Dec. 13, 2021

Andrew Akib | On Purpose Driven Business and Transdisciplinarity

Andrew Akib | On Purpose Driven Business and Transdisciplinarity

Andrew is the Co-Founder and CEO of Maslow. Maslow is a voice-enabled rehabilitation assistant for young people living with paralysis. Andrew is a musician and artist at heart and says that is how he learned to be a leader, innovator, and problem solver.

My 3 takeaways from this episode:
1. importance of transdisciplinarity
2. benefits of purpose-driven companies
3. value in trusting your gut

Connect with Andrew
https://www.maslow.io/

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00:00 Andrew Akib
00:29 Intro
01:34 How did Andrew Get into Consulting from Music
08:11 Music not seen as a traditional consulting degree
08:50 What Artists are good at
09:43 How Andrew ended up in the disability space
17:45 Noticing and Taking Opportunities
19:05 Passions and Identity
21:16 Transdisciplinarity
24:27 Range
26:48 Purpose Driven Businesses
30:17 Excitment for Purpose Driven companies 
33:52 Companies and Founders that Inspire Andrew
35:53 Dealing with Self-Doubt
39:14 Advice for Early Career
42:12 Connect with Andrew

Transcript

Hello, and welcome to graduate theory. On today's episode, you'll hear about transdisciplinarity. You hear about music and how that can be an unconventional way to add great value in consulting and other fields. You'll hear all about purpose and what it means to be a partner of a purpose driven company. I'm really excited about today's episode and I hope you enjoy.

James:

Hello and welcome to graduate theory. My guest today graduated from the university of technology in Sydney in 2014, with a bachelor of sound and music. Since then he's worked at companies like Commonwealth bank, Bain and essential. And in 2019, he co-founded this company, Maslow, Maslow is a voice enabled rehabilitation assistant for young people, living with paralysis. It empowers young people to independently manage rehabilitation and is challenging the systematic norms in disabilities. Maslow has hundreds of users with disabilities registered across Australia and us therapists, remotely managing clients in Australia for this great work. In 2019, my guests received the young social pioneer of 2019 award by foundation of young Australians for making an impact in the disability and accessibility space. Please welcome to the show, Andrew. Welcome to the shine. I didn't feel someone that's had a really interesting career story and is doing some really great work in the disability space. But one thing before we dive into all that, I want to ask you about your transition from university into your career and kind of your first few jobs, because you studied music at university and went into consulting, which is really an, almost an unusual, uncommon. So I want to ask, was there a particular moment in that transition, that led you from music into consultant?

Andrew:

First of all, thanks for that really interesting intro. I'm, Hearing, hearing you call out some of the Trinity points. It's actually just refreshing my memory and I'm just remembering even some of those experiences that I may have slightly forgotten. So that's really interesting, but yeah, to answer your question th th the context is that I was, I was studying music at university and really looking at that intersection between music, technology, and culture. I really enjoyed just making, making technology for music, whether it be for stage, whether it be for print production, whether it be the studio whether it be to help bands promote into. It was just something that I enjoyed and something that I've dabbled in and had a sense of play in. But I remember starting to get towards the end of my university degree and maybe had, I was maybe in a final semester and I thought to myself, oh shit, like I'm while I'm a student. And while I'm at university, I might as well take advantage of any of the resources that I've got here. So I started just signing up to whatever was on and Willy nilly problem solving courses, leadership and communication workshops. Just anything that I saw on the events calendar that even remotely looked interesting. I just find out for it it got to the point that I was running around the university. I just, I just been to the gyms or was there any kind of tracking down some looking really, really scruffy. And I was going to turn up to a workshop that I had. That I'd applied for. And I was in the new UTS building, which I didn't really know my way around. The one that looks like a cheese grater now. So they'd just built it with shows my age and I was running around and I saw a sign on the door and it said digital, something, something. So I thought, oh, this must be the room I'm in. So I opened up the door thinking I was 15 minutes late and I walked in and there's no one else around. So I thinking I'm late to this, this is a little bit strange. There's no. There was one guy at the front wearing a suit and he looked at me and he said, mate, what are you doing here? And I said, I'm here for I'm here for a workshop. And I didn't really know what I was going to then just signed up for everything he said, okay, no worries. Tell me a bit about yourself. So my name is Andrew. I'm studying music and a build technology got chatting and he said, oh yeah, you should really, you should sit down and join this workshop. And we I'm thinking, well, yeah, I signed up for. What I noticed was on the table. There were named cards and of course mine wasn't there. But I sat down and people started filing in and they were all wearing suits and button ups and ties. And I'm thinking, I think I might be in the wrong workshop, but I all sit down very quietly looking at me like, what the hell is this guy doing here? And the first, as everybody sits down, the man that facilitated the course, the first thing he asked is who here did not study commerce or business or engineering or. And I put my hand up and he said, what did you study? I said, I studied music and everybody in the, in that room law. But he then went on to say, well, you all know why you're here. And I'm thinking, I don't know why I'm in this workshop. I don't know what's going on. And he said, you're here for the case interview for a strategy consulting for strategy consulting role. And I've thought to myself, okay, I've just walked into an interview. That I didn't apply for that. I didn't get into that. Everybody else here had actually gone through a number of other screening interviews to get into that was reasonably competitive. And he said, the format of this interview is we're going to give you a case question and you're going to use the subject matter experts in the room to ask questions, to diagnose, to try and get to the answer, to solve the problem that we're presenting to you. And he said, the problem that we're going to present is a little bit different to what you're used to in an economics degree, a business degree or an engineering degree, or the typical types of roles that fields of study that jet tend to go into consulting. And he said, the case question is how can we help emerging musicians break above the clutter of the digital market in order to create a sustainable arts industry worldwide. Thinking about this whole group had laughed at me for studying music. I just thought to myself, well, who's laughing now. The context of the interview was, we spent, we spent 45 minutes interviewing subject matter experts. And at the end of we all had to pitch our solution based on the information that we'd discovered. And because I'd already been enjoying working in the music industry and really, really enthusiastic about that and thinking about changes in audio culture and digital streaming services and the things that I just enjoy. I really thrived in this interview. I enjoyed talking to the subject matter experts and when it was time to pitch, I thought to myself, look, I'm just going to get this out of the way. I'm feeling really uncomfortable because everyone was laughing at me. I was actually really anxious at the time. I didn't know what was going on. And I pitched a solution, talked about my background in the music industry and said, all right, cool, I'm going to go now. But as I left one of the facilitators of the interview chased me down and said, Andrew, I have to introduce you to somebody. And. Introduced me to the partner of this kind of strategy practice that was heading up the media entertainment vision. And, yeah, they invited me to become a strategy consultant with them and help them help themselves to some of their new music industry clients. So, it was all it was all a very, very serendipitous event and it was very, very much the first episode of suits, if you've ever seen That couldn't have been.

James:

Yeah.

Andrew:

That's how I accidentally walked into the wrong room and became, became a consultant.

James:

Wow. Yeah. That is amazing. That is seriously such a special story. And how things are turned out after that as Like getting to where You are I know, really life changing almost and probably,

Andrew:

like one of the biggest things I will say about that is at the time, I didn't know what was happening at the time. I didn't know where any of that was would lead and more so at the time I felt really uncomfortable about all of these people from, wearing suits and ties from traditional career paths, like laughing at me because they didn't think that a musician could become as consultant. but on the other side of that, it, it made sense and people supported me along the way and embrace those skills. And it was all just about being myself and embracing what I do.

James:

yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I see what you mean, what, like your example of when you speak. You got laughed out because he was studying music or whatever. I feel like there's definitely a bit of a stigma around some of the arts, people think it's not that traditional kind of career, but certainly in my experience in your grades sample there are absolutely people in that that are doing great things. And, that's that kind of stigma that I see. And perhaps, I don't know if you've noticed that. Having that diverse skillset and being able to count problems for interview wise. I mean, that is really unique it's something that, it's great to say that you're an example of that, that you can take that skill set. It's not traditional to those consulting kind of roles and you can still have that positive impact. I think.

Andrew:

Yeah, definitely. I think just commenting on that, I think that artists are incredibly good at a few things that business innovators are really seeking. Now, what artists really understand is how to craft together a highly emotive and engaging experience on a very, very minimal budget and kind of cooling things behind the scenes that might really be scrappy and like just MVP essentially. But then on the front kind of on the front facing side and the audience side is, beautiful curtain performance and that's that lean MVP approach to, well, especially in entrepreneurship, especially in innovation, especially in that. Field test break and kind of iterate type of cycle. Yeah. And artists are fundamentally really, really good at that. leaning into the emotional connections with the audience and achieving that through consumer products. these are the types of mindsets that my business innovators are looking for, that artists have had down path.

James:

Yeah, I think that, that is really exciting. One thing I want to talk about now is, you've transitioned into the corporate world into this kind of consulting role. How did you actually end up in this disability support? You know, this whole disability thing, which you're obviously a startup is in that. How'd you then fall into this

Andrew:

Th th the great thing about being in a consulting role is you do get to dabble in quite a lot of different industries, and you do get to become a little bit of a subject matter expert or enough of a subject matter expert, and then move on to the next thing. I was, I was lucky enough to work in the media and entertainment industry of course. But also. And have worked in social enterprise across Southeast Asia. So it did strategy and product work for a number of Southeast Asian social enterprises. And then was also lucky enough to work on healthcare systems, major healthcare systems in Australia designing product and kind of understanding that consumer experience. So, I've got to pick up this kind of set of skills. Yeah, across kind of social impact and then across healthcare and then across that digital music experience, but the actual, to be honest with you, the actual kind of trigger point of what made us say, Hey, we shouldn't start a business. Ourselves was through an event that a friend of a friend of friend of ours, of my best friend in mind that. I was studying at university and I'm training for a triathlon and he slipped and hit his head and suffered a traumatic brain injury. And it was after that he spent nine months in rehab hospital after being paralyzed, losing his memory. And he was surrounded by therapists that rural teaching anymore. About all of the things that he would need to do when he got home pressure care, and how to manage support work is and what your exercise physiology is going to look like and how to train, how to change a catheter and how to, how to manage your mobility. And it's a lot for somebody to take in if they have um, you know, if they've suffered a brain injury and they're paralyzed and they're going through this traumatic experience. So when he was discharged from the rehab hospital, huh? He, he and his family forgot a lot of what they learned, which made it really, really challenging to stay on top of all of those therapy programs and manage attainment, support workers, and beyond just doing like the minimum care and rehab things that they educated you on. Like just to do things that make the human life go back to your university or find a job. There was no time to do any of that because he was spending so much of his time managing his physiological health, but it made it so much harder. I enjoy being human. And he was re-admitted back to hospital with infections and publications and all of these things that could have been avoided. And my background in kind of product and kind of product and user experience combined with my best friend's background as a therapist, actually, and looking at this kind of experience that our friend with. We really thought to herself, they wish that there has to be a way to address some of these challenges through technology. There has to be a way to address the access to information and challenges because that's what technology has always been amazing at helping people access information. There has to be a way to address these management of a care team kind of challenges because again, you technology is amazing at connecting and coordinating. And that also has to be a way to use technology, to help him remotely access things from home. Because look at us right now, we've never met each other in person and we're having a conversation online. So, that for us was really that, like that Spock that made us say, Hey, this is worth solving and we didn't just go in and stop Maslow, like off the back of that. We didn't go, all right, let's create a company. There's a, there's a challenge. Let's figure this out. The start of, it was actually a kind of a slower testing. The waters experienced for an entire year before, before quitting kind of my job as a consultant. We connected with, hundreds of people, young people with spinal cord injuries, all across Australia all the way over in Perth and Northern territory and pretty much every great city. And we spoke to them and we didn't try and jam a solution down. Anyone's kind of input, put a solution in anyone's face or recommend anything. We just listened and that's it. And we listened to try and understand whether the experiences of young people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries across Australia was similar or different to what our friend experience. And we listened and co-designed and procreated what they asked for. And there were prevalent things. People found it hard to stay on top of their therapy programs from home, they all were frustrated by verbally educating their support workers every single day. And they all said that they wished that they could just have a platform where they could do all of this in the one place and remotely access all their content because I was sick of traveling to to their clinical appointments for really basic needs. So it was through 2019 that. Immersing and researching and listening but also prototyping and testing with this group. So the result of that was we built a community already, before we even launched that knew exactly what they wanted, knew exactly what we were delivering and that we knew exactly what their kind of set up was. But it wasn't actually until March, 2020, that. We're forced to try and push something live. And that was because the community that we were co-designing with already had access issues to technically come to healthcare that already had challenges, regulating and managing their support workers. And already we're looking for digital solutions that their therapists weren't willing to provide. They were all locked out of their clinics because of COVID. And a lot of people may not know this, but you know, people with severe disabilities. We're at the highest risk at that time. And we're having a lot of the how do I say this? We're probably some of the ones that held the most fear because it wasn't like your eye where we could think about this and go, okay. This may not affect us that badly. I mean, for somebody living with respiratory issues they thought about, COVID as something that could genuinely having severe negative impact on their and wellbeing at a young age, So the relationship changed from, Hey, we're prototyping this virtual solution with these guys to them going, Hey, that prototype that you guys have been working with us on. Well, I could really use it right now because I need remote access to my my therapist. And I need to be able to regulate my support because activities around all the COVID productions. So yeah, we were forced to push it live in March, 2020, and, things just, I guess,

James:

Yeah, well, that's, that's another really fascinating story, to go along with this story earlier, I think as well, this is another one of those kind of events it's really thrust you into this whole new world. And has, I mean a great things as well. Which I think is really

Andrew:

Yeah, I think I think with both of those though, that I reflect on this a lot. Yeah. No, I don't want it to sound like there was some golden goose or golden opportunity that was presented with at the time. Because again, honestly, in both of those scenarios, they didn't make sense at the time. It's only in hindsight that I'm able to say how it all hangs together. Even with Maslow. For example, that first year 2019, where we went out and did research, we didn't know what we were doing. We didn't know we were going to build and we weren't fully sure of what problem we were even solving. I can talk about it now because I've gone through the experience and kind of had those learnings, but back then we were, making it up as we were going along and learning to be entrepreneurs. We didn't go, Hey, we're going to be startup founders. and they're immediately possess the skills and capabilities and maturity and expectations. It was just naivety, and an intent to do it. But it's actually been the experience since then that and, and, and embracing what we've learned. That's enabled us to say, Hey, this is why we did it. And this is what we wanted, and this is what we need to do.

James:

Yeah, absolutely. And one thing that comes up, I think through these two is it's one thing to have those opportunities presented or thrust upon you or, whatever, when you used to describe them. And that's another thing too. type that opportunity act on it and seize that opportunity, which I think is something that

Andrew:

Yeah, absolutely. Just, just commenting on that. Even before that it's one thing to even be able to notice those things. In the first example of, just luckily turning up to that consulting case interview. Well, I mean, that's not actually the case. I was, I was in a panic mode of my life where I didn't know what I was going to do when I graduated. So I was panic, Dudley, signing up for everything that I could possibly sign up or to just turn up and see what, see what happened. And had I not been doing that, that opportunity one wouldn't present itself to me. And secondly, had I not been doing that, I wouldn't have possessed the skills. We'll actually execute on that when I executed on it. And yeah, had I not also possessed the naivety to not leave the class after I realized it was the wrong group, then I wouldn't have been out of hold on to that, sir. And mixture of luck, naivety, which is actually a great thing. But also of, being able to enjoy the discomfort of the opportunity, but also see it permanent or.

James:

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I think it's really cool. It's, definitely comes through the initiative

Andrew:

I do just want to point to another element of that, which like, it feels really intangible when, when people tell you about it, but often people will tell you about it being important and like just, laugh if you will, but that's passion. So, passion has a really interesting role in creating opportunities. And it's very logical in like non fluffy, kind of like asking the universe will deliver ways that that manifests itself. And you get an example when you're passionate about something, you take it on as part of your identity. And for me that may have been music and technology or web design or some things that sat around that. And because I'd taken that on as my identity, when I meet someone and get into a conversation about what do you do, or, what do you care. For me, the conversation tended to steer towards music, music technology, or that kind of thing. And being like, Hey, I'm actually really interested in that. And if you made a hundred people and they all remember you as the music technology person, then all of a sudden 100 people are your eyes and ears for opportunities that might make sense for you. And they might meet someone who has an opportunity now remember, oh yeah, that's right. Andrew was the music technology person, and I'm going to introduce them to that person. And so there's very tangible ways that manifests. And for me that could have, that was that when I walked into that room and met a stranger and was scared when I was wearing tracky dacks and looking really scruffy, no wearing a suit and looking really well curated. And I asked who I was and what I did, the first thing that I said to them was I'm Andrew. And I'm a musician. And I also make music technology. How do I not present at that passion? probably would have been booted out of there.

James:

Yeah, I think that's really cool. Or it's definitely, having that passion and creating that passion is as you said, can lead to really interesting opportunities yeah. In that area. One thing I wanted to ask too is, you've had these pretty diverse music consulting now you're in the disability space. How do you. you. know, having that really sort of generalist almost approach, not, not the, you know, not that you're complete generalist, but you know, having that diverse set of experiences, how do you think that enables you to see problems in a different way and, to produce like in, like you were saying that artists in unit, creating those innovative solutions, you think that that'll we'll

Andrew:

Yeah, definitely. I mean, there's this, there's this there's this kind of like world and thought leadership and concept that people like to describe as like transdisciplinary. And it sounds really buzzwordy when you just say it out loud and say transdisciplinary. Or a cross-functional collaboration or any variation of that, that different industries talk about. And then you got to ask yourself what actually is that, and I think something that naturally happens with various different industries, skillsets, especially kind of data skillsets, whether they be scientific, mathematical engineering whether they be whatever they are. The deepest someone tends to get in that skillset in kind of conventional fields, the less capable they are collaborating with people from other skillsets at that same depth. And so you have, you have a lot of these things and these silos being built into industries, and I'll give a really good example of that in the healthcare community. So in healthcare, hospitals, hire clinicians They hire clinicians to run their businesses and run their kind of technology and run their whole practices. They don't hire digital transformation experts. And so the only people that design that were designing solutions, especially before COVID in the hospital space where clinicians, so they're very clinically oriented and that's great. But as soon as the world shifted into being okay, we've got to be completely remote. All of a sudden the healthcare system we needed to catch up. And the only people that were able to. To guide. And from that transition where people that had enough expertise in the clinical space and enough expertise in say the digital space or whatever, all this space to aid with that collaboration and aid would like getting the most out of both worlds. So I guess what I'm saying is, for me personally, Touching on a lot of different topics, but you know, just enough has enabled me to collaborate with a very, very large scope of people. Whether they be artists, whether they be technologists, whether they be clinicians, whether they be designers, whether they be anything right. And the value of that has been that it's always going to take a number of different skill sets in order to get something new off the ground or in order to create something. And frankly, in terms of that transdisciplinarity conversation, the magical things in this world happen in between disciplines and they happen in between industries. So for me, getting that kind of quite diverse experience, the value of that has been that I can very quickly build a team and work, work, and gel with everyone and get everyone to work in gel with one. Because I understand enough about the different ways that people work in different industries or in different skillsets to create cohesive collaboration. and you also understand what, how people think, what they're motivated by and how they solve problems. So I guess, yeah, that, that kind of sort of, so to answer your question, the value of how. Being an expert generalist, still touching on different things or having varied experience. It's quite unique has been that the output of that is unique and you can collaborate with a unique set of people and therefore fundamentally create a new.

James:

Yeah. Yeah. I think that's really cool when there's, I dunno if you've heard of or read about it, but there's this book called range. It's got with David Epstein and it's all about this idea. That whole thing like specialists and generalists, and really who comes out on top homeless, different scenarios in the wetter, you know, new discoveries come from and, and who like almost from a career sense, you know, should you set yourself up as a specialist or as a generalist and yeah, he found that a lot, what you those new, new creations. Often come from those people that are looking, from a particular domain across domains, rather than someone that's really deep in a single domain. And I think that he's just, he has some, it sounds like something, that's what you'd found as

Andrew:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think the other part of that is, even if you have a diverse experience, like in two completely separate fields, or you do a career change, some people hold this attitude. If I change careers, I'm losing all of this knowledge that I have that specialized in a certain field. And I'm going into something as the underdog and starting from zero. But other people have this kind of perspective of if I change careers, I'm bringing in a type of thinking that is completely new to an industry that hasn't experienced that before. And that's actually a competitive advantage and something that you can use as a platform rather than. And so I think that for people that do have varied experience and not just in the workplace, but like from sport to music, to art, to your hobbies, to even religion and science and philosophy, if you really think about how you can leverage and use what you already know as a strength to inform something that it may not have been exposed to before and use that analogist experience, then all of a sudden diversity's a superpower rather than.

James:

Yeah. Yeah. I think that's really cool. Definitely. Something that does not try to do in my own life and something that I would absolutely recommend it. Something that you've experienced too is, getting that well, it doesn't even have to baby go and jump careers or it can be, let's a side hustle that's in an unrelated. Something that interests me. That's unrelated to work well, let's, pick up a hobby or whatever it is just to give you that, that, contrast. He's, he, I think is cool.

Andrew:

Yeah.

James:

Yeah. One thing, one thing I want to ask about, which I think is really cool as well, is this idea of a purpose driven company and that has, really comes through with, with Maslow is that, we're creating this. Have gone. like yourself, you've gone. from what is traditionally in Western lucrative kind of thing consulting and very traditional kind of field. go on into this, this idea where, okay, we're going to do we're going to make the world a better place by creating this product and really helping people, on personal level. I want to ask you. how has, how's your experience been like this purpose first approach? Is that something that you would recommend to more people.

Andrew:

Yeah, I'm just Relating that back to something that we spoke about earlier around, around passion. I didn't know this was going to manifest itself in this conversation as well, but just like your individual passion attracts people and attracts opportunities and that people can get around because it makes sense to them and they can latch on to it's similar for a really purpose-driven. When, and again, people talk about it in really fluffy ways, but I'm going to explain how this actually manifests itself in very, very literal and logical ways. So when you run a purpose-driven business, what that actually means is that you, as a business leader or employee or anybody, or customer or partner are able to come to the table and say, I'm truly passionate about what this solves, how it solves it and what the outcome and vision. We are all collectively working together to create. And for Maslow, that happens to be, to make it as easy as possible for people with disabilities to manage their care in their rehab at home. That's a fundamental purpose. It's not just my purpose. It's there because it's out all about audience and our community's purpose. It's our employee's purpose. It's our partner's purpose. It's our investor's purpose. And everybody gets around. And it's been shaped up by everybody as well. I told you about that year that we spent just immersing ourselves with the lives of young people with severe spinal injuries. This is the purpose that they want and were just on the journey with them. So the way that that manifests itself is that just like when you speak about passion on purpose the right employees are attracted to. People want to collaborate on this because they've seen it before the right investors are attracted to you because they understand how important it is from a purely altruistic standpoint. It's not just a per a profitable standpoint. It makes it easier to make design and strategic decisions because you actually have a centralized point to refer back to. It's not just, making a quick buck. And it also keeps your team, your partners, and everybody grounded in. Which makes it easier to have tough conversations because when it comes to needing to make compromises somewhere, you can always come back to purpose and whether it does, or it doesn't help achieve this purpose. So, I mean, and that's that kind of war cry or that rallying cries so much louder and so much stronger than, a I'm not gonna name any names here, or point point into any particular industries, but you know, a purely for profit, just, a company that doesn't have as tangible and impact on people. It doesn't have as tangible community impact. I mean, yes, every company along the way, figures out a rationale about how they make impact, but there are certainly different flavors of that and certainly different degrees of separation of that. And when it's very real and it's very tangible and you can really speak about it and you bring the right people to the table around it, you find motivated people that are truly willing to succeed.

James:

Yeah, I think that's, I think it's really cool when it's something that, I don't know if you've seen. And what about those sorts of companies you're sort of company, know, become more common? Especially with the younger people. We, really trying to get out of corporate world and want to try and even this whole thing that's going moment, everyone's moving jobs and there's all this talk about, the job Xs and things like that because people are struggling to find that meaning in what they do you and, and find that purpose in what they're doing. And so is that something you've seen, you And these kinds of things. And I does that get

Andrew:

Yeah, I think that does get me excited. So I think it's going to go into a very philosophical discussion here. But one of the things that makes me particularly excited about that. There are a lot of things in the world that are worth facing. I think we all know that right now, there are a lot of things. And if you look around that are really worth fixing and what a mass Exodus of people that are leaving, like not to say that the corporate doesn't have purpose, right? Not to say that that fundamentally doesn't have that risk, but a mass Exodus of people or great resignation or whatever you want to call it. If people that are moving over to, I want to tangibly see the grassroots impact of what I'm doing. And the change in the consumer market to go, I will make consumer decisions on products because they make a tangible impact to the world means that there's going to be like an accelerating surgeons of like impact driven businesses, whether that be for climate change, whether that be for like social dialogue, whether that be for, whatever it is. But as that becomes normal, then. And as people as consumers stop making consumer decisions to support companies like this, then all of a sudden, like the entire ecosystem enables purpose-driven businesses. And we end up with a world where people have the strongest voice. People aren't just in careers because a corporation exists that they can get a reasonable salary from and hopefully buy a house with a picket fence and all of that, like companies that exist that can support employees. To make an impact on the world and therefore the world will change rapidly. And therefore we have a better chance of addressing major things that we face as as humanity climate change or misinformation and social divisiveness. And these are all good things and they get me really, really excited. I want to hear about more people, stepping into the world of purpose-driven business. And I want to tell people that purpose and profit aren't mutually. If there's a genuine problem that needs to be solved and you're passionate about it. It's probably going to be thousands, if not millions of other people that want that solved to either as collaborators or as customers, or as partners or as investors. And if you'll we'll cry about that as loud enough, they will hear you and they will come and help you out. So, yeah, I wanted, I wanted if anyone wants to take anything away from this, if you thinking about. Starting have the streaming business and you don't know what to do. Like good. Do it stop because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't know what, I didn't know what the other side of the fence looked like. Nobody does, but you can only figure that out by actually going through that door and figuring out what's on the other side of the fence. And if it doesn't work out, that's fine. You probably learned a lot from it and you can take those skills elsewhere. Then you can take those analogies skills elsewhere. But if it does work out then great, you've done something that's greatly impact, And brought people together. So, yeah. To answer your question. Yeah. It gets me very excited.

James:

Yeah. Yeah. That's great. And are there any companies in particular or founders? Different people maybe in your network or do people you respect. Are there any companies that you look to as a great example of

Andrew:

Yeah, definitely. I think. I'll I'll I'll list off a few. Hopefully I'm allowed to list all of them, but number one I think in Australia higher up higher up is disability support worker platform for hiring disability support workers. And they've completely shifted the way that people think about hiring disability support. And their leadership has been making purpose driven decisions from the start that have attracted good teams, good funders, good partners, good value proposition, and a good a good positioning in the market. They've certainly sometimes taken the less profitable decision than the, but more purposeful decision. And I think it's paid off in the long run, so kudos to Jordan O'Reilly from higher up in the team. I think also some of the surgeons is of neobanks that focus on impact investment, I think is also a positive as well. Seeing the way that our young people's capital can be put to good in impact investment, where using impact investment as an investment instrument, as opposed to, more traditional investments that superannuation funds might be leaning into. so kudos to. Some of those companies Naomi to list probably one of my favorite ones. That's N E O M I got buyer. So yeah, I think for me, the ones which are closest to hot, especially in Australia are, the disability tech landscape, which we are part of. And I think the impact, the impact lending landscape, which, I believe, is a way of the future and is another one of those things that should fuel the purpose-driven businesses.

James:

I think that's really cool. And this, this whole space that you're in is, is something that, you know yeah. Like you get so excited by it. It's almost infectious. Cause it's, like you can just see the good that it's coming out of. It's kind of thing. And it's, like anyone can look at this thing and be like, okay, that is, that is something that I want to be a part of. That is like you're saying purpose driven business and I'm excited for, for what the future holds. You're going to go out and trade. I think it's very, very exciting.

Andrew:

Thanks. Likewise.

James:

Yeah. Well, one thing I want to ask, well, I want two more questions for you actually is is one is about this kind of idea. It's a thing that has come through. Many of my podcast episodes is this idea of self doubt. And like when you going, even though. We've discussed some different examples with the already that, you're sitting in the interview, you're not sure what to do. You're really doubting yourself perhaps. And even, even this whole startup journey, I'm there's plenty of sort of self development and self growth that has come along with it. What's how have you had any really big examples of doubting yourself? Do you have a kind of process or how have you dealt with that?

Andrew:

Yeah, that's a good question. I think it's this self doubt or like that kind of imposter syndrome or being scared of what's on the other side. These are all things that are definitely going to happen no matter where you are. And no matter who you are, either, if you take on an endeavor, that feeling is going to come it's, it's absolutely inevitable. Your relationship with that feeling is what's really important and learning to become comfortable navigating the MUB. And navigating leaning into that unknown or leaning into that space that is uncomfortable is essential. And in terms of overcoming that, like I said, no it noticing that it's happening. This is probably very I don't know, meditation, ESCO, or that kind of, one of. I think it's first and foremost important to know that it's happening. Know when you are feeling experiences of self doubt and go, okay. That feeling there, that uncomfortable feeling, that thing that's causing me to question myself or whatever. That's just a feeling of fear and self-doubt, and it's going to happen. The second part is finding your your cheerleaders and your friends and your people that you trust that can help you build the company. And I've challenged the, the flawed logic that's coming from that self doubt and, really sit with and talk that through with people, because at the end of the day, you probably are good enough. That's why you're even thinking about an opportunity. Now, if you're in a position of doubting yourself, you've been presented with an opportunity and if you've been presented with that opportunity, you're probably good enough to take it. You may fail. That's also very, very true. That's okay. But if you don't trial, then you're never even going to have the option to succeed or fail. So, yeah, I guess there's a few little elements in there. the first beam know when it's happening and know that that is just a natural feeling that as a human being, it means you're leaning into the unknown that you are good enough. Cause you've been presented with the opportunity, leverage the people around you that support you and motivate you and get out of your own head and know that. We have no way of knowing what the opportunity could look like if you don't just lean into it. and that that feeling is going to happen in.

James:

Yeah, I think that's really, really great advice. Something that, I know you, you faced that I've faced that I haven't met a single person that hasn't faced that kind of feeling and it's, yeah. It's something that, you just gotta work through and and really try to overcome that. And I think it's something that I think and has given you, as you

Andrew:

Yeah, it does get easier. The more you do it though, as well, like you start recognizing the pattern more and more you start not going, okay. This is actually just the feeling and treating it and changing the relationship that.

James:

Yeah. Yeah, that's really cool. Well, I've got one more question for you, Andrew. And this is a question that I'll ask all the guests and that is from your career where you are now. Let's say you were going back. You've just finished being the best being you're about to start your first. What advice would you, would you give yourself now after all the experiences?

Andrew:

Hm. Yeah, this is, yeah. Okay. I would tell myself that the things that you're thinking about doing, don't just kick them. Don't just kick the, can down the road and keep thinking about doing it. If there's something that you are thinking about doing, just do it. Probably would've started Mosler a couple of years earlier. Had I not been in. What, not, not that I, what wouldn't have been scared, but I should've just made the decision earlier. This is the case with a lot of things. I, yeah, I think I, if I can, I can sum it up without kind of pointing to specific experiences. Just the thing that you're thinking about just started earlier, because further down the track, when you do reflect on that, you'll think to yourself, you, you wasted time waiting. And that's okay, that's going to happen, but there's no harm in just starting a new thing if that's what you want to do, because you're either going to start it or you're not. So you might as well stop the two years or the four years that the degree is going to take is going to pass anyways. So you might as well do it, or, you're, you're going to, You're going to progress in your career and kind of go on and get bought anyway. So you might as well start the new thing now. Like it's all totally. Okay. so yeah, if you're thinking about doing some in darn white,

James:

Hm. Yeah. Like I absolutely agree with that advice and it's, it's something that, even I've experienced. starting this podcast, I wanted to start it, but if a year and a half before I actually did and I finally got there in the end, but you one of the things, well, there's a few things that I I think it's, let's just be to what's inside, trust your gut. I think quite a bit. that's, that's a theme that's come podcast too, is feeling, it's telling you something and you could really go for it. And the thing is around this idea of using death to get yourself to do that. And it sounds kind of morbid And strange or whatever, but it is that it was a bit of a thought exercise for me. And it was kind of like, okay, I have this feeling. I want to do this thing or not. I like self doubt, whatever, but Hey, listen, I'm going to be old one day and I'm going to look back on this exact time. And act on this. I'm going to be older and I

Andrew:

You get a dime anyway,

James:

going to yeah,

Andrew:

so, like every year that you put off doing something, and that's a year, you never going to get back. So just, I mean, don't be hard on yourself when you don't, but Just give it that shot.

James:

yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Suddenly has helped me with a lot of perspective on things and, even like yourself, like getting out there opportunities and really squeezing the juice out life, I think is it's really fantastic and it's great to see.

Andrew:

Yeah, thanks.

James:

I think we'll, we'll wrap up the interview for you. And before we head off, I want to give you the opportunity is where can people go to find out more about what you do and connect with you perhaps? Or where, where would you like.

Andrew:

Yeah. If, if you want to follow the journey of Maslow as a brand on Instagram, we do tell stories about customers. We do shed a light on this hidden world of people living with disabilities that a lot of the general public. Necessarily understand our experience and our goal is to deconstruct that and break the stigma and just normalize that ensure that people living with disabilities are just trying to live their life as well. Just like anybody else. So you can go to our Instagram at Maslow for people, right? That so Maslow for people and give us a follow there. If you are a. Support worker, somebody living with a disability, a caregiver, or a caregiver, or the elderly parent that has support workers. You can actually go to mosler.io as lo.io and sign up to use the platform to help better reconnect you, your family, your loved ones to their therapists, their support workers and everything. They need to better manage their care. And we have.

James:

amazing. Well, thanks so much for your time today, Andrew

Thank you for listening to that episode with Andrew, a kid. I think Andrew is a great example of someone that has taken an unconventional degree from university and applied it in so many unique ways and really being able to create unique insights. throughout his career. I think he had great thoughts on what it means to be a part of a purpose driven company and something that I see a lot of and something that is really great to be involved with. My three takeaways from this episode were when we were speaking about trans disciplinarity. And that is something that I am. Really really big on. Is this idea of becoming a generalist rather than a specialist. I've found in books that I've read and things that I've seen and certainly Andrew's experience again today. I was a great example of how often Applying skills in unconventional ways can lead to really cool insights and really cool discoveries. The second thing that I picked up from Andrew was this hot here. A purpose driven company and something that, in today's day and age, when you're working for a large organization sometimes, and not always, but sometimes you can feel disconnected from that purpose. And I think having something like Maslow that Andrew runs that's so close to that purpose, I think is really great. And it feels really good to be part of something that is, that is I really. Purpose fast company. But the thing that I picked up from today's episode was this idea of self doubt and trusting your gut. And that's something that we've spoken about a few times now on the podcast, But it's something that came up again today with Andrew. And something that he said, trusting your gut is really important. That's something that I think we can all pay attention to. So, thanks so much for listening today. If you do want to keep in touch, if you want to follow the podcast on a deeper level, if you want to get involved more, please follow all the links in the show notes. They will take you here, there, and everywhere. If you want to subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you're on, that'd be great. That way you won't miss an episode. If you want to get really deep, if you want to go to the next level, please go to graduate theory.com and subscribe to the newsletter. That way, you're going to get insights from me. You're going to get reminders and new episodes straight into your inbox. So if you really came, please go there. Sign up. Did he great to have you on board as we go and learn about all things to be with careers and career growth. So thanks so much for, again, for listening today, and we'll see you in the next episode.