Matt Schmidt is an Australian business analyst who has worked across many of the globes largest companies.
He caught a lucky break straight out of his studies at the University of Queensland where he worked on large scale ERP systems (Enterprise Resource Planning).
Working on these systems deeply exposes you to how a business operates in a fundamental way, that sitting in a boardroom doesn’t.
One of Matt’s favourite sayings likely to his detriment is to open the kimono for a sneaky peek – and working on a companies ERP system is an all access pass to see how almost every facet of the business operates.
Matt’s initial work was rather technical – however his enthusiasm and inquisitiveness quickly got him into the business side of the operation.
Matt has worked on projects that saw him expatriated to Fiji for a year working on the first Fijian publicly listed merger (booze companies!) and from there he signed up to do a tour of duty with Foster’s Brewing International (FBI baby) – and work on transformation projects in Samoa, Vietnam, China and India.
Lady luck intervened and Matt became the technical and architecture manager for merging Southcorp wines with Foster’s Group Australia – a > $10B ASX behemoth where Matt managed a massive team and merged the domestic entities within 12 months of acquisition. It turns out the underlying principal’s’ of the merger were not so great, but the combined wine assets continue to this day under Treasury Wine Estates on the ASX.
It wasn’t all luck and good fortune – Matt ruptured a disc in his back moving furniture from the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne around 2006 – and went on to found a FB group about 12 years ago, which he continues to administer daily – with approx 30,000 members it’s become quite a resource for those with back problems – it’s even found participants for new therapies/trials to try to alleviate the devastating pain people go through.
While recovering from his back injury Matt volunteered to setup and establish the FIRST lego league in Australia – creating the first team in Victoria in the first season. There were only 5 teams that first year – and it’s grown to have thousands of schools nationally and likely 10’s of thousands globally, competing with their robot designs.
He then spent near a year in Napa Valley in California again working on wine business technicalities and returning back to Melbourne Australia.
Matt was pretty burnt out going project to project – and anyone on transformation projects or ERP projects will tell you it’s tough going – so he hung out his shingle and started contracting and working from home (before it was trendy).
Probably one of the more life altering books Matt read was Tim Ferriss’s 4 hour work week, it immediately shifted his mindset away from the traditional deferred retirement model and he immediately began to explore doing more of what he wanted, instead of grinding it out working for the man.
Ultimately Matt found that book so rewarding he had made contact with Tim Ferriss (had a failed attempt at getting our company to fund his visit to Australia) and that lead to Matt writing as a contributor to the 4 hour work week expanded edition – In Matt’s own words “yeah baby, a NYT best seller ;)”.
Matt and Karen were married in March 2013, paused their jobs and did a whirlwind 5 months of travel around Europe coming home the long way on the Trans-Siberian railway. Then promptly purchased a permaculture farm on the Sunshine Coast.
Matt and Karen decided that living on the land, they should understand more about what it takes to provide for yourself – so after reading a Joel Salatin book they built one of Australia’s largest organic pastured poultry businesses. After winning numerous awards including the Delicious Produce Awards for best Poultry in Queensland, they sold the business.
Matt went on to run a bottled water company, and then found himself in a number of management consulting gigs.
Out of nowhere he found himself the Vice President in an Aerospace company helping create one of the largest inflight entertainment system companies in the world – travelling in and out of the US and Mexico regularly to get the deal done.
Returning back to the farm Matt has been working from home as a business analyst for a number of large ASX and NZ based listed corporations.
He has also undertaken some extremely rewarding work as a non-executive director with Bendigo Bank (community banking) – based here on the Sunshine Coast.
To this day Matt continues to volunteer with the FIRST Lego League – over the last few years with QUT robotics helping run regional competitions as a robot judge – and more recently establishing the program at his kids school on the Sunshine Coast Australia.
With Covid lockdowns and disruptions, Matt took some time to reflect on some of his adventures and reconciled that side hustles, start ups, gorilla marketing, trying and learning new things and talking to interesting people is a future that he’d like to be involved in – podcasting was a medium that was easy to share and allows people to open up without having a camera shoved in their face – Side Show Hustle was born.
His goal is clear – open up stories about others and their side hustles so you can see that everyone is just like you – the difference is deciding to take the first step – it’s that easy! The guaranteed way to succeed is to keep moving forward. Matt will guide and teach you all the basics of business – from understanding your first set of bookkeeping records – through to looking after your mental health, even tracking down the right bank account for a side hustle.
The journey starts March 10th 2022.
My goal is to deliver you a podcast that celebrates the story of our hustlers, deconstructs their hustles and gives you deep insights to the mindsets of people who are out there doing things. Life is short, take some advice, don’t dwell on it, and start.
I promise to not sell out to a sponsor that undermines our ability to be creative and to push the boundaries of discovering new side hustles – and I hope that we can attract amazing sponsors who put enough value on the table that you simply cannot resist… … and in season 2 of side show hustle we’re talking to you and finding out what you’ve done and how you did it!