It’s the Wednesday just before Christmas. I arrive in Sydney and as soon as I get off the plane, I head down to North Manly where Jonny is waiting to pick me up. Because what many people do not know; besides just being the director of Breakawave, Jonny is an Uber driver as well. And today I’m his last client.
Uber. It’s where I met Jonny for the first time. Right before I left Sydney for Byron Bay. The front seat of the car is where our conversation started. Two random people connected by their stories about how to run a business. About life too.
“Pleased to meet you. I’m a girl from the Netherlands who left home a few months ago with an indescribable need to break out of my daily routine and be re-inspired.”
Call me adventurous, or maybe even stubborn, but my vision for life and how to run a business is a little bit different than most people’s. Not often do people understand it, but Jonny did. He, originally from New Zealand, left his home 14 years ago with the same intentions as me. He felt the same energy as I do: the energy of wanting to connect with people. Exactly the reason why I decided to start writing, and why he decided to establish Breakawave 6 years ago.
Uber. It’s where our collaboration started. It’s where Jonny already met so many people that nowadays contribute to Breakawave.
While I drop my bags at his home office, Jonny gets a large container out of his drawer and shows me the contents: business cards, lots of them. From all kinds of people. Entrepreneurs and some well-known businesses, but start-ups too. From plumbers, to photographers, to restaurant owners, to personal trainers, and therapists. From freelancers to directors, and employees. Every card has its own story. Jonny’s building a community. Driving people around Sydney most mornings helps him to create the platform on which Breakawave is founded. He’s got it all well-thought-out. At the beginning of 2020, Jonny will reach his goal of 10,000 rides, after which he’s going to reduce his time spent driving. Jonny’s ready for the next wave to catch, a wave of Concierges.
“Are you ready for your first board meeting?!” Jonny asks me after I drop off my bag. Before I can even answer him, he hands me a surfboard, grabs one too, and runs outside across the street. Manly beach. Working from anywhere/anytime is fun. It keeps you focussed. It’s the dream for many. The best thing about it? It’s easy and within everyone’s reach once they know how to create a smarter business. It’s what Breakawave’s about: creating opportunities; creating a community; creating a smarter business.
Once Jonny and I get out of the water it’s time for coffee and some “real” talk. Jonny explains to me how he got Breakawave started 6 years ago; how he’s always had a feeling of doing things differently, more efficiently. Knowing that there are lots of people feeling the same way. He tells me how he’s always wanted to create a platform for all people on the same wave. To connect them, to inspire them, and most of all to let them help each other out. Doing what you love to do and at the same time helping people connect with what they need and being rewarded for it. It’s called being a Concierge. “It’s the future, and the future starts now,” Jonny says.
Jonny’s vision of Breakawave is endless. Full of possibilities. Sometimes his ideas go beyond my imagination, but I feel the wave he’s on, his enthusiasm and his passion. This year’s challenge is to get more people (Concierges) on the same wave. For a moment the twinkle in Jonny’s eyes turns into a big and serious frown, but as soon as he continues brainstorming, he seems to be smiling again. No challenge is too great for Jonny.
So, what does it mean to be a Breakawave Concierge?
Let’s call it an ability: the ability to help others. You can also call it an easy way to contribute to people’s daily interactions. No matter if a person is a client, a friend, or a stranger. How does it expand a business? It works 3 ways. Let me explain from my writing business owner’s point of view.
1. My Concierge… It’s my support; my confidante. As a person and as a business owner my time is precious. Especially since I’m convinced that there’s more to life than just business. But being busy juggling life and business at the same time means I need to get things managed for my day-to-day. Anything from building a new website to getting a business coach, a cleaner for my house, or buying a new laptop – it takes time. So, what if I start outsourcing this time? I’m able to reallocate my time to other activities. More free time means more ocean time, which leads to new inspiration and better stories.
2. My Rewards… According to Jonny, there’s only one magic question: “What do you need?” The sales part is what’s usually a slog for people who want to build a new business. Before I started writing, I was in sales for years, and I know how hard and how time-consuming it can be to speak to 100 prospects to maybe only find new clients. Now, instead of testing out sales and marketing strategies (some work better than others), Breakawave tells me to no longer worry if a person needs what I am selling (which is writing in my case). I simply focus on being of service when someone needs, for example, an accountant, a new car, a boat, a builder, or a new house. I just focus on discovering what I think would help them. Once I have the requests, I give these to my Concierge who manages the solutions. And as my Concierge successfully helps, I get rewarded for it.
3.My service… With a community growing through people being empowered by the Concierge, my ability as a service provider to find clients needing writing becomes exponential. Suddenly thousands of people with the same Concierge mindset are now looking for clients that need my writing service. It’s what Breakawave calls a win-win-win.
Whether the Concierge already makes sense to you or not; you’ve got to see what I saw in Jonny to feel the same wave of energy. Are you excited after reading this?!
Breakawave has started ‘Smart Business Events’ which will take place every 3- 4 weeks in 2020. The events are meetups for anyone who wants to develop their business, start a business or become entrepreneurial and meet the like-minded. But most of all, to be introduced to a wave of possibilities of smarter thinking.
“You’ve arrived. Slow down. Soak it up.” I’m back home. A huge advertisement on one of the airport-walls shows exactly what I’m going to do. Soak up three days of Breakawave insights, information, business conversations and ‘(surf)board meetings’ a la Jonny. Because surfing and having fun is just as important as anything else. Yup. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my short visit to Breakawave: Jonny’s an entrepreneur at heart. His dedication and the sacrifices he’s made to make it all happen are inspiring. Speaking about surfing… I think Jonny and I are on the same wave. I’m excited for you to get there too. So, tell me: “What do you need?”
– Loes Van De Westerlo