I’d like to think I’m a successful entrepreneur and, with my family, run and am the CEO of Queensberry a significant international company based in the photographic and wedding industries. This blog shares the path I am exploring for better business and life. It includes tips, observations and strategy blended with a little self reflection and fun.
It covers a breadth of issues that have either a human or business perspective. There is a special focus on business, but I have a fascination of relationships and our incredible human spirit. I do like to get people thinking, and share my experiences and thoughts as assistance and hopefully inspiration to others.
I guess I am a story teller and this is my way of finding a more public voice to share my experiences and learnings. I’d describe myself as a deep thinker … but I seek the simple answers and solutions. I love people, feel life is abundant and am grateful for the blessings that I have been given.
Faces of Stephen & Family
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Queensberry is a globally focused company based in New Zealand, but with 95% of it’s revenue from exports. We’re a design lead company, deeply focused on innovation, customer cause, service and technology but with our feet firmly grounded in the values of beauty and artisanship.
The truth is I am probably unemployable now, having been an entrepreneur for so many years but my career started many moons ago running a lemonade stand, collecting coke bottles, lawn mowing and basically doing anything I could to turn a dollar.
Through university I installed computer systems for a legal firm, worked in the hospitality industry for the Regent of Auckland as a waiter while working in the family handcraft/souvenir store “Earthworks” in Parnel Auckland. Both were a brilliant introduction to customer service, and retailing. I guess the bottom line is running a family business teaches you to just get on and do what needs to be done
On my first tour of duty through university, I dropped out, I was having way to much fun with my girl friend, earning to much money installing computer systems and basically I had chosen all the wrong subjects. I learnt alot though, I just forgot to go to the final exams… It’s a good thing I have grown up since then.
I moved back to the family business, having been promoted from the position of “child slave”, but all my friends teased me about “Mummy and Daddy” having given me a job. I realised that this might have been true since I hadn’t brought much new to the table, and therefore needed a new challenge.
On holiday in Australia I applied for a job with Fuji Xerox, but on return to New Zealand was told I was to young. At twenty I would have been the youngest account manager by about 10 years. I was so in distressed I told him “what did age have to do with it and would be at work the following week”. Obviously the State Manager was a little shocked as there was a desk waiting for me.
This was meant to be a 12 month contract but i met my wife to be about 2 weeks after arriving, and was engaged 6 weeks later. Ok I know I am sounding impulsive so you will be pleased to know I stuck with this job for about 7 years, regularly holding the top sales positions in the country but also at times struggling at the bottom. Selling at Xerox especially when you change territories could be like that.
I always had the entrepreneurial spirit running through my veins and always had the intention of returning to New Zealand. Eventually we did so in 1996, when the business only had about 12 staff but bold ambitions of going international.
It’s been an exciting but at times challenging journey since then with a staff now well over 100 and revenues have many many times multiplied. Having evolved into a group of companies, I’d say my passion is to be the best we can be in quality, design and service. We are excellence and urgency focused and now with a strong mind towards ‘execution’ and ‘simplification’ much of it driven through a advanced IT infrastructure.
Ten years ago I went back to University to do my MBA, having passed the Graduate Diploma section, I reviewed my need for the MBA and decided with a second child having arrived, and our business growing rapidly I should postpone the final year. I’ll get back soon for that.
Over the years we have won many awards and have been recognized, through these awards and regular media coverage for our excellence in:
As Managing Director (now) I am very proud of the organizations that have evolved and excited about the growth prospects ahead.
I’ve have been proud to do so in the past for organizations such as:
If you have a serious project you would like some help with or you’d like to get an opinion or two, then lets talk.
So you’d like to turn my blog into a book?
Ok you have me interested, I would of course be honored :-)