Were you ever influenced by other entrepreneurs?
Yes, of course. I found early on in my career you can always learn something from someone, even if it’s what NOT to do. It has value!
What is a day in your life like?
Very busy, very challenging, but never dull!
What makes you smile?
I know it sounds cliché, however, there is nothing more rewarding than a happy client. I smile when our clients give positive feedback.
What scares you?
An unhappy client.
What is your greatest achievement?
I think it has to be The Next Idea. I started the business from ground zero with $100. We are still in business today and have a presence across the world. I remember at school I was told that my options were very limited. I never liked school!
What is your secret talent?
I think my innate ability to understand a client and migrate their idea into reality, both creatively and physically, is both my secret talent and possibly greatest strength. Truthfully, it is a bit like a sixth sense and I often surprise myself, as well as the client, by getting it right first round!
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Mahatma Ghandi – I often feel that he achieved most while advocating peace. We can all learn from him.
Robert, do you have any hobbies?
I love to cycle, travel and explore. I am an amateur photographer and enjoy seeing the world through a lens.
What are you never without?
A photo of my children and girlfriend of several years. They all make the effort worthwhile.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” – Norman Schwarzkopf
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
What have you sacrificed for success?
It’s hard to say, but for sure, I would like to spend more time with family and friends. I sometimes feel that our need to pay the bills and grow wealth comes before family and our personal life. It should be the other way round. I have definitely sacrificed some personal time to develop The Next Idea.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a new business?
Starting a business is a long journey, there is no readiness program, and while a business plan is important, flexibility and the ability to adapt to market change is critical. Most importantly, you should be open to criticism and feedback. I have watched many people freeze their careers and businesses due to an inability to listen. Most of all do something that you love. Then it’s not work!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I think smaller businesses need to adopt a more influential position in effecting positive change. In today’s world, we face many challenges such as global warming, population growth and artificial intelligence, to name a few. Businesses need to be proactive in considering the future impact of these macro changes at a micro level, and developing solutions that will ensure continuity in jobs and trade, while still positively contributing to the community at large.
For more information on The Next Idea and its one of a kind CEO Robert Ancill, please visit www.TheNextIdea.net.