Where are you from?
I live in Sydney.
What’s your background?
I grew up in Toowoomba which has the claim to fame of Australia’s largest inland city. My primary school was a local state school down the road and high school was at Toowoomba Grammar School (TGS).
My father was a teacher at my high school. I quickly learned exactly what students thought of him, especially after receiving a detention! My schooling was generally happy. I did well on grades and enjoyed the sports on offer.
Growing up with two sisters and another brother meant there was always something to do. We were never bored. Either we were playing in the backyard or attending school sports, events, kids parties etc.
I was lucky to have a fantastic childhood. My passion was cricket which I was mad keen on and I would get all my siblings to play with me at least once a day via nagging!
After high school, I attended the University of Queensland to complete undergraduate engineering studies and returned again a few years later to complete a Master of Business. In between undergraduate and postgraduate studies I worked as an engineer on production lines, implementing new technology.
Straight after my postgraduate studies I headed overseas for 18 months on a working holiday. My favorite part of the trip was working in Canada near the ski fields as it allowed for snowboarding three times a week. Its something I still love doing even though three days a week is not the priority anymore!
On my return I started a business with Nathan Aherne (referred to as my business partner in the rest of this form) who I knew from my undergraduate days as we stayed in the same hall of residence.
Since starting that business, I have always worked in technology-related fields as I find the pace of change and subsequent opportunities this opens up very enrolling.
Describe your life right now.
My life is never dull. It’s generally hectic. Time seems to go quickly. Sometimes I wish things would slow down a little. Having said that, it’s better to be busy than bored and that is something I have always thought true since starting a business many years ago.
In the last few years, since having children (two boys aged 3 & 1), it’s certainly become even more hectic. Definitely my priorities around spare time have changed.
My children are wonderful and bring chaos to my otherwise orderly world. I really enjoy them, however at times it’s a sacrifice putting their needs in front of mine or my partner’s. I have found this challenging.
Living in a new city since having children has also been isolating as my family and friends are mainly based in Queensland.
Slowly I have made a small network of people I know, like and trust, and I’m always trying to connect with people and expand this network. I also try and travel back to visit friends/family but it’s harder with my other commitments these days than it used to be years ago.
Work is important to me. My work today involves growing an IT consultancy called TecHaus and before this it involved software startups (rulerr.com & vuid.com). Prior to all that was outsourced IT services under the brand Reddog Technology.
My life is what I make of it. This has always been my philosophy. However, I have erred from this thinking, especially when things have not gone to plan. Today I would say my life is hectic, great fun, but does have challenges around work and family.
What’s important to you and your life?
My family/friends and my work are important. Workwise, I would like to be part of something that has an impact on a group of people, something they find interesting, helpful and useful in their lives.
The people I relate to as part of this journey are important to me also, be it staff, colleagues or customers. Money is important. Also the work needs to provide good income. If it doesn’t, this means that people don’t value it enough and my energies should go elsewhere.
In relation to family, it’s important that my family is healthy, looked after and happy. This would be true for my entire family however my partner and children are certainly the ones that I have the most responsibility for going forward. It’s important that family feels the freedom to chase their goals and feels supported on that journey.
In relation to my friends it’s important that I am there for them in times of need and I can share their times of happiness. It’s important that I connect with them regularly, and on this note, it’s something I’m aware needs improvement from my side going forward.
What specific experiences, people or events have shaped your view?
My parents have certainly shaped my answer around family and friends. Growing up, they set a good example and taught me how to best relate to my siblings and friends. My parents’ moto was ‘treat others how you want to be treated.’ My partner, Angela, has also helped greatly in clarifying what is (or should be) important in this area of life.
In relation to work, my business partner has shaped some of my thoughts, so have my family, especially my brother. To a lesser extent, so have customers and colleagues.
Lastly, my recently completed Landmark Forum has helped crystallize some of my thinking around this question by improving communication skills with everyone including myself (as odd as this may seem especially to those who have not done any Landmark courses).
Jason Rudolf is the co-founder of TecHaus.