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GREAT IDEAS: Win Fast by Siimon Reynolds {Interview}

Success tips for leading in the workplace from ad guru Siimon Reynolds

Siimon Reynolds became Australia’s most famous advertising wunderkind, forever linked to his shock 1987 TV ad showing a Grim Reaper bowling down children to highlight AIDS risks.

The multi-millionaire entrepreneur is now largely based in the U.S. as a motivational author and mentor to entrepreneurs and CEOs.  He spoke to us in an interview for The Growth Faculty On Demand. 

Success tips from Siimon Reynolds, author of Win Fast.

Using a timer to increase productivity: 
  •  Use a timer all day.  A little extreme, but I found that if you allocate set times for everything you do, you inevitably work faster.
  • Estimate how much time your task will take. Shorten your estimate by 20%. Set your mobile phone alarm. Begin working on the task. 
  •  You will enjoy life more when racing the clock; even tedious tasks become more enjoyable.
Setting crystal clear goals: 
  •  Can you answer "What are your top three goals in order of priority?" Prioritise ultra-clarity, and design your day so you have clarity around it.
  • Not being absolutely crystal clear about where you're going results in lower performance, lower results.
Start of the day and end of the day habits: 

  • Do the most important thing first in the day. Barely a person in a 100 does it.
  • Have a clear finish time for your work day, and stick to it. Most people have a start time, but not a clear end time. 
  • Take three minutes to review, “What did I do well today and what could I do better?” Elite military organisations do this after every single mission. 
What’s a book you would recommend? Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

How did you get your first ever job?  I placed an ad in an advertising journal during my HSC year. Two agencies responded. During my school holidays I was doing work experience at those ad agencies, and 2 weeks after the HSC I was working full-time. 

If you weren't doing the job you're doing now, what would you be doing? I like these questions! I'd like to be a therapist. I'd like to take some of the radical, lesser known therapies and put them into some sort of practice. 

How do push yourself when the going gets tough? I shorten deadlines. Just shorten them down to 20 minutes..."for the next 20 minutes I'm going to do this." 

What’s one of the best decisions you’ve ever made that’s advanced your career? Put learning first. I was terrible at school. I remember in my final year the headmaster said, “If things don’t improve, Siimon had better leave school.” And there was only six months left. Afterwards, I fell in love with learning. Continuously learning, as you guys teach at The Growth Faculty, is probably, other than self-belief, the number one reason that I’ve had some level of success.

What's a fun fact that's not widely known about you? I live in the bath. I love baths. I read in the bath, I work in the bath. I have a bath with my wife almost every night, and my kids, half the time, are in the bath. I'm half man, half fish. 

What’s been your lowest moment and how did you recover? I was a creative director of an ad agency at 21, and I got sacked a year and a half later. And honestly to this day, I still don’t know the reason why. It absolutely devastated me. I thought the world was over. I really did. Only later I found out that a lot of the great people in business and in many fields end up getting fired. So it’s almost a rite of passage. At that age, you don't have the mental tools to handle it. So, I went overseas and got very drunk in the Greek islands with some friends of mine. After, no one would give me a job...they thought "he must be terrible"….so I was forced to open my own ad agency at 23 with two partners, one of the best things I ever did.

What’s your prediction for 2025? We will be stunned by the impact that China is going to make on the West, in business, but also culturally with their movies, with their technology, video games, with their ways of thinking. We know China’s going to be big, but I think we’re underestimating how big.

The Growth Faculty Members can watch, listen or read a full interview with our featured author Siimon Reynolds by downloading the video, transcript or MP3 audio file, after logging on to the On Demand platform.  

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