My Life Story

Stood for election onto Tauranga City Council in a by-election. Came 4th out of 20. I’m very determined to win a place in 2019. I’ve fallen in love with local-body politics.

Stood for election onto TECT (Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust).

Started planning TEDxTauranga 2019.

Won a place on the Board of Trustees for Matua School.

Won a place on the board of the Tauranga Budget Advisory Service.

Stood for election onto Tauranga City Council for the first time. Unsuccessful but had enormous fun.

Nothing to report. Move along.

Son number 3 born.

Went to China for 2 weeks as part of my MBA.

Graduated with my MBA October 2011.

Son number 2 born.

Starting to do lots of networking. My ambition is to be on the board of 3 Small-Medium sized Tauranga businesses by this time next year.

Time to grow my business.


My gorgeous little son Connor is born.

I started my home based business “Marketing First“.  I help Tauranga based small to medium sized businesses to improve their Sales, Marketing and Advertising.

Started an MBA part-time with Waikato University. Due to finish May 2011.

Learnt how to surf (it’s awesome).

My second half-iron man (4 weeks after the 1st one). Was slower.

Impregnated Shantelle, my wife.

Training for half-iron man.

Moved to Tauranga. Got married.

More study. Finally my first OE! It was supposed to be my reward for finishing my honours in June but I hadn’t finished but couldn’t hold off the date any longer. Shantelle and I got engaged a month or so after returning.

I even got a job. I started in January. I was just busting to get to work and earn money! In the meantime I should’ve be finishing my dissertation too but couldn’t face it until the due date was pressing down upon me.

I left the gym behind for a while. Haven’t been since the previous year. Instead I started running about 20km a week. I did the “Te Aroha Mountain Run” 17th Dec and I could barely walk 4 days later. 4km to the summit 1000m high in torrential rain and gail force winds. It was grueling but hilarious.


Here is a little rap I wrote about my degree:

Bachelor of Electronic Commerce is my reply
Whenever somebody asks “what yo studying guy?”
Mostly they dont know what dat means
So its management, marketing, websites and stuff inbetween
Its B2B, B2C, P2P, G2E…
are you still listening to me?

Its the driving force, uber leet, the cutting edge
Its online, exertensible, connected, the net and interweb
Its the ultimate connector of peeps and their biz
But at this point its mostly just SPAM and gizz…

But we’re working on that…

Study, work, gf, gym, study, work, gf, gym, study, study, study, study.

I got into this weight training program by Pete Sisco called “Train Smart”. The basic principle is that you do minimal movements with huge weights programming your muscles to grow to compensate. It was good fun. I think it worked. At one point I was leg pressing 700kg! (Only moving it 5cm though remember.

I also made the decison to stick around uni for another year for my honours. I felt a little weak in my Marketing and Communication major, and I was really enjoying uni.

On Saturday, August 7th my life changed. I met the love of my life Shantelle that night and fell in love at first sight. Our first date was that Friday 13th. Unlucky for some but immensely fortunate for us.

Study, work, gf, gym, study, work, gf, gym, study, study, study, study.

I began the year unemployed and on the dole. I spent most of my time on the internet pissing around and the rest of my time with my gf at the time.

Crisis Point.
I came to a crisis point in May 2002 and decided I was sick of Rotorua and was determined to leave – 17 years was too long in one place!! Over the next 2 weeks I very conscientiously, systematically and quantifiably explored all of my options – even considering joining the Navy and becoming a helicopter pilot and even moving to Australia!

I spent an hour a day at the library going through situations vacant for Rotorua, Hamilton, Wellington and Auckland.

Toward the end of the first week I had narrowed my options to 3; going to Wellington for work, going to New Plymouth for one particular job I saw advertised, and going to university (Hamilton or Wellington). I went as far as applying for several jobs in Wellington and got a few invitations for interviews (ok, just one). But I eventually decided I didn’t want anymore dead end jobs. I began to yearn for an increase in my value, for some sort of career that required skill and study and didn’t quickly become boring and unchallenging.

The decision.
To go to Uni in Hamilton for the following reasons:
A: My brother Tim lives there
B: Closer to my Dad who lives in New Plymouth (and Tim and I could visit him together)
C: Hamilton seemed a much more exciting place to live -> more people = more fun!
D: I wanted to give my brain a good thrashing for a change; to engage my synapses; to stimulate my neural network before it started to get mushy.

The degree.
I chose the Bachelor of Electronic Commerce Degree for two reasons:
A: Tim was doing it already and enjoyed it immensely
B: It seemed to incorporate many of the things that I was already interested in or wanted to know more about – Email, Website Design, Business Systems & Management.
C: My other favorite option – BMS (Bachelor of Management Studies) was a year longer – 4 years. So I figured I could save some time.

So now that I had made my choice I checked the enrolment deadline… I had 4 days left!! In a flurry of activity I got the paperwork together and made it just in time. I went over to Hamilton for the day and chose a flat, gave in my notice to my current flat and moved out the next weekend – just 10 days after my decision!! There I was in a new flat in a new city with new goals with new friendships to forge. It was pretty exciting!!

This time around I am taking my study very seriously. My study is my number one priority. I love getting A’s!

The competition.
Tim is 4 years younger than me but he had a 12 month head start on me for the same degree.  It was my mission to catch up! I now finish 6 months before him.

Cross Credits.
From the Bachelor of Tourism Management Degree that I half completed many years ago straight out of school, I was entitled to several cross credits which basically equated to 6 months off my BEcom Degree. I asked the consultant if it made any difference that I remembered NOTHING from the Tourism Degree, she said “no” – as most of them were first year introductory papers anyway. So 6 months to go to catch up on Tim! I plotted to distract him from his work and implement scandals which would cause him to fail a few papers so I could make more ground… nah.

I sold photocopiers for a brand no one has ever heard of for 11 more months – the last 3 of which I did nothing but turn up to work at the crack of 10 and surf the net until I had an early lunch at 11 until 1pm followed by 2 more hours of surfing and then off home at 3 or 4pm. Then the sales manager turned up one day and asked me how I was going to increase sales for the area, to which I replied, “not much, I’m sick of it anyway”. So they made me “redundant” and I went on the dole.

About midway through the year I decided I wanted to apply for the police force again knowing that the process took about 6 months and there was likely to be an intake at the beginning of the next year. My first application was when I was just 19 or 20. I was focused and determined and did extremely well in all of the physical and intellectual tests. At one point the recruiting officer said I was “obviously a bright cookie”. Then one day the recruiting officer sat me down shortly after I had completed one of the final stage – the 40 hours work experience. He presented a comment written on my file from the sergeant that supervised me during that work experience: “I definitely wouldn’t want Sheldon on my team”. I had a few other black marks on my file from a previous employer who is a complete arse at the best of times, and so these factors led the recruiting officer to draw the conclusion that I “wouldn’t be suitable” and would be a “public relations disaster”. He added that “successful applicants were those that gave 110% no matter what they were doing.” I hadn’t for many of my jobs because they were just that – jobs. I was shattered.

Work from home!!
So within a short amount of time I lost my job and lost my childhood dream. After moping around for a little while I saw an opportunity to put together the desktop publishing skills I had learnt and loved at Ditto with the advanced selling techniques I had learnt selling photocopiers and start my own little business from home. I did pretty well really for about 3 or 4 months until I ran out of steam with that too. It was just too much work for too little reward being the middle man all the time. I was tired. I hated working so I thought I’d try out the dole.

My divorce came through in July of this year also.

At the beginning of 2000 I had been the manager at Ditto for a couple of years. Mid way through this year I was offered a job as a sales rep for a photocopier company. I wanted to get away from the petty quibbling over 10c copies and move to larger value sales to professional people and businesses and thought this would be a good move. The money was slightly better than the copy shop and if I did well, the commissions were promising. I took the job.

The company was largely unknown and my service department had a bad reputation but what I really got out of it was the development of certain skills that I have found invaluable including: time management, presentation and meeting skills, how to network, meeting deadlines and prioritising, handling objections and dealing with complaints.

This year I was the manager of Ditto, I was involved heavily in the Rotorua Baptist Church. I was part of the Worship Team singing and even tried my hand at drumming for a while. Then my wife left me after just 18 months of marriage. I stopped going to church, I stayed at home by myself because the only friends I had were those that my x-wife shared. We worked on repairing the marriage through counseling sessions with our pastor and his wife, and for about 3 months I thought everyday that she’d come back “soon”. But then I got the idea that she wasn’t coming back so I hardened my heart and gave up. I moved into a small 2 bedroom flat and used up all my savings before I finally found a flatmate to help me out (Thanks Bernie!). She left for England soon after and I didn’t see her for 12 months. She came back and we met briefly to agree to get a divorce. Once she had left I started back at church and got back on the worship team.

I started this year still at Whitcoulls. I applied for a job at Whitcoulls Office Products and got it. It was a small increase in pay and I was in charge of the office furniture department. My boss was very cool and so were my workmates – it was a really nice place to work. Toward the end of the year though some church friends of mine invited me to manager a copy centre that they wanted to start up. I immediately agreed.

I also got married early in the year and moved out of home into a tiny but tidy 2 bedroom flat with my wife.

I was at Waiariki Polytechnic into my 2nd year of my Bachelor of Tourism Management Degree. Half way through I decided I didn’t like tourism and just plain quit. My fiancée told me if I couldn’t continue doing the degree then I’d better get off my arse and get a job. So I applied in person to a few shops in town and walked into Whitcoulls one day. I talked to the manager who was a very cool Christian man that I instantly got on with. He pretty much gave me the job on the spot.

My first year out of school I went straight to Waiariki Polytechnic and began a Bachelor of Tourism Management Degree with a few friends from school. We were the guinea pigs – it was the first year that the degree was offered and it was pretty disorganised. I chose to stay in Rotorua whilst most of my friends moved to Hamilton to go to Waikato Uni. I just didn’t feel like leaving Rotorua for some reason… A representative from Waiariki had come to give a presentation at our school and two other friends of mine thought it seemed like a good idea so we signed up.

Form 7 at John Paul College. Good times!! Best school year of my life.

Got my first after school job when I turned 15 at DEKA just helping out in the stock room. Easter was good times because all the broken easter eggs were just thrown into a huge plastic bag upstairs. We would raid it constantly, scoffing as much as we could in the frequent rides in the very slow elevator. DEKA was also my first experience with being infront of the public – I was so fricken petrified for my first couple of weeks on the tills that I was just scarlet the whole time and couldn’t look up at the customers. Talking on the public announcement system also was a very scary thing. I got used to that pretty quick though.

13 years old. On my first mufti day in form three at my new high school, John Paul College, I wore one of Dads red flared tracksuits… I became a “label basher” for 10 years afterward as a consequence of the harassment.

12 years old. Mum and Dad split up and soon after Dad was made redundant from the Weather Station at Rotorua Airport. He had to move to Whenuapai Airforce Base to continue doing the same work.

The family moved to Rotorua.

Moved back to Wellington after about 4 years in the islands. I was six when I started school and all the white faces and formality was a shock to the system to be sure! On my first day I simply ran home and hid without mum noticing. The teacher came after me and her and mum finally found me hiding in the hallway closet. I found the habit of crapping outside hard to break…

Moved to the Gilbertese Islands of Funafuti and Tuvalu. (North West of Australia, right on the equator and international dateline). Basically a tropical paradise which was very nice indeed. My brother Tim was born here on October 10, 1980.

Born on the 26th of September at 14:44 in Wellington. My memory of the birth is very fuzzy.

3 Replies to “My Life Story”

  1. Awesome site there buddy!! Gosh!!! A boy!!! CONGRATULATIONS!! You gonna be the best darn daddy ever!! : ) Hope allz good in your house there matey. Take care! – Berns

  2. Re your application to join police in 2001. The police sergeant who failed to support your application clearly made an error of judgement. You would have made an excellent police officer. But maybe the outcome was for the best……..your gorgeous wife and son won’t be worrying about your safety every night!

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