My Story

My Story

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Summary

I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship and ran my first business while at University ... but it took almost another 10 years for me to fully commit to an entrepreneurial path.

Here is a quick summary of my career so far:

2005-2007: Started a tennis coaching business while at University and grew to a team of 4 coaches

2007-2010: Spent 3 years in the audit division at BDO Melbourne and qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

2010-2013: Moved from Melbourne to the Gold Coast so I could pursue my passion for surfing. I had a brief stint in tax and then moved into a commercial accounting role.

2013 - 2015: Quit my corporate job, went traveling, and then started MCJ Consulting, an accounting systems consulting business.

2015-2021: Founder and CEO of Bean Ninjas an accounting firm for 7-8 figure eCommerce brands. I moved from the CEO role to a part-time advisor role in December 2021.

2022: Taking a sabbatical and part-time advisor to Bean Ninjas

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Building a business is the least risky path to creating wealth

If you are interested in more details about what I’m up to then read on for a deeper dive into what I’ve been focused on each year (reverse chronological order).

2022 - sabbatical

From CEO of Bean Ninjas to part-time advisor

I run Mergers & Acquisitions for Bean Ninjas and act as a part-time advisor where I mentor the General Managers (US, UK and Australia) and run Board Meetings and mastermind sessions.

Related reading

What does a sabbatical even mean?!

This year was intended to be a sabbatical of sorts where I could spend time learning about different ideas and experimenting.

I’m still figuring out exactly what that looks like, but some of the areas I’m interested in doing deep dives in are:

  • Health and fitness
  • Parenting
  • Personal finance
  • Crypto

Now that I’m working less I’m also planning to surf more regularly.

Surfing at Macaronis Mentawai Islands
Surfing at Macaronis Mentawai Islands

Starting out with board and advisory roles

In 2022 I also joined the Queensland Council of Chartered Accountants ANZ. This is an opportunity to contribute to my accounting industry body and have my say on some of the decisions they make.

2021 - launch a SaaS and managing a merger

Crossbeam.app goes live in the Xero app store

I have dreamed of launching a software company for at least 10 years.

In March 2021 that dream come true and we launched Crossbeam, an eCommerce accounting integration app that connects Xero and Maropost Commerce (formerly Neto). We were officially approved to join the Xero app store and have paying customers.

Running the merger transition process

My other focus for 2021 was managing a merger. At the end of 2020, CloudCounting, an Australian eCommerce accounting firmed merged with Bean Ninjas to form Bean Ninjas Australia. My role was to run the merger transition process and implement the systems and processes from Bean Ninjas into this new entity.

Related reading / listening

2020 - niching into eCommerce and deals, deals, deals.

Pivoting Bean Ninjas into the eCommerce niche

This was the year of COVID. Despite all of the tragic events that unfolded, we also saw many of our eCommerce clients see record-breaking sales as more people were forced to stay home and do their shopping online.

At the beginning of the pandemic we did a deep dive into Bean Ninjas and the risks, opportunities and threats. We decided to double down on our focus in the eCommerce space.

Deals

Two of the deals in 2020 involved collaborating with existing Bean Ninjas team members and giving them an opportunity to grow a business under the Bean Ninjas umbrella. The third deal was an M&A transaction to build out our tax capability in Australia.

Related reading / listening

2019 - launching a course and speaking

Launching fast! Creating an online course

Once the core bookkeeping services component of Bean Ninjas was running well I wanted to diversify our revenue streams and built out an education arm to the business.

I created the course by pre-selling and then doing an MVP building one week in advance now that I had paying customers

Related reading

Speaking

I have never thought of myself as a natural storyteller, so 2019 was the year I decided to get out there and speak more at events to improve my public speaking skills.

Speaking at Xerocon Brisbane

2018 - launching a podcast and growing the team

With Bean Ninjas continuing to grow my focus was on developing our team and building out systems and processes to scale.

My goal was to build a business that could run without me, but I was still a long way off from achieving that.

January 2018 – I took some time off between Christmas and New Year without checking my email. This was the first time I’d taken more than a long weekend in a year.

Related listening:

2015 to 2017 - hustling

I launched Bean Ninjas in July 2015 with a co-founder Ben. I used to write regular business updates and income reports which you can check out below.

We started Bean Ninjas with $1,000

From there we reinvested every dollar from customers to grow our team and pay for operating expenses like software.

Those first few years of business were tough. Working long hours, barely paying ourselves minimum wage, and not being sure whether the business would work.

The hard work eventually paid off and in July 2021 I was able to move to a 4 day work week.

Related reading / listening

TMBA podcast interview with me and my co-founder Ben about our business break-up

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