Where are you from?
So, tell me a little about you.
I’m 39 years old, grew up in the UK. I’m lucky enough to have an Australian mother, so I’ve always had dual citizenship and moved to Australia after I graduated.
Life in Australia is pretty nice and easy and I kind of felt I needed a challenge. I went to live in China, spent a decade there, came back married and recently had a baby daughter. I really enjoy living in Brisbane and working in my business.
Congratulations! So, what’s important to you and your life?
I think having recently become a father, my family, my wife and my daughter is most important to me at the moment. It’s quite a life-changing thing, becoming a father. So that’s obviously a big focus.
Aside from that, my parents have just celebrated their 45 year wedding anniversary which I’m thrilled about. And my wider family is obviously very important.
Aside from that, I’m in a coworking space now with my business. I’ve worked on my own business for 8 years now and invested a lot of time and energy into it so that’s also important.
Maybe a year or two ago I would be working longer days. If I ended up having a task to do in the office to 8pm I’d just be in the office to 8pm. Now the reality of becoming a father means I need to get home at a reasonable hour. So my day has to become a lot more structured and my priorities are increasingly with my family. I wouldn’t say business suffers but business has to be put in a different spot I guess.
And in terms of my family, though they live in the UK, my parents, I make a big effort to see them at least once a year. So either they come and visit me here in Australia or I’ll head back and so maybe planning vacations is around seeing them more than it would have been in my 20s for example.
What specific experiences have shaped your view?
Obviously, the event that shaped my life was moving to China, it obviously had a huge influence on my life. When I left Australia to move to China I was pretty introverted and I became more sociable, more confident moving to China, I would say, and I was obviously lucky enough to meet my wife there and becoming a father has obviously had a big effect on my life recently.
My father is in business and we have a family business in the UK and I think that’s always had a big influence on me. I never really was that interested in the traditional ‘graduate from university get a corporate job’ life. I tried it for a few years but I always knew deep down I wanted to do my own business. So that’s always had a big effect on me.
Has anyone ever asked you that question before?
Possibly not. I think being in a coworking space you do have these conversations more than you would ordinarily. But this is…I’m not sure I can say yes. People have picked on different aspects of it and not as completely as you have.
And who in your life would you ask?
My brother. He did go down the more university/corporate life road and he’s recently moved back to the hometown to run the family business. I do wonder what influenced his decision and maybe some of the factors behind that so maybe my brother would be a good person to ask. As a family member, I think, sometimes in the family you don’t talk about these type of things. Practical matters take over. That would be quite interesting to experience.
Matt is a new dad and the founder of China Checkup.