EastCoast HR Group has approached prominent and everyday Sunny Coasters about their careers. Follow our Friday Feature to find out what inspires those around to go to work every day!
Paul Anderson – Business owner at Team Anderson Property Group and President of Kawana Chamber of Commerce.
What was your first job?
My first part-time job while I was at school was mowing lawns and doing garden maintenance. I did this after school and on the weekends.
My first full-time job was working for a furniture production company making school furniture. My tasks were assembling tables and chairs, loading delivery trucks and sweeping the floor at the end of the day.
Who are the people that have made the biggest difference in your career and why?
My wife Julie has been the biggest difference in my career. She believed in me when I wanted to start my own Engineering company and backed me during the highs and lows of my Engineering career. When we totally changed direction five years ago and got into Real Estate, she was behind me again and joined me in being a successful boutique agency.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
‘Bite off a large chunk and chew harder’
By this I mean back yourself, dive in the deep end and swim like hell. Make sure that you have the dream but are willing to put in the hours to make it work. Always be innovating and moving forward because if you are not, you will cease to exist.
Think back to five years ago. Did you envision your career as it is today?
No is the short answer.
I had a successful Engineering Drafting business called ‘Innovative Steel Detailing’ We were based in Minyama and serviced the building industry Australia wide from our Sunshine Coast office. I had 12 Steel Detailers who detailed large industrial and commercial projects from shopping centres to airports to hospitals to large industrial warehouses. We dealt with the bigger builders such as John Holland, Watpac and Leighton. After the GFC, things got very tight for the building industry, and the larger builders started looking towards China, India and Indonesia for their engineering drawings. These developing countries were a quarter of our price. I could see an end to our industry in Australia on the scale that we were operating. At the age of 53 (five years ago), we had a decision to see what we were going to do. So five years ago we got into Real Estate, learning the ropes off well know coast brands and eventually going alone as Team Anderson Property Group.
How do you approach work – life balance?
Team Anderson Property Group is a boutique agency providing personalised service. Because Julie and I work together, we can make use of our downtime to achieve our life balance. The only thing with our balance is that we don’t know where or when it is coming, but we definitely make use of our free time. If we didn’t work together, this life balance would be impossible.
What is your proudest moment in your career?
I must say the proudest moment in my career was the break up of Innovative Steel Detailing. This might sound strange, but we had such a strong culture in the company, I didn’t know how strong until we had to close down the company. When I informed the staff of our decision to close (2 months before), I told them all to look for jobs, and I would back them with a great reference. On the last day of Innovative being open, all 12 of the staff were still employed by us, and we closed the door together, and then went to the pub!!! All of the team got new positions after the closure, but I realised then how proud I was of the culture I had created. My accountant also said that it was a brave decision as most businesses decide to close after it’s too late.