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Axons Unleashed Podcast Episode 2: The phone call that changed everything… 3

Axons Unleashed Podcast Episode 1:
Our business started because of Tinder!

Axons are part of the neuro-transmission system in the brain… they carry the spark between the neurons to fire the body into action!
This podcast will get your Axons fired up by our hosts Robbie, Tamara, Dan and Dane as they uncover the untold

truths of what it really takes to successfully transition from the ADF, how to build a multi-million-dollar property portfolio, how to start a business as a veteran entrepreneur and how to more effectively communicate with your partner… while optimising your personal performance in every aspect of your life.

On this first episode hear how Axon property Group started because of Tinder… and it’s not what you think! Our hosts tell us the story about how Tinder gave Robbie the opportunity to use the influence of Tinder to create his dream business in the property industry.

Listen to Axons Unleashed:

Robbie Turner:
Hey, welcome everybody. My name's Robbie. I'm here with Tamara and Dan. We're from Axon Property Group, and welcome to our first ever episode of Axon's Unleashed. Welcome, Tammy, Dan. How you going?

Dan:
Yeah, here we are. What a journey, I suppose, that we've been on so far to actually find ourselves here, sitting together in a studio, recording our podcast.

Robbie Turner:
Very good.

Tamara:
Absolutely.

Dan:
Our very first podcast. It's been quite a while in the making, right?

Tamara:
It has been such a long time in the making. You came to me maybe two, three years ago, "I want to do a podcast." And at the time I thought you were crazy because we were so busy and we didn't have the staff numbers that we have now and things are just crazy. But I've also kind of realized that it's never going to be the right time. So just getting started, getting it done. We are probably at the busiest time of our life right now.

Robbie Turner:
Craziness right now, yeah.

Tamara:
Personal life, business life, all of that. We're moving house this week, and we're still getting it done. So never the right time, but excited that this is finally coming out.

Robbie Turner:
It is exciting. I've been literally levitating off my chair for the whole week waiting for this to come around. It's a couple of years in the making. This first episode is going to be all about just you guys getting to know us and what it's all about. So we'll tell you a little story about how is it this small little company called Axon even came to be. So Dan, you're going to go ahead and ask a set of questions.

Dan:
Yeah, absolutely. Before we get started, for those of you who haven't been following along on the Axon journey so far, we've got some the main key players in the room here. So Robbie, can you just give us a quick 30 second snapshot of your background and who is Robbie Turner? Because apart from the fact that you're, "I'm as busy as I've ever been, and now I want to take on another project." Everyone who's playing along at home, you're going to quickly realize that's standard Robbie Turner behavior. And I know Robbie pretty well, but you should give the insight of who you think you are now and let everyone get along with that.

Robbie Turner:
First of all, this is a MA 15+ podcast, and we will fucking swear every now and then. So that's the first one under our belt. And I make no apologies for that, it is what it is.

Robbie Turner:
I grew up in the country, joined the army when I was 17. Did 24 years in the military, spent half my career as a Digger, junior NCO, senior NCO, and then got commissioned across to captain in 2013. Got the call to go down to SOCOM there, and rose to [inaudible 00:02:27] capability in 2 Commando. So I spent my last 11, 12 years down at 2 Commando, running our Joint Fires capability, and did a couple of trips over to Afghan, et cetera, et cetera. Got out in 2013 as a fifth year major. So I actually had a fantastic career, and that's where you and I met, down in Duntroon. Was that 2006, '7 or '8?

Dan:
Yeah. Around about that time. I remember you were down there taking their cadets through the leadership components of their course through there at RMC. And I distinctly remember Robbie Turner's terrible voice in a prerecorded video, as everyone was heading out to do the Shaggy Ridge activity. And you'd told everyone in the lead up that there is going to be some critical information in these videos, so you make sure you're listening right now. And it was the very first introduction of, you're not allowed to sleep on the bus on the way out there because you might get additional information. And everyone's just wired going, "When's he going to give this really critical piece of information?" Spoiler alert. There was no critical information in those videos. It was just designed to keep everyone up. At the beginning of a food and sleep deprivation activity, you just wanted us to lose another couple of hours of sleep.

Tamara:
You are so mean.

Robbie Turner:
It was good. There was, Dan Fortune was the CEO down at Duntroon, really great mentor of mine, actually got me into the whole leadership stuff. And he's like, "Righto Robbie, you're now running the leadership part of Duntroon. You've gone through the commando selection," run a little commando selection for our cadets here at here at Duntroon, "Turn these girls and boys into men and women, the future leaders of Australia." I just basically ran a little three or four day activity that we did. Back then it was really cool. Tammy's got a big smile on her face.

Tamara:
I hardly get to hear all these other side of the page stories from back in his time in defense. So it's kind of cool to see the other side from your perspective, I guess.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. So that was our first meeting at Duntroon, hey?

Dan:
And I know that we're going to make it MA 15+, but some of the stories probably bounce above MA 15+, of times after a RMC there. But from my perspective, having you known for that period of time, I know that I've witnessed you as a student of leadership from that perspective, evolve yourself over that period of time as well.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, love it. One thing I'm really fascinated by is having done half my career as a non-commission officer, and then the other one as a commission officer. First of all, the transition from NCO to officer was, by far, the best thing I ever did. It gave me a whole different scope of leadership. And unfortunately, a lot of people won't want to hear this, but the military is designed for officers to lead so it was really great to be part of that decision making process, as opposed to just being given a set of orders and then crack on and go and do it. So that was good.

Robbie Turner:
But one of the most fascinating things is, fascinating things to me, is that now that we don't wear rank and we're not governed by the DFTA, and you're not going to fucking get thrown in jail if you call your boss a prick or don't perform in your workplace, how do you then really get the best out of people when they don't have that rank structure there? So that's been the most fascinating thing for me about now creating a business. And what? We've got 10 veterans working in the business with nearly 130 years of military experience, and five or six others from an admin support AV perspective as well. So it's a really, really fascinating journey, mate.

Dan:
Yeah, it's a really interesting journey that we are going to explore in a little bit more detail as we go through this later today, just how Axon came to be. But before we get there, Tam, tell us about you. Because you provide a very strong cultural background to the team at Axon and a very strong mentorship perspective as well, so just tell us where you've been from and how you've developed over that time.

Tamara:
Thanks. I am the co-founder of Axon. I'm also the general manager. So my role is very varied day to day. But my background, I started with event management, working for a big company in Sydney, bringing some big celebs into Australia. George Clooney and Tony Blair and things that.

Dan:
That's a cheeky little name drop there, Tammy.

Tamara:
Yeah. Yeah. So a lot big project management stuff and big organizing so many facets of that. I did a couple of years as a flight attendant. And then, when we moved to Brisi, back into events and then started Axon. So very varied, but I guess lots of varied experience that comes with that as well.

Robbie Turner:
Just to be clear. When I got out in 2013, I got given an amazing opportunity to work in another property investment firm. And whilst me and that other gentleman don't speak anymore, we parted our ways. I do remained forever grateful for the opportunity that he gave me. I've sort of been doing property as a novice, bouncing in and out of Afghanistan, come back with a couple of dollars in the bank, buy property, just trying to do it all myself.

Robbie Turner:
And I was one of these guys, I'm like, "I don't need any assistance. I can do it all myself. I don't need a property coach. I can do my own research. No one's going to take advantage of me" And sure as shit, I got taken down the garden path by a couple of slick-speaking property spruikers. So it's interesting now, on the other side of the fence, that we too now provide that coaching and mentoring as far as people making the right, smart property decisions. But certainly I'll be keen to delve into what happened in late 2016 and how Axon really got going, because basically mid 2017 is it our birthday.

Dan:
We're rapidly approaching. So let's jump into then. Maybe, Tammy, if you can start us off. Where did Axon come from? Where did this thing that is now providing some level of assurity for veterans as they transition out of the ADF?

Robbie Turner:
I might tell that story, if you don't mind.

Tamara:
Yeah. This is kind of on Robbie actually, because he was the one that came to me about it. So I'll let him spill the beans on how that actually started.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. So first and foremost, I was very happy working with the other firm. I, too, was a general manager of Soul City, in Tammy's shoes at that point. We had about 20 or so people working with us, a bunch of veterans as well. And we were providing that coaching and mentoring to, not just military members, but also the general public. I had the opportunity to go down and be part of a business coaching program down in Sydney. Would fly down there every few months and learn about marketing, and learn about branding and learn about how to speak to people in a genuine, authentic manner without coming across too salesy, et cetera, et cetera. So that was a really great baptism of fire and something I learned more about that I just wasn't exposed to in the military. Even when you started, you didn't know the difference between marketing and branding and advertising. It's just not on your radar.

Dan:
And I often talk about, if I went back into the military now I would do things completely different.

Robbie Turner:
Absolutely.

Dan:
We've just got raised hands around the room here, because everyone knows what we're talking about. When you leave and you are forced to learn a different way of doing things, you take those lessons learned and you put them back into where you probably could have used them earlier in your life.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. So the three-day event we had down in Sydney wrapped up, and they did this all the time, whereby they're like, get out this blank bit of paper we've got there, and across the top of it, "It's three years from now and my business is ..." And they're like, "You're going to have 45 minutes set aside," and there's 300 other entrepreneurs and business owners in this group. I was one of the really lucky ones because the other guy took me down there as his GM so we could sit there and spit ball and bounce ideas off each other. So the burden of one person going down and harvesting three days worth of information and then having to come back and pass it on to everyone else, was alleviated because I was there as his APO, which is good.

Dan:
Yeah. And no one has a ownership of all the good ideas, for example. So you take a few different minds down there and you can bring all of those ideas together and come together as a collective.

Robbie Turner:
So they're like, "Spend the next 45 minutes and head, heart hand. Pour your heart out onto your page there, and build what your business is going to be for the next three years." And it's a bit of a sad story really, because the guy that I was working for had, unfortunately, gone through a marriage separation and he'd discovered Tinder. So that's actually the first thing here, is that Axon was created by a Tinder. And I'll come back to that in a second. So he just tapped me on the arm, he goes, "Mate, you've got this. I'm going to go outside. I'm going to go swipe left and swipe right. Because we've got one more night here in Sydney and I ain't missing out."

Robbie Turner:
So I thought, that's interesting. Sure enough, bang, the bell went off 45 minutes to pour your heart out there, and I looked around the room and there was everyone, all these other business owners that had spent time and money and effort and energy to get down there and really push themselves to visualize and write down on paper what their business is going to be, they were pouring their hearts out. And I'm like, "Why the fuck am I sitting in here, now writing a vision for someone else's business. He's out on Tinder. Fuck it, I'm going to write my own." I literally wrote a page and a half and just poured my whole heart out, what my future business might be in the property investment space.

Robbie Turner:
Then fast forward a couple of days. Went back to Brisbane. He's like, "Hey mate. How'd you enjoy your time down in Sydney? Let's do a quick little hot wash." I said, "To be fair, while you're outside on Tinder, I didn't write about our business, this business, your business. I wrote about my business." And guess what the reaction was.

Robbie Turner:
"I fucking knew you'd do that. how dare you do that? I spend this time and money and take you down to Sydney and how dare you fucking spend my time and my money thinking about someone else's business." I'm like, "Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Just fucking calm the farm. I'm not going anywhere. It was just me spitballing on the paper there, I just took the opportunity to get some thoughts out of my head and put them on paper."

Tamara:
And at that stage you were still thinking years ahead, right?

Robbie Turner:
Totally. Years and years ahead. There was no timeframe put on it whatsoever. So it was an interesting little engagement there as far as how I even ... I've still got that bit of paper by the way. I might even put that up. I might have to redact a couple of comments in there just to protect the innocent. But certainly it was a good little activity to do. Fast forward, so that was October, 2016-

Dan:
So when you were sitting down there, you were obviously thinking to yourself, "If I'm going to go and do this," there's a couple of things that you'd tweak for yourself. What do you reckon a couple of those key elements that you were thinking about then?

Robbie Turner:
As you well know, because were a client of mine in that other business, two properties you've built with me as your property coach, being in the property investment industry is pretty simple. Find client, coach client, find property for client, help client build property, find tenants and all that stuff. So the journey, as far as what that goes, is pretty universal. But as you've now seen, there's probably 50 little tweaks you can make as a little sub section as far as how to make that journey easier, provide more value, better peace of mind, reduce the risk, et cetera, et cetera. So to be fair, I wasn't really thinking about the tweaks we've now made with Axon as I reflect back. In a couple of months, time, we're going to turn four, so four years has gone extremely quickly, for starters.

Robbie Turner:
But basically I go, that's the basic business model that I want to now replicate. How would I go running that for myself? That was in October, 2016. I had been working there since, let's call it, mid 2013, and I had not had a Christmas break or a holiday or a time away or a weekend away whatsoever. Like you did when you first started, you just throw yourself balls deep into the new job and it becomes your life and that's who we are.

Tamara:
So I said, "We're going to New Zealand."

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. Tammy's like, "We are fucking going to New Zealand."

Dan:
Forced break.

Robbie Turner:
Yes. Forced rest.

Dan:
Forced respite.

Robbie Turner:
So we went over there. As we're creating this first version of the podcast in February, 2021, in mid January all my Facebook memories were coming up. Four years ago you guys were over in New Zealand. And that's when I divulged to Tammy about the activity that I've done down in Sydney and the reaction we got from old mate. And I said, "Maybe one day this is going to be something." It just sort of started to ferment in my mind that maybe, maybe, this is going to occur.

Robbie Turner:
So we spent some time away and said, one day we are going to do this. No drama. So fast forward a couple of weeks time, early February sort of thing. Must've been early March. It was early March. Just having a chit-chat in the office and whatever else, and I goes, "By the way, how was your holiday over in New Zealand?" I said, "Mate, it was excellent. It was really good to get away. Good little fresh start. Just back, I'm pumped for the rest of the year. I'm really excited about what we're all going to achieve for the year." But I said, "I just want to, full disclosure, want to let you know, that little spark that I created down in Sydney, Tam and I have spoken a bit more about that whilst we were over in New Zealand. And one day I can see us, I just want to put you on notice now, one day in the future we are probably going to start our own firm. And I'm more than happy to collaborate. More than happy to share ideas and we can work together down the track."

Tamara:
And we were talking then about moving down to the Gold Coast and potentially having an arm of that business or some collaboration then with studying, and it was all pretty amicable, right?

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. totally. Actually you've reminded me, Tam. So in the November of 2016 is when we did move to the Gold Coast, because I remember we had Melbourne Cup Day two or three days later. I'm like, "Fuck. Where's my suit?" And I'm just trying to find my suit in all the bloody boxes, that sort of thing. So we had moved down to the Gold Coast at this point. It might sense. The solicitor was down here, the mortgage broker was down here. A lot of the builders we were using were down here. I was transiting down and back to the Gold Coast once or twice a week anyway. I'm like, "Fuck it. Let's just come down and live here." And then I had the transit back up to the northern suburbs of Brisbane to go back to the office.

Dan:
And obviously, then you get the lifestyle of living on the Gold Coast.

Robbie Turner:
Oh, it's the best. I didn't do a southeast Queensland posting in my military career, and I can see why people would go to Enoggera and/or Amberly and then they fucking start digging stage four [inaudible 00:16:46]

Dan:
Yeah. Try and pry me out of this place they say.

Tamara:
And when we had moved to Brisbane, we weren't exactly living in an area that was suitable for our life. We were in the burbs, we were around-

Robbie Turner:
Mums pushing prams.

Tamara:
We were up north side of Brisbane and there wasn't even any bars or restaurants in our suburbs.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah.

Dan:
And you guys now need to go and follow Robbie and follow Tamara on Facebook and Instagram, because you will see that that is completely the opposite direction to what they actually live from a lifestyle perspective.

Robbie Turner:
Oh yeah.

Robbie Turner:
So when I said to my mate, I said, "At some stage in the future, this is going to happen." And then his response was like, "No, you can't go. You're the general manager. Everybody loves you. You've got the relationships with all the suppliers. I've got all this other stuff going on. I need you to be the heartbeat of the business. Just don't go." And I'm like, "It's all good, man. I'm not going anywhere. This is just a dream of mine, but I'm just letting you know that one day this might happen." And sure as shit, true to form, he comes in the next morning. He's like, "Robbie. In my office." I'm like, I'm not in the fucking military anymore, but okay.

Robbie Turner:
"Hey mate. What's up?"

Robbie Turner:
"Hey, you know what we spoke about it yesterday?"

Robbie Turner:
I said, "Yeah." He goes, "Pack your shit and fucking get out."

Dan:
What? Like the next day?

Robbie Turner:
The next morning.

Dan:
After saying, one day-

Robbie Turner:
I'm like, "What do you mean?"

Dan:
... you're like, "No, don't leave."

Robbie Turner:
Yeah.

Dan:
He's then gone, "Get out."

Robbie Turner:
Pack your shit and get out.

Tamara:
Talk about whiplash.

Robbie Turner:
I said, "Are you serious?" He goes, "I'm fucking deadly serious. If you're leaving, you're fucking leaving today. I'm cutting access to all of our backend systems, all of our CRM. You're not getting access to any of that stuff. You want to leave, fucking leave right now." I'm like, "I think you might be going a bit far here, mate. We are not prepared. We are not set up for this." We had not done any business model planning.

Tamara:
Nothing.

Robbie Turner:
Zero. Zero, zero. He's like, "I don't care, mate. If you're leaving, you're fucking leaving now."

Dan:
Geez. Tammy knowing you're very diligent in putting steps in place of the entire journey before you know you need to make the leap.

Tamara:
Oh yeah. I plan everything.

Dan:
How are you feeling at this point in time?

Tamara:
Hence why this podcast is taking so long to get off the ground, because I need to plan this. But yeah, I was not feeling very confident. I straight out went and got us a whiteboard from bloody Gumtree.

Dan:
Straight to Gumtree. That's where all the best gear is bought for the business.

Tamara:
Someone dropped it off and we literally turned our media room downstairs into a little office.

Robbie Turner:
A little ops room.

Tamara:
And had the whiteboard, had our desks, and I'm like, "Right, how do I get an ABN? How do I do this?" And just literally-

Dan:
Oh, right back to the very beginning.

Tamara:
Yes. Literally setting up our own company, setting up the business, working out emails. Back then we were just using Gmail. We didn't even have our company as a proper email.

Robbie Turner:
Like nothing. Totally from scratch. For all the other entrepreneurs and other veteran business owners that are out there listening right now, you know what it takes to create a business from scratch. Times that by 10 where there's no notice given whatsoever, because it was just literally mind mapping, spitballing, visualizing what something might be one day. And then it got fucking thrown on us in very, very short order.

Dan:
Yeah. It's turned around from being a real good planning activity that you could have done over a 12 month period of time, to being like, go and do it now and start executing with nothing behind you. It's now time to actually just bloody make it work. And normally if you take 12 months to plan, you set aside your finances, you get ready from a monetary perspective, make sure you've got the correct backing behind you in order to do that. But-

Tamara:
Yeah. We had to use all our savings. They talk about the plane flying up, well ours skidded along the runway for a little bit there because-

Robbie Turner:
Every month we come in to do a landing and touch the wheels, and wow, here we go again.

Tamara:
Oh gosh. I even made a few faux pas learning, and these were excellent business lessons to learn early on, but I paid out money before we got the money in, and then there was some delays. And just those kind of business lessons that you go, holy shit, are we even going to make it? And somehow we did. Especially in those early days, it was stressful. I'm sure there's plenty of people out there starting a business that know exactly what I'm talking about. When you're understanding what cashflow is, you're understanding what you need in the bank just to keep afloat.

Robbie Turner:
So of course, I'm an extremely optimistic person. Even when I did my TSPV brief there to go over as the plans officer for one of the SOTG trips, there was a prime minister, the defense minister, Chief of Defense Force, [inaudible 00:21:31] and me, that were being briefed on this new compartment coming in. So when I had to do is do my TSPV interview, it's like they go in there, answer your 300 questions.

Tamara:
It's that simple?

Robbie Turner:
So, top secret positive vet.

Dan:
Positive vet.

Robbie Turner:
The highest level you can get. And then there's series of-

Tamara:
Another acronym I don't know.

Dan:
So it's one of the higher levels of security clearance that, at the moment, I think it's taking in the ballpark of two years from cradle to grave to get assessed for that perspective, as well.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. So they really, really delve into your character and your mindset and how you think about stuff, et cetera. Because if you're going to be given all this stuff, and especially from a coalition perspective, then they need to be able to trust you're not going to do a Julian Assange, per se. So when you go, you fill out your 300 questions, you do your initial interview, and the interview starts with, "So, I've got all all your questions here. Thanks for doing that." And all the questions are repetitive anyway, to try and get the same response. They're like, "So take us back to your first ever memory of life." And I was like, "Are you fucking serious?" She goes, "Yeah. Yeah. What do you remember?" So we went through school and went through growing up, and then [inaudible 00:22:30]. I'm like, "All right, cool."

Tamara:
You were telling me they were recording this as well, video recording.

Robbie Turner:
I don't think. I can't remember that little bit. But they're like, "Okay, great. You've done well with the first one. Come back next week, do your second interview." I'm like, "This is going to be easy. No worries." I just have a quick little chat with someone, fill out the same 300 questions again, go in and sit with the interviewer. This is a different person. She goes, "Tell me about your first experience of life." I'm like, "Are we going to go back and do this again?" And I walked out of there drained, because you just go down little rabbit holes and tangents and just parts of your life that you'd never really tell anyone except for the man in the mirror.

Robbie Turner:
And then, at the end, she goes, "You've done really well." She said, "But there's just, the scores that you've got on one particular attribute are just off the scale." And I'm like, "Fuck." I actually did the right thing. I went, "Oh, let's just be honest about everything and let's just see where I'm at." And I'm like, I want to go on this trip. I'm really excited to go and explore this new capability that I'll bring into our task group. And she goes, "Yeah. So it's just a little bit concerning. I haven't really seen it before, but it's not on the scale." She goes, "Your levels of optimism are crazy high."

Robbie Turner:
And I'm like, "Yeah, of course I they be. Why wouldn't they be?"

Tamara:
I remember you telling me they had to go back through and check, "Was he lying here?" Going back through the records and the documentation. And at the time I thought you said they were filming and looking back going, "He's being truthful here. This is not made up."

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. The reason I tell that story is that I thought starting a new business was fucking going to be easy. I'm like, "Cool." I was doing these other videos. I didn't really have an online presence, and certainly nothing we've got now. I thought, "Cool. I'll just stand up in front of the camera and I'll just tell people who I am and they'll know who I am and they'll just come to me and we'll fucking sell heaps of stuff to people that need our assistance and we'll be able to find awesome properties for them." And I can assure you, that was not the case.

Tamara:
I think in our first few webinars we used to get maybe seven people turn up, and one of them was Dave Simpson.

Robbie Turner:
Dave Simpson. It was like, "Hi Dave."

Tamara:
And I'd say, "Let us know where you're listening in from." And he'd like, "Dave from the Gold Coast."

Dan:
What a great supporter he's been the whole way through hasn't he?

Tamara:
He has. He has.

Robbie Turner:
So it was those levels of optimism and stoic nature in grit and determination to be thrown in the deep end and go ... Because here's the thing. When we decided to start our own business, you can't put leave in, you don't get sick pay. You can't go to your boss and say, "I need a couple of days to get my shit together." We were the boss. We were the team. So if we weren't on the tools, if we weren't planning, if we weren't doing videos, if we weren't putting ourselves out there, if we weren't having meaningful conversations with our clients, we weren't fucking getting paid. So it was like all the chips of our life just went into the middle of the table and we put it all on black.

Dan:
A whole new ball game you were going into at that point in time.

Robbie Turner:
Oh, gee whiz.

Tamara:
Even now we're getting some of the team to start practicing and recording a few videos and getting more of the team involved. I actually showed them some of your early day B roll or D roll. What are we-

Robbie Turner:
F roll. Ah mate, it was like-

Dan:
We're down to Z roll.

Robbie Turner:
Even though I'd done some work in front of the camera before, it just took a whole different spin. Because I'm like, fuck this is now me speaking on behalf of another firm. So all care, no responsibility. This is now me and my brand and my firm and what's going to be the future there. So we actually had to get a little a teleprompter, didn't we?

Tamara:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Robbie Turner:
This is all still before your time, Dan.

Tamara:
But that was so bad because it just sounded like he was reading off the screen, which he was, but-

Robbie Turner:
I was like, "Hi, my name is Robbie Turner, and I have created the Commando Property Method. And it was just so shit. I'm shit on camera now, but in a different way. But I look back at it, we actually took our team up to Daydream Island to do our yearly planning event. Mr. Tax Office. And then we showed everyone whilst we're up there, and everyone was himself laughing, but almost streaking at the big video we had up there going, "That guy who is so confident on camera, who doesn't give a flying fuck about much quite frankly, was actually really, really shit when we first started doing the videos"

Tamara:
And it's just given them more confidence though.

Robbie Turner:
Exactly.

Tamara:
Because everyone has to start somewhere. It's good.

Robbie Turner:
So yeah, that's how it all started, mate.

Dan:
Yeah. And I suppose just the way that you were talking about how you're such an optimistic individual there, it sort of almost goes the whole way back to when we first started talking about where this podcast came from. Because your optimism, if we think about three years ago, the business was only just getting legs at that point in time. And you're talking about doing a podcast amongst all this other stuff that you're supposed to be doing in the business. So it certainly goes back to that story of how much you think you can fit into your life from that perspective as well.

Dan:
One big question that I think everybody is probably sitting there at home is, where did Axon come from? Because it's one of those really important questions, when Tammy got the white board from Gumtree and you were sitting down in the media room downstairs going, "How do I get an ABN?" You need to know what your business name is going to be as well. So maybe just tell us where the story of what axons are and where did the name Axon come from?

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. It actually started in 2016, mid 2016. That business group that I went down to Sydney with where Tinder event occurred. We all went to Suva over in the Philippines, because there's a lot of virtual assistants over there and that business group was encouraging entrepreneurs to leverage their time and their money and get virtual assistants that help them do stuff. And I just didn't need a Philippine call center as far as what my business model was, but it was good to go over there. But anyway, they had a visiting lecturer come in and talk about mindset. And I guess the main key thing that I got away from that was, you can have a group of individuals in the same room that have all got the same knowledge, they've all got the same experience, they've all got the same training, they've all got the same potential, but one or two of them will pipe above the rest and be those high flyers.

Robbie Turner:
And he's like, "The number one thing which delineates them is the way that they adapt their mindset." So I'm like, having done 10 or 11 years in SOCOM, I could really, really resonate with that. Absolutely it's the way that it's not about your physical capability or how many pushups or heaves or how fast you can run, it's what that resilience and grit and the way you think about life and being ... Optimists rule the world as far as I know. How can you adopt the right mindset to be successful?

Robbie Turner:
So that's just sort of stuck with me for there. And then I just discovered, maybe I was listening to someone else talk about some stuff, and then someone spoke about mindset and axons, and I'm like, "Fuck, that's a sexy term. I like that term axon. What the fuck is that?" Then I sort of dived into it. So the reason that we call the business Axon is that if you've got the right mindset, you can do anything. Axons are part of the neurotransmission system in the brain. They're like little tree branches that carry the spark between the neurons to fire the body into action. So that's how we call the business Axon.

Dan:
So that's where it's come from. It's all about your mindset and being able to get that in the right order, from that perspective as well.

Tamara:
I'm happy to talk about recruitment stuff in future episodes, but that is such a powerful thing for when we're recruiting veterans or people in the defense force, is that mindset and the leadership, the team environment that they've come from. That is so powerful. And I think a lot of veterans actually under estimate themselves in how much of a good quality having that mindset is.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. I think you used the term a couple of years ago that I've really liked and thought about a lot, Axon provides a great soft landing for people. Especially people that have done more than 10 years in the military. Like you join before you're 20 and then get out by the time you're about 30, you're very inculcated.

Dan:
You're 100% indoctrinated. Even if you come to our office now, it's like running the ops for the whole business from the sergeant's mess.

Robbie Turner:
Yes.

Dan:
It's still that type of environment. There's lots of TLAs and FLAS there. Three letter acronyms and four letter acronyms, for those playing along at home.

Robbie Turner:
Love it.

Dan:
But it's still very much a military-centric organization, as you would expect from people who have been indoctrinated for like, there's about a hundred and something years worth of military experience inside the office. You can't just wipe that out. You can't rinse it out of your clothes.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. It's really cool. We've had Matt, we've had James, we've had Adam, that's the veterans, and Haley, all start at the back end of last year. So just to have them come in. They all feel like they're still in the military, and I still feel like, you and I as coaches, and certainly you guys listening in-

Tamara:
I feel like I'm in half the time.

Robbie Turner:
You guys listening in will get to hear from our other property coach, Dane. Our resident air force guy.

Dan:
Pretty much a civilian these days.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, indeed.

Tamara:
The amount of acronyms that flow around this office. We've got a few more civvies in the business now, and they'll look at me like, "What's that mean?" I'm like, "I don't know."

Robbie Turner:
Well, you just let learn another one today. TSP V. But because we speak to defense members every day; male, female, all ranks, all cores, all specializations, single dudes, single girls, married couples, gay couples, fucking you name it, like yourself. I feel like, even though we can maintain what's going on from a defense blocks perspective, me, you and Dane know what's going on from a defense capability perspective, because everyone plugs in there in some way, shape or form, and we just know what's going on. It's really cool.

Dan:
I often say that I probably have better intelligence now about what's happening in the defense force than I ever did while I was in the defense force.

Robbie Turner:
100%.

Dan:
Because there's loads going on. But that's an interesting segue, I suppose, that we can go ahead and explore, is you highlighted so many veterans that have joined our organization over the last couple of months. And Tammy, you just mentioned about how the civilian impact is also growing as well within the organization, to inject that. I suppose one of the big things we do want to talk about in the coming podcast is how you've grown from being two people in your socks and jocks in the media room downstairs to now working from your corporate office, fully established, down here on the Gold Coast, with a growing organization that's able to support the veteran community holistically. How are we going to approach this, Tam?

Tamara:
Well, when we first moved to an office, even though it was a home that we moved into. A house, one of our client's houses. It was the best thing for Robbie actually, because it gave him a bit more structure in terms of getting ready for work, getting out of his trackies, going to an office. But also coming home and knowing when to switch off. Because when we were working in the media room, basically it didn't stop. And he'd sometimes still be in his pajamas later in the afternoon. I'm like, "Are you going to shower?"

Robbie Turner:
It was fucking good to be kicking around in the PJ's, because that was March, and then it sort of transitioned into a bit of autumn and winter. But by the end of that time I'm like, "I need to fucking get out of here." I go all week and not leave the house at all. I did shower, for the record. Every couple of days. So it was good, and certainly we will talk about the way Tamara and I ... Because when you are forced to be then living with and working with and hanging out with and eating with and sleeping with your wife, who's also now your bloody business partner that you both been thrown in to, that is fucking not easy. Let me give you a hot little tip.

Dan:
I think that's given our audience a really good insight as to how Axon actually came to be. And where we left off, that must have been mid 2017 at that point in time that you were starting to think about that. So three or four months after the business started. But in the coming episodes, I think we want to talk about the next pieces of the puzzle. Like the slower start from a beginning perspective, to the acceleration and the really taking the efforts and going full steam ahead over the last couple of years. I suppose that's probably what we're looking forward to in the next episode, isn't it?

Robbie Turner:
It is, mate. It's going from a two people just having a crack, to then starting to build ... Being self-employed to being an employer.

Dan:
Game changer.

Robbie Turner:
Having been an employee before that. So it's a massive game changer. Can't wait to share that.

Dan:
Yeah. And Tammy, this is where you're really going to come to the fore from my perspective, as the person who really thinks about, now I'm responsible for other people's livelihoods, and how that changes your mindset as well.

Robbie Turner:
Ooh, I want to talk about that in the next episode too. Because being a leader in the military and being a leader in businesses is very, very different from that whole range of topics. What a great start. Hey, I hope you guys enjoyed that. So you now know that Axon started because of Tinder. Actually I told this story when we were doing our live Q&As and the amazing Zach, Zach is one of the Hornet pilots down in down in Williamstown, he's goes, "So imagine all the defense community people that would not have been helped by Axon if it wasn't for Tinder." And I'll leave you with that, guys. All right, have a great day. See you later.

Dan:
See you soon. Bye.

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