What’s past, what’s now, and what’s next
A former teenage entrepreneur who became the head of a $30 million telecommunications company, Jordan Grives is not like most 27-year-olds. At the forefront of the tech community, Jordan embodies some of the defining traits of the millennial generation, as an innovative creator, entrepreneurial wunderkind, and business-savvy industry leader. Not afraid of stepping out on his own, Jordan has never been averse to shaping the tech industry to suit his ideas, and now he is proving he is not one to rest on the laurels of his early success either.
While the close of 2016 saw Jordan sell Fonebox, the telecommunications company he founded at age 18, the start of 2017 has given him a chance to step back and formulate a game plan for his next ventures, both personal and professional. While for some this might mean taking a break, there’s no easing up on the pedal for Jordan. “It’s time to switch off, refresh, and get out of my comfort zone,” he says. “In saying that, post-sale, I am working on three or four new ventures.”
One such project for Jordan is a tech-accelerating organisation dedicated to sourcing the greatest tech developments and innovations, and fostering them to success. One such business is Tap Tins, which has redesigned the way individuals can donate to charities as they go about their daily lives. “Enabling charities has always been a big part of what I do,” Jordan says. This is reflected in his ongoing relationship with St Vinnies, for which he raised almost $60,000 in the 2016 CEO Sleep Out.
In fostering tech development and innovation, Jordan emulates industry figures he holds in high regard, notably Bevan Slattery (Australian businessman extraordinaire) and Elon Musk (a leading figure in tech developments around the globe). Jordan’s role in a thriving and constantly evolving industry brings him into the orbit of other dynamic individuals, particularly those developing their own business ventures. Take, for example, Mic Uebergang, owner of the popular Teneriffe bar Dalgety Public House.Together, the two are opening a bar next door to Dalgety Public House called Copado, which might just be the best bar in Brisbane to knock back a schooner with friends. “Dalgety would have to be the best place in Brisbane to have a beer – until Copado opens, of course,” Jordan jokes. No stranger to Brisbane’s dining and bar scene, he considers this project a hobby as much as a business venture.
Fostering a new, innovative tech business as well as opening a bar might seem like a lot to be working on at once, but Jordan’s disciplined lifestyle and dedication to his work makes organising tasks and balancing ideas a natural extension of his routine. Like many successful people (such as Virgin’s Richard Branson, Apple’s Tim Cook and Disney’s Bob Iger), Jordan is a self-proclaimed early bird and starts every day at 5am by checking his emails, reflecting on the stock market, and working off excess energy during a brutal personal training session with his coach (and a cup of coffee or two – he’s only human, after all).
In addition to his new ventures, Jordan is dedicating time to recentring himself and focusing on his growth and development. “I thrive when I am working on multiple projects – typically three or four, but post-sale I am still finding some time for myself,” he says. With so many projects to keep him occupied, there’s really no such thing as a day off. Whether he is fleshing out ideas or keeping on top of his ever-expanding inbox, there’s really no day when Jordan isn’t working on one project or another. Still, he is not one to let his work and private lives overlap. With a foot in both Brisbane and global communities, Jordan unsurprisingly belongs to several large social circles made up of excitingly diverse individuals. But like all 27-year-olds, Jordan also enjoys time with his mates: having a drink, bouncing ideas off and bantering with one another. Whether it’s dinner at Beccofino, drinks at Dalgety, or working on his golf technique, there’s always a way to find time to focus on himself.
While previous years have tied Jordan to his hometown, the changed landscape of his endeavours has enabled Jordan to explore new experiences and possibilities, one of which is extensive travel. Confident and switched-on, Jordan feels a pull to cities such as Los Angeles, New York and London, with a particular focus on the laid-back and trendy culture of downtown LA. While he hopes 2017 holds extensive travel for him, including to Europe and the US, he is also gravitating towards the possibility of relocating overseas to push himself further out of his comfort zone.
Jordan has found adapting to his newfound public image has been a challenge, and he says he is hyper-aware of his image “post-sale”, occasionally reading ridiculous comments about his dating and private life. “There’s nothing I can do about it,” he says. “I surround myself with good people and I don’t take myself too seriously. Finding time for myself has helped.”
As someone who sources his energy from his own desire to succeed and invest himself in his work, this new internal focus on taking time for himself and doing things purely for the joy of it is likely to be a key driver of the next stage of his life.
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