On this episode of the podcast, we had the pleasure of chatting with local entrepreneur and recipient of the 2018 ACT Australian of the Year, Dion Devow. Dion is a proud Indigenous Australian who has spent most of his adult life using his business acumen to provide opportunities for disadvantaged members of his community. Initially, this took the form of consulting with Government agencies and academic institutions on how to address the issues Indigenous people face when attempting to pursue higher education. As time went on, however, Dion began to yearn for financial independence and the ability to make a more direct contribution to the Indigenous community. This led our guest to start a multitude of successful businesses (the most prominent of which are his fashion label Darkies Designs and ICT consultancy Yerra) aimed at celebrating his culture and giving opportunities to those who shared his struggle.
Naturally, a large portion of our discussion with Dion centres around his mission to empower Indigenous people by nurturing their passion for entrepreneurship. Our guest also discusses some of the reasons why it is so difficult for Indigenous Australians to reach executive positions in large companies or start their own business. When asked about his individual success, Dion attributes most of his good fortune in business to great time management, networking, and an organic approach to business development. The show then concludes with Dion sharing a cautionary (yet amusing) tale about a time he ordered hundreds of yoga mats for his company that he just could not sell!What we talk about
- Managing time between projects
- The importance of promoting higher education and business paths for young Indigenous people
- Overcoming adversity
Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors
Germaine: [00:00:00] Hello, Future Tribe. Welcome to this episode of the podcast. Uh, we’ve got Dion Devow this week with us. How are you today? Dion?
[00:00:59] Dion: [00:00:59] Good.
[00:00:59] Germaine: [00:00:59] Thank you. Um, tell me a little bit about what you do and the businesses that you’re involved with.
[00:01:05] Dion: [00:01:05] Uh, well, I probably need to start way back when, when I was young, I had a long career in indigenous working in indigenous health, education and justice.
[00:01:15] I’m an Aboriginal international, a man originally from Darwin. Came to Canberra back in 1994 to go to university. And so I worked in the public service, um, helping Aboriginal people, uh, like I said, in areas of health and education and justice, primarily as an Aboriginal health worker. And then, um, went on to. Uh, coordinating and running the ICT indigenous courts and came up basically to minister at sports.
[00:01:40] And then I kind of, uh, went into the higher education sector where the Australian national university and the juvenile center helping in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander uni students, um, with their, with their academic aspirations. And then, uh, about a decade ago, I kind of fell into. Uh, business. So I, uh, created an indigenous clothing line because that sort of gap in the market and going back 10 years ago, that’s probably myself and possibly three other clothing labels.
[00:02:10] One that had been around already for maybe 20 years before that. Um, but it’s still, still going strong. Um, and those other ones that I started with back then have now kind of dwindle away, but now the market’s flooded with. With, uh, indigenous clothing labels. And I think that’s a, that’s a good thing.
[00:02:29] Cause like I said, when I started this a couple of months and I’m somewhat of the longest hiding labels because it’s kind of, it’s been a decade now that had been around school, dark is designed and I use the word, um, deliberately to celebrate, you know, my. Indigineatity. And, um, you know, being my Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, all the heritage of being black and I’m used to have used that as a vehicle to promote Aboriginal and Torres shell, to us through clothing and all sorts of different things.
[00:02:57] Design art. Artists and culture and language. So it’s been quite a powerful, a powerful platform. And, um, I’ve also been able to continue my work around community development, through business, around the neuron and indigenous entrepreneur program. Um, and I have a business kind of the Canberra business yarning circle, which is a community consultation vehicle that I use to, uh, connect with Aboriginal entrepreneurs to see what we can do to help them with respect to their.
[00:03:27] Business journeys and aspirations through the program. And, uh, yeah, I’m an ACT Australian of the year back in 2018, uh, because of the work that I’ve done through Darkies and since establishing Darkies, I’ve established for other businesses. So I’ve got a cleaning company called jingling. I’ve got two, it companies one’s called Yerra and one’s called Indignation.
[00:03:49] That’s all about change management and automation and AI, uh, um, and, uh, What else do I have? Um, I started, I’ve developed a business for my daughter called Tia, and she’s was 11 at the time. She’s 18 now. So that’s another kind of Australian, um, contemporary online shopping store that has kind of, uh, Australian products, but with an indigenous twist.
[00:04:14] Um, so she’s an upcoming, uh, key pronounced. They call them these days and I think that’s about it. Yeah. Yeah, but anyway,
[00:04:21] Germaine: [00:04:21] wow, many that, that you, you, um, sort of struggled to even remember them. How do you, I assume you’re not sort of actively involved with every single one day in day out, is it, is it, um, more now a matter of sort of putting the right people in place and then managing it from a, from a higher level?
[00:04:41] Dion: [00:04:41] That’s exactly right. So I do probably do bits and pieces on each. Um, of the businesses every day, some more than others I’m heavily invested in because the darkies is so well established, it kind of just runs itself. So, um, I’m obviously still the, the fittest of it. I do all the invoicing, um, the creative kind of force behind it and, and people know me more, I think because of darkies that, like I said, that kind of discipline.
[00:05:05] So that’s what you want to do, want to create something, employ people to then come in and. Do it take a step back and work on the business, not in the business. Um, not everybody wants to do to do that, but because I’m perhaps a different interests, that’s what I’ve chosen to do. I think it’s a good thing to do.
[00:05:19] Obviously you have to, you know, build and develop your business to a point where you can, you’re able to do that. It’s
[00:05:25] Germaine: [00:05:25] all about raising up, uh, a person or even, you know, raising up and training a pet or something where, where you just want it. You can get it to a stage where it can be self-sufficient. It knows where to find food and, you know, um, in the case of a child, more than just find food, but, you know, get into the, get into the world.
[00:05:42] Um, but you do want to, you can’t just give birth to a teenager. You sort of have to take it through that January business is that is the same thing. You can’t just create a business tomorrow and go, okay. Um, I want to work on the business, not in the business. I’m going to remove myself from it and watch it take off.
[00:05:58] That’s not just going to happen. How many people do you have sort of
[00:06:02] Dion: [00:06:02] working
[00:06:02] Germaine: [00:06:02] for you and with you? Across the businesses. If you don’t mind me
[00:06:06] Dion: [00:06:06] asking, I engage. A lot of it depends on which one. So I engage other people to do different things. I employ someone full-time through darkies, um, uh, and have a few employees through two different.
[00:06:21] Um, the other different businesses are cleaning our business. Obviously there’s lots of employees cause you know, there’s lots of cleaners, um, lots of different buildings and doing lots of working on different, lots of different projects. So it’s a bit of mix and match. So can go from having one or two employees to having.
[00:06:37] Quite quite a few. So it depends on the industry and the demand and the resources and the capability of the business and the cashflow and all that sort of stuff as well. So, um, yeah, so
[00:06:48] Germaine: [00:06:48] it varies a little bit. Yeah, it sounds like you’ve, um, it sounds like the businesses are fairly low. Um, I guess. Not very cash cash heavy.
[00:07:00] Not that there aren’t a lot of, sort of, you guys have offices for every single business
[00:07:07] Dion: [00:07:07] for a long time. I just worked from home, but I, uh, um, you know, it has its ups and downs, but I. Conduct was quite lightly, especially, um, when I was first starting out because it was another lot of Aboriginal people in business at the time.
[00:07:21] So I remember going back a decade ago, it was before the development and implementation of the indigenous procurement policy. Did the government brought in like five years ago? Um, since then, I think a lot of them, a lot more Aboriginal people are now participating in business and becoming business owners because there’s more opportunity.
[00:07:40] Whereas when I was doing it and I was kind of, not really many around they were, but they’re kind of thing. Doing things in the Salas. And that was my idea. And creating the yarning center to bring Aboriginal people together, to talk and support each other and discuss kind of wins and losses and that sort of stuff, and create creating a movement that was kind of a supportive for, um, for people.
[00:08:01] And, uh, Uh, cause it was quite lonely. So, um, when I had enough money and resources, um, I’ve got an office, I’ve got an office spaced in deacon and uh, so, uh, also have spaces for. Young entrepreneurs that, um, would like to come and hold hot desk, um, Aboriginal ones. Um, and, uh, and then people from the respective businesses work a couple of days, some are part time.
[00:08:26] Do you know what I mean? As that one, one of my business partners is coming back into the workforce, being home for a decade with her children. So, um, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Should we just stick to the, the, um, the, the office, the air offices, but that’s what I wanted. Something that was. Quite fluid and, um, there’s a bit of diversity there there’s opportunity for entrepreneurs to come and work if they want to for free, um, you know, a couple of days a week.
[00:08:50] And, um, yeah, just a place that I can have, you know, obviously working meetings and, um, you know, so forth. So it’s been quite, it’s a beautiful space and, uh, it’s a nice area and, um, yeah. It’s actually really good night. I know that, you know, working at home has its advantages, but I think I quite like to have a bit of a mix.
[00:09:08] Um, if I want to work from home, I will, but if I want to have, you know, a really professional, um, business meeting in a boardroom, then. I have the opportunity to do that too. So, yeah. And I’m also helping other young, well, not necessarily young, just other indigenous entrepreneurs,
[00:09:23] Germaine: [00:09:23] just entrepreneurs in general that they don’t have to be young because, you know, especially nowadays I think there’s there’s, I mean, there was a time, I think when there were people who were sort of career entrepreneurs, if you could call them that.
[00:09:36] But, but nowadays there’s no reason why you can’t just leave what you were doing and start a business. 50 60, 80
[00:09:43] Dion: [00:09:43] people do that. And I’ve encouraged people to do that. There’s a friend of mine, actually, when I was at university, he was one of the support workers in the Aboriginal center. Um, and, uh, did the route that I did.
[00:09:55] I knew. And, um, and so I’ve known him for a long, long time and, uh, Uh, he’s a storyteller. So you guys tell stories and talk to that Aboriginal culture and stuff to kids. He’s really good at it. I said, you should do that full time. And I really encouraged him. I couldn’t do that. Full-time and, um, but he ended up leaving and he was, I think he was 50, maybe 55 when he left.
[00:10:14] Yeah, full time employment employment. And now he’s kind of just looked down, like you said, overseas travel defendant, booked him to do things overseas, you know, um, for diplomats, um, and so forth over there. And I just think that, you know, lucky, if you give people an idea and encourage them, then you know, the sky is really the limit.
[00:10:31] And I think sometimes we kind of, don’t really kind of believe in ourselves enough or don’t understand that there is opportunity there to really thrive. Uh, in the business kind of sector.
[00:10:41] Germaine: [00:10:41] Yeah, because I think, um, and, and some of that happens through, you know, your upbringing through tradition.
[00:10:51] That’s all good.
[00:10:56] Dion: [00:10:56] Sorry
[00:10:59] Germaine: [00:10:59] just saying, um, you know, some of these things, some of these limits, I think people might place it on themselves where there’s also almost like upbringing and tradition and family that plays with place limits not, and those. Limits on, not because they want to stifle you and stop you and stop you from growing.
[00:11:17] But it’s because they feel like, you know, within those parameters is safety, right? Um, like there’s a reason why there’s people who don’t leave their, their country town because that’s safe. That’s a known quantity. You know, you go into the. Big bad city. There’s there’s advertising and drugs and all these bad things.
[00:11:35] And, you know, business to an extent can look like and seem like the same thing, because there’s this promise of almost greatness, but, but at the same time, you know, we all know people who’ve failed in business as well. So it’s not like you just get into business and succeed and all this is, I guess, too.
[00:11:52] Ask you about what you’ve, if you felt like there were any pressures sort of guiding you down the more traditional
[00:11:59] Dion: [00:11:59] route,
[00:12:00] Germaine: [00:12:00] um, and, and how that came to be. And I guess I’m asking that also because I’m, I’m straight Lankan, so my parents follow a very sort of traditional. Direction, um, getting into business.
[00:12:12] Wasn’t really something. I mean, even the, even the more, you know, less, less traditional parents, I think wouldn’t necessarily point their kid towards business. It’s becoming more of a thing now, but there’s definitely sort of this, these roadblocks almost. And did you get any of that? Did you feel any of that sort of one, you know, going into a world where.
[00:12:32] There aren’t a lot of indigenous people. And then two, I guess, looking into your background as well.
[00:12:37] Dion: [00:12:37] Yeah. Yeah. I, um, I wasn’t, I definitely wasn’t the courage to become a business person. Um, I had seen other people in my family and family members that were in business. My father was one of them. He had a cleaning business when I was growing up.
[00:12:49] Um, so, but it wasn’t, so it wasn’t something that was foreign to me, but, but education was more something you have to go to university, you have to get to uni university like that. It was just, you know, um, instilled in me from a young age, like just CyberKnife Bernard, and I were guidance. I thought, you know, and I saw my mother go from working as a cleaner, um, as a career to studying part-time.
[00:13:11] Um, and. The timing, a university degree and then becoming a teacher. And then, so how that recharged our assessor economic status kind of overnight. So I had a real kind of firsthand experience, um, around what edge can do. So I kind of, you know, I have to do that. Um, and so well, I had quite a good career, you know, university graduate and.
[00:13:37] I kind of fell into this. Um, so I didn’t ever think that I would become a business person. So it’s quite strange that I am. Um, I never, anyone, when I started, um, darkies, I thought it was just something that I’ll do on the side and, you know, I’d never ever give up the security of a full-time permanent position anyway, but, but I did.
[00:13:56] So I think, you know, like sometimes people fall into it. Um, and for me it was kind of the realization that I could make. Good money, um, still and, um, make even more money working for myself and dug it wrong. That didn’t have a matter of not, um, I’ve been in business for 10 years and maybe five years ago, it was really bad.
[00:14:13] I was kinda thinking, well, I gave this a crack. I might have to just go back and get a job. Um, But then I want to ICT as, rather than a year. So things got to change.
[00:14:23] Germaine: [00:14:23] Like I think I always, I ask myself this question and, um, it’s something that comes up when we need to talk about a lot of sort of, um, celebrities and famous figures. Someone always points to something goes, well, you know, in your case, he won Australian of SED Australian of the year. And that’s what. Um, sort of, you know, without that he wouldn’t, he wouldn’t have been able to do all these things almost like, um, that happened in a vacuum where you would hear all this other stuff, you know, like, like, and it always sort of
[00:14:52] Dion: [00:14:52] really confuses me when
[00:14:54] Germaine: [00:14:54] people bring up that argument of, you know, And, and the one that I hear a lot of is, you know, well, they were born into a family with a lot of money if they weren’t billionaires.
[00:15:03] Well, you know, this person couldn’t have started a business, for example, like, but at the same time, I know heaps of people who have won prizes who have won awards who have come from money, who aren’t actually able to do what, you know, what they would happily point at someone else and say, well, they were able to do it because of these reasons, rather than pointing to.
[00:15:24] They were able to do it because of all this hardware that they put in, um, in your case, you know, like it would have been I’m sure the award was never something that you were working towards, but it just happened as a result of all this other work that you put in. And it sounds like you sort of started off with the darkies design by the way, like completely controversial name.
[00:15:45] I’m sure when you, and he came up with it.
[00:15:50] Dion: [00:15:50] Yeah.
[00:15:50] Germaine: [00:15:50] Yeah. I mean, when I heard it first, I was like, Oh, is this, you know, is this guy serious? Like, that’s that’s um, my first instinct was, I hope the guy who’s behind this is dark or, or, you know, or doc I think to do with like, like emo goth or something. Cause I was like, otherwise, this is, this is a statement, but like going back.
[00:16:10] So you started a bit as a side gig side hustle while you were sort of working a normal job.
[00:16:15] Dion: [00:16:15] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I kind of, um, Uh, and it was all kind of about, you know, empowering Aboriginal people. What’d you think? So there was a message behind it, you know, it is controversial, it was controversial. It still is.
[00:16:28] Um, and I suppose it was really kind of just something, because I’d already worked in community development, helping Aboriginal international people for 15 years by that. Do you know what I mean? So. I know, I kind of stole so much, um, so much negativity and so much distress and turmoil and, um, you know, it’s just, you know, working so intensely and closely with people on the ground, um, that I kind of just wanted to create something that made people feel good about themselves, even if it was just for a couple of hours.
[00:16:58] So, um, and you know, most of the time. You know, Aboriginal people are proud people. And I think that, you know, uh, putting a symbol or some sort of language thing or Aboriginal art or something that really kind of promotes and celebrates. And, um, it gives us the opportunity to do that. As Aboriginal people gives us a sense of empowerment and gives us some pride.
[00:17:21] And, um, and so that was really the idea. The idea behind, uh, the LiveWell and that, you know, it’s just really giving people the opportunity to Aboriginal people in touch with the opportunity to express how proud they are of our culture through, you know, clothing. So, and that that’s kind of grown and developed.
[00:17:39] Uh, do sporting apparel and, um, corporate clothing and which isn’t indigenous and promotional materials and print products. And, but that’s just kind of a diversification of the, the, um, and development of the business to have different lines of business. Um, but you know, there’s certain to piece of it.
[00:17:57] Yeah. Is it around Aboriginal and tarsal, a culture and, um, and a, and Aboriginal art and language. And, and, and it’s something that sets me apart, I think, from, from other clothing labels. And, and I do my own things to a little bit different. Certainly, um, then the other indigenous labels that have come about over the last five years, um, that’s kept me going and kept me relevant and kept me, um, you know, Bible as a business.
[00:18:23] Germaine: [00:18:23] Yeah. Yeah. Is there also an element here of sort of, um, creating something that. And so those questions or that, that serves a need that you felt like you had, um, you know, five, 10, 15 years back that, and felt like there was opportunity, or you were looking for someone to serve this need that you had, but you couldn’t find something.
[00:18:44] So is there a feeling of sort of creating that thing that you wish you had as well?
[00:18:50] Dion: [00:18:50] The other thing, the other kind of element around the creation of the labels that like I was saying, there was only a couple. But I always really wanted to wear some cool Aboriginal kind of art on, on, on different sorts of apparel and like, you know, I was supportive of it, but I thought I would like, you know what I mean?
[00:19:06] So I kind of created my own. Um, and, and so that’s why I kind of engaged. Age with Aboriginal artists and our use, you know, in terms of design I’ll, I’ll do that. Um, uh, you know, just put things, let me just look and say, well, what are you gonna think about this? Do you know what I mean? And, um, I’m kind of a bit, it’s just market research, um, through social media.
[00:19:26] So. I think it’s important, important to do that, but I think, you know, like being driven to life, what I think is cool, but also, you know, what the public thinks and what they think might be call them what they might want away, because it’s smart in terms of, you know, your business, um, and being a business person because.
[00:19:43] Oh, fun and good. If I think something’s cool, but if other people don’t, then
[00:19:48] Germaine: [00:19:48] I don’t have a business idea, you just have something that’s sort of a Pat yourself on the back gives you what you want, but doesn’t really answer a question.
[00:19:57] Dion: [00:19:57] Yeah. And that’s what I said to a lot of people. It’s like they have these.
[00:20:01] They think they have these fantastic ideas, but I say to them, well, that’s great. You know, scrub the YouTube, it that’s good, but who’s going to buy it. So that’s the question that you have to ask yourself and you have to do some market research and you can do that right. Really easily through social media, you know?
[00:20:13] Um, and it one image for people to look at. And you know, now that I’m not, it’s
[00:20:19] Germaine: [00:20:19] so simple these days, I, I like do this, um, thing that a few people comment like have even in real life sort of mentioned it to me, that they love sort of seeing something like that, pop up on my Instagram stories where, um, I just do simple things.
[00:20:33] Like at one point I was thinking about, um, creating like a subscription tea service. Right. So, um, the whole point there was to try and source. Authentic tea from Sri Lanka, and then you can sort of subscribe, um, and then, you know, a certain portion of it, um, would, um, go, go towards some, some charity of some sort.
[00:20:55] Um, and the big goal there was, you know, say 50% of profits would go to a local charity. So you’re helping someone in Australia and then 50% would go to Australia and a charity. So you sort of getting both in one go. Um, and all I started to do was put up Instagram stories. With the poll feature to say, you know, do drink tea or do drink coffee, do what kind of teacher drink, you know, black tea or green tea, and did that over like a week’s time.
[00:21:19] And I got all this amazing feedback and people don’t, it was just fun. And they w they would just tell me, you know, they were just going to respond. Like, I think people would love to be like, Oh, you know, That person wants my feedback. I’m going to sort of vote. It’s like this thing that happens. And at the same time, you know, I got 60 to a hundred different responses about, you know, this.
[00:21:42] This product that I was, I was thinking about making never happened. Never did it because I didn’t have the time, but, you know, I guess it’s all just say how easy it is nowadays to do this.
[00:21:53] Dion: [00:21:53] Yeah. And you’ll get, you’ll get some supported or smashed very quickly.
[00:22:00] So excited, these really cool yoga mats. Um, probably about four years ago and no one had known as doing them. So I had, um, somebody collaborative last month and I put the images up, got some, um, kind of samples made and they just went off quality, you know, so I got all these. Older manufactured and, um, cost me a lot of money and others didn’t sell.
[00:22:23] So they were actually sitting underneath my bed for three and a half years, and then the pandemic hit and, you know, no one could go to gym. So, um, they sold it like that. I thought, okay. I might just see, you know, how these guys have the yoga mats go. Now that people can’t go to a gym. Right. So, and so they just saw that.
[00:22:41] When crazy. So, um, sometimes things don’t sell straight away, you know, there’s always risk, I suppose, is what I’m trying to say in the business. But I think, um, and you’ll always kind of make mistakes and you have to kind of really, uh, Learn from those mistakes and, and try to, uh, uh, you know, really be, um, as course cautious as you can, when you, when you’re thinking about these risks, because, you know, especially if you’re an SME, you know, one wrong decision could kind of break you.
[00:23:11] And the management of cashflow is really obviously really important in any business. Um, yeah, so it is important to have an audience and, and, um, you know, that’s why it’s good to have Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and, um, you know, even ticked off these ads because that’s what all our kids are all on at the moment.
[00:23:30] So to stay relevant. Um, not that, um,
[00:23:39] yeah. So, um, anyway, like I just think it’s important to have an audience to engage with, to keep you current and relevant.
[00:23:46] Germaine: [00:23:46] Well, and also would all these platforms as tools, not just, I think, again, there’s this response where you say, you know, Oh, I’m on Facebook and the general response is stop procrastinating, stop wasting your time.
[00:23:57] But in reality, All of these actually tools to look at where the market, you know, you use, you sell trendy products or donkeys designed, like what, what sells is, is trend and not necessarily, um, utility value when it comes to fashion because you know, a tee shirts, a t-shirt they’re all the same. So what you’re selling is what looks nice or what.
[00:24:15] People think it’s cool. And it’s important that you keep your finger on the pulse. And one way of doing that is just monitoring social media, use it as a tool, use it to your advantage rather than necessarily wasting time on it and spending a lot of time doing the wrong things on social media. There’s there’s a lot of opportunity there.
[00:25:17] Talk to me a little bit about how you, how you guys sell your product through on like, is it through a website or how do you, how do you sort of get out there from, um, in terms of donkeys design
[00:25:29] Dion: [00:25:29] things? The items that you can buy straight from the website, like for example, my Aboriginal designed, um, masks, uh, so that they just sort of like saw, um, some of the street wear, um, a tie that I designed and, um, in our, all of our veterans.
[00:25:44] Um, and then there’s other. Just an inquiry, uh, kind of, um, portal on the website because a lot of the work that I do is for corporates and, um, medical services and schools, so school uniforms. So then, you know, yeah, that’s more about, um, kind of connecting, uh, email exchange and then talking about design and, um, you know, whatever it is that they want specifically.
[00:26:06] So there’s a bit of time tuning forth, um, going back and forth and talking about that. So that can take some time, but you know, there is a opportunity to, to buy strategy. Not from the website. Just depends on what you know, that we’re wanting.
[00:26:20] Germaine: [00:26:20] Yeah. Yeah. And, um, We’ve talked about, I guess, a bunch of the really cool stuff you’re doing.
[00:26:27] I’m sure there were things along the way that were just, you know, you mentioned the yoga mats that were a bit of, sounds like a bit of a mistake. So I think you just had to hang on to them until the timing was right. But if you were a small business and you spent all your money on that, that could have, like you mentioned just wiped you out completely because you would have not, not had money to invest into a new, new, essentially a new skew or a new product, but any, any other things sort of come to mind where you sort of go.
[00:26:52] Yeah, that was, that was a, that was a misstep. I shouldn’t have done that or anything that nearly nearly sort of broke you.
[00:26:58] Dion: [00:26:58] I think it’s just the, um, that, that particular, when you’re talking about the clothing industry can kill you. Like, you know, you could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on clothing and it just sits and doesn’t make it.
[00:27:09] So, um, you know, for a small business like mine and, um, obviously, um, You know, I I’m at a point now where I’ve done my other things with all my other businesses, they kind of done on quite well. So I’ve gone back to darkies and I’m really trying to develop that. So I will probably have to carry stock into the future because I’m developing the business and I want it to.
[00:27:30] They the biggest, um, indigenous clothing company in Australia, that’s always been my, my goal and I will do that. Um, so, uh, so I think, um, you just have to manage that and you have to be in a position where you, again, knowing what sells, you know, if you. That have to carry stock and don’t um, so it’s a bit of a mix and match, but, uh, that’s probably been the biggest thing in the past that could have possibly broken me.
[00:27:54] I remember one time having about $30,000 worth of stuff that was just my spare room for a year, you know? So I had to think about, well, what do I do with this? I had a like, kind of, you know, It was kind of just a write off a loss. So I had to kind of, um, you know, I did a competition or do different things where there were giveaways.
[00:28:12] And so it still kind of look like, you know, when you’re in business, you kind of, a lot of it’s about, you know, the way you look, you know what I mean? Like. Um, uh, so I had to kind of make out, like, everything was good.
[00:28:25] Germaine: [00:28:25] Yeah. Sort of, almost like that. Fake it till you make it. So, yeah. Optics, um, you look like you’re doing fine in reality.
[00:28:34] You’re like, how do I get rid of $30,000 worth of excess stock that isn’t moving? Let’s just give away, you know, a thousand dollars of stock
[00:28:45] Dion: [00:28:45] every time I send something. Yeah. But, um, anyway, this what I had to do again, it’s about continuation, staying relevant and being connected. And, um, and I haven’t done that a lot for a long time with, um, the darkies, um, kind of engaging more with my audience, some changing the business up a bit.
[00:29:02] I’m trying to be more, um, uh, relevant to non-indigenous Australia as well. Um, because I think, you know, we’re at a time now, we’re at a point where non-indigenous people are comfortable, a lot more comfortable with wearing. Um, uh, Aboriginal clothing and different types of apparel. When I started, especially with my name, that is no way I’m not wearing that.
[00:29:22] So, um, I think, you know, I feel like I’ve made a bit of a change in that whole. Um, kind of why you’re thinking, and it’s still a bit of a struggle for, for people that feel like they have to ask me, can I wear this, you know, this Aboriginal design church. And so of course, again, I’ve got to bring up at a desk and say, Oh yeah, I’m black come all the way at your right.
[00:29:43] Germaine: [00:29:43] I was just thinking about that. Like, it’s an interesting point you make because, um, we, we, you know, Get involved, like working with clients. There are, there are often clients who have either an Aboriginal indigenous sort of either getting funded through that need, need to have design, or there’s always sort of things coming up that I don’t, I don’t know where a little Buddha turn to you to even ask, you know, I’ll be allowed to do this.
[00:30:07] I will be allowed to do that. But then thinking back and look at even fashion, I am. A hundred percent certain, there was a time where hoodies were perceived as you know, had a, had a certain image around them. Right? Yeah. Even sort of the street wear culture where now it’s almost everyone wears that sort of clothing.
[00:30:25] There was a time where, you know, you look like a thug. If you just wore a hoodie and, and. And there were connotations around all this stuff. Um, and you make a very good point, like, cause nowadays, like, you know, I don’t know if this is the right terminology, but the black culture sort of look at African-American culture, um, and how that’s just become so mainstream that hasn’t happened with what you’re doing yet.
[00:30:49] Um, or, or the sort of the indigenous sort of. No, not yet, but there’s this huge potential because you can draw on so many, like, so much, um, heritage and culture and, and imagery and design and stuff. That just looks really nice, but, but it just, hasn’t sort of quite permeated yet.
[00:31:09] Dion: [00:31:09] No, the uptake hasn’t been as quick.
[00:31:12] Um, uh, and people are a lot less or a lot more hesitant to, uh, um, you know, to, to do what they’ve done with African-American street, Marion culture and so forth. Um, there’s more of a, I think, perception around a cooler element. Um, and we’re talking about, um, black Americans as opposed to black Australians.
[00:31:31] And that’s really interesting to me because I also. I have African-American heritage. And my grandfather, um, was over here in the second world war and he was from Louisiana. So, um, um, uh, I kind of love that. Look and love. I mean, I would look like more, probably people say I look more African-American hijab originally.
[00:31:52] I kind of, in my mind, there’s a lot of Aboriginal people, um, that have the same heritage as men in Australia because of the second mobile. Um, so there’s a lot of us with Aboriginal. Um, blood and African-American black, which is really, really interesting. And, and I’ve always kind of thought that my clothing does have, and the style of it does have a kind of, a little bit of that element, um, you know, especially the street well on, it’s a kind of a combination of that, but I really would like more Australia and.
[00:32:22] Non-indigenous um, to really kind of, um, you know, uh, celebrate more and, um,
[00:32:28] Germaine: [00:32:28] sort of
[00:32:30] Dion: [00:32:30] embrace Aboriginal impartial culture more as part of being Australian. So that’s really my message. And that’s what I said at one it’s like, you don’t have to be black to wear, to wear an Aboriginal plaid or an Aboriginal design.
[00:32:42] You don’t have to ask for permission to do that. You know, like I think it’s, I think it’s very respectful and, um, and I think it’s respectful that they’ve asked. So they’re obviously thinking. Can you about that? Cause I don’t want to offend, but, um, you know, so I think we just need to keep continuing to have these conversations and say to people, well, yes it is.
[00:33:00] It is okay to wear an Aboriginal flag on a ship. You know, if you’re not Aboriginal, I wear an Australian flag. Exactly. Exactly.
[00:33:09] Germaine: [00:33:09] People were, you know, the union Jack or the American flag and you, you never asked, you never think that,
[00:33:16] Dion: [00:33:16] just do it. I mean, it is nice in a way, but, but also it kind of. In terms of a business it’s inhibits my ability to make more money because of the there’s these, um, obstacles that people have around, where can I actually wear that?
[00:33:33] Should I purchase that? You know what I mean? So it can make it harder when you, when you’re in a business. And I think. Sometimes I thought in hindsight, Oh, maybe I shouldn’t have called it dark, but I was trying to prove a point. And by that point I was still been really, actually really successful in, in that business and micro been going for 10 years and I’ve established for other businesses in meantime.
[00:33:56] So, um, it was a good kind of training ground. Um, and, and it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy at all.
[00:34:01] Germaine: [00:34:01] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, fashions, it’s a commodity, right? So I’m just trying to stand out because people, people appreciate good design, but there’s only, there’s only so much they will pay for, you know, a nice t-shirt.
[00:34:12] They’re not just going to spend infinite amounts of money on it. And it just makes it as a business case, quite difficult because you’re competing with everyone like anyone and everyone, everyone from Kmart to. Louis Vuitton is a competitor. Um, even though you can sort of segment the market, um, because it’s sort of commodity commodity items, um, before, before we move on from the whole, I guess, looking at how we can all, how it can become more mainstream, if for the lack of a better word, if you think part of it, I mean, look at black American culture, I feel like part of what’s made it so, so pervasive is that, is that, um, It’s just so they have these ambassadors almost, right.
[00:34:53] Like, I can’t think of a single sport where there aren’t, you know, um, African-Americans who are at the top, whether or people who look like African-Americans, you know? Um, so I feel like that’s sort of helped and there’s hip hop and music that, again, like the, the, the, the most Ozzy person, um, Would, you know, headbang to like Kanye West and, and there’s a certain level of coolness to, to it.
[00:35:20] Have you thought about sort of, um, I guess tapping indigenous sort of celebrities, for lack of a better word on the shoulder and sort of group teaming up with them to try and, um, push, push that sort of similar.
[00:35:34] Dion: [00:35:34] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I have, uh, uh, yeah. Going back to, um, I’m getting way there. But some, when I was sending a lot of, I’ve always kind of given, um, stuff out to promote the label.
[00:35:46] So I always did use and always have used, um, you know, Aboriginal people with high, um, high profiles, uh, some of the politicians or sporting people or, you know, actors or, um, uh, uh, have you had a black comedy? The show black comedy on the ABC.
[00:36:03] Germaine: [00:36:03] No, right.
[00:36:05] Dion: [00:36:05] It’s a, it’s a, an Aboriginal comedy show. That’s a really successful.
[00:36:10] Now about 10 years ago, one of the actors in their war, um, uh, a few of my diet designs are three or four weeks in a row. So, you know, like I’ve kind of done it, you know, uh, I’ve been quite strategic about, about that. And that was kind of what I was really only had. Dark is not real. I was trying to always.
[00:36:27] You’re thinking of ways to get into that. I don’t kind of really feel like I have to do that anymore, even though there’s lots of other indigenous clothing labels out there that actually passed anything that I’ve ever done and, um, you know, are a lot more popular, but I kind of feel like establishing myself as a business person talk is going around for a decade.
[00:36:43] Now I’ve got some runs on the board and I don’t really feel the need to have to do that. But in saying that, um, uh, I, I probably will start reaching out to a few, a few high profile people, um, to, to take it. Some pigs and get it there. And, um, uh, non-indigenous Australians too. Cause that’s what I would really like to see more people, um, that aren’t necessarily just Aboriginal charsadda, um, people wearing my designs.
[00:37:09] Germaine: [00:37:09] yeah, yeah, no, I mean, you know, w when you’re looking to relaunch and sort of tapping into that, that sort of makes sense. Um,
[00:37:17] Dion: [00:37:17] Looking
[00:37:17] Germaine: [00:37:17] at like the fact that you’ve got a number of businesses, um, before we wrap up, I’d be interested to hear about how you think, think of, think of business as a whole in that, like, I, I look at business as, again, like a tool as a vehicle, whether it’s to, um, make, you know, to create change, um, to make, to normalize things, to make a message heard.
[00:37:39] Um, it sounds to me. Like you sort of look at business in this, in a similar vein and you just, you know, have different businesses that sort of cater to different things, but, um, is that sort of how you look at business as just this one big thing that you can create and shut down and open and ramp up and all that as you, as you please, is that sort of how you look at it?
[00:38:02] Dion: [00:38:02] Yeah, I kind of feel like there’s because I’m quite, um, a lateral thinker and quite creative. So when I see an opportunity and a gap in the market, then I think, um, there may be an opportunity to create something or to develop something. Then, then, then I do, um, uh, I think for a while there was a bit crazy, cause I was, I’ll do this and I’ll do that and I’ll do this and I’ll do that.
[00:38:23] So I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t advise people. So do that because then you spread yourself too thin at a point now where I’ve kind of brought people on board so that I can rely and trust them enough to do what they need to do with respect to it, all of the businesses. And I’ll do my part and that’s why they’re still developing.
[00:38:40] And none of mothers have filed. Um, But yeah, I kind of feel like I like the fact that it can, I can help people through that through my business, uh, businesses and, um, create opportunities for employment for people that I like. Um, for other Aboriginal people, um, have the opportunity to sponsor sporting clubs and things like that.
[00:39:03] Um, and I liked the way that, you know, in business, color’s not such yeah, a big thing because when, you know, when you’re a business and you want to help people. When, you know, there’s a community, there’s a sense of community that you, that refined. Um, you know, say for example, working as a public servant, um, you know, it’s exciting, it’s challenging.
[00:39:22] It’s bloody hard, but it’s rewarding too. And there’s a real sense of respect. And I think I’m doing it to also to change perceptions. Um, you know, non-indigenous people in the wider community have had about Aboriginal and tarsal other people in the past, um, because I am successful and I’m creating, you know, businesses and an opportunity is for people I’m still helping people.
[00:39:46] Um, and, and in all of my businesses, this, you know, there is a component there where I’m getting back to the Aboriginal community, bringing black and white people together to work on projects and to. And to do things together. And I think that that’s a big part of what I like about business, as well as that, you know, we all have to work together.
[00:40:03] Um, you know, we should work together. Do that, always do that, but I think. Business creates opportunities for different, very different people from very different backgrounds and costs to come together.
[00:40:14] Germaine: [00:40:14] That’s something we sort of want to celebrate as like at Futuretheory and through the podcast and through what we’re trying to do is celebrating the fact that one, like you said, it’s this common thread that can tie anyone and everyone together.
[00:40:27] Like, um, just the other day I saw that, uh, Stripe, which is a payment processor. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them. They’re a multi-billion dollar company. Purchased a Nigerian startup for, I think it was the biggest acquisition by Stripe today, a couple of hundred million dollars. Right. And I think, I think it was something like that.
[00:40:44] Um, and you know, what impressed me there was that this, you know, huge multinational payment processor has gone to Africa and purchased a company, um, based out of Nigeria. Now, I can’t think of any other instance, apart from sport where. The, you know, that can happen where, where this giant we’ll go in and pick up this other thing.
[00:41:07] Um, so, you know, business has just this way of w what we would say is like equalizing right. Of
[00:41:14] Dion: [00:41:14] sort of
[00:41:15] Germaine: [00:41:15] making an even playing field for everyone involved.
[00:41:18] Dion: [00:41:18] Yes. Yeah. It’s definitely, there is that element to business. And that’s, I think another thing that. Another thing that I, that I like about it. Yeah.
[00:41:25] Germaine: [00:41:25] Yeah. And, and another thing I picked up on was, um, it sounds like you do feel, and I get this, I have this feeling as well of like, you almost represent a whole. Society like a whole community, a whole whole sort of, kind of, uh, hope people. Um, where, like, when I talk to people, I’m like, dude, you know, you’re representing Sri Lankans, like are through like an Australian, but yeah, people are going to, people are going to blame straight line guy.
[00:41:49] If you, if you mess up, if you, if you know, if you don’t deliver on time, they’re going to be like, Oh man, Sri Lankans, like don’t, don’t work with them. Um, do you know, you can get a bit of that feeling, just being. You know, a minority in, in these when you go into the business world.
[00:42:05] Dion: [00:42:05] Yeah. Yeah. It definitely, I think, um, especially when I was starting out, because I kind of never really had the size of my father who would already be sold his business, uh, many years before.
[00:42:16] Um, I didn’t kind of really have much context or frame of reference or, um, know anybody to talk to about it. And, uh, there was a sense of this. Okay. Well, um, and be able to tell what’s he doing during this. Well, what’s Deon doing and, you know, um, um, and especially that I ended up having multiple businesses that said, what’s he doing now?
[00:42:34] But some, but yeah, there’s kind of a sense of, I think having to represent and, um, and to succeed and sometimes that’s, uh, can be hard and can make it harder. And it can make the journey sometimes a bit more lonely. Um, and the more success you get them all hit, you get to like learn to become, you know, I used to be really, I am still sensitive in nature these days, it takes something pretty bad for me to, for it to really affect me.
[00:43:03] You know what I mean? So, um, you can become a lot more resilient and you need to have that when you’re, when you’re in business. And, and even when you’re not that successful. So you’re not, I mean, you’re like, you have to just keep going if you want to want to succeed. But when that success comes, it’s, it’s kind of like tall poppy syndrome as well.
[00:43:21] And, um, but yeah, so I, but I do feel like I’m representing and I do feel like it’s given me the opportunity to. Um, um, going back to my roots as well and learned more about my Aboriginal intertia the culture, especially when I’m talking about doc is because, um, you know, it’s so centered around, um, my culture and, and also thinking about in the future, you know, some sort of collaboration and.
[00:43:44] Like an American label too, to kind of bring that element in. And that’s a guy and I was trying to be a little bit different, have a bit of an edge I’ve other, um, you know, other businesses. And when I’m talking about my label, that’s something that I think I wouldn’t mind doing an all side kind of. Uh, uh, an Island influenced as I have, um, Olander heritage as well.
[00:44:04] So, um, Charlestown heritage middle-size South sea Islander heritage, because my father is a disseminator of the slides that were brought over from the black, black wedding days, you know, um, uh, It’s just Ryan doesn’t really know much about, there’s a part of that history that people’s, you know, white settlers would go in trouble, sees the, uh, and you know, and, um, take people, just take people from the islands, from the Solomon Islands, from, um, from.
[00:44:31] Hebrides, you know what I mean? And, um, so a lot of Aboriginal people have that heritage heritage as well, but I’d like to tap into that my particular autism in 10 hours, which is part of Ben Amati, um, which the French colonized and that’s where my night is to bounce, not spelled. Right. But it’s French, you know, derived, um, French derivation.
[00:44:52] So, um, I wouldn’t mind kind of implementing. That kind of some Islander feel to some of the elements of design when I’m talking about my label as well. But yeah. So there’s lots, lots of people that I feel like I represent, so
[00:45:07] Germaine: [00:45:07] yeah. Yeah, no, definitely. Yeah, and it can feel like a bit of a bit of a wait sometimes, but, um, at the same time, you know, it’s, it’s also not, not the worst thing to have a bit, a bit of pressure to sort of push you forward.
[00:45:19] But, um, before we wrap up, I just wanted to touch on that sort of thing that you mentioned about, you know, you’re still a sensitive person, but you can take a few more hits and I think, yeah. For anyone listening. I think what I’ve learned is that it’s important to, to work on yourself and sort of your mindset and how you look at things and how you handle things too.
[00:45:37] The best way I can explain it is to maintain a stable baseline emotion as possible so that, you know, whether you succeed or you fail that baseline, doesn’t sort of cause, cause the last thing you want is this baseline. That’s just bumping between good and bad, right? Because in a, in a day in business, you can go through.
[00:45:56] Literally everything let alone a year in business or 10 years in business. Um, so it’s just maintaining that stable, especially when you’ve got people working for you, you know, they shouldn’t, they shouldn’t get, you know, you shouldn’t get angry at them because of something that happened to you in the morning that they had nothing to do with, or, um, so you need to sort of just work on, I guess, that emotional side and really look into yourself and your mental sort of mindset as well.
[00:46:22] Dion: [00:46:22] Yeah, I think that’s a good point. Like you do it is because, you know, it’s so busy when you’re, when you’re making and generating your own money. There’s no time for nonsense. There’s no time to fat ass around, you know, and, um, and welling on things that you just need to, to deal with things really, uh, swiftly, practically, and really sensibly.
[00:46:43] And sometimes that’s hard, you know, because there is pressure, you have to pay people and you have to do this. You’ve got bills. You’ve got no place. So B events to be at and, um, you know, uh, talks to give a lot of that. And so I feel like sometimes, you know, if you allow that to kind of get to you, then, you know, it can really affect your mental health and your.
[00:47:03] Physical health. I think you need the balance in life. You need to be able to take time out. Um, and when you go into business to do that sensibly, say, I would never say to anybody, put your job and go and work. You know what I mean? Like work and then, you know, see how your business guide it’s like, um, don’t give up your day.
[00:47:21] Um, Just do it as a hobby possibly at first and then stiffen, if you’ve got investors or if you come from money, that’s different. Um, you know, cause at the end of the day, you know, like it’s all about how you can manage and how you can. Build and develop your life or your business, whatever that might be, um, without, and still being able to pay the bills, you know?
[00:47:42] So, um, I think you just have to have a lot of common sense as well around and, and, you know, when you’re your business, Do you offer this, you know, when you have a business, not for me, a lot of mothers I’m center of that, you on the face of it on the, you know what I mean? Like people, when they see it as that out to me.
[00:47:58] And so, um, so you have to look after yourself. Um, and, and sometimes that’s hard, you know, I’m getting held down and I’m fat.
[00:48:17] And I like it. I think it’s important to it. The look well to book after your family, you know, I mean, that’s very important. Um, you know, um, that’s why I’m down there because at the moment it’s still working about like, I think like mix it up a bit and make sure you’re able to, um, uh, remember what are you working for?
[00:48:36] You know, the things in your life that are important, which is your health, which are your loved ones, your children, your wife, or your husband, whatever, you know what I mean? Like just having a bit of a. Kind of, um, you know, like you said, a baseline, a really sensible, a balanced outlook on life, but actually practice that as well.
[00:48:57] You know, because sometimes people I’ve seen people in business and they’ve worked themselves to death.
[00:49:03] Germaine: [00:49:03] Yeah. Forgetting, forgetting to spend time with the family. Yeah. Yeah, well, it’s an
[00:49:09] Dion: [00:49:09] awful bit of a balance, you know, it’s, it’s good to be rich, but not good being rich if you’re dead
[00:49:15] Germaine: [00:49:15] exactly or rich, if you’re estranged from your family, because you know, they don’t know who you are.
[00:49:24] Dion: [00:49:24] So that’s really important. That’s really important to you. Um, so many different factors that you have to think about, um, when you’re, when you’re in business and, uh, you have to be smart and good businesses. It’s people are smart because you have to be smart. You have to think smart. You have to be strategic.
[00:49:44] Um, otherwise it’s just, it doesn’t work
[00:49:47] Germaine: [00:49:47] well. Ultimately I think it all comes down to execution. That’s how I look at it. It’s not so much, it’s not so much anything else, but how you decide to do what you do and how you decide to do to, you know, say no to certain things it’s about, and that’s why you gotta be smart.
[00:50:02] Cause it’s all in. What you do with what you’re given, um, you know, just quickly going back to you, getting to, um, act Australian of the year, it was all like, again, there are heaps of people who win awards, who don’t, who aren’t able to, or who don’t do the right things with it, or don’t do things that, that get them anywhere.
[00:50:21] Like, you know, I know heaps of people who’ve won awards and X, Y, and Zed, and. They just, it just, that was it. Like it was received, it was done, done deal. So it’s all execution at the end of the day. Um, before we, before we roll into the top 12, where can people find out more about, um, yourself and your, your businesses and connect with you?
[00:50:42] Dion: [00:50:42] So I’ve got to numb, like I said, five different businesses and, um, so, you know, It just Google doc docs or Google they’re out, or, um, you know, just go to any of the, any of the websites or. Like, you know, when you’re like anybody, when you’re trying to have a bit of a squeeze at someone, you just Google them these days, everyone just does it that way.
[00:51:02] So, and then everything comes up. Yeah.
[00:51:08] Before it was like, I’ll get you a www dot. Now people just stalk each other on site.
[00:51:16] Germaine: [00:51:16] Exactly.
[00:51:19] Dion: [00:51:19] Yeah, no, one’s, everyone’s kind of like out there, you know, you can’t get away from it. So, um, that’s the kind of the easiest way to talk about the is probably the one that, you know, you’ll find me what I do and that’s, I mean, I don’t even know.
[00:51:34] How did you find me?
[00:51:36] Germaine: [00:51:36] Hey, Hayden found you, Hayden found you, so, um, you’ll have to ask Hayden.
[00:51:42] Dion: [00:51:42] Yeah, it’s funny like that. But, um, these types of, um, yarns, these types of things that I do, it’s, it’s weird that, you know, people check it out like, and they might not even be an insult. Even sometimes that people name it’s just like they’ve typed in indigenous entrepreneur.
[00:51:56] And then I come up, you know what I mean? Um, it’s kind of by chance a lot of the time, but I think, you know, the more things you do, um, like even like this, if you give up. Well, your lawn or something, we’re doing this interview somewhere, you know? So it’s kind of very easy for people to find people these days.
[00:52:14] Germaine: [00:52:14] Yeah. Perfect. Just, just Google Dion, you’ll find out, um, or about all, about his businesses and, and what he’s doing. Um, are you ready for the top 12?
[00:52:23] Dion: [00:52:23] Yeah.
[00:52:24] Germaine: [00:52:24] Okay. Let’s roll into it. So, um, top three books or podcasts that you recommend.
[00:52:29] Dion: [00:52:29] The Bible.
[00:52:33] I actually don’t read Milly many. Um, I don’t read a lot, so the truth and I don’t listen to too many podcasts, so I can’t really give you that many ads, but number one, two, and three, read the Bible. You’ll get somewhere like that. Written that.
[00:52:48] Germaine: [00:52:48] Yeah. Have you read the Bible yourself or do you read the Bible?
[00:52:51] Dion: [00:52:51] Yeah, first thing I do when I get up. Wow.
[00:52:56] Germaine: [00:52:56] I don’t know why. I’m why I’m surprised. I shouldn’t be surprised, but, um, that’s I can tell you this much. No one else has given that answer before. So,
[00:53:09] Dion: [00:53:09] um, I, it should be a little more success too. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Wow.
[00:53:15] Germaine: [00:53:15] Love it. That’s that’s like a whole other podcast episode that I’d love to have a conversation with you about sometime top three software tools that you can use.
[00:53:23] Dion: [00:53:23] Oh, I D I can’t live there. I’ll use it with software or hardware. My phone, my laptop, my phone, my laptop.
[00:53:36] Germaine: [00:53:36] What apps do you sort of rely on? What do you use for emails?
[00:53:40] Dion: [00:53:40] It’s not a good thing, but you know, because I’ve got so much going on, I have to you on my phone, I’m constantly on my phone, which is, like I said, It’s not, not good. Sometimes I can find that what, um, you know, we have so much access to technology and I’m always just scrolling through and checking my emails and, um, and I have my laptop everywhere, but I mean, that’s a part of my life and part of my business.
[00:54:01] And that’s what allows me to have the flexibility to work from wherever and still make money. Um, so, you know, uh, and be a successful business person. I need to be able to do that. So, um, but I do need to switch off and, uh, Yeah.
[00:54:15] Germaine: [00:54:15] Yeah. It’s a, it’s a fine balance at the end of the day, when you’ve got, when you’ve got a number of businesses, like they, they, they also require attention.
[00:54:23] You gotta look at it. Um, top three mantras, you try to live by anything. You sort of tell yourself.
[00:54:29] Dion: [00:54:29] Yeah. Yeah. I just thought, well, going back to, um, My faith. I have, um, a couple of verses my favorite verses from the Bible. Um, some, um, that is seven Fords. Delight yourself also in the Lord and he shall give you the desires one.
[00:54:44] So that’s something that’s, um, you know, I, I meditate on, on quite a lot. Okay. Lots of scriptures that I meditate on. And, um, that’s, like I said, it’s what, um, really, really helps me to get through. You know, they say, you know, when you’re reading the Bible, doesn’t, you’re not really actually read the Bible, but Bob, where you chase is something or a passage or scripture art example or something, a strategy for everything in life in the Bible.
[00:55:11] So that’s what I use to get me through.
[00:55:13] Germaine: [00:55:13] Yeah. Yep. Love it. Love it. Um, top three people you follow or study and why?
[00:55:23] Dion: [00:55:23] Um, top three people, that’s a hard one. Um,
[00:55:30] there’s not really any body in particular. I kind of liked to watch, um, different politicians. I like to watch. Um, different, different business people. Um, I like to watch, um, different sports people and I like to watch just people in general, like people say for example, that, um, I have seen kind of grow as business people through the entrepreneurial program that I, that I run, because I think that, um, you know, people have been my business for 30 years.
[00:56:04] You know what I mean? Like I’m working. It really closely intensely with people and that’s kind of carried over into business. And I just, I kind of am quite interested in people in general. Um, uh, because I. Kind of want to help where I can, but I think it’s just nice to see people, um, because you can learn from all sorts of different people and they don’t have to be, you know, billionaires or amazing successful people.
[00:56:29] They can just be everyday people. And I find, um, I do some mentoring with young Aboriginal public servants, and I learned a lot from them. Um, I do lots of talks at schools and use online a lot from them because they kind of are so open, uh, a lot of them anyway. And, um, I think just in terms of, again, staying relevant and nine what’s happening, um, to people in different lives and different kinds of, um, sectors of the community, our youth is something that we don’t really kind of look at enough.
[00:57:04] Um, and I think we need to do more because they are our future, you know, I think we’ll need to encourage them, but, but also we need to be able to learn from them. And like I said, I learned so much from, and I love spending time with young, younger people. Um, Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, like, even, like I said, I’m only 57 young for me is someone that’s 30, you know?
[00:57:25] Germaine: [00:57:25] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, I do a similar thing where I, um, follow sort of younger people, um, close, closer to me in age still, but in their, in their twenties, in their twenties, um, who like, for me, it’s not, again, they’re not millionaires. They don’t even have like a crazy following or anything like that, but it’s just.
[00:57:45] Looking at how they do what they do to, you know, some of them have like a group of, you know, um, 300 people that they can always talk to on social media that, that respond to them, that engage with them. And to me, that’s a very powerful thing. Like obviously this young person has worked out what it is that their followers and their friends and people they want to communicate with are looking for and, and are giving them that, that thing.
[00:58:10] So, um, I think this is, this is a good reminder that you don’t need to follow people who are successful and, and, you know, multimillionaires a billion as, because. Like again, I learned from my staff as much as they learn from me. Um, I learned from every client, um, as, as much as, you know, we help them in their loan from us.
[00:58:30] Um, so I think this has been an awesome reminder that, um, there’s, there’s learnable, teachable moments. There’s things happening all around you that you can learn from every day. Yeah.
[00:58:40] Dion: [00:58:40] And if you surround yourself with people that I like to surround myself with people that. Um, and that’s something I’m not, I’m going to business in a lot, because especially when I’ve done creating a business, I’ve not really known a lot about that industry.
[00:58:52] So you end up being and engaging people that do. And so you learn from them and you learn more about the business and yeah, that’s kind of a big part of, um, what I, what I do on a daily basis I land from, cause I’m not a big C, so I’d rather see things and learn things in a practical way. I think it’s quite cultural too, because we never had.
[00:59:14] Like a written kind of
[00:59:18] Germaine: [00:59:18] text to read from and things like that. Yeah, yeah,
[00:59:21] Dion: [00:59:21] yeah.
[00:59:22] Germaine: [00:59:22] You were shown and then you learned from, from the actions of doing and learning that way.
[00:59:28] Dion: [00:59:28] Yeah.
[00:59:30] Germaine: [00:59:30] That passed on. Yeah, yeah,
[00:59:33] Dion: [00:59:33] yeah,
[00:59:34] Germaine: [00:59:34] yeah. Yeah. This has been an awesome conversation with you, Dion. Thank you for it.
[00:59:40] Dion: [00:59:40] Thank you for your time.
[00:59:41] Nice to meet you and stay
[00:59:42] Germaine: [00:59:42] in touch. Likewise. Thanks.