MBA Thomas Murrell says one key passion can lead you to explore various interesting professional activities.
Can passion be the foundation for multiple fields of activity? Sure, passion can lead you to many interesting careers.
MBA Thomas Murrell started as a sports champion. Then the former professional hammer thrower got qualified in biochemistry and economics. He had different positions in media such as senior producer and executive manager. Now he’s a business owner and global thought leader on capital investment marketing.
‘I love engaging with people.’ You can have one key passion, which you can use to keep transforming your professional activity. Thomas thinks that it will help you do an excellent job anywhere.
‘That passion comes through. It’s all about the delivery, timing, technique, engaging with your audience.’ Allow yourself to explore the multiple possibilities that your passion can bring along. It will be an interesting journey that will teach you a lot. Also, whatever you want to do, target your goal and focus on it.
Longing for an enjoyable career? Discover how to shape your main passion. Don’t forget to share it with your friends and spread the passion.
Passionpreneur & Chief Energy Officer
Award Winning Author & Speaker
Moustafa: Hello everyone and welcome back to Passion Sundays – the best way to end a week and start another! Our guest today is a converted athlete, professional athlete, Australia level who became an international speaker and a bestselling author! Thomas, thank you very much for being here with us today!
Thomas: A pleasure to be with you!
Moustafa: I really appreciate it! I have an admiration for all professional athletes and even more for a lot of those who converted from being just athletes into taking it to spread the message around the world. So tell me more about your story.
Thomas: I was a discus thrower, a champion at discus throwing but then I stopped growing when I was about 16. So I converted from discus to hammer throwing. Hammer throwing and pole vault are two of the most technical sports in track and field. Discus throwing is based on a slingshot principle, whereas hammer throwing is based on a spinning top. I’ve found that with my lighter body weight and more technical focus, I was able to beat stronger, bigger athletes through a better technical technique and a better mental attitude. And also, obviously, a passion for the sport. So I loved training. But I got injured and I went to university. I originally studied an Honors Degree in Biochemistry so I spent a whole year trying to purify an enzyme. That thought me that I enjoyed people more than test tubes. So I am a qualified biochemist but I never practiced in that area. Then I studied economics. I am a qualified economist but never practiced in that area. But while I was doing my second degree I saw an ad in a local newspaper to go to a meeting, public meeting for a public radio station. I volunteered and I got bitten by the media bug. I worked as a volunteer for a radio station and then I joined the Australian broadcasting corporation as a reporter, presenter, executive producer and a senior manager. So I’ve been working behind the microphone for more than 33 years. And that’s my passion! I love engaging with people. I love being a speaker. I love sharing a message and I love the personal growth that people get but the lessons I’ve learned as a hammer thrower are very applicable to being a speaker. That passion comes through. It’s all about the delivery, timing, technique, engaging with your audience. It was about marketing as well. I’ve told to people ‘You can have the best hammer throw in the competition and still not win the medal’ because you have a throw that would land outside the sector because it’s a field, they mark a 30 degrees sector. If it falls outside, it’s a faulty throw. The same with marketing: you can waste a lot of money, time and effort on marketing but unless you really target your market like that sector, you can waste a lot of time and effort. So I say: Put your best throws in the sector and that way you’ll be very successful in your business.
Moustafa: I love how the pursuit of your passion took you to random places or at least it seems to be random. How did all these little things that you’ve done build on to the next step, to who you are today?
Thomas: That’s a great question! When I left the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Human Resources Manager said to me: ‘Thomas, do you know what you do well?’. I said ‘No’. He said ‘You speak well in front of people’ and that just resonates in the back of my mind and then when I was a manager, I employed a speech coach to help my broadcasters. I was a TV weather presenter. In fact, I was the only MBA-qualified TV presenter in the world doing television weather as part of the news and I engaged her to coach me as a presenter. After I left the Australian Broadcast Corporation, I had a cup of coffee with her and she said to me: ‘You know what you should do, Thom? You should build a speaking practice. You should… you know, the media training, presentation training and help people better communicate and that’s been my life’s passion about helping people more effectively get their message across through the spoken word and so I’ve found that I’ve been doing that with my own business for the past 21 years. Now my business model has slightly changed because now I’m a director of a company listed in the Australia’s Stock Exchange called Walkabout Resources and we’re developing a graphite mine in Tanzania. So I recently went to Africa with the other board members and now I’m finding that my skill set is more in marketing but in this niche area called capital investment marketing where companies raise capital and then list on the Australian Stock Exchange and then greater engage with shareholders. I’m finding my business model is now: ‘I’m finding an equity stake or an investment stake in these businesses and I’m getting really good leverage on that. As I help the businesses grow, my shareholding grows as well and then it’s just a different business model because I’ve found in business speaking there are only three ways to make money. That is: personal effort, effort from someone else or other people’s money. So I’m honing this whole concept of leveraging investments interesting as I’m going through my business career. That’s a really deep niche, I’m always called by companies to help them in particular with their investment pitch – how they invest. And I challenge directors and CEOs with a simple premise: Why should anyone invest in the business? So that’s about time to invest in a presentation, it might be their LinkedIn profile, introductions to high net wealth individuals, networking, a whole different skill set. I’ve learned all these skills while running my own business and I like to share this with others. But now at a very high corporate level and a very targeted niche audience.
Moustafa: So if I were to apply the same analogy with passion – ‘Why should anyone invest in your passion?’ would be the question to answer.
Thomas: Absolutely! That’s right. And I found people invest in the person. The top three people would invest in a listed company that is in the Dubai Stock Exchange, the Singapore Stock Exchange, the Australian Stock Exchange. Number one is executional strategy, the ability of the organization to execute their strategy. Secondly, the quality of that strategy. And then thirdly the people. So I’m saying ‘Ok, I’m trying to sell a dream, I’m trying to attract investors to my business. Might be a startup business, might be a business in the Stock Exchange, might be a listed company. There are the top three reasons: ability to execute, quality of the strategy and then quality of the people.
Moustafa: Amazing! Ability to execute, quality of the strategy and quality of the people. I would add one to that: quality of the passion.
Thomas: Of course!
Moustafa: Thank you very much! It has been very insightful and very interesting to see that journey and I hope everyone pursues their passion in a way that manifests in different ways.
Thomas: Thanks for the opportunity!
Moustafa: A pleasure. Thank you very much.
Moustafa and Thomas: Passion!
Moustafa: What do you think? I hope you found this interview as interesting and as insightful as I did. If so, leave your comments on the blog below and do share it with your friends. And if you’d like more tools, tips, techniques and exclusive interviews that I only share on my website – go to Moustafa.com. Until next episode – live passionately!