Last week I met an inspiring, highly successful business leader who certainly hasn't let it go to his head. I was on my way to Bali, via Darwin, flying Jetstar. I'd add that I was flying economy, but that's a bit redundant given that's all there is on Jetstar.
Not exactly the place to hang out to meet business high flyers.
I introduced myself to the bloke who sat next to me - Geoff. I asked him what he did (original, I know). He said he worked for Intrepid Travel. Do you run tours, I asked. Used to, he said, now I'm based in our office in Fitzroy.
Given we were flying Jetstar, we didn't have distractions like movies ... or food, so we continued talking, swapping travel yarns.
After about an hour I asked him how long he had been with Intrepid. About 25 years, since it started.
Did you start it?
Yeah - me and my partner did.
So it's your business?
Someone asks me what I do, and my spiel starts with "I run a company called Love Your Business." I've got a team of six. Geoff has 800 people work for him and yet his answer was "I work for Intrepid."
It's a great example of someone who has turned a passion into a very successful business. He clearly loves his business. He's also a great example of someone who has built a successful business without letting his ego get in the way.
It's made me look in the mirror and ask "how much am I motivated by looking good, by being seen to be successful?" Does our gorgeous Fitzroy office really forward what we are really about, or is it just a sophisticated way of showing off?
Geoff is also an inspiring demonstration of someone who has stayed true to his mission, and true to himself. Intrepid's slogan is "real life experiences" - and here he is, flying Jetstar and talking to normal travelers.
How much are you being run by appearances, being seen to have made it, compared to what you and your business are really about?