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2014 -

The 5TH

General Manager
2017 - 2018


Freelance web design


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Barney Cools

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Subtype Store

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2013 - 2015


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Plan Lab

Sold 2013

Back from a break. Thoughts on ego + an update on BodyWise

Next week I’m back on deck after ten weeks traveling around the world and recharging. I was doing more than upping my Instagram game I swear 😉 – I needed it to be a better mate, a better person to work with and the happiest, most effective and fulfilled dude I can be.


The funny thing about leaving the world of business ownership and joining the rat-race (just kidding – my job rocks!) is that it changes you. It’s very nature pulls you to compete, to be seen and recognised. As a 28 year old who was working for someone for the first time and in a business with twenty other colleagues, I felt myself doing things to be seen and noticed, rather than doing good work for the sake of doing good work that I believed in.

I knew this whole career thing was bringing out a little ego that I didn’t like. So, I travelled and reset. I read, wrote and thought, a lot.

While I travelled a book came out by the young gun Ryan Holiday titled ‘Ego is the Enemy‘. If you think ego is preventing you from doing your best work – or more importantly, being your happiest and most fulfilled self – pick up a copy. You’ll be happier for it.

Feeling fresh, inspired and bloody good. Time to get too it.

P.S. BodyWise

A bunch of you have asked whats going on with BodyWise on the back of my break and tweeting a lot more about digital marketing + eCommerce rather than health and fitness product design.

A few months ago we decided that we couldn’t continue bootstrapping it ourselves and that the market has changed so much since we started that we’re struggling to acquire enough users to viably seek funding.

Thousands of people are using it to track their wellness and have better health because of what we’ve made, something that makes it all worth it regardless of what happens now. We’re working out what brand/charity/person would combine the app with their audience to help more people going forward.

I’m still crazy passionate about making people healthier using technology and without any negative mental effect, but the reality is that it’s too much for me to do alone.

Watch this space…

Letters to your current and future self

Every year on New Years Eve I write a letter to myself summing up the year just gone and another written from 365 days into the future, summing up the year I’m just about to live.

I’m pretty competitive, goal oriented and very self-motivated so this method gets me in a great frame of mind for the year ahead.

It’s a funny exercise to do and compare results against your future prediction.
Did you do the things that you said you would?
What curveballs were thrown up and how did you deal with them?
Did you manage to have fun along the way and not just tick goals off a list?

My whole thing was learning and shit did I learn this year. At times it felt like 10 years of learning crammed into one.

Letter to 2013 Mike (summing up my year)

You’ve done well Mike.

2013 was one hell of a year. In no short order you managed to:

  1. Live in another country for 5 months
  2. Unwind in Mexico for 2 weeks, learning a touch of Spanish while you were there
  3. Have a video featured by GoPro and amass over 250,000 views
  4. Be part of a collaborative project seen by over 3.5 million people around the world and featured in countless media outlets
  5. Sell your first business, making a tidy profit
  6. Forge new relationships within business networks that you’ve previously admired from afar
  7. Launch an app that was downloaded over 30,000 times

In short, you lived a pretty fulfilled life this year. You didn’t let yourself down imagining something and leaving it at that. You put more energy into the projects that you loved than you ever have before. I respect you for that.

Sure, it was a challenging year. You continue to question yourself on love and what you’re looking for, but man, you tried. You saw a girl you really could see yourself with and went after it. It didn’t work out but you tried. You dated a few other girls for a bit but didn’t feel it. No harm. That’s not in your makeup to just do what doesn’t feel right.

I know you’re questioning whether 2014, 2015 or even 2020 will be the year that you find someone that gets your brain going as much as your heart. Who cares because while you’re happy, it doesn’t really matter. Happiness is the ultimate measure of ones quality of life.

Keep taking chances. Take the 50/50’s in life and see what happens. Continue to explore. Get away for trips by yourself but look for new relationships wherever they present themselves. Sip Whisky in some far away city while gazing at the roof trying to make sense of what you’re learning. Hell, just continue to learn.

You’ve got a big opportunity with BodyWise. It might not work out. You might lose out financially but look at how much you’ve learnt just going through the process and taking a punt on something that you care about.

You stay classy San Diego

Letter to 2014 Mike (written in 2013 to my future self)

Well, another year has gone and holy shit did you learn some big lessons this year.

Last year you took a few bets and had a consistently awesome year. This year you had more ups and downs. You put yourself out there a little more. Sometimes it hurt but the highs were better than you would have imagined.

BodyWise is still in its infancy. It’s making money and getting some good acquisition interest, but most importantly people are using it and many love it.

Yep, the post image is the letter read at the start of Blink 182’s epic song ‘Stockholm Syndrome‘.

Should I be 100% consumed?

In my early twenties as I stepped out onto my own, I was consumed by my young business. I had a good social life come the weekend but it was either work, sport, or friends. When it was time with friends, I’d be thinking about work and too often I gave a half-arsed excuse for not making it to something or leaving early so I could get back to making money and building my vision.

A typical weekday would look like work 9 – 6, soccer training 6 – 9, a bite of dinner and then work until midnight or so. Without realizing, I was doing 60 hours a week at a minimum, often up to 80 or 90.

That leaves me wondering, is it right or wrong to be consumed by your business or personal goal? My theory:

  • If you want to build something far greater than yourself, be consumed
  • If you want a good life, give yourself space

Athletes are the best and most visible example of that. The ones that make it are all in.

What I learnt in 2013

  • a lot – more than any other year in my life
  • Take a big break every 2 years – I took a 6 month break and hit the snow. Since I came back I’ve been 20x as productive as I’ve ever been, making 2 apps, selling one business, and co-founding a startup. Getting out and just living provides inspiration and renewed energy
  • Having a good network is incredibly valuable – none of my friends do what I do. In my cozy eastern suburbs life no one really gets what I do. I come out of a day pumped about what I’m working on, tell someone and get glazed over eyes. Since returning I’ve reached out and connected with many people that I’d previously admired from afar. They’ve taught me things, created new opportunities but most importantly made my life more enjoyable. A shout out to Murray Galbraith, Aylin Ahmet, Scott Kilmartin and Steve Sammartino for the profound impact they’ve had on my life this year
  • Invest in the 50/50s – not every investment has to be a sure thing. Sometimes the best opportunities come from taking a chance and exploring an idea. Whether it’s building a Lego car that runs on air or an app that has a small chance of ever making money, invest in things that inspire you, let you explore new markets and dream big
  • Put your time and money where your mouth is – I’ve come to detest ‘thought leaders’ that go around talking and blogging on professional and personal improvement without having the balls to practice what they preach. As @murraydg pointed out in this tweet, @sammartino is the ultimate example of the opposite of that

  • There’s more to every company than you think – I’ve started to listen to This Week In Startups interviews with founders as I work. What strikes me is that almost without exception, it wasn’t a completely unique idea or a great product that caused success but rather the founders ability to organise a great team, raise funding, network, scrap or fight when necessary and take a risk or make a big decision at a vital moment. With so many great Startups it’s not enough to have a great product
  • Being intimately aware of your psychology and how to get the most out of yourself is vital – I increased my productivity when I learnt how to structure my week and where I spent my time. I cowork or go interstate when I need to get creative. I work at a desk or lie on the couch when I need to just get a task done and I set myself up on a big desk in a brightly lit room when I need to be creative and solve problems. At different points I realise that I need assistance or a fresh view and grab a coffee with someone from my network and bounce ideas off them
  • Client work kinda sucks – it’s hard to put your best work into someone else. I love working with and for other people/businesses when you’re making a big difference but inevitably even the best client projects leave you inundated with tiny tasks and just getting things done

Merry Christmas!

In the last 365…

It’s been 365 days since I released my first product. Plan Lab was huge for me. It signified a move from every cent I made coming from spending time working with someone to being able to create something out of nothing, and making sales while I was scratching my ass.

Of course it’s never that simple but the gradual shift into selling products rather than services is something that I’d planned since my early days studying Entrepreneurship at Uni and the ways of the world in everyday life.

Those 365 days have flown by and at the same time seem like years ago. It’s caused me to reflect on my last 365 days of life, what I’ve spent my time on, what I’ve learnt and what I’ve accomplished.

My last 365 days in a nutshell…

  • Lived in another country for the first time (see my blog post on my 6 months in Canada)
  • Launched my first product and made it profitable within 6 months (see my Plan Lab launch post)
  • Launched my second product. BodyWise was launched 7 days ago in fact (see my BodyWise launch post)
  • Launched SnowPro. Failed SnowPro (blog post on that experience coming soon)
  • Visited Canada, USA & Mexico
  • Spent 80 days snowboarding
  • Was featured by GoPro as their video of the day and seen by over 130,000 people (see our SnowPro epic amateur snowboarding video)
  • Appeared in a Harlem Shake video (seriously)
  • Nearly managed to push out an election-themed iPhone game only to be thwarted at the last minute (more coming on that soon)

At the end of the day

It’s been a hell of a year and looking back, I’m not sure I can keep that pace up for another year. At the end of the day I’ve had more fun during my 9-5 creating things and working with a small group of awesome clients than I ever had consulting 24/7 but it’s the people you spend time with out of work that really made my year.

Whether you’re a friend from Twitter, an old high school mate or someone I’ve met in the last 365 days, thanks for helping to make my year the best to date. You’ve been awesome.

Whistler – Done

For the past few weeks of my 6-month adventure overseas, I’ve been trying to force out the words to describe my experience. It’s not until I take my seat and plug in my headphones on the long flight home that something half decent starts to come to me.

My story is nothing compared to anything you’ll read in even the dodgiest travel blog. I didn’t walk on coals in a remote Asian island, nor did I hitchhike through South America without a word of Spanish. Instead, I’m writing about what it’s like for a young business owner to pull back from the 60-70 hour a week addiction to his work.

Speaking with other 20-something’s that run their own business, it seems I’m hardly the only one working so hard on a business that was for ‘lifestyle reasons’. Working your own hours, not having to answer to a boss each day and learning the in’s and out’s of running a business sounds incredible on paper.

Indeed it is. It’s incredibly rewarding to start your own business, to see it produce good work and to watch it grow in reputation. Hell, I loved Engage Marketing and still do.

At what cost does it come to you though? I found myself talking with friends but not really listening. When I’d make time for a game of golf, I’d be worried about how many emails I was missing, or what was in the voicemails left on my phone. That wasn’t the freedom that I’d been searching for.

So, a friend convinced me to come over to Canada with him and do a ski-season in Whistler. Part of the appeal was the business we were to start and ultimately fail at (but that’s another blog post).


Over the six months I learnt a lot that will shape how I live my life in the future. Here are some of the things that I took away:


The single biggest change was going from comfortable Melbourne, hanging out with the same groups of people day in, day out, to a completely new environment where you’re meeting new people every day.

The people you meet early on become your family and I was lucky enough to spend the majority of the 6 months with some damn good people. Groups form and people come and go, but there’s nothing better than experiencing new things with new people.

Do what you love

EVERYONE is at Whistler because they love the snow. The wages are just way too low to justify any other reason for being there. Some party hard, others forgo the drugs or alcohol and concentrate purely on skiing and snowboarding but it’s the chance to get that one perfect run down the mountain that everyone’s there for.

When you get so many people living their dreams and playing with their passion all day, you get one hell of a happy place. No-one’s down about their day. No-one fights when you go out. It’s human beings at their most happy and free.

It’s just unbelievable waking up and being able to do what you want. A typical day might be waking up, watching Sports Centre and then heading up the mountain. Soon enough, you’d run into half a dozen friends out there and snowboard/ski for a few hours until you’re exhausted or want to get back and work. You might chill at a cafe or bar for a drink afterwards.

There’s no alarms, negative mainstream media or deadlines to make. You really have nothing to stress about as long as you have money to survive.

Taking a clean break from a hectic life

For me, my time in Canada reinforced the notion of keeping life fun and interesting, no matter what. Life is what you make it. I could have had 6 months working hard at home, or I could have gone to Canada and laughed 100x as much, met 30x more people and let my mind run free.

Odd’s are that I’ll end up getting back into working with my awesome marketing clients and designing blogs for some really cool people, but a bit of time off has left me a lot more refreshed and ready to go.


If anyone out there is thinking of doing something like I did, I can only say to go for it. Don’t think twice. Just do it. You won’t regret it!

What if money was no object?

An old friend of mine posted this video on Facebook some time ago. It instantly struck a cord with me and if I’m honest, planted a seed of doubt in my mind as to what I’m doing with my life.

After some thought, I’m pretty clear on it. I don’t love one particular thing that I need to devote my life too. I love living and what I love most is sticking my teeth into my business projects but having the time, ability and freedom to drop it all for a trip to the snow, a day on the golf course or a midnight boat trip on the bay to chase Snapper.

If money was no object, I’d be doing what I’m already doing. I guess that’s why I’m always so happy!