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Murray's story on... EQ in entrepreneurship

“Understanding human behaviour is the undercurrent of entrepreneurship because any entrepreneurial initiative is fulfilling a gap for humans.  When you understand humans, you understand consumers, and you can build things for them”.  

Many Founders have a key person in their life who had a heavy influence on their journey offering inspiration that led to where they find themselves today.  For Murray it was his father, a gentle giant, who by nature of his work, afforded Murray the experience of growing up on building sites.  His first property deal was a dilapidated old school club house that he rented to a tenant and his appetite was wet for what entrepreneurship in this space could offer.  One deal led to the next, and with a lot of on-the-job learning, today Murray runs a next generation property development and management company focused on curating and developing mixed-use neighbourhoods that make living and working better. 

Murray believes entrepreneurship is a vehicle for creative expression where the purpose is not only about making a profit but also about building something one is truly proud of.  Founders are the ones who see opportunities that for many others, pass by unnoticed.  Those who are able to see something special and go forth to bring their idea to life, are those who actually manage to disrupt and bring change for the better.  This was the case for Murray.  He always thought about the building environment differently, and with this, pioneered a movement that views the property industry as more than business, but as an industry better understood through a social lens.  With community in mind, he saw a future of beautifully curated collaborative living, working and experience spaces combined into a single all access passport.  Designed for the young at heart looking to connect with like-minded people across geographies, he created something truly remarkable and unique for our times. While technology evolves at a tremendous speed, his business brings us back to what we as humans still crave: human connection.

In perfect harmony, Murray and his wife (also a co-founder) bring together their two most valued aspects of the business: brand and operations.  In terms of the brand work, they place high importance on the values they build into their businesses.  For them this is centred around being kind and warm to others, and it is those values that help them make clear decisions whilst collectively driving why they exist in the first place, always valuing friendliness over anonymity.  Murray reminds us that believing in our brand, values and mission is key, but one only reaches the holy grail when this is matched with focus on the day to day delivery or operations.  This is where our drive needs to fuel our constant frustration to get things to be better. He emphasises the need for entrepreneurs to have a high sense of urgency in moving things from A to B.  

“It's one thing having a beautiful brand story, and you can believe it with all that you are, but if you aren't getting the basics right, your business will be greatly affected. Like any company, there are operational pressures, we get things wrong, we let people down.  It's important to stay grounded and focussed on getting those basics right.”

As a child, Murray played a lot of sports and in doing so learnt the value in teamwork. A childhood coupled with many entrepreneurial initiatives from running sports clinics to under 18 night clubs, some finding success and others not, early on he leant how to fail forward.  One thing stood out for him, and that was how he loved the team aspect more than anything else. He believes it is fundamental for Founders to understand EQ and being able to get the best out of people and teams - something not often valued enough in traditional corporate settings.

“The power of teams is really central to anything we do. Whether it's in sport, entrepreneurship, or in family, the best outcomes are a function of phenomenal teams working together to create purpose.”

As with every entrepreneurial journey, we learn lessons along the way.  For Murray, being a people pleaser by nature, he has found value in finding the happy space between kindness and assertiveness and how important it is to bring both aspects together in business.  Another aspect he has found to be true on the journey (and echoed by many Founders) is the scarcity mindset which works against the spirit of collaboration and support.  There seems to be little information shared in terms of access to funding, access to people, access to skills, holding our cards very close to our chest, lacking that abundant mindset of our international counterparts. Murray encourages us to give without having to necessarily receive or lose anything in the process.  He believes in giving freely and paying it forward as much as possible because entrepreneurship is hard.  

Murray is a Founder who is certainly hard on himself and holds himself accountable for delivering on this ‘paying it forward’ philosophy.  While he thinks he should be doing more, in reality, we see all he is (unknowingly) doing to achieve this: from the spaces he has created to enable sharing within the communities that use them, to the sharing of his personal entrepreneurial journey experiences.  Both his business and his story and lessons shared play a big part in giving back and we thank him for the privilege of sharing his story and wisdom with the greater Founder community.  

“Solving niche challenges Founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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