How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business owners for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Anthony Woodward from Bulletproof.
Current gig: CEO, Bulletproof Group Limited
Current mobile device: Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPad Air
Current computer: MacBook Pro
One word that best describes how you work: Focused
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Email and calendars are essential for most of the work I do, as well as Microsoft Office and Google Chrome for productivity. I use Evernote to snap and store business cards and as a company we’ve got Atlassian Confluence as an internal wiki for our great documentation.
What social network do you find the most useful?
I think Twitter is great to see passing news headlines, industry updates and things that pique my own personal interest.
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
I’ve learned three major lessons: ideas come from the bottom up, not the top down (an important one when you’re CEO). Make your people happy and enable them to be amazing, and they will surprise you. And finally, cash is always king.
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
The fact that our business has changed and transformed to keep pace with the industry, while still holding true to its underlying purpose. We started out as a generic managed services business in the early 2000s before focusing into a mission-critical cloud provider, with the first public cloud service in Australia in 2006, and the first in the market with a managed Amazon Web Service offering in 2012. Throughout it all, we’re still focused on simplifying complex technology to help businesses transform and disrupt.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
We recently ran an internal study using Gallup Strengths Finder (www.gallupstrengthscenter.com) – and it confirmed that among my top 5 strengths are Harmony – seeking to be inclusive of everyone’s views and perspective in what we do; and Responsibility – when I take something on, it will be followed through to the end.
What’s your sleep routine like?
As regular as possible; I’m an early riser so I hit the hay early and ensure I get 7-8 hours.
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
Starting and running a business can be lonely and it can be tempting to give up when times are tough. Stay with it, stay focused, and stay relevant. You will get there!