Where are you from?
Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Tell us a little about you
I was born in Melbourne and eventually moved to Byron Bay and spent lots of my days up there, enjoying the country, the beach lifestyle, and learning to be a hippy. My background in business has always been finance and IT.
I have 5 kids. My eldest works overseas at the moment. She’s the reason this current business exists because she rang me and complained about the cost of sending money home. So she told me to fix it.
She saved more than we’ve made. Isn’t that nice. Wrong way round but that’s what she said.
I was semi retired and looking after two small kids—I’m homeschooling—then the business started.
She’s a partner in New York in this business at the moment. And I’m also now involved in a CBD oil business over New York with her for rescue dogs. She rescues dogs from pounds and she gives the oil for anxiety to get them back into the community rather than giving them Xanax and Prozac and stuff.
Dogs are just little humans. They give small doses. So she had the idea of helping her dog and we sat down and designed this business so she can sell the oil to other people. Unfortunately, you’ll end up in Jail if you do that here in Australia.
Personally, I enjoy starting stuff, starting new things and exploring new things. Once it starts and is happily running I tend to get bored, I want to move on to the next new thing which makes it a struggle sometimes.
What’s important to you and your life?
Definitely family. Raising five kids, that’s the main thing. Pretty much everything I do is based around those five and their partners and their kids. So from a personal point of view it’s definitely that. For my own self, it’s making me the best example for them that I can.
I believe there’s limited reach that I’ve got in the world so I start with those 5 because then it snowballs out. I do my yoga practice to make sure that I meditate to keep myself reasonably centered just so they’ve got a good example as well.
What specific experiences have shaped your view?
I truly believe in learning from what not to do more than what to do, looking at people and how they’re doing things very badly and then trying to do the opposite.
We’re launching a product this week for corporates, which is where I’ve spent the last six months consulting. 2 vendors just wouldn’t do the work. They would argue with the client to do it. We’ve gone to fill that void and done it for them, so I really look for where people are messing up and try to pick that sort of spot in the marketplace.
Banks charge 5 percent, we charge 1, so copying what’s already working is hard. I like to look at what’s not working and try and find that hole.
So, how does that relate to your family?
Oh, it’s getting them involved in stuff that is probably not quite the norm. I suppose as part of the Byron Bay background as well and homeschooling.
I’ve got two young boys 6 and 9, and let them just explore what they want. I’m not into computer games at all but those 2 have started Pokemon Go, which is good. They’ve got their own YouTube channel. They record themselves. They promote themselves. I don’t necessarily agree with it but I’m supporting it, supporting them to actually find their space and what they want to do.
So we wander around Brisbane taking videos. It’s interesting. It’s definitely ruffled my feathers, spending hours catching Pokemon. Yes, but we’ll get there.
See it’s important for them that they follow their own passions. The three girls go to three different schools because we wanted them to go to what they really wanted, which made more work for me from one to the next but it is perfect for them.
Chris Dwyer is the founder of Instant Global Payments, and a homeschooling dad to 5 kids.