Inspiring kids to be entrepreneurial.

Justin Herald… A Most Unusual Millionaire!

April 14th, 2013


This story will impress your kids… it certainly impressed ours!

…and there is a little lesson in it for them.

It will demonstrate that it is not necessarily what you learn at school that brings you success, but perhaps having a little attitude is the magic ingredient!

Mike Handcock

Mike Handcock

Last week my friend Gary and I attended an unusual business event in Freo call Entrepreneur X Factor. We really didn’t know what to expect. On arriving it was immediately apparent that there was tremendous energy in the room. People were super friendly and engaging. Successful entrepreneurs, Mike Handcock and Dave Rogers ran the show along with multi millionaire guest speakers.

Why was the event so unusual?


Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers

There were two parts to it. The first sessions were all about Quantum Business (which is definitely not your normal run of the mill business focus) and the after lunch session was an exciting competition with participants getting up in front and publicly spruiking their business idea or concept. The audience judged the event. Budding entrepreneurs, seeking big business to support them, were scored on their one minute presentations. The competition was similar to the TV show “The Lion’s Den”. Investors were in the room looking to partner with the winner and help them grow their idea. It was all very exciting and a little tense during the competition. The winner was a guy called Dr Joe.


Dr Joe

Dr Joe

I’d love to share more about the excitement of the Entrepreneur X Factor competition and I’d love to share with you the insights about Quantum Business, but my purpose of this blog post is to share a story that will impress your kids!

So here goes…

There was this tattooed guy in the room dressed in a checked shirt and jeans. He had a goaty and shaven head, wore a black choker necklace and earrings.

He was a self proclaimed bogan who loved hotted up cars.

This odd looking character was introduced as Justin Herald. I had heard of the name before, but wasn’t able to pin point where I had heard it.

Justin was one of the guest speakers and he came to the front to share his experience and hopefully offer some valued advice to us all. Justin told us his story of how he built a multimillion dollar business from literally nothing!

There were no airs or graces about Justin. He was an everyday bloke who really didn’t care what people thought of him. He spoke his mind, he definitely had charisma and he had real attitude!

Justin Herald with his toys!

Justin Herald with his toys!

His Dad was a church minister and Justin grew up within a church community. It was in a church that his first business evolved.

During one particular church service he was spoken to by an elderly lady who pointed out to Justin that he had an attitude problem and that he should mind his manners.

Justin Herald didnt take well to people “ticking him off” especially about his attitude and especially when he was 25 years old! This telling off ignited an idea!

Justin Herald

Justin Herald

Justin had only $1.25 in the bank and he needed some cash to put his idea into action. So he asked his brother for $50. He then bought some cheap shirts, took them down the printer shop and had them print “Attitude” slogans on them.

He enlisted the support of his brother and mates. Each of them put on one of the freshly printed shirts and they all attended the Sunday service at the church making, sure that they all stood in full view of the opinionated lady.

She was not happy when she saw the blatant prank Justin had pulled. The shirts had served their purpose very well and Justin was delighted!

After the service a number of people took an interest in the lads’ “Attitude” shirts. In fact some people inquired about buying a shirt from Justin. This was unexpected, but Justin thought it would be worth a few dollars, so he used the money he had from selling the first six shirts to his mates and organised for a bunch more to be printed with “Attitude” slogans.

Word got out and his little business began to emerge.

Attitude clothing logoHe decided to try selling his shirts at the Sydney Markets. He’d never done this before and had no idea how it would go. So he asked one of his mates if he’d lend a hand. His mate said “No”. So Justin asked if he’d lend a hand for one hundred bucks, and his mate said “I’d love to help!”

They arrived at the markets and were allocated a table. So he tipped his box of shirts onto the table all jumbled up. The shirts were a novelty and people were interested.

To his complete surprise he sold out in the first two hours.

Justin and I.

Justin and I.

His excitement and business grew from there. He printed more and more shirts and was selling $10 000 worth of shirts every weekend at the markets. Next he tried retail stores. The owners moved him on because they had never heard of “Attitude” branded shirts. They also said that their customers were not asking for “Attitude” shirts.

Justin had an idea. He asked his mates to call all the retail stores in the area to ask if they had “Attitude” shirts in stock. He gave it a few weeks and then paid a visit to these same stores with a sample of his shirts. They were so pleased to see Justin and couldn’t wait to get his shirts up on display saying

“You wouldn’t believe the number of calls we’ve had with people inquiring about Attitude shirts”.

“Oh really?!” 

Tod Hutchison, known as the Corporate Mechanic, and I.

Todd Hutchison, known as the Corporate Mechanic.

Justin Herald’s business continued to grow with the introduction of other lines of clothing. He received an invite to be interviewed on The Morning Show. So he rocked up and told his story. He claims that literally within thirty minutes after the interview the phone rang hot with retail stores placing orders for his shirts. Justin said that he never needed to advertise his product as he was regularly being interviewed by TV, business magazines and the newspaper. He always made for a great story as he didn’t look like the regular businessman. Justin has a real sense of humour and loves to rib the people around him. He admits that he has lots of attitude himself, and believes that is why his brand works. Justin is very easy to talk to and he also says that the secret to a successful business is connecting with people.

The Deal.

This chapter in Justin Herald’s story draws to an end when a very large company approached him to do a deal. He was called to a board meeting. Justin rocks up as he does in his jeans and checked shirt to confront the line of suited lawyers and business leaders in this company. Firstly the formalities, then eventually they passed over the official offer for him to look at.

Justin read the dollar number on the page in disbelief. He asked the lawyers if the comma was actually a comma or was it a dot. They said it was a comma. He then said, “Do I get a TV with that?”

They looked at one another and said “Of course!”

So he took the deal which was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He also took the TV from their wall. They wanted to get him a new one, but he said simply that then he would have to try and rip the box and packaging apart to get it into his recycling bin, and that he didn’t want to muck around with doing that.

So from having only $1.25 in his bank at the age of 25, Justin Herald grew his business in a relatively short time to be sold for hundreds of millions of dollars!

Today Justin Herald has his fingers in different pies. He has just launched “Intimidate Industries” which is his new Sunglass brand which already is a highly sought after brand before it even hits the stores. He also owns numerous other highly successful businesses.

Justin left us with four excellent “Ahahs!”…

•    You need a “switch” to give you the purpose, focus and drive required to start a business. His was the opinionated lady at church. Justin is very grateful for her.
•    He quotes his favourite word “Next!” Justin explains that you will be faced with a multitude of barriers, setbacks and naysayers as you try to move ahead with your business. He just says “next” and moves on. Many people would fall back to their comfort zone and give up, but not Justin.
•    Networking. He says it is the way you relate to your customers. Word of mouth brings you greater business.
•    Lastly for his biggest tip…. “Give it a Crack!”

After the presentation Gary and I had the privilege of chatting to Justin Herald one on one. We found him to be a genuine nice bloke. He told us that his mates today are the same bunch of blokes he hung out with when he was twenty. He never made the grades at schoJustin Herald Nextol and his “attitude” had him in a lot of trouble during those years. However, it was his attitude that has made him what he is today.

Let’s hope that Justin Herald’s success story inspires your kids like it did mine. Your kids don’t have to have all the “credential” that school expects for them to be successful…  

(read our last article on Green School and their philosophy on education)

Here is the blurb about Justin from his website…

Justin Herald has fast become one of the rising stars in the fields of business and personal development. At the age of 25 with only $50 to his name, Justin Herald set about changing the course of his life. Justin created Attitude Inc, a clothing brand that became an international licensing success that turned over in excess of $20 million per year.

Justin’s success was so well noted that he was named the “INTERNATIONAL ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR” for 2005.

He recently was also awarded the Future Leaders Award, which recognises him as being one of the 50 most influential leaders of the next generation in Australia.

How to grow your business Justin HeraldJustin Herald would you likeHe has had his own column in numerous magazines and in papers nationally in Australia and overseas. His articles have a weekly readership of over 5.5 Million people. He also is the author of 8 international best selling books.

Justin Herald is regarded as one of Australia’s most sought after speakers with engagements book all over the country and overseas speaking in front of 150,000 people each year.

Please share your thoughts in our comment box below.

Learn about other inspirational entrepreneurs.


Green School Bali Leading The Way!

April 3rd, 2013

Imagine a school with a natural, holistic, student-centred learning environment that empowers and inspires their young people to be creative, innovative, green leaders?



green school bali bamboo

There are many schools that aspire to a vision such as this, but very few achieve it! In fact, in all the years that I’ve been a teacher I know of only one such school that has been gaining the genuine attention of educators and parents from all around the world. This unique school is located in a forest on the island of Bali in Indonesia, and it is constructed entirely of bamboo.

Green School Bali is an innovative school that is different in just about every aspect to regular Australian schools. It is different in its construction, the way it is run, its philosophy on raising and teaching children and with its curriculum.

Alan Wagstaff Green School BaliCathy, myself and our kids recently had the opportunity to attend an excellent presentation in Perth on Green School Bali. The Principal, Mr Alan Wagstaff, show-cased his school and shared their philosophy on education. He spoke with passion and with tremendous pride.

Rightly so… as Green School Bali is turning many heads! The founders of the school think ‘way out of the box’ and have created a harmonious learning environment that kids excel in. They, and a growing group of others, believe that this school is the way of the future with education. Perhaps the policy makers, politicians and leaders of our outdated education system should take a serious look at Green School Bali.

In previous articles we have challenged the pedogogical practices of our current National Testing cartoonschooling system here in Australia. We have the view that it provides a good literacy education. However, the design of our system is to condition young people to be obedient, hard working and compliant. Now that doesn’t actually sound so bad does it, but what I mean is that our world needs workers to fill jobs and that is what schools do. They train kids to be loyal workers and aspire to have a life long JOB. Now, that is perfect for those who want to do that, but what happens if you want to become an Entrepreneur? Many of our schools don’t really foster true leadership, innovation or enterprise. Our schools certainly don’t provide a financial education, nor do they teach kids to develop the habits and thinking of an entrepreneur.

Disengaged Students

Disengaged Students

Alan Wagstaff was also very apologetic about his very strong views on our archaic education system currently running in Australia (and other western Societies). He pointed out many issues that should not be dismissed, and he backed his views with facts, figures and research conducted by qualified experts in education. He cited the work of well regarded intellectuals and authors such as Michael Shorts, Alfie Kohn and Steven Covey.

So what does green School have that is so uniquely special?



This quote by Michael Franti begins to paint a picture…

Check out a Green School classroom

Check out a Green School classroom

“For anybody that’s considering sending your kid to school here, it’s different than other schools where your kid’s going to be assigned a number and a desk and you show up and you do exactly what you’re told. Here if you have an idea to do something that’s outside of the box, that idea is going to be fostered and nurtured rather than pushed down. I highly recommend coming here as a visitor, if you’re just visiting Bali; and if you’re a student, it’s a great place to be.” – Michael Franti, poet, musician, and activist.

Alan Wagstaff shared an interesting statistic about students in our regular schools. Studies show that two thirds of students over 11 years old in Australian schools are not engaged in their learning and don’t really like school! These same students feel that they are learning irrelevant things that won’t be of any use to them when they leave school. Funny he happens to point this out, as we hear this at times from our teenage children. In fact I think back to much of the mundane content that I had to master, and be tested on, as a student in High School and then again as a student at Teachers College. Content that was of no use to me in what I do today.

Conditioning childrenAlan says we need to change the structuring of timetabling. We need to go from subject based teaching to student-centred. If you look at what children do at school, their timetable will typically revolve around Literacy and Numeracy with subjects such as The Arts being of lesser importance by shoving them into the afternoon gaps on the timetable. We push the students with Literacy and Numeracy in order to uphold the education ‘brand’ and to satisfy National Testing (NAPLAN). Our curriculum is all prescribed with little room for being flexible. Whatever the subject, the emphasis is always Literacy and Numeracy. With the introduction of the new Australian Curriculum we are in for an even more inflexible schooling system.

With all the emphasis on Literacy and Numeracy, why do we have so many kids not meeting the grade?


What is it about schooling that creates life success? … the short answer is simply having kids turn up at school and be fully engaged and you’ll get there!


Outdated education systemTherefore we need kids to be satisfied. Schools need to link students into life! Their learning needs to be realistic and of relevance to each of them individually. Everyday we should be academically up-skilling kids, but not comparing them with other kids.

Parents should ask, not how do they compare with other kids, but what is it they are learning.

Alan explained how they educate children at Green School Bali. Here is what he said.

The programs are structured around themes. These are collaboratively planned by the teacher team leaders. Teachers then run proficiency lessons within these short term themes. Students are shown the continuum of what they need to learn in the different areas of the curriculum and then the students set about working towards learning what they need to learn at their own levels. The students take the responsibility for their own learning.

green-school-classWithin the broader themes, students follow their own individual interests. They develop their own ideas and these ideas are fostered and expanded. They themselves identify what they need to learn and then conduct their own investigations and study groups in order to learn, understand and practice skills.

Every day the children are engaged in practical lessons that challenge the Big Four… Physical, Emotional, Intellectual and Interpersonal.

For example, if the general theme was ‘Waves’, then the Big 4 may run as follows…
Physical- Go experience the waves by surfing.
Emotional- Paint a wave or sing a wave melody
Intellectual- Study wave formations.
Interpersonal- Sit by the waves and meditate.

At Green School there are no rigid timetables. This allows themes to develop through dynamic chaos. Specialist teachers decide what will be done and teachers research the theme and subject areas. Students are then engaged in proficiency lessons.

green schoolAlan said that in order for students to learn something they must ‘hit it three times in three different ways during the week’. Thus mini themes develop within the bigger themes. Teachers teach children to self manage their way through learning. Therefore the kids are fully engaged and it leads to lifelong learning.

Opportunities are seized as they arise to provide practical real life lessons in the following areas… connect to the real world; environmental education; health and wellbeing; performance arts; enterprise education; and visual arts.

These lessons are timed (have end date), sustainable, are flexible and must be authentic. They do this by venturing beyond the school and accessing adults and resources in the ‘enterprising world’.

Green School’s aim is for kids to want to go to school and for them to be fully engaged. Thus the emphasis is on relevance to learning and valuing students, and not on testing and comparing students as we do in our current schooling system. This simply puts unnecessary pressure on them.

green school bambooGreen School Bali is an architectural masterpiece. A masterwork built of bamboo and mud brick. There are no classroom walls and very little impact on the environment. The school is self sustainable with power sourced from a large bank of solar panels and hydro power from the river. Students all assist with growing food in the large permaculture garden where animals are also kept for use.

Surrounding the school are bamboo homes built by local and international people who choose to live in Bali so that their children can attend the school. green school bali gardensUnder construction are numerous studios that are to be leased cheaply to entrepreneurs under the proviso that the students are involved with these businesses, allowing them to develop enterprise skills and ultimately they will learn to be entrepreneurs.

This is truly a real live example of an exemplary school. Students attending this school are achieving outstanding results in all aspects of their development, including academics. They are learning faster and going further than their peers on mainland Australia. Although the school has only been running for a short time, they have their first graduates graduating and, those choosing to do so, are being accepted into universities around the world.

green school kidsAlan Waggstaff and the founders of the school have a vision to create change in how all schools educate. They know that they will be challenged if they target the top of the education hierarchy in Australia. So they are working to make change from the bottom up. They are doing this by being an exemplary school and by being noticed! They are also training teachers on mainland Australia with Green School ideologies with the purpose of these teachers making gradual change in their own schools.

If you are inspired by what this school stands for and would like to impact change in our current schooling system, then get in contact with Alan Waggstaff to organise for him and his team to train your people (parents and teachers done at very low cost). This is his email alan@greenschool.org .

There are currently places available in the school for students. The school charges $6000 year for primary aged students and $12000 year for secondary. It is a non profit school and offers places to many disadvantaged students through privately funded scholarships.

green supercamp baliAnother way to have your kids experience Green School Bali, is to send them along to the Green SuperCamp. There is one coming up mid year. Kaitlin, Jai and Flynn attended last year and came back transformed! We are working towards them attending the camp again this year along with our eleven year old daughter Amber.  If you would like to know more about the Green SuperCamp give us a call or email.

Here is a blog post we wrote a year ago about Green SuperCamp sharing our kids’ experiences there.


Check out what Flynn had to say about the Green SuperCamp

As always, we appreciate comments. Do you think our schools are up for the challenge of preparing our children for our modern world?


John Hardy, founder of Green School Bali speaks at TED.


Inspiring kids to be entrepreneurial.