My career hasn’t followed a typical path. Like many young people I went to college without a clear understanding of what I wanted to do. I chose a broad degree to keep my options open. I’d been working many part time jobs as a poor college student in Victoria, Australia. So after graduating, I jumped straight into the professional workforce and started my journey of self discovery.
For the next six or seven years I would travel the world living and working abroad, experiencing different cultures and meeting people with such diverse backgrounds and experiences that it had a huge impact on how I viewed the world.
Throughout these years of working in different roles in different industries I didn’t know exactly what I was looking or searching for but I did know one thing. That I would never settle for a job and a career that I didn’t enjoy or feel passionate about. Then, everything changed instantly when I got a call from a recruiter asking me to come in for an interview with a small tech company called Xero.
I went through the process and secured a position on the sales team at Xero back in 2012 when we had less than 30 employees in Australia and only a few hundred across the world. We had less than 50,000 customers in Australia and about 200,000 around the world. We were in this tiny office in Melbourne and it truly felt like a startup. About three weeks after I started, I went to my first Xerocon. There were only about 400 people there, but I remember feeling a pure sense of excitement and I knew from that moment that this was the company and the mission that I had been searching for.
Fast forward 6 years and this tiny start up now has more than 2,000 employees around the world and more than 1.4 million subscribers. After starting in an entry level sales role, I spent four years in the Australian business in our Melbourne and Sydney offices – working my way up to become one of our most senior Account Managers.
I started to see the global opportunity that Xero had to improve the lives of millions of small business owners and their advisors. I saw the passion with which our customers talk about our brand and our platform. Working in my dad’s small business, I saw firsthand how hard it is for entrepreneurs to keep their doors open without the right tools and support behind them. I felt for the first time in my life a true sense of purpose – knowing that I was making a positive impact in the lives of small business and their accountants.
With a deep belief in our mission and product, I decided that I wanted to help Xero grow in the biggest market in the world: the US. I knew it would be a challenge, but with the great culture and teams we have built all over the world I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t let slip.
Over the last two years I have been living in Denver, Colorado – the home base of our Americas team. Xero has given me the opportunity to do two of the things I enjoy most; fulfilling my mission and experiencing the world. There are many differences between the US and Australian markets, but what remains constant is the passionate people we have at Xero and the love that our customers and partners have for us.
I feel that we are now heading into one of the most exciting phases of Xero’s journey in the Americas. We have a great leadership team in place and the quality and caliber of the people coming into the business over the last 12 months has been exceptional. We are seeing the same kind of partner and customer loyalty I saw in Australia before things really took off.
I didn’t have any sales experience when I joined Xero, I’ll always be grateful that Xero saw the potential in me and gave me the opportunity to unlock my hidden abilities. Sales is about solving problems for other people, its understanding your customers’ needs and helping them find solutions. If you’re someone who loves to help people, solve problems, travel and meet great people, then a career in sales might be for you.
Xero has given me the platform to grow my skills, make business connections all over the world, learn from our most experienced senior executives and understand what it takes to scale a hyper growth international tech company.
I’m grateful that Xero has given me the opportunity to work in markets all around the world. As I embark on the next stage of my journey – a sales leadership role in our San Francisco office – I understand that my goals have now changed. My customers are now my colleagues that I serve and helping them achieve their dreams has become my new mission. In saying that, getting Xero into the hands of millions of small businesses around the world and providing their accountants and bookkeepers with the tools to help them be successful still gets me out of bed every morning. I can’t wait to see what the next six years will bring.