How local entrepreneur Steve Claydon made it big
WHEN YOU HEAR SOMEONE SAY THEY ARE INVOLVED WITH FIVE BUSINESSES, IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE THEM AT NEAR-BANKRUPTCY ONLY A FEW YEARS BEFORE.
Let alone when this person is only 25, married and has two children.
But this is exactly where local man Steve Claydon finds himself now.
“I was pretty much done after the first six months of business,” Steve says.
“Then I went all-in for January, February, March the following year... and learnt some hard lessons along the way.
“But something worked, because business started to speed up from there.”
We meet in his office, which has been newly fitted-out with a mix of stylish retro and new furniture and decor.
“The core business is Equip Consulting Australia, which is a consulting company around sales training, leadership consulting and social media marketing,” Steve explains.
“Then I co-own Bunker Espresso with Stephen Payton.
“And I’ve just started another company called Equip Creative with Dan Vonhoff, where we help people create content for digital platforms like blogs, videos, vlogs.
“And a book publishing company called Shoebox Publications.”
Steve has also written four books over the past few years, including most recently The Opposite Effect.
When asked what inspired him to go into business, Steve has a humorous response. “Probably being naive,” he laughs. “I’ve always been a person who is ambitious but also has a high tolerance for risk — so if I find something I want to do, I commit to it a thousand per cent.”
Being such a busy working man and a father to two little girls isn’t easy. “It’s really hard,” Steve says. “I think the idea of balance is a bit of a myth.
“I’ve never really found someone who does it well — because whenever you’re saying ‘yes’ to one thing, you’re saying ‘no’ to something else.”
This meant having a really honest conversation with his wife, Anna, about how much their lives would change.
“The next 10 years will probably be the hardest working years of my life,” Steve says.
“I think if I didn’t have that conversation at the start, then it would have been a lot harder.
“And Anna is amazing. She’s a great stay-at-home mum, she helps me, and if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be here.”
The couple met when Anna was 14 and Steve 15, and have been together since.
“Anna helps me to be grounded, and is teaching me to be present when my mind won’t shut up,” Steve says.
“When people say ‘how do you know if you’re an entrepreneur, a businessperson, or an innovator, or a thinker?’, I think it’s when you get gifted the curse that your mind never shuts up.”