047. Finding Your Mojo Through Authenticity with Gary Bertwistle

Gary has always had a passion for innovation and creativity. His career has spanned the retail, music and radio industries. Gary’s drive comes from having people and organisations think differently to generate new ways of doing things.

As a thought leader in innovation and creativity, Gary has helped companies of all sizes, in all industries and categories, to look at how they currently do things and address what needs to change in order for them to think differently and maximise the ideas that currently exist within the business, with the view to making the company more successful. He is often called when companies or individuals lose their mojo.

Through easy to understand, fun, interactive speeches and sessions, he presents to a wide variety of clients in the areas of creative thinking, mojo, marketing, strategic facilitation, and innovation to improve performance and help us be at our best.

Gary has written 6 books, a number of which have become best sellers, and won the Speaker of The Year Award for TEC (The Executive Connection) in both 2007, 2008 and again in 2012.

In addition to his speaking commitments he also established Australia’s first ever creative thinking venue The Ideas Vault at The Entertainment Quarter in Sydney, co-founded Australia’s leading cycling foundation the Tour de Cure in 2007, writes a blog called The Espresso, in which he scours the world to find interesting tips, tools and news to give you a new or different perspective on the world in which we live, and hosts a popular new podcast series on iTunes called The Mojo Radio Show.

Key Points from the Episode with Gary Bertwistle:

  • Gary bought a farm in his home of Australia, and in driving back and forth to the city from his farm, he went through all of his music library, and decided to listen to podcasts, which sparked a desire in him to start his own (after a previous career in radio)
  • Getting to hear the real authentic person behind the outward person is what Gary really craves in all of his interviews, and key to finding why someone has their mojo working
  • When Gary and two friends were putting together their charity efforts and had to select what to focus on, childhood cancer became so clear because kids get cancer despite not having lived a life of smoking or other behaviors people normally ascribe to cancer.
  • Gary has also focused on the impact on all of those around the person with the diagnosis, and Gary has worked to support them, as well.
  • While money helps, we can also really help people by being of service to them, sharing a message or being a support
  • While he was deep into raising money for cancer research and treatment, his father was diagnosed with cancer
  • A doctor friend of his told him that cancer is a formidable foe, and we have to be as aggressive with it as it is with us. He took this advice to his father to ask him, yes or no, are you going to fight this? If yes, then we are really going to fight, so let’s do it.
  • Not only did Gary work to raise money to fight cancer, but he has become a fire fighter to help save farms like his own from wildfires in Australia
  • He heard about people going out to fight these fires, and felt a strong sense that you cannot hear about this and not do something yourself.
  • He also had a very clear desire to do it because it was hard. The draw of a real test was a big part of what drives Gary to go after new goals.
  • Gary talked about the life of a volunteer. He and his peers work all day as farmers, getting up early and working hard all day. Then they get the call to fight a blaze, and go fight it until the work is done only to get up early again to work on their farm. They do it for no pay, and no time off afterward. It’s out of the pure desire to help. He saw this first hand fighting a blaze that nearly took his own home if he and his peers didn’t stop it just feet from his kitchen window.
  • Doing truly fulfilling work like this is such a part of his world, and so rewarding in a way that he can’t imagine not having it in his life.
  • It’s important to model the right kind of values and behaviors. When kids see us doing right, they will follow.
  • When you focus on the process of giving back, it changes the trajectory of your life, the scale of what you do next, and your whole approach to your world and what’s important. Our children then get to change their trajectory through the example we set, which makes it even more important.
  • Gary likes disruption and being different. He reminded me of the idea from Mark Twain that, whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s probably time to pause and reflect.


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