Ever since a little boy I loved two things. Goody goody gumdrops ice cream, and business (I’m the cuter kid on the right, sorry Mike).
It all started years ago when I was 17. I checked my bank account to see how much I could spend at the supermarket for lunch at uni and found 12 cents littered around my 7 accounts. To put things nicely, things weren’t going well.
But with 12 cents and a little fire within me, I decided to turn it all around. I’m now the Managing Director of one of the highest performing inbound marketing firms in Oceania and run an eCommerce store that I still can’t believe sometime hits $3,000 USD a day in revenue.
In my spare time, I love delving into complex growth projects which usually only startups can deliver. Although I do take on international clients, most of my time is spent on Kiwi companies as New Zealand still boasts the most fun and unique growth landscape I’ve seen.
My Story (Written By Natalie)
It all started on a warm, sunny day on March the 8th in 1992.....birds were chirping, bees were humming, and in Greenlane Woman's Hospital, a newly-born Steven Male (mature beyond his years), was trying to form his first word. “ma-ma-ma…..marketing”.
At the tender age of 17, Steven launched a blog, documenting himself carrying out daily tasks to improve himself. Within 6 months, he had over 50,000 email subscribers. Much to his surprise, and to the delight of his mother, 50,000 people were taking an interest in him making his bed every morning. He was marketing without even being aware of it.
That was Steven’s first taste of entrepreneurialism and by god was he addicted. He started reading libraries of books on marketing and business growth and began creating an extensive network of amazing marketers and entrepreneurs in America to learn from.
At this time, Steven’s job at the Icehouse with the ICE Angels meant he was working alongside many innovative start-ups and investors who owned their own companies. Their expertise and encouragement launched Steven’s adventure as a freelancer as he set about using all the latest knowledge he had learned from America to build them websites and help them become visible on Google.
Towards the end of 2015, Steven started to get lonely in his one-man marketing empire. He wanted to create a solution that was bigger than himself, and so he brought on Ben. The two of them re-branded the company from ‘Big Bangly’ to ‘Inbound’ and set off on their world takeover.
For the next two years, Steven and Ben worked long hard hours from Steven’s living room. As they tried to establish themselves, many hours were worked for free and weekends were an unknown concept.
Most of their work was for small New Zealand start-ups, but as their two-man team turned into a four-man team, then into a seven-man team – they noticed that big companies were starting to sit up and take notice. Some of the biggest names in insurance, architecture, and retail loved the young vibrant energy that they had to offer and decided to give this little kiwi start up a go – and the rest is history.
Today, we are one of the top marketing agencies in New Zealand with recent expansion across the Tasman Sea to our big cousins in Australia - still delivering kick-ass results, and still doing it with huge smiles on our faces.
My favourite way of giving at the moment is through micro-finance. My favourite micro-finance charity is Kiva.
If you give a $25 donation, the person who receives the micro loan pays it back over the year which then allows you to make another loan with the same $25. It's an amazing way to keep giving and giving.