Travel and work lifestyles

Celebrate the People & the Adventures

CELEBRATING Startups, mentors, the people and the adventures we have taken together, I celebrate you. 

As a mentor in the startup ecosystem in Australia and Europe, I am always in awe of the people I have had the honour to work with and for the adventure, we go on together.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and as the year gradually begins to drop the curtains on a lot of beautiful experiences, it seems like a pretty good time to reflect on the people you met, bridges you built and adventures you had in the past 12 months. But you don’t have to wait until Christmas to celebrate the people and start setting goals to achieve. I believe that every quarter gives your time to reflect on the wonderful people you have the pleasure to meet and the adventures that you go on together. Some times the adventures don’t turn out as well as you hoped so make sure you acknowledge them and learn from them quickly and move on.

As a digital nomad, I travel a lot and I find that the thing that makes people most uncomfortable is not being able to place where you are from, why you are in their community and what in it for them. And once they know you travel full time then the next question is “Where’s your favourite place in the world?” I have spent my life travelling, I often get asked this question. And my response is always…

“It’s not about the place; it is always about the people and the experience you create.”

As you reflect on the year, it might be worth it to look back at the interactions and connections you made this year.

Mark Phillips Business in Bare Feet Founder, Keeley and Simon from Artizan GF Bakery and Geoff from Startup Capricorn QLD

It’s mentally satisfying to stop and celebrate those interactions you had, and it’ll help you appreciate life more. If you haven’t done this yet, it’s never too late to recognise the personal connections, the relationships built.

I’ll be sharing with you my experiences and thought-provoking ideas on how best to celebrate the people and the adventures that made 2018 worthwhile.


Another year of full-time travel in 2018 and it has been a great year that’s packed with a lot of adventure. This year had my partner and I met with hubs and incubators all over the world, from Canberra, Boulder Colorado, Denver, Silicon Valley, San Francisco LA, Nth Carolina, Bundaberg, Emerald, Cairns, Yeppoon, Rockhampton, Blackwater, Bowen, Owensville, Sydney, Mackay, Airlie Beach, Atherton Tablelands, Cape York, Brisbane, Toowoomba and even Hamilton Island. The list is endless, and I’ll be needing five more blog posts to list them all.

Yeah I know, that’s a lot of places in one year. But it’s not just the places that are fascinating; it’s because we were able to connect with a lot of really amazing people and the pods of innovation that we’re involved in. This interaction made us a lot more effective.

We embarked on a mission to connect small regional towns, small businesses and startups. To help them innovate in business and stay relevant globally. Using the appropriate startup techniques, we can support startups, run hackathons, mentoring, workshops, etc.

Drew Houston once said…

Instead of trying to make life perfect, give yourself the freedom to make it an adventure and go ever upward.

As we travelled this year, we took advantage of the adventure and discovered where we are most effective in connecting with the people and community, even in the most remote areas.

It’s important to understand that as we travel, we have the potential abilities to reconnect and reignite conversation and togetherness in some communities that, for some unknown reason were unable to do otherwise.

On our travels, we were able to support both private and government startup hubs, produce incubation programs and provide the necessary mentorship where we were needed. We worked hard to keep their regions connected with what’s happening around the world.


  1. Take Notice Of The People That Made 2018 Awesome.
Sebastian Founder of LESS Industries, Elize Hattan Smart Hub Manager Rochampton & Jarryd Townsend Founder Split Spaces Co working Mackay QLD

One fact remains that without people, your year would’ve sucked. That’s why it’s important for you to take notice of the people you had the pleasure to meet and connect with.

When you look back on your year, you realize that the people are everything, they are the reason you do what you do. They support you, and they’re a global community.

When next you look at your LinkedIn network, be grateful for each and everyone and the experience you had with each other, both good and bad. Both experiences taught you something new about yourself or opened your mind to something new. Celebrate these encounters, connections, and collaborations.

It’s important to celebrate the people I had the pleasure to work with, all the communities I had the pleasure to connect with, thanking them for the adventure, collaboration, courage and respect they shared with me along the way.

I look back at the regional towns where we made an impact by mentoring businesses and supporting small businesses, and I celebrate them for the courage to be in business and embrace our startup concepts

  • Celebrate What You Want To See More Of.

When I look back on the adventures of the year, I am truly grateful for it all. To experience, support and be supported by other leaders and given great opportunities. Indeed, I am genuinely excited to serve the startup ecosystem.

As Tom Peters said, “Celebrate what you want to see more of.” All this exciting adventure has been due to saying ‘Yes’ to the adventures and surrounding myself with like-minded people who are all striving for the same thing, to enhance businesses using the power of innovation.


Startup Cataylst Community Leaders Mission USA 2018 to better understand how we can better  support Startups in regional Australia by understanding how it is done in the USA
Visit to Facebooks Campas in Silicon Valley with Startup Cataylst Community Leaders Mission 2018

Facebook is available to anyone with a computer and internet connection. It is a tool used for personal expression and business innovation and targeted marketing. Incredible really, it’s the easiest time in history to start a business if you know how to use the tools.

Innovation, an overused word that makes me want to vomit because I have heard it more times. But what really is innovation?

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower,” Steve Jobs.

Innovation is crucial to our country and continuing success of any organization, community or business. It’s a buzzword for business and is slightly overused, don’t you think? But what exactly is innovation and how will it help small businesses stay relevant in today’s fast-paced and ever-shifting economy? How do you stay relevant and avoid being that business that closes the doors after 20 years or more of a successful business? Your answers are just below:

  1. Start To Observe Behaviors.
Meeting with Arieanne Defazio Founder of Kitables Boulder Colorado for her honest version of being a Startup Founder and whats important to survive

We can no longer ignore the importance of human behavior because machines are now learning from us, but that’s a whole other conversation for another day.

Team feedback, company culture of the business and how people interact with your product are important behaviors to observe.

Businesses are changing so rapidly, the revolution of technology is disrupting and altering our behavior and the different ways we can do business. If there’s no stopping to observe the transformation of behaviors and recognition of what these changes could mean for your business, your previously successful business enterprise might be on a crash course sooner than you know it.

If you travel through regional Australia, you’ll see creativity and innovation everywhere, like Swarm Farm Robotics in Emerald and Artemis Submersible Robotics in Airlie Beach Qld, and so many more.

  • Changing The Way We Do Processes.

I was recently at the Future Agritech Challenge in Atherton Table Lands, and that was where I observed innovation at its best, and I salute everyone who participated.

Kitables Build and Brews
Build and Brews with Kittables CO on the Startup Cataylist Community Leaders Mission USA 2018

It was a remarkable experience for me as a startup mentor to see established startups unpack what they had built in such intricate detail. Watching the founders of the participating companies pitch their startups all weekend and explaining in depth what problems they solve was exhilarating. The one company that has the best knowledge of their product and spoke with confidence won the game, and that was Swarm Farm Robotics.

They were truly advanced in their vision for how they help change the way we do the process of farming. Make no mistake; it was no overnight success for them. It was a long hard journey with lots and lots of mistakes and learning. Now they emerge as proud winners ready to represent Australia in Greece for the World Future Agritech Challenge in May 2019.

Now that achievement is definitely worth celebrating, and I wish them a grand adventure for the next stage. It was a demonstration of true courage by all who had participated.


The biggest lesson to learn from the above challenge was courage, true courage. Despite the fact that they all knew only one winner would emerge, the other participants still went ahead with full throttle. There were however not many participants, willing to put themselves through the paces to take the chance and embark on this journey of changing the way things are done.

I celebrate you!

There just doesn’t seem to be enough hunger in people to want to change the way we experience industry and make it better through innovation.

Bob Iger said, “The heart and soul of a company is creativity and innovation.” We are often too focused and comfortable with solving problems in our local community, and that’s fantastic, but imagine if we sought to solve the same problem in communities all over the world.

The rest of the world is waiting for us to produce more, they want more. We are world-class producers, and we can do more to boost the economy through innovation. That’s true courage.

Female Founders hub Denvor CO

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