What do you currently do at Cutitronics?
As founder and CEO of the company, my job is varied. I spend a lot of my time dealing with stakeholders and working closely with heads of various departments in the business.
Working with different people is the best part of my role. We are lucky to have a strong team in place from a variety of different career backgrounds both on the board and throughout the departments. I am continuously learning from each of them – always learning and always growing.
My day-to-day is never the same but I would rather have that kind of variety. I’m exposed to fresh perspectives by the team, which helps me expand my own skillset and become more rounded. Variety is the spice of life.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I started Cutitronics in 2014 after a ‘light-bulb’ moment at a skincare conference. My background is in MedTech, and I found that the beauty industry was missing a real opportunity to help the consumer by not fully harnessing the potential of engineering.
I took the leap into developing a technology solution for skincare as it aligned with my own passions, which are primarily education and technology. Both education and technology have the ability to help individuals no matter what their background and fulfill their potential. The ability to access both can help break negative cycles and can be utilised by anyone to achieve success.
Cutitronics was formed from a mixture of what interests me and what I believe is my purpose, coming together to address a market gap. I look to envision, empower and equip people to achieve what they would like to.
When I worked in medical devices, we were taking technology to support people to manage their health in a better way. Essentially, automating the management of their condition and ‘unburdening’ them. It means the person can focus on living their life without being disadvantaged or letting their condition hold them back. In turn, allowing them to take control of their own lives.
Applying this to the beauty market, we are now developing a suite of technologies that will take the burden of skincare management away from the consumer and give them back time and energy.
Who do you admire?
The people I admire most are those who have managed to overcome adversity and now channel their learnings into helping others. Those stories of people who have gone the extra mile and got through tough times to break through and achieve success. It is the strength behind the person that I find most inspiring. What was it that meant they didn’t give up when others would have?
Take Oprah Winfrey as a prime example of this, if we had met her at 14, we as a society might have written her off. She wasn’t dealt the best hand in life but instead of blaming her past, she took radical responsibility for her future, and is now devoted to helping others.
Another great example of this is Nick Vujicic. He was born without arms or legs, and again didn’t have the most positive start to life but has shifted his mentality and managed to achieve great things. He has learned to swim, surf and has written books that inspire others. It’s all about the attitude you carry out life with and that is what I admire most in people.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Hindsight is 2020 vision. It’s hard to know exactly what I would have done, certainly at a tactical level. You have to recognise you made a decision with the information you had at the time, the growth and learning that comes from any decision is all part of life.
I feel that in some ways, not knowing clearly what the future holds is a blessing, even though it might feel like a curse. The security of a ‘5-year plan’ is nice in theory but it never really comes to fruition. Often times, if someone tells you where you would be in five years, you would not believe it.
A recent revelation I have had, is that seeing too far into the future could stop you reaching your full potential, by stopping you doing the things that will have the most impact. That outlook has helped me when dealing with uncertainty. We simply must sometimes surrender to change and flow with it. From that comes opportunities you never would have realised. Whereas if you resisted you would have become stuck.
What defines your way of doing business?
I love working with a variety of people and this translates into the way we do business. We are a people focused company; we are collaborative and truly believe that those we work with come first. Whether that means our own team or external partners, suppliers or stakeholders.
This further defines our company culture. We want to take very much a collaborative approach. We have a lot to offer, in terms of expertise and innovation, but we don’t want to be overly prescriptive, we want to work with others to move forward and create new ideas, to keep learning and exploring with each of our stakeholders.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Start by looking at you. What are your personal motivations, passions and purpose? It’s important to identify this early on because you will need to challenge it along the way.
You will need faith to achieve what you want to achieve. You cannot predict the future – roadblocks will get in the way and you will need to adjust and flow with the times. You must have the belief that your purpose is important enough to make it happen. The amount of effort you are going to need to put in to be successful needs to be backed up by your passion.
People say you should ‘enjoy the journey’ but a lot of entrepreneurs are still focused on the destination. The sense of fulfilment you get from reaching the destination is fleeting. So, enjoy the process and fulfilment of constantly learning and growing throughout your career. If you can do this – the journey almost becomes the destination because it has been so rewarding.
Finding people who share the same values as you is important, but it starts with you.
28 May 2020. Business Matters