While there are countless avenues into a career in business, there are few as unique as the path taken by business owner, mentor, coach and podcaster Marty Vids.
He told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested Podcast that it was his experience as a budding stand-up comic that gave him many of the skills he would later be able to call on in business.
Marty performed on stage as a teenager with the likes of Jimeoin, Mick Molloy and Trevor Marmalade. He recalls bombing so hard at his fist gig when he was 17, in front of some of Australia’s biggest names in comedy, that he never wanted to go through it again. He was convinced to persevere, however, and by his third gig, which was hosted by Eric Bana, Marty got a standing ovation.
“It redefined my character,” says Marty.
“If I could survive this, I can survive anything … anything else in life is going to be easy because it enabled me to look at criticism different … (it) gave me the ability to work through challenging scenarios and reflect upon them rather than just avoiding (them).”
In addition to dogged perseverance, Marty learned the importance of listening to his audience and being able to adapt.
“You’re looking at the audience and you’re saying, how are the audience responding in real time, which has helped me in business because I’m always listening to the audience,” he said.
“They’ll usually have a really good nugget of gold that you can implement into your business if you’re really listening. And that’s the same in comedy.”
Marty ended up developing his entrepreneurial flair by running stand-up nights, but ultimately decided it didn’t provide the lifestyle or the salary he aspired to. He secured a job in the lending division of a major bank and begun learning as much as he could about the finance sector.
“Coming off the skills I developed in doing the comedy nights and the stand up, I was very good at the relationship side of business and getting to listen to what the business owner really wanted,” says Marty.
Marty felt conflicted, however, about the pressure to do the best for the bank, sometimes at the expense of what was best for the customer.
“It was a philosophical problem of if I give the clients a better option and I’m saving them money, I’m actually getting chastised over that.
“And so fundamentally that didn’t sit. And that’s where mortgage broking came along. I thought, wow, we can actually empower the client. We can give them choice … we can utilise competitive tension to get them a better deal … we can empower them with wealth strategies. So everything in my value system started to align.”
Marty and a partner founded Mortgage First with the goal in the short term of being able to earn enough simply to survive. Their client-centred approach of not viewing clients as transactions but as people who they had the opportunity to help and empower worked, and they replaced their incomes from the bank within four months.
Marty successfully exited that business, before building and selling Mortgage 500 and pursuing a new passion working as a mentor to business owners. Marty links his own success to the success of his mentees by taking an equity stake in some of the businesses they are developing.
“Some people I mentor I have no equity stake (in their business) because I just like their businesses and I find it invigorating,” he said.
“And others, they are strategic ones that I have that give me the same element of enjoyment. And I also have an asset working for me as well as utilising my capabilities.
“The great thing is I have choice and I’m putting my capability to where my direct interests are. And that’s really fulfilling. Seeing people surprise themselves with your guidance, and it is just a wonderful thing in the practicality of business structures and financial analysis as well as marketing. I’m getting fulfilment on another level, which is where I’m at now, at 47.”
Listen to the full podcast interview here.
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