Five Minutes With Dr James Cowley

James has spent the whole of his career starting and building organisations from scratch in Europe and Australia. He has also written prolifically including a new book called “ Living your 30 year bonus- turning the idea of retirement on its head” (www.30yearbonus.com )

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I’m good at…

Working out a new way of doing things – business-social impact, etc – and then coaching and empowering others as individuals or teams to make it happen. I’ve done that throughout my career.

I’m bad at…

Being patient with people or situations which are negative to change. We have such an opportunity to continue to build Australia into the future but we need to be daring.

I wish people would take more notice of…

The link between health, social, family, crime and numerous other statistics and employment. Like many people I saw first hand the impact of no jobs as I grew up. Jobs give people money, meaning, for some fills their time. Yet we spend so much time trying to fix various social and health problems when we should be creating meaningful work for people – it reduces other problems in society. As we reach the third age of our lives we have a heap of experience that we can give back philanthropically to help businesses and entrepreneurs.

If you had only three words to describe yourself, what would they be?

Focused and delivers.

What’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of? Why?

Family. The relationships you have are more important than any other achievements.

Who do you look up to?

My wife and children. They all try to live good lives helping others.

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Live as much as you can in the present. It’s all you have.

My personal motto is…

Innovate and make things happen.

My favourite business book is…

I read endlessly so there is not a favourite. However I suggest successful people should read very widely, outside of their main fields, expand ones mind, see the world through many other people’s eyes.

Dr James Cowley - photo

The best piece of financial advice you would tell a loved one…

Don’t get caught up in what the world tells you – where you should live; what you should own; who you should know. Try as early as possible to conquer all this conditioning and work out what really makes you happy and satisfied. Then find a good financial adviser who can help you to plan your finances so that you can afford to keep doing the things you really enjoy well into the oldest years of life. Life is not an image. It’s what you live.