So I started learning to be a chef, I went to Buxton College for 3 years and loved it, I won chef of the year each year I was there and at nights and the weekends worked at Baslow Hall which at the time had a Michelin star (I think it still does).
In return for working Max let me sleep in a cupboard upstairs and eat in the kitchen, which I liked as I got to hang out with Max a lot.
He grew all his own vegetables and I used to love getting up early to help him pick the veg and herbs for the day, often times locals would bring in pheasants, grouse and local fish that we’d prepare and serve that evening.
I had little time for anything else other than cooking and eating.
I went to London and Max got me a sojourn with Marco Pierre White at Harvey’s in Wandsworth, Max was a gentle caring fatherly German….. Marco was a creative genius, the difference could not have been more profound.
Max played classical music into the kitchen and it was, for the most part, tranquil…. Marco played Rock and thrash and shouted and screamed, he was a man on a mission.
I met Gordon Ramsey at Harvey’s, he was Marcos Sous chef (read maniacal crazy bastard) I watch Gordon on TV now and it surprises me how much he’s calmed down.
The words, “he was an asshole” spring to mind…. talented beyond belief, but a total asshole.
I worked my way through lots of 2 and 3 Michelin star restaurants, la tante claire, Le Gavroche (when it had 3 stars) and Le Manoir aux quat saison to name a few you may have heard of, I learnt the value of hard work and preparation. Perfection was and still is something I strive for…. she’s a hard task mistress.
From there I went to Jersey and with a friend and girlfriend opened my first restaurant at age 22. We knew nothing of business, the restaurant barely broke even.
We paid our suppliers in dinners for them and their mistresses/wives.
Our rent was paid for by a stroke of luck when I learnt that our landlord had a crush on one of the regulars, it wouldn’t be the last time i’ve played pimp to help a business.
I remember in the mornings we’d be woken by the fisherman at the door (we slept in the kitchen) with fresh scallops, sea bass and oysters. They’d open a few and have a beer we’d start intravenously ingesting coffee in readiness for another 17 hour day.
We won a bib gourmand in our first year, which still amazes me even now. As a chef, these are my happiest memories.
I had heard that the Olympics were on in Sydney and a good mate of mine Stuart, who was from Glasgow and thus needed me to translate for him, was heading off to Sydney to make his fortune as a chef.
As he eloquently put it, “they’re giving any one who can hold a knife a visa” (that is a very nice translation of something which actually went more like “ay ay nils, lets gan shag their wee ohsie lahssies an drink thar pufter piss beer ya ken?”)
So we sold the restaurant and jumped on a plane to Sydney with our visa’s and knives in hand. I was 23 by then.
Whilst our investor sold cocaine upstairs we set about turning the restaurant around and within 6 months I had a very successful restaurant.
One day whilst particularly high on coke the “investor” came into the kitchen with a birthday cake he wanted us to “ice” with an once of cocaine for a big drug lord that had dropped into Sydney for his birthday from Cuba.
I iced the cake with “Happy 27th Birthday”, that night I met 5 Cuban guys with uzi’s and the next day put the restaurant on the market so I could get the f*%k outa there.
We sold the restaurant, (politely) dumped our investor and bought another place.
We did this 4 more times until one day we had a restaurant with 150 seats doing a mill + a year….. I hated it.
"Being the action taker I was at that time I ignored the feeling and drank and slept around more."
Then 1 day a friend, in retrospect a great friend, took me aside and shook me up.
He let me know in no uncertain terms I was ruining my life, he was right.
I told my business partner he could keep the restaurant and quit that day.
The next day I was swimming at Bondi beach thinking about my future, when I got to shore I had a text message from a friend saying she was desperate for help, she had booked a space at an outdoor festival call The Peats Ridge Music Festival at Glenworth Valley, it was the Glastonbury of Australia, she needed a chef.
I arrived to find an old girl mate there called Carla, now Carla was what you might call a diesel dyke, more manly than Clint Eastwood and awesome fun to be around. So I knew I’d be in for a good time for the next 3 days perving on girls with Carla.
We had a prime spot opposite the stage and with 45,000 18 – 22 year old girls we knew we wouldn’t sleep much either!
Natasha….. 8 months later we were engaged, 1 year later I married her in the Botanical Gardens in Sydney. I thank my lucky stars everyday that I met her, she is my soul mate in a way I cannot put into words.
Soon after I started a Psychology & Statistics degree at Sydney Uni, I had to do a prep course first to show that my maths were good enough (lots of maths in Behavioral Psych).
I was hooked, people fascinate me, why they do what they do, in retrospect the Psychology degree was to understand me, I was trying to “figure myself out” through everyone else.
I see this a lot.
I loved helping people, still do. BUT, I love helping people who help themselves.
If you take the first step I’ll be right at your side for the next 1, 2, 1000.
But people who complain about their problems without actually doing anything about them, I have no time for.
So I saw traditional therapy as hindering rather than helping people. I met a guy called Dr Anthony Grant and loved what he was doing with Coaching Psychology.
I made it my mission to learn everything about it.
I got good very quickly (that neurosis again) and started coaching some amazing people to do even more, from lawyers and bankers to actors and diplomats… I earned a great reputation and started getting interest from people who wanted to learn from me.
Our first “become a life coach” seminar was 10 of my clients, within 18 months we had a business that was making $8 million a year and we’d franchised it all over Australia.
12 months later we’d sold master franchise rights in Australia, Singapore, Ireland, South Africa and the UK.
Sensing the opportunity we moved to England to look after things ourselves.
Lets just say that England proved difficult to adjust to, because a year later we were back here in Oz, we’d sold the franchise rights to the UK and I’d started a company called Aussiepreneur.
At that time on British TV there were LOADS of programs about moving to Australia, so I figured I’d provide a service and help people, and because I’d bought and sold a few businesses I thought I’d set myself up as a business broker.
My marketing was essentially:
“England Sucks! Move to Australia, I’ll help you buy a business and start a new life.”
And here in Australia I’d send letters to business owners with a £1 coin attached to them saying “England Sucks! that’s why everyone wants to move to Australia!
Let me sell your business to a Pomme and you can lie on the beach at Bondi, see that £1 coin it’s worth $2.80 to you!”
(back when a pound was worth something, now the Aussie dollar is the envy of the worlds currencies)
There is some info at the back about becoming a business broker and working for me, naturally that no longer applies.
About that time I went to a business seminar with Jay Abraham and he said be the expert in your field, be a trusted adviser, so I decided to give away my book instead of publishing it…. in 1 month 12,466 people had requested a copy!
Talk about flying start!
The 12K people who had downloaded my book seemed to like it because I got lots of requests for help, I like helping people, moreover I like GETTING PAID to help people, helping people for free I reserve for people who cannot afford to pay but genuinely want the help.
So I thought I’d run a workshop and teach people face to face, cooking is theatre and I’ve often thought acting would be fun so I’ve always enjoyed being ‘on stage’ as a presenter. I figured I’d just copy what Jay Abraham did and charge $25,000 for a 3 day event.
I hate to admit it but I bottled it, although I truly believed in what I was teaching and I’d seen for myself people become millionaires using the info I’d shown them, I still couldn’t charge that much for a seminar, this says much more about my self confidence and money psychology than anything else.
I settled on $5000… well $4997 (if you’re a marketer everything ends in 7).
I tentatively sent an e-mail to my list and within 90 minutes sold 100 seats… to say I was shitting 💩 myself at the prospect of doing the seminar was an understatement!
After the seminar I did a coaching group and helped a ton of people buy and sell businesses, geez it was fun, I LOVE the cut and thrust of business life.
After that I got a TON of people asking me how on earth I’d sold out a hundred seat seminar in 90 minutes.
With that my internet marketing career was launched.
(I’m VERY good at selling things online, I’m VERY bad at just about everything else!)
The Aussie Online Entrepreneurs
I started the Aussie Online Entrepreneurs in 2016, I'd been selling on Amazon for a while, with varied success and wanted a way to network with like minded people (online businesses can be lonely).
Initially it was a very small group of us (crazy nut-jobs) brave enough to sell on Amazon, now it's over 2500 members and we're the No 1 ecommerce community in Australia.
I've helped hundreds of people start their own ecommerce business and I'm very proud of that.
Along the way I have launched over 350 products onto Amazon, sold everything from dog probiotics in the USA and Canada to skin care in India and Japan.
I recently sold my Amazon business for $4.5 Million which was a cool day in the Asher household let me tell you!
I'm now building a new business and involving the members of the Aussie Online Entrepreneurs along the way.
I love creating and building businesses... I've dedicated most of my life to it and I love seeing other people win in the game of entrepreneurship too.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading some stuff about me, warts and all.
I’m human, I screw up, I’ve made LOTS of mistakes, I’ve looked VERY foolish, I’ve embarrassed Natasha too many times to count :D
We make our own life. We create our own reality.
My overlying philosophy in life can be summed up best by the Delphic Oracle:
Know thyself, Be Thyself, Love Thyself.