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Interview With Paul Dunn

Paul Dunn from Buy1Give1 - B1G1He began his career in Australia at Hewlett Packard where he was one of just ten people in the Australian start up of the company. In 1974 Paul wrote some innovative software that became the basis for one of Australia’s early technological successes — Hartley Computer. Until 1980 Paul was the marketing genius behind the company growing globally to a $23 Million enterprise. In 1992 Paul formed Results Accountants’ Systems (RAS) to focus again on Accountants in Public Practice — teaching them how to leverage their skills to create far better businesses for their clients.

By 1994 the company had offices in Europe and, most significantly, the USA.  By the year 2000, it was serving over 3500 practices and their clients worldwide.  Amongst many other innovations, Paul developed the Results Accountants’ Network — it became the largest network of leading-edge Accountants.
In 2000 he ‘retired’ and sold all his business interests only to discover the transformational power of giving in 2006 by funding an orphanage for Tsunami-affected children in India. That led to his co-discovery of B1G1 in 2007.
Paul is also leading the corporate and ambassador programs in B1G1 team.

 

Please tell us a bit of your earlier years – 20 to 35

I was born and ‘grew up’ (if indeed I did grow up) in Dover, then in London. And at 20, I was working in the Antennae Research Group at Belling and Lee.

At 21, the General Manager of the Company’s Australian operations named (seriously) Jim Snitch visited the lab. In a wonderfully broad Australian accent, he announced he wanted a Chief Engineer for Australia. Up went my hand. And I can’t remember if mine was the only hand that did go up, but I got the job.
So off to Australia I went (for $10 on a Comet believe it or not). In Australia we were using Hewlett Packard test gear and the man who became GM of HPs Australian venture, Malcolm Kerr, head-hunted me. That was a great time — just 10 of us doing great things.
I did pretty well and got sent to Brisbane to open up the Queensland marketplace. That became the top HP office in the country and it was there that I met David Hartley. He was using HP computers to do extraordinary things but going broke doing it.
I went back into a management position at HP’s head office in Melbourne and through a string of weird circumstances became the first person to sell HP gear into the Accounting profession. It took writing some new software I then literally gave to David and in 1974 Hartley Computer was launched — serving exclusively the Public Accounting marketplace.
We grew at an amazing rate and by 1980 were hitting 23 billion in revenues. And in December 1980 I went to my first ever real Seminar — an evening in Brisbane with James Rohn. I remember it well — sitting next to my friend Sarina Russo who went on to become an icon in the Employment Agency business in Australia.
That night was one of those critical moments. In Jim Rohn I saw what I wanted to do — speak and train people to run extraordinary businesses.
So on April 1 1981 I formed Paul Dunn Training, landing some huge contracts with people like Ray White, QANTAS and so on. Then, in partnership with Direct marketing guru, Chris Newton, we turned that into The Results Corporation which by 1992 was turning over $23 million too.
Oops, I’ve gone a few years passed 35! So let me go to your second question …

 

Please share any rude awakenings or revelations around your midpoint of life

If you mean 40, no major ones that I can remember other than looking back I wish I’d spent more quality time with my kids.

 

What did you change in your life around this ‘midpoint of life'?

Very little. Still speaking around the world; forming new businesses.

 

Any lessons learnt during this time?

For me it became really important to differentiate through creating fun experiences. I realized it was not about giving awesome service but about creating wonderful experiences for customers. Also biggest error was NOT to define exit clauses.

 

Have you seen other guys making your errors that you'd love to talk to them about

I wouldn’t call them ‘errors’ — we all have our own personal learning experiences

 

How is your personal life different now than to what it was on your 20s?

Well, funnily enough it feels the same (with the only difference being I’m not singing in a band to pay for my studies!

 

What are you most active in now?

Well, I’ve got the whole ‘philanthropy/giving back’ thing as much as you ever ‘get’ it. I run a whole lot more now than I did then (and I don’t smoke now either)

 

Which part/s of your life is different now than when in your 20's?

Well, I was married then but am not now although I am in a relationship. Physically I’m fitter. And I think I have a greater understanding of how life works — hopefully I’m more tolerant and less judgmental and more understanding of the ONEness of things.

 

How is your business and/or professional life different now than to what it was on your 20s?

Same values now as then.

 

What are 2-3 life experiences you would love to share today?

Following your passion (or what I now know as ‘finding your WHY’) plus total respect for other ‘positions’ is it, I think. That’s true in all areas so that you play this ‘game’ full out. And perhaps most importantly, learning that in everything there is a gift if only we look hard enough. And that gets us into living a life full of gratitude.

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Enjoying newly found freedoms, Martin is a down to earth, honest, quirky humor, compassionate and upfront kinda guy. Easy going and love to laugh. Into good food, wine and great company. I’ll talk and try to help anyone.
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Martin – who has written posts on GeekandJock.