Believing in himself, Adrian decided to create his own advertising and PR agency. 17 years on he has never looked back.
What’s your story?
I moved to New York City a week after I finished my Economics and Marketing degree to work in advertising and PR. After three years of working there, I decided to come back to Australia and try my hand at opening my agency, the problem was that nobody believed in me except for myself, hence my business name Believe Advertising. By day, I spent my time cold calling potential clients, from the yellow pages, and then working nights in a call centre, selling tickets for a charity raffle, to get my business started. 17 years on, I have the privilege of working with many companies across the globe, getting the international media coverage, including working Novak Djokovic three times for my clients SEIKO and HEAD.
What excites you most about your industry?
PR and advertising are ever-changing. My favourite part about my work is that it never gets boring and I get to work with a diverse range of clients across all industries. Within an hour of writing a news story, I can get my client global and international coverage and help boost their sales beyond whatever they ever imagined. One of my weight loss clients, started small and local, however, with my help, they have moved overseas and their website crashes with each time I get a news story published on them. It feels amazing to help entrepreneurs grow their databases, local businesses increase their sales and watch clients grow from the positive PR exposure I generate for them.
What’s your connection to Asia?
At age 9, I began learning Mandarin and continued to study it throughout high school and undergrad at Sydney University. By the time I graduated from Uni, I was mostly fluent and had a strong appreciation for the language and culture. Being from Australia, Asia is our hub for the business world. We look to Asia for inspiration and watch their trends so we can find success down here as well. Asia plays a critical role in our success and innovation as we progress into modern times.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is my favourite city for business. It bridges modern and innovative business practices with beautiful, ancient Asian heritage and culture. I traveled there for work this year. It is one of the cleanest cities I have ever been to and their organisation and architecture are second to none. It has a traditional feel while bridging modern, futuristic engineering and buildings together. It is a gorgeous city and I cannot wait to plan another trip there soon.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best piece of advice was not necessarily given to me, actually. When I was working in New York, there was a homeless man that would write quotes down on the sidewalk. On my way into work one day he wrote, “You are your best investment.” Ever since then I’ve acknowledged the drive within myself and found the motivation to succeed in whatever I set my sights on. Another homeless man in New York was handing out stickers that said: “Mean People Suck.” These incidents have resonated with me ever since and encouraged me to work hard and spread kindness always.
Who inspires you?
Oprah has reached an incredible level of success after working from the ground up. I find her humble beginnings and motivation to help others inspiring. Her voice and encouragement helps thousands of people and her philanthropic endeavours are so beneficial. Her desire to change the world inspires me to do the same. She’s encouraged me to take on philanthropic events within my own business.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I have been in a progressive learning phase, not only with my business but within myself, that was not really taught to me by someone or read in a book. I have learned to make decisions that will make me the happiest version of myself. I have found that we are constantly learning and growing from our personal and professional experiences. These life lessons have helped me adapt so I can help my clients. When I am at my happiest, I am able to be more creative and help to a higher degree than when I don’t feel my best.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would utilize all of my resources earlier on. I would try to find a mentor earlier in my career and take advantage of educational programs like Dale Beaumont’s Business Blueprint Series. I know that I would be even more successful if I had something like that when I was younger and first starting out. I wish I had met Dale years before because I know I could be more successful by using the techniques he teaches his students.
How do you unwind?
Going to the gym is my favourite way to unwind. I go every day for at least an hour and a half to clear my head. Exercise is a very powerful tool that keeps me feeling my best.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand has been my favourite place to relax and destress. W Retreat in Koh Samui was an amazing getaway and I actually got the opportunity to do publicity for them. It is one of the most beautiful properties I have ever seen.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers is my most recommended book for anyone wanting to start their own business, find a new career path, or motivate yourself. She talks about how not embracing fear is more intimidating than fear itself. It gave me a lot of confidence to take challenges head-on.
Shameless plug for your business:
About the Author
Director of Believe Advertising and PR, Adrian Falk, has been successfully generating national and international press coverage for clients for over 17 years.
Adrian has worked with a diverse range of lifestyle, beauty and fashion clients including SEIKO, Furla, VDKA 6100 to name a few and has worked on many high profile PR campaigns, including the international PR campaign with Novak Djokovic for the worldwide launch of HEAD’s new Graphene Speed tennis racquet, and the international press conference announcing SEIKO’s partnership with Novak Djokovic.
From supporting local schools in Fiji with laptop computers to providing over 240 meals to school children in India, 3,650 days worth of grain seeds to nourish hungry youth in Malawi, and helped give 361 days of access to lighting for underprivileged families, Adrian is all about giving back so that he can leave the world a better place than when he found it.
How can people connect with you?
Phone: +61 2 9388 003
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.
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Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com