep going? You just sort of getting back to a normalcy or some level of normalcy?
Lachlan: Ah, look, it was sort of, you know, it is a bit hit and miss, you know, he’s up every three hours or so, so like yeah it is like kind of confusing what day it is, so hopefully it won’t be too muddled on the pod. If I say anything strange. You’ll know why, but yeah. Getting some stuff. Yeah.
Terry: Good, good, good. Hey, um, I’ve kind of just talked about, you know, where you come from and, and obviously our good friend, Michael tipping introduced us so a little bit of a shout out to Michael. Thank you for that mate.
Lachlan: Love a shout out to mike, yeah. What a legend. So thank you very much for introducing us.
Terry: He’s a very good mutual friend of ours and um, yeah, he’s, uh, he’s been a good friend to meet, uh, more recently. So, but I wanted to just, I guess get a little bit of backstory from you about kind of where you’re coming from because you and I have had so many good discussions since Michael introduced us. So much from you already, but I really am keen to, I guess, give our listeners a bit of a sense of where you’re coming from. So can you tell me a little bit more about yourself where you grew up and where you’re from?
Lachlan: Yeah, so I guess, uh, I grew up in Melbourne, out in there since suburbs in Blackburn, which is where I met my, and we went to primary school together and, you know, just sort of like normal upbringing went to Blackie high And, um, yeah, I was sort of interested in science and maths and stuff, all that kind of geeky things. So I ended up finishing school and going into an engineering degree, but I’d also been working since I was like 14, nine months. Mom gave me the hard word at, uh, as soon as that, the legal age that you can get a job ticked over, she said, oh, No, well pocket money.
I was a bit shocked by that, but, uh, you know, in hindsight it was a good thing. So I got a job at Safeway and I really loved that actually.
Terry: Yeah. What did you like about that?
Lachlan: There was just like a really good group of people there and we were stacking the shelves so we could kind of walk around and, and cause mischief, which was, which was good fun fact. It was also. In a more serious reflection. It really taught me how to work and also how to like, communicate with different people, which is really valuable and that sort of practical, practical knowledge. Yeah.
Terry: I’ll be interested. So when we talk about your company in a minute, I’ll be interested to see how that’s kind of influenced that. You just mentioned the people that you’re working with and the good people. There’s something there. I think in terms of the company that you’ve built and the emphasis you put on people too.
Lachlan: That’s, that’s an interesting insight. Thanks for psychoanalyzing me there. I think that’s spot on. Um, yeah, look, businesses, relationships. That’s been my experience so far. Yep. And that’s certainly true in your career as well, I think.
Terry: Yeah, so, but before you start a business, you obviously were doing the engineering degree. Yeah. You dropped out at a certain point correct?
Lachlan: Yeah. Okay. You’re off after the first year, wasn’t really enjoying it. Didn’t do that. Well, uh, worked in a factory for four months to save up enough money to go around Europe. And it was sort of during that, that time that I kind of realized, look, I don’t want to be doing yeah. Not that I don’t enjoy the day to day, but it’s not a career and I’ve got more ambitions to kind of fulfill.
So I ended up going back and finishing the degree after a year of travel and work and ended up getting a job as a civil engineer in the construction industry. So more project management style work, which is kind of my area of expertise.
Terry: Okay. And, uh, tell me more about that. Like how long were you kind of in this role, was it sort of like just a pretty consistent out of uni straight into this job? Or was there sort of a gap there?
Lachlan: Look, I just took whatever job someone was willing to give me at that point in time, you know, like coming out of uni, it was sort of after 2008 and there was things were a bit sparse. And anyway, I ended up getting offered this job at a company called foot Hogan and I took it and yeah, I enjoyed it. But I essentially, I worked as an engineer from then at a few different companies in the project management space. For about seven years, six, seven years, I think is testing my memory a little bit, but, and I’d sort of worked my way. I wasn’t a particularly good engineer. I wasn’t bad. I wasn’t outstanding.
I got made redundant from one of the jobs I was working on, but I really focused on learning. And I think that’s sort of going to be a theme for this podcast that I want to kind of communicate, I guess, the two things I am is I’m very curious person. I’m very interested in how things work and the world around and stuff like that.
And I’ve got a pretty good work ethic. So, yeah, but I, I sort of sort of leading into the business track is that I sort of felt a little bit disillusioned with my career at the time. And I sort of looked above me and realized that no one that was sort of the next positions, weren’t something that I was particularly interested in taking.
And I felt that there was some things in the industry that could be improved as well. And I was chatting with couple of my, my mates from work, John and Luke, who were my business partners, who are the original founders of our company FSC group. And yeah, we just thought maybe there’s a better way to do this and maybe we can do it ourselves. That was the start of the crazy idea.
Terry: Yeah. Well, tell me more about, you sort of mentioned that you looked at Bob and you looked at kind of who was ahead of you and where you would logically end up on the same track. What was it that made you think? Not for me.
Lachlan: That’s a good question. Maybe I’ll just sort of give you a bit of an overview of how I think about a career and how I was starting to think about it at the time. Is that like I’ve sort of have the beliefs. You are an individual person by definition, right? Like we’re all different. And so that means if you extrapolate that out, that you’re actually going to want something different to the person sitting next to you because you are different and careers, particularly in these sorts of fields have, have a way of sort of putting you into a box of, of their choosing and, you know, particularly, you know, I think Peter teal calls it attract Korea where the further you get along, the more sense it makes to continue to go along because you might get the golden handcuffs or , I suppose you’re continuing to sort of make sense to go to the next thing and the the price of the change is very high.
Lachlan: So I’m a big believer that you need to be very intentional and design what you want from your work for you. And don’t outsource that to anyone else because that’s something. Only you can really know and it’s changes all the time. And also it’s likely that something that someone else has designed won’t necessarily fit perfectly.
Now that might mean that you actually only need, you know, you absolutely love it and you want to be the CEO of BHP. That’s fine. That’s going to fit a certain amount of people, but others that won’t, you know, and you’ve got to kind of figure out that for you in terms of a few different aspects. And so at this point in time for me, I looked above me and thought that that wasn’t going to.
It’s absolutely no judgment on the career path. It’s just, it wasn’t necessarily going to fulfill the things that I wanted from my work. And I kind of feel like there’s a few different things. So one of them is the fulfillment from the work you’re actually doing. That’s really important because you spend so much time at where the impact that it has on the society, around you.
Are you doing good work? That means something. And then I also think that you’ve kind of got a feeling about the time balance that’s involved and the flexibility you want. And lastly, the leverage that you can get for the rest of your life, through wealth creation and, and other things, you know, work really does either empower your life significantly or do the opposite. And that’s regardless of whether you have a job or a business.
Terry: Yeah. That’s a great point. And I’m interested to even just, I guess, explain that last point you made around a leverage. And when you use that word with regards to business, let’s talk about what that means, what you, what you were thinking about. In terms of using leverage and using leverage for wealth creation?
Lachlan: Well, I think at the time I wasn’t thinking any of that because I wasn’t that clever. I was just kind of, you know, I don’t want to overstate the level of just occasion that I had at the time, you know, like I was really John Luke and I had a passion and, and we kind of knew this and had this feeling and over time, we’ve kind of more defined what that means as, as I just explained it.
And I think that’s the way, generally things work. And in particularly in business, there’s a misnomer that everyone sits around the boardroom and they kind of figure out a five-year strategy, write a business plan and go out there and execute, you know, like it’s actually the complete opposite it’s tinkering. And that’s the way that by. Systems, where is that? You know, you’re tinker, you find something and then you can kind of scale it up.
Lachlan: So just to put a point on that is that I’ve kind of like retrofitted that and made a bit of a theory out of it that others can use. But certainly it was something I was discovering for myself at the time.
Terry: So it was more so a feeling of this doesn’t quite fit and yeah, I’m going to go and explore something else to figure out what does fit. That was really what it was about.
Lachlan: I’d say. So. Yeah, I think so. But in terms of your question around leverage, well, you know, we were talking just before the pardon. Um, I think that maybe a way to understand that is that, if you’re starting a business, you are essentially making a career for yourself. It’s a different type of career, but it is nonetheless a career. And we can talk about the different types of businesses you can start and how they may relate to different careers as well. And that’s the kind of way I think about that. But effectively. When you’re ranking a business, you’ve kind of building as Ray dally would say, building a machine.
and that machine or system that you’re building has the ability to kind of make your efforts more than you can actually do yourself. So the idea of, I guess, leveraging, like, you know, is actually making your, your efforts and, and multiplying them. And that’s, that’s what can happen is that you can use the different types of leverage, which is like human capital money and technology to actually build something that produces an outcome that helps supercharge your career and your life.
Terry: And it’s what’s happening right now for you. Right. You’re here with me talking to the podcast. You got the little one you’ve taken a month off, but the machine that you built keeps on running keeps on contributing.
Lachlan: That’s right. Yeah. So we’ve kind of from those humble beginnings, turned our business in six years from the three of us. Running around not knowing what we were doing to over 60 employees working on what most of the major projects within Melbourne. And, and we’re still on a, quite a quick growth trajectory as well. So, and we’ve brought in other business partners and created new companies that fit into the group of companies and had a really steep learning journey. That’s, um, really changed our lives and hopefully change the lives of people who have worked with us along the way, because it’s absolutely the people that work with you that make that difference. And all the people that work with us at FSC, they are the reason for its success as much as I am.
Terry: Yeah. Yeah. So talk me through the, um, the moment that it went from an idea to this is happening. We’re doing this, you talked about your two business partners. Was it that sort of, you were discussing this in sort of, this was something you were conceptualizing and in is a moment where you decided to pull the trigger on that. I guess the conversation you were having with them and also the conversation you were having in your own mind when you did make that decision.
Lachlan: Well, I guess, yeah, thinking back on it, you know, I always had an interest in, in business and finance and, and creating a, um, you know, I’m interested in finance in terms of like personal finance and money and things like that. Like, I’m sure you’ll listen as hours as well. So I kind of had that as a bit of a backdrop, but along the way, you know, as we’ve discussed, I kind of felt like the next step wasn’t that clear because it didn’t line up with what I, as an individual necessarily wanted and that, but then there’s that next step of like going from, okay, I’m thinking about this idea to actually doing it.
And I think the thought process I went through was sort of like a risk setting process, which is like something that, I suppose I first heard from like Tim Ferriss, I guess is like, You can start to ask yourself, what’s the actual risk here and the type of business where you were starting was a services company.
So we didn’t have to put in a huge amount of capital investment. We did have to take quite large pay cuts, but that’s a, that’s part of the sacrifice, but nothing was coming out of my pocket necessarily directly, you know, which is kind of a different mental thing. We also, weren’t interested in going to the next job straight away because of what I talked about. So we sort of thought, well, what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen here. I can try this for a few months and if it doesn’t work, I’ll go get a job. And I think that’s where kind of we got to together is that we kind of thought, well, if this doesn’t work out, we’ll just go and get another job in six months.
So, and then the actual worst thing I realized that I was probably worried about was going to catch up with my old friends, from the industry and chatting to them. And they asked her, what are you doing? And he said, well, I tried to do this and it didn’t work, you know? And I’d already maybe had a few stumbles in my career, not stumbles, but just, you know, like I said, I had been made redundant from a job in the past, due to a downturn, but others were picked over me. So I already had a little bit of this sort of am I good enough complex going on? And so I really thought, well, that would be quite uncomfortable to go and tell them that this didn’t work. But then I also realized that it was something I really wanted to do. And that, that actually wasn’t a good enough reason not to at least try something and that I didn’t really want to live my life that way.
Terry: Yeah. Profound point I think has, has, but being able to articulate, and maybe it’s something you would have do in retrospect, but, um, articulate what the real risk was in your mind, because, you know, I think we can dilute ourselves as, Hey, the real risk is a financial risk, but you actually put your finger on and said, no, the real risk that I’m worried about is a status risk and a status risk is not a good enough reason not to do something.
Lachlan: It’s also usually a method. Like if I went to that pub and said, oh, it didn’t work out. They’re not going to be like, well, fried. This is the end of our friendship. And are they likely to just go that sucks and move on and talk about who’s winning the footy. Yeah. So,
Terry: so what, what do you, think’s going on there?
Lachlan: It’s usually more in your head?
Terry: Yeah. Like, why is, why is that mind doing this to us? Do you think?
Lachlan: I don’t know. I guess maybe it might just be a coping mechanism to try to the first safety thing. It’s, it’s not really clear. I do definitely subscribe to the idea of like, um, from Nassim to labor around. And if you listen to any of Ryan and my podcast episodes, and you’ll see, we mentioned him every week, but that effectively as humans, we to hate feeling volatility, which is described as like the ups and downs, you know, something unexpected.
And we almost always associate this with risk. So if there’s high volatility where in a high risk environment. And so that’s why we love to get a paycheck every month. That’s exactly the same amount we like to, you know, I’m really routine based. So like, you know, I want to know how long something is or where I am along.
It drives my wife nuts because I have to know how many episodes are in each of the series we’re watching. And are we on episode four and there’s six to go. And so like, you know, this kind of thing is, um, is really ingrained in us because it may be in a normal environment. Like, you know, in our past the way we used to live back in the day, that would, that would signify risk, you know, but in many things that actually doesn’t signify high risk.
A lot of the time, it just makes you feel uncomfortable. So maybe that’s part of it as well.
Terry: You drew me a really interesting graphic. We were kind of having this discussion around volatility and risk. What it feels like versus the actual reality. I’m really interested to sort of, I guess, tease that out a little bit. Cause I think you hit on a really important point, which is like, there’s an illusion of safety and it’s actually gone the other way a lot of the times.
Lachlan: Yeah. Yeah. So like, let’s say we might be able to post that for in the podcast community or something at some point, because it is better visually, but effectively, when or you’re in business, there is a lot more up and down and that’s something that a job does for you is it eliminates that for you. It kind of takes that away from you behind the scenes and someone else’s kind of dealing with that up and down. And so part of it is like the job gives you the smoothness, but it doesn’t tell you much about what’s going on behind the scenes. Risk-wise now that’s okay. As long as you’re aware of it, that it is something just to understand, is that the volatility of say being in business for yourself and you get, maybe, maybe you get six jobs.
And one job the next week or zero jobs. And so you tend to project that feeling you’re having out, I’ve found linearly. So if you imagine that one week, you’re having this most fantastic week and you win all this work and life’s great. You kind of feel like we’re going to the moon, baby. This is awesome. You know, like next stop or whatever, but if something bad happens, you also have the feeling of, oh God, this is all going to go downhill. You know, we’re going to be out of business tomorrow. You know, you kind of have those feelings or at least I do. And so this feeling of like up and down, up and down, up and down is something that actually tells you quite a lot about when something’s wrong.
And it also makes you very much better at your job because you’re dealing with problems and you’re learning to actually deal with the, the real aspects of what’s going on. So higher level managers in businesses would have feel the same way. You don’t need to own it, to feel that way. And so the point being is that even if you’re at that employee, who’s enjoying the smoothness and maybe not trying as hard as they should or building a good skillset.
We’ve all heard those stories of people who get made redundant after 30 plus years that the one company and can’t find another job. Well, there was a huge, hidden risk there that they didn’t see that then came down on them. And maybe you could argue, maybe it wasn’t able to be seen, but some things aren’t predictable.
Nonetheless, if you’re in business, you’re getting those signals all the time and you can kind of feel what’s going on and get a bit more of a feel about when something bad is going to happen. And it also, it strengthens the muscle of like getting better. So if you’re in a job, you really should be trying to improve yourself as best you can, no matter what.
And that doesn’t mean you should jump out and start a business because it’s not for everyone, but you should just be making sure that your, your skills are good enough that you can diversify across, um, and, and do something else or, or get another job somewhere else. and it’s those people who don’t understand that the smoothness doesn’t equal the risks.
That that get in trouble.
Terry: It’s like an illusion of predictability and the Brians are seeking that predictability. Cause it’s, it wants to site it predictability equals safety in our kind of animal, Brian, doesn’t it. Isn’t it.
Lachlan: I believe so. Yeah. Yeah.
Terry: So talk me through, you decided to do it, but you decided to do it differently. So you had an insight, which I thought was quite interesting around what you thought was broken in the industry and how you might go about doing it differently and fixing it.
Lachlan: Yeah. So I guess, um, we kind of felt like that we wanted to create a kind of company that we always wanted to work for and wanted to fix a couple of things that were frustrating about working in the engineering industry as best we could. And so we actually ended up flipping the idea of customer first on it. And saying, well, we’re actually an employee first business, and that we believe if we really do our best to create a great working environment, a transparent and a kind of decentralized and make sure we’re as flat as possible and tell people the good and the bad things about what’s happening and try and build something together that people will actually want to work with us.
So we get great people working with us, but then also that they’ll do a really good job for our clients. So the second part takes care of itself. So I think that people who put the client first without realizing that it’s the people who work with you, then actually create the value for the client. They’ve kind of got it the wrong way around. And we’ve found that to be a very good strategy. That’s really helped us a lot. And yeah, just trying to be honest with papers, and you know, in interviews we tell people what are the good and the bad things about working with us. And, you know, that’s strange in an interview.
Terry: I’d imagine that wouldn’t be shocking for a lot of people.
Lachlan: I think. So, uh, we created an office. We just split it in half and made the front just for fun and the back for work and stuff like that, that, I don’t think they’re revolutionary ideas, but it is a cohesive strategy. That means something to us. It aligns with our values and it’s good for business. And I think there’s a lot of win-wins in that.
Terry: Yeah. Well, you mentioned to me early days that that insight kind of helped you attract the highest quality employees and those high quality employees brought the work with them. A lot of the work is that
Lachlan: yeah. And, and told their friends about it. So those two things meant what that was leveraged for us, you know, as business owners. And it meant we got to work with great people that we really liked spending time with. And they’re awesome, and it’s really about the people you do it with. Right. So,
Terry: yep. Was it all smooth sailing at first? Like did it all just take off from Taiwan or was there sort of some bumps in the road, right.
Lachlan: Oh, no, no, it certainly wasn’t in, uh, I think that, you know, when you hear someone’s story, you usually hearing their highlights real. And so I think that’s important to remember as well as that starting a company. It’s a really iterative journey though. And it, I know you guys talk about compounding a fair bit on the program and it does compound over time. It compounds your efforts. So at the start, you know, I’ve never done a business course. I did year 11 business management, which we didn’t pay too much, but we half decent engineers.
My business partners are particularly excellent engineers and we just found a couple of clients, but we were underpricing ourselves massively. We didn’t really understand anything, but we had an action bias and we weren’t, we were just giving it a go. Yeah. And I know you talk about that a fair bit, Terry and I actually learnt from you that , that you actually want to seek the areas where you naturally have an action bias.
I think that’s a really great insight. And for us, it was kind of this cause it’s exciting. It was very exciting to us, but we also learnt quite a lot along the way quite quickly, because you have ultimate accountability. It’s, Nolan’s fixing this for you, you know? And then we also got some good people around us who could advise us when the time was right.
Lachlan: And that’s really important too, is that, you know, you don’t need to figure it all out yourself. Yeah. So it was really the three of us for almost the first year, I think. And then couple more the next year. And then the snowball rolls down the hill. And so I think that we ended up building a reasonably sizable business from what we thought we were going to build. We didn’t have any particularly grand plans though. We were ambitious.
Terry: Yep. So you didn’t set a goal. You didn’t sit down and say, we’re going to make this a 60 person FTA business. It’s going to serve us all the biggest projects all around Melbourne. You said we’re just going to start RMB.
Lachlan: Yeah. Because we want to do things different that’s right. And then that kind of came over time. I don’t think I would be lying if I said we weren’t ambitious. You know, we, we were striving for, to be really good and make this a success. And, but when you’re small, you’re nimble. Like you’re like a speed vote versus a ocean liner. And I think at the early days, a plan is almost highly overrated.
You want to have a plan so that you can change. so you can start somewhere and then you go, oh, okay, well, I’m actually hearing this from, um, the market I’ll I’ll change and do Y instead. And that’s the optionality of business is that, , a lot of things we can’t predict in a chaotic environment. So you’ve talked about optionality on the podcast before Terry, but really it is just like having the option that when someone comes to you with an opportunity, you can take it. And that’s something that we found a lot of is that we’ve done heaps of stuff that we didn’t plan to do, but was a good opportunity and aligned with our values and our strategy. And so. Um, we didn’t think about that in the first place and go out and seek it, but we were smart enough to see it and, and take advantage of it when it did occur.
Terry: So what’s one good example of that, where you kind of veered off course and did something that you didn’t expect to do and it’s paid off in dividends for you.
Lachlan: Good question. Well, probably what comes to mind is, um, one of the businesses we started that was, uh, a part of FSC with our business partner, Nathan, where we sort of met him through an industry contact and, and he does, um, what’s probably more described as engineering design. He’s an expert in that area and we got chatting and he was kind of interested in starting a business himself.
And we got talking about how we valued the same things and hanging out at our office just, and we’re like, wow, we’re really similar here. And we said, well, after that, we said, well, should we just start a design business? Kind of fits in. Well with the rest of the idea, it’d be a unique combination of skills and we’ll be able to impact the industry in a new and interesting way.
And so we ended up after three months of talking about starting a business together, and now we have a whole new arm and an amazing part. And the people that, um, he’s brought with him, a fantastic people who have, um, you know, enhanced the company more than I can kind of describe. So, but that’s not something we planned, but we assessed it against our model and said, yep, let’s do it.
Terry: Yeah when, uh, when, when those people came in, I’d imagine there’s like a couple of ways that they’ve influenced, there’s probably a lack of cultural influence in terms of the way they think and how they start to influence how you think. Um, and you kind of touched on, you know, it’s another, it’s basically another revenue stream as well. Right. It’s not necessarily the core of what you were doing. Like what has been the biggest impact of those two additions for you guys? Was it more the cultural, or is it more the, the diversification of revenue?
Lachlan: Well, I like to think of like professional services and most businesses draw themselves, like in a, in an org structure. Right. You’ve got like, ah, here’s the CEO and he, yeah. The operations manager and the COO and the chancellor vice president or whatever. And that is definitely not a title, but I think that what’s actually Mo much more interesting is to draw like a network diagram. It’s sort of like that sort of node and the link between the nodes, you know, that tells you a lot more about your company, because you can map out the relationships and the relationships to your clients.
You can draw it, heaps of things that way. And I actually, that’s the way I think about professional services is that everybody’s LinkedIn a big network. And, , I actually learnt this from reading about cities and the way cities. And there’s a huge reason why people move to cities. A lot of it’s about network effects is that the sum of the people together is creates greater than the greater value than the number of nodes.
And that actually attracts more people and more people. And then the combination of skills in that. And if you can connect people together provides new and interesting skill sets because, okay, well now that they’re with every construction design management job, we do, we can provide a design review and vice versa, and that’s very unique and that’s a combination of two sets of skills that’s greater than the sum of its part.
And so that’s kind of the way that I think about it and, and that’s why there’s a cultural impact and also a diversification impact. But then there’s this third impact of building the network and that’s probably getting quite yeah. Into the way of the company, but yeah, I think that’s, um, that’s the way that I think, and I guess maybe the point to tease out of that is that I think that you’re able to, particularly in business, the more you learn about the world around you and things you’re interested in and the systems that run those and the more that you can actually like pull things from one area into that.
And that’s super important because you start to see opportunities and, and options. So like you could learn a lot about the way a football club works and transfer that knowledge into coaching and in the professional sports environment and transfer that into the finance industry. And you’ve got a really interesting take, right? So you’ve crossed domains. You’ve moved to the information you’ve learnt from one domain across into another one. And these ideas. Are often known in one area that you can then take and use in another area. You often don’t have to think of things yourself. Does that make sense?
Terry: Yeah, I think what you’re saying is the benefit of going in those directions and exploring that is it creates a very different value proposition for you as a company. So there’s like vanilla in your industry. And then as you guys, it’s very hard for, for anyone to compare you to anybody else. Is that a fair comment?
Lachlan: So, and then I also think that if you’re trying to start a business, is that you can often find a good idea by transferring a good idea in one industry into another, or a particular set of skills there. You don’t have to invent something completely new. Most innovation is the combination of two or more things together. Like if you think about a car you’ve got wheels, you’ve got men. You’ve got a combustion engine, you got a radio, you’ve got, you know, windows, you’ve got glass, all these things are old inventions that have been cobbled together into something new and business is very much like that.
A business idea is like, it’s a combination of things or it’s using one thing in a new area or something like that. And I think it’s very valuable to learn as much as you can, about as many different things, because you start to see art as Ray Dalio would say, that’s another one of those. Oh, that’s like this. That’s like when I read about this brain surgeon and how he works, you know, I was watching something last night that documentary on Netflix, about David Geffen in the musical. And, you know, the way he approached his artists and stuff like that. I learned something about how we could better treat our employees. Yep. And I just stole that from him. Yep. We do not like so I think that learning about the world very helpful for coming up with new and interesting ways to do things
Terry: interesting to me, because very lightly, we’re kind of seeing that the way our business is probably going to go and, and the kind of people we want and need involved in that business are inherently going to be creative. Then they’re going to help us with this creative aspect of what we’re doing. So I’ve started to learn from believe it or not, the guy who founded a comedy newspaper or a comedy magazine in America called the onion. And, um, oh, cool. He’s written a book about how to manage creative people. Cause obviously he’s got like writing rooms full of comedians and they’ve got to work with designers and we’re working with very talented people with a very, I guess, narrow subject matter expertise.
And we’re trying to connect these people and he’s kind of got the blueprint. So I’m kind of reading about him and learning about that because similar to you, I’m thinking it’s going to be the collaboration between these people that creates the result. That brings something completely different to the marketplace. And so if we can’t get those skills to work together, You know, we’re going to find it very hard to get the most out of them. So I’m kind of encouraged by that because that’s kind of how I think about it as well.
Lachlan: That’s fantastic. But like, it makes it so accessible. Like if you think about it kind of what I was saying, like it’s very much I could do that, you know? Yeah. And you can run a hundred different liberal tests. It’s not a zero in one, like the way you’ve approached your business, Terry is that if you know, you didn’t like quit your job. Run into this, you tried it. And then you keep doing more and more and you know, it doesn’t have to be a zero or a one. You can, there’s a lot of different ways that you can do it.
And with a business, you can design it to be whatever you want. You can just be a business as a freelance. Uh, businesses, someone with one employee, a businesses, BHP, uh, businesses, something that you spend two days a week or 10, what do you do? You know, what do you spend your time doing? Who do you work with? It’s on creativeness. It is very creative. And I even thinking careers, you actually just get paid for your value creation. So everyone’s creative and you need, the more you can strengthen that muscle, the better you’re going to go. I reckon. Yeah. That’s my opinion.
Terry: And that insight that you talked about there it’s, there’s no hard and fast rules with this. You can make it what you, what you will, you know, from our conversations. You come to that realization from going too far, the other way, didn’t you. So you kind of, you kinda mentioned to me that you started to see traction and you kinda got, went too far down one route, one rabbit hole and, uh, and then kind of realized you had to step back from it and sort of rethink it. So can you talk us, talk us through more about that journey?
Lachlan: Yeah, absolutely. So I think that like, after a few years, The business was going well, but we were doing everything in the company, you know, and I’m like an anxious person just by temperament. And so I was dealing with like a lot of anxiety because of the volatility I was talking about. And, I’d come home and talk about what I’d been doing and some particular issue I was having and nothing that Christie my wife would talk to me about would help me feel better about it. I just keep repeating the problem. And it sort of got to the point where I was just like really obsessed with it, not in a good way.
Um, and there wasn’t actually empowering during my life. Like I’d imagined even though it was going well. And so I came to the realization and I’m pretty sure I read this somewhere, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you where it was that when you actually actually creating a company, is that, you know, I think you guys mentioned it on your last podcast is that, that business is a fantastic form of self-reflection and I believe that’s the case because your designing it.
So. It will, again, by definition, it will like kind of start to look a bit like you, so you’ll do the things you’re good at really well. You’ll ignore the things you don’t want to do and the problems. And if you’re like someone who wants to like be on top of everything, then everything will come to you. And so that was kind of what was happening to me. And there was a certain point where it just wasn’t really very healthy for me. It wasn’t delivering what I wanted. So I kind of took a step back and, and really designed things. So. It was actually empowering my life, like I said, and the key to that was setting up boundaries.
And that was sort of what happened with me is that I wasn’t actually putting my, the things I really valued first, even though I probably said I was, I was like, oh, I’m doing this for the greater good of creating safety for my family and this sort of stuff, but that’s all good and well, but you know, you’ve got to live in the moment, so I didn’t have good boundaries. And once you set them up, people will respect those and your business will start to shift to be the way that you want. And that’s why I kind of come back to, it’s really important to understand what sort of life are you looking for in the first place and then build a career and a business off the top of that.
Yeah, because only you can really know and it changes all the time. So, you know, it’s changed for me after having Flint in the last month. And you just don’t know. What you’re going to want in the next stage of your life. So, you know, an example of that is that I’ll put my phone in the bedroom after I got home at five 30 or whatever, and that’s it. No one can contact me. I won’t check emails on the rare occasion. I do break that rule because we’re all human. Yes. By the sound of it, that’s kind of how I’d, I’d set up something and, and, you know, things adapt, everything. Didn’t go didn’t change. And I think that’s where this philosophy of like, knowing what you want and then create something that’s going to give you. That yep. And lean towards your action bias as best you can.
Terry: And I would imagine that, uh, you can only get to that place if you learn how to delegate decisions, not just tasks, right? Because you’re not having to hold all that mental load. You’re actually dispersing it and you’re trusting people to do the work. And I think, I feel like this is a very hard thing to learn, and it’s something that we’re getting used to ourselves. Like, yes, you can delegate tasks, but if you still hold the task in your mind and you’re still responsible and accountable for it, um, you’re always going to be your growth, always going to be limited. So it sounds to me like you’ve managed to get through that and beyond it, is there anything that you could put your finger on is as to how you’ve managed to.
Lachlan: I think the mentality of like, knowing that you’re actually building a machine, so you are building a system, you’re not building something and you don’t want to be cranking the wheels all the time. Right? Like a factory is not going to work. If you’re around there, sort of turning the cogs. So understanding the cause and effect relationships between the thing that you’re actually building is important. And so that you’re going to set up an actual structure that sits below you, that can help. Uh, I’m still not the best at this, but I it’s got, like, it’s gotten to a pretty cool place now where it doesn’t all rely on the three of us who founded it.
Yeah. And we’re able to reward and give that satisfaction of building something to other people as well. And I guess probably just taking a break and realizing it doesn’t fall down is a good thing to do as well. Yeah. Cause you’ve got an over, you know, I think everyone has that over-inflated idea of, oh shit. If I don’t do this, X is going to happen. And yeah, I think that’s probably the main things, but then also just being clear, what’s your priority and that the business is not. You are a separate entity from it. That’s something that was hard to get your head around at the start as well. What do you mean by that?
The business is not you. So if we go back to the machine metaphor is that you can’t have too much of your self-worth and it’s impossible not to have a fair bit of it, or at least some, but you can’t have your whole self-worth wrapped up in the success of your company because you’ll never cause then the ups and downs, you feel it so much because it’s says something about you as a person.
Lachlan: If you can kind of try your best to divorce that feeling, it makes a huge difference because you aren’t the machine you’re building. You’re separate from that. You’re the creator. You know, things don’t work. There’s heaps of problems on your, on a company. It’s constantly stuff that’s not perfect. And you’re trying to deal with the entropy that’s being created from your system, you know?
Terry: Yeah. Well like you build what you build based on the lessons of the past, but it’s supposed to work for the future and the future is inherently unpredictable. Right? So how can you expect that? What you built is always going to be fit for purpose it’s cyst and unrealistic expectations.
Lachlan: That’s right. So that’s a very nice summary summary, which is why you need to be open to options, not overly married to your plan and diversified so that you can take advantage of things and also not be damaged too much by one thing that happens. And you can’t protect yourself from everything. COVID is a good example. Like some industries by complete random chance just cannot exist right now. That’s a really harsh reality, you know?
Terry: Yeah. There’s no way around that one. It’s just, you can’t, you can’t predict yeah.
Lachlan: That you can do things so that, you know, not all yeah. Wealth is tied up in the business. You, you know, there’s a lot of number of different things you can do in that sense, but yeah, there’s always a way to hedge, but it’s, uh, it’s tricky.
Terry: Yeah. Yeah.
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You said before about sort of where things are at now, I’m keen to sort of tease that out a little bit more. So what does it look like for you? Like, obviously the context of this episode is sitting within this short series of businesses, a vehicle for wealth. So like what freedoms has it allowed for you to be able to build this? You talked about the impact of that you’re having through PayPal and the impact on people’s lives. Like just talk us through what that looks like, what it feels like.
Lachlan: Yeah. Okay. Well, look, personally, like work is extremely fulfilling to create something is, is just what I love to do. So that’s a great start is that I look forward to work. some days I’m really nervous about where, and I definitely still feel imposter syndrome all the time, because if you’re growing something you’re constantly challenging yourself to make it better and try new things. But I, I really enjoy it. So that’s, that’s one thing I enjoy my days I’ve been able to achieve financial independence from my business because of the leverage that’s being created.
Lachlan: And so for me, that means I’m really a fan of, something I heard on, uh, how I built this podcast, which is a great, if you’re looking to start a business, you should be listening to that podcast. It’s really great podcast. And the guy created flicker and slacks you at Butterfield. He’s an interesting guy because he created two businesses where he had a plan to build a video game. And both times the video game sucked, but the little thing that they were using on the side turned into some of the biggest businesses in the world. Yeah. So that can tell you something about planning as well. He’s got three levels of wealth. He describes them. One is I’m not too stressed about money. And I’ll translate that into like, I’m not, yeah. I’m not stressed about paying the bills, but I’m also going to the supermarket and not looking too hard at the prices. Yep. Yep. Pieces level two is I don’t care what something costs in a restaurant, right? Yep. So I can just order something on the menu and not be too worried about it. And then his level three, this guy’s a billionaire.
He says, I don’t care what a holiday costs. And so that’s kind of an interesting insight, isn’t it? It just that the financial independence is there really to take away those worries and then to create the life that you want, um, in terms of like maybe your home or, you know, for me, we did a kind of exercise Christie and I, where we sort of said, well, what’s enough for us. What’s going to make us really, and this is something I’m sure that the fire people are all over. It’s like, you know, what is my life going to be satisfied? How much do I really need? You know, so don’t keep chasing the rainbow. And for us, we wanted like, uh, to not be stressed about debt, to have a nice holiday each year and have a holiday house and we’re well on the way.
And so not worrying about that is fantastic. And having, using the income generator to like create the life you want, that’s pretty cool. Yeah. And then in terms of time, you know, we’ve built it to the point where it doesn’t rely so much on me that, I have four to six weeks off a year. I don’t work. I work less than I did in my job. I’m probably like, it’s hard. Like it is hard, but it’s also rewarding. So, you know, so I think that’s kind of what it means to me. And then lastly, you know, we’re in the process now of committing a certain portion of our revenue to social causes as well as we’ve got sort of a cultural core in our business about.
That we’re people first that we love to create things that we want to have a positive impact on the communities that we work within. And, um, yeah, we’re driven to create and succeed to, we can do more of the first three. Yeah. And so that’s kind of the impact part as well as that you want to know that you’re, you know, and we’re lucky we’re in an industry where we do create value for society in the infrastructure that spill. Yeah. And so that’s kind of maybe how I think about where I’m at now, but you know, there’s a long way to go and nothing’s guaranteed in life. Is it? So, yeah, but I think, you know, we’re really proud of where we got to from sort of that crazy idea.
Terry: Yeah. It’s amazing that you should be very proud. couple of observations. I wouldn’t mind just getting your reaction on something that strikes me as different about where you’ve got to now and what you hear about what you read about in the fire spaces. And everyone’s always shooting for them. Everyone’s got this number they’re trying to get to, right. It seems to me like you’ve gone past the number, but you’re accelerating. And what is different about that is that it feels like when the F when the number is just the thing that you’re narrowly focused on, it’s like people sort of get to that place and they slow down and then I stop. And then I sort of stop thinking about what I want to get out of this life. It’s more just, I don’t know, like, there’s a lot of people that get there and they all almost get depressed, you know, whereas that hasn’t happened for you, you, you’re kind of more, your, your vision keeps expanding. Like, why do you think that is?
Lachlan: It’s a really tough question. I like it though. I think that my approach is like, perhaps slightly nuanced to the fire stuff, whereas, and I haven’t dive too far into the movement. So forgive me if I misquote some of this, but like, for me, it’s like, I want to be keep on reassessing all the time, what I want, you know, because. As I change that will change. So setting like a goal that you’re married to can be a little bit tough as well. You might have sort of this sort of, uh, effect where you’ve already bought this. So this idea, so you’re so far down the track that you’re, you’re not actually psychologically willing to be malleable there, whereas if you’re constantly like thinking about kind of what you want to do and, and that sort of thing, then that’s great.
And then some, I think that maybe some of the fire stuff might be able to be misinterpreted as like to have an, almost from want of a better word, austerity mindset, where it’s like, I have to minimize everything to get to this. Whereas I kind of believe that not everything’s been discovered and there’s a lot of value that can be created. And when you create value, it’s not a zero sum game. It’s an expanding thing so that you can always. Continue to open those horizons, I guess. And it’s not about earning a kazillion dollars or whatever. It’s about those kinds of four things I talked about.
Terry: Yeah. That’s a very selfless view. I think, you know, in terms of where your focus is, your focus is on continuing to serve. Whereas I think, like you said, you can get narrow in your focus. You hit your goal, but your focus has always been yeah.
Lachlan: Like, it’s very like good for the, I found it extremely rewarding to like create things. So rather than minimize things, trying to create new things is another way to achieve her goals. And it’s great for it creates win-wins for people. And that’s just a beautiful thing in life. Isn’t it? Absolutely. That’s great fun. So yeah.
Terry: So hence you don’t want to stop having fun. That makes a whole lot of sense to me.
Lachlan: It’s learning to like, you constantly like making mistakes and learning new things.
Terry: Yeah. The other observation that I wanted to share with you and hear your thoughts on was, I guess what’s different about you. Like, I know a lot of people that are running businesses that are, you know, there are, there are a long way ahead of where we’re at, but they’re nowhere near where you’re at nowhere close to them. Right. But the way. You are like, you know, Michael Tiffin reaches out and he connects the two of us and I’m like, why would this play? It surely is too busy. Surely he’s got so much going on, but that does not come across at all. Anytime you and I chat, there’s not, you might talk about yourself. Like you’re an anxious person, but that’s not how I experienced.
Lachlan: I’ve done a lot of work on that. So
Terry: I’m sure yeah. But I’m interested just to find out what you’ve learned, because I know a lot of people that aren’t anywhere close to where you are, but they act like they’ve got not a minute to spare. You know, that it’s just all, like everything’s a rush and everything is all just about, you know, getting my outcome or whatever. That’s not what I get from you.
Lachlan: It’s a very addictive mindset to be busy and it pumps up your sort of adrenaline and that sort of like, it’s like playing sport almost when you’re really task focused. And there’s a really good book about this deep work by Cal Newport. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with it, but grateful. He describes the two types of work. One is like shallow work, which is. Tick this got this done. Got this done. Yep. Yep. Next next. And that’s super satisfying. I love that stuff. You know, how good is it getting through to do list and just be like absolutely nailed today. Yeah. Knocked off 14 things that the deep work is sitting down and thinking and doing the hard, probably creative work where you’re thinking about stuff and that’s the stuff that’s really going to push you forward because the impact of that work is so much more so yeah. The return on your time is just massive when you do that type of work. And I would say the way I’ve tried to approach this, and again, caveat still learning is that as you get a bit further into your business, you kind of don’t want to be running around like that. You need to be doing the deeper thinking to create the value and influence your machine.
So you can’t be in that really heightened state all the time. Otherwise you’re not going to, you’re just kind of like, you’re not creating much value there. Yeah. So if you take the time to really think about what you want personally, and then how you’re going to get that through your business and how your business is going to work and what the strategy is and what you should be focusing on and stuff, you can do your best to cut out a lot of that noise. And I think that’s what I try and do is that, and then by that your time has impact and you get more time back. so I think that’s kind of how it was. If that makes sense.
Terry: Yeah, no, it does.
Lachlan: And then if you have boundaries, you’re not going to cross them anyway, regardless of what, unless it’s an emergency, of course there’s exceptions, but in the general day, if you’ve set your boundaries, it doesn’t matter because the business is just one part of my life, you know?
Terry: Yeah. What I think is interesting is, um, there’s a fantastic book. I’m not sure you probably read it because you and I seem to have right. Every book, all the same books, Clayton Christianson, how will you measure your life? Have you read that book?
Lachlan: No, I haven’t. That’s a nuance. I have to get that on the list book.
Terry: And it makes this point in this book where he talks about, you got to think about the difference between achieving and investing and I, and I’m paraphrasing it. He’s probably going to put this in. He’s much more articulate than I am, but he’s basically saying you gotta be very careful. You don’t get addicted to the dopamine rush of short-term achievement. And you forget about the things that really matter. And he’s like, you can do this so easily in your career because what you do today, you can see a result from tomorrow, but the time you invest, for example, in your kids, you’re not going to see a return on that time for another 20 years. And he’s like,
Lachlan: this is such a good point.
Terry: Yeah. And I think. I’m kind of getting from your, what you just said. There is you are prioritizing investing over achievement because you are the creator of the machine and you want to make sure that machine actually does what you want it to do in the longterm. And you just kind of differentiating between the busy work and the important work. Is that a fair?
Lachlan: I think that’s a good summary and you know, it’s not easy to do the deeper work. It doesn’t feel that good at the time. Cause you’re worried about something that’s urgent, but if you can get it right, like it does have a huge benefit, and you start to enjoy it and you kind of wean yourself off the short term work stuff. And I read a book by, um, the LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman called blitz scaling and something he talks about is like, let it burn. Yeah. So he’ll just like let bunch of stuff. Cause there’s so many problems. Right. But there’s certain ones. He just. Burn, just let it burn. Cause it’s just a little, little fire on the left. , and trying to remember that sometimes and go, okay, well I actually, and that’s something I learned from, um, some of the more senior guys in the construction industry is that they’ll just let certain issues just, just kind of go on because they’re not that important to fix. And so nothing, not everything can be perfect either. It’s trying to remember that. So
Terry: it’s nearer. I think about it like, flesh wound and mortal wounds. If it’s a flesh wound, I can push through that. If it’s a mortal wound as gonna kill me, if I don’t, if I don’t get on top of it and really just trying to understand what is, what, you know, that’s a flesh wound, fine. This is a model where we have to stop what we’re doing and get on top of this now.
Lachlan: So if the success in your career is like really dependent on value creation and the value creation comes from understanding the world around you and best you can and learning from others and taking the time to think about that stuff. Well, then you better make time for it because that’s how you’re going to really make yourself. A commodity of want and with that comes choice.
Terry: Mm. Yeah. I love that. My let’s talk about, I mean, we have sort of, COVID some lessons here along the way, but I’m interested when you think about the most important lessons that you’ve gleaned from the experience of taking, stepping out of this tract career, taking that risk, going through the ups and downs and coming to a place where, you know, in, in a material sense, you’ve already kind of achieved what you want and you’re on that path. That is not the thing that you’re after now. What do you feel like is the most important things that you picked up that you would, would want to share?
Lachlan: Yeah, so I think that we’ve talked about a couple of those already, but to just reiterate them, take the time to understand risk properly as best you can. I, I sort of, sort of sometimes explain this, like if you were going to teach someone to play basketball, what would you do? Well, you wouldn’t sit them in a lecture theater and talk to them about the rules and the trajectory of the ball and how it’s governed by the laws of motion. And you go out on court and you throw them the ball and you explain them the rules while you’re dribbling around.
Lachlan: Because that’s as humans, how we learn. But if you are going to teach someone to do brain surgery, you wouldn’t do that. You wouldn’t tell people, come on and grab a scalpel at school, you know, because you going to kill someone and said, profiles of those two different things are completely different. Brain surgery has a catastrophic risk if you get it wrong. But if you miss the three point shot, no one cares. Right?
Lachlan: And much more of the things in life, in a business or whatever fit into the basketball category. And so you don’t need to go and study entrepreneurship at Melbourne uni to start giving it a crack, sell some Nintendo’s online. Like I did when I was like 20 or something, you know, like you can just give it a go. And so have that action bias where the downside is low and always cap the downside. That’s probably the first thing I’d say.
Terry: Yeah. And I would validate that too, having done it the other way, doing an MBA, building a business, you know, probably maybe 10% of what I learned in that time is what I use the rest of it is actually kind of like hard one wisdom from making mistakes and iterating said.
Lachlan: Yeah. And like an MBA was probably be very useful if you were trying to get like a C-suite job as well. But if you’re trying to do this, maybe, maybe not as much. So the other thing is like, I think learning to learn and like being really curious is incredibly important. For business people. And if you’re just building a career in general, because like I said, you can combine things, you can learn things, you can take things from one area and apply them to a other, and that’s how you innovate a new idea. And so you’d really need to be, have a really keen eye for learning new stuff. And that’s fun. Like, you know, just learn something that you enjoy and also work on the fundamentals. So things like communications, relationship, building money, understanding money, and finance, they are fundamental skills you can’t outsource.
So you’ve got to learn about them. And then you really want to learn as much as you can, just about what interests you and think about how that can apply to different areas. And that’s kind of how you can come up with ideas. You then I think you really want to know the environment that you’re going into and what it means. So sort of what industry and what time and where and stuff like that and who you surround yourself with is super important. I think it’s like absolutely key to success because so much of your reaction and what you do is dependent on the inputs that come at you. Right? Whether it’s like talking, you know, getting involved, listening to this podcast where you’re getting this input from Terry over the last, um, and Ryan over the last, like 50 episodes that you can do something with, you know?
So you’ve surrounded yourself with those people. It’s the same idea with the environments of business you’re going into. Is it kind of like a rising tide? Am I in a good spot here? And then there’s certain environments that have different dynamics. So. Certain environments. So where you start a business, a kind of winner take all environments. Like if you’re trying to start Facebook, there’s one Facebook because the network effects. So certain businesses and environments have those aspects and others, like if you’re trying to set an engineering company, they don’t have that. There can be hundreds of engineering companies and they’ll probably do. Okay.
Lachlan: So again, if you want to be mark Zuckerberg, you’ve got to start Facebook. Cause that’s the only way you’re going to get $50 billion or whatever he has. But if you’ve got more modest ambitions, you’re probably better playing in one of those other environments and matching it to your skill level. So, and maybe you could actually sort of equate that to low, imagine, like trying to be an actor, right. Versus a financial advisor. There’s only about a hundred really successful actors. Like, so if you went to LA there’s like one Brad Pitt and a million is right. Yeah. And so that’s okay if that’s like, but you’ve got to understand that that’s the chances of success in that splice and be okay with that.
Terry: Yeah. That’s same with elite sport. You know, there are a bunch of people that have the genetics and the talent and the character to make that work. And there’s those people and you’re, they’re a part of that group or you’re not, and there are people that push their way into that group and they are exceptional people that you can learn a lot from, but that doesn’t happen very often. Yeah. And so I think really important points in terms of what you’ve just said, there is the environment like easiest a growing marketplace, or is it a stable marketplace because you don’t want to get into a business where the marketplace is dying because you could be exceptionally talented what you do, but the marketplace. Yeah. And it’s an external focus and you’ve said, no, that, and also the other thing you said there was understand what kind of competitive environment this is. Is this a zero-sum when to take soul or is this a positive sum where you can increase the value of the pie? That’s critical. I think. And they’re both external focuses. Is this not about you and your passion so much? This is now about you looking out, out, out of you and you know, what’s around you.
Lachlan: Yeah, I think, yeah, probably the last thing I’d say is like, really think about who you’re going to do it. Because your partners are so important. And I was so lucky to have the people I work with. It’s hard doing this, you know, so you want to be doing it with people you enjoy and that you can ring up and go, oh, that was, that was tough. Really had a tough day to day or celebrate the wins and you know, those relationships. Really what it’s about, you know, that could really help make or break what you’re doing as well. I think,
Terry: yeah, you need that. I reckon. Cause there’s times where you’re down and they’re up and they’re getting, they’re kind of picking you up and there’s tos where they’re down and you’re off and you’re helping them as well. Yeah. Amazing. Right now, is there anything that you would want to sort of say before we wrap up?
Lachlan: I think look just, uh, probably just good luck on your journey out there, and hopefully this provided some insight that might be able to help you and look, you can connect with me on LinkedIn. Um, I’m not really on the other social media platforms, but you know, find me on LinkedIn and hit me up. I’d love to talk to you about and help you in any way I can. And, you know, lastly, we also have a podcast of my own with my friend, Ryan, where we talk about books and some of the ideas that I’ve talked about today, it’s called the abstractable podcast. So if you’re interested, we’d love it. If you give us a listen,
Terry: thank you. You might, that’s an, I can vouch for that podcast because as I said, I started listening. Michael told me about it and I started listening. I was like, this guy has literally read all the same books that I’ve read and listening to every episode was like rereading the book and I find rereading books to be very valuable. So I’ve found it a great way to do that. So thank you for putting me on the podcast. And I think, you know, if you’re the kind of person that you do like to, I guess, really just dig in and explore things and really just have that curious mindset. You’re going to find this podcast to be very useful, particularly if you are sort of reviewing some of these books. So I highly encourage you to do that.
Lachlan: Look back. Just want to say thank you to you for inviting.
Terry: No, no problems at all.
Lachlan: Really appreciate it. I’m a fan of your podcast and it’s been an honor to join you here, sir.
Terry: Really appreciate it. And, uh, the time you’ve given us and all the lessons here, and even beyond this episode itself, just the chats you and I have had really appreciate that as well. So if you’re someone that heard him just say, reach out to me and chat, I can guarantee that he is someone that actually means it. It’s not just a, that’s not an empty promise coming from Laughlin. So if you think that, uh, that he might be able to help you and you might be able to have a good conversation and, uh, talk him up on it.
Lachlan: Thanks so much.
Terry: Thank you. Bye. Talk soon.
Lachlan: Say it.
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