Murray Thom left school at 15 with no qualifications. But by the age of 23 he was managing director of CBS Records in New Zealand.
With a strong desire to be self-employed, he left the corporate life 19 years ago to have a go on his own and launched boutique music company, Thom Music.
Two of his productions, 'Together' and 'Miracle', featured on the Oprah Winfrey show. Other productions include The Great New Zealand Songbook, The Great Australian Songbook, The Great Australian Cookbook and the The Great New Zealand Cookbook, with the latter winning 'Best Easy Recipes' at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. It spent 10 weeks at the top of the NZ non-fiction bestsellers list. His latest release, The Great New Zealand Baking Book, has been even more successful, spending 16 weeks at #1 on the non-fiction bestsellers list - and still counting!
Murray is also a keen sailor; in 2005 he won the World Laser Masters championship in Brazil.
At the Nurture Change Business Retreat in November, Murray will be talking about how to turn small ideas into healthy revenue streams.
Q. WHO IS A LEADER THAT YOU LEARNT SOMETHING INCREDIBLY VALUABLE FROM AND WHAT WAS THE LESSON?
A. John McCready gave me my first real job as a sales rep at CBS Records. I had what could only be referred to as a 'chequered work history.' I also had no qualifications. John, however, employed me on the spot at my very first interview and I remain grateful to this day. The lesson is that instincts are to be trusted and sometimes it is good to give someone a break. I have done this for other many times as a result of John's example.
Q. WHAT LESSON IN BUSINESS DO YOU TRY TO PASS ON TO OTHERS AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
A. If I had a mantra, it is that we should be a pleasure to do business with. I try and apply that in three broad areas: a pleasure to be around our fellow staff members, a pleasure for our suppliers to deal with including paying them on time and, finally, a pleasure when interacting with our customers.
Q. WHO DO YOU THINK IS A GREAT INNOVATOR AND WHY?
A. Kiwi Ray Avery – he is an example of doing good work while doing good.
Q. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST LEARNING IN BUSINESS TO DATE AND WHY?
A. Things generally don't come easy and people often don't do what you want them to. Remaining upbeat despite all that is essential to a happy life. Nothing is achieved without ongoing positive persistence.
Q. IF YOU WERE 21 YEARS OLD AGAIN AND COULD PURSUE ANY CAREER YOU WANTED, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A. I am so grateful for the path I have taken and reckon I have the best work stories so it would be "more of the same" for me!
Q. WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT IN ATTENDING THE NURTURE CHANGE BUSINESS RETREAT IN FIJI?
A. I can't wait to meet and learn from a bunch of amazing people in a wonderful setting. I reckon we are going to have the best time.
The Nurture Change Business Retreat is for business owners, senior managers and entrepreneurs looking for new ideas, space to think on their business, inspiration, relaxation and connection with others from the business community. The Business Retreat runs November 2 to 6 at the 5-star InterContinental Fiji and features more than 12 speakers across business, health and wellness, plus other activities. Details online at www.nurturechange.com
Nurture Change and Fairfax are giving away four scholarships worth around $4500 each. To enter applicants need to email firstname.lastname@example.org explaining in 250 words why they deserve to be awarded a scholarship. Entries close Midday, Monday, July 18, 2016 (so get in quick). For full terms and conditions go to Stuff.co.nz.