State of Play: Your Response

Dominique Grubisa
Dominique Grubisa

Published 4:37 am 8 Feb 2021

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Hi there, and welcome to our State of Play. Well, they brought the date forward, didn’t they? I said that on Thursday, the 23rd of July, they were going to say at federal government level what would happen with JobKeeper and Jobseeker at the end of September. So we didn’t fall off a cliff coming straight off life support, and then just sink or swim. And they announced last week that they were going to extend it. And they said they’d give the details about that on the 23rd, but they actually told us today. So it came out this morning, Scott Morrison said what they’re going to do is extend JobKeeper and Jobseeker for an extra six months, up until March 2021, but at a reduced rate. So at the end of September, Jobseeker will drop to $750 from $1,100.

And the problem with that was that for part-time workers it was easier just to stay, with JobKeeper it was a flat $1,500 per worker, per fortnight, across the board, whether a part-time, full-time, changed hours. And what they then said is, “You know what? We’ll have to drop it.” Because people were earning more, just being on JobKeeper as part-time workers, and employers were saying, “Well, I’m trying to find people, but no one’s applying and they’re better off just being on JobKeeper and doing nothing.” So they’ve said, “Well, the way we’re going to restructure it, it’s two tiered now, different JobKeeper for full-time and part-time workers.”

So the full-time rate, which was $1,500, is going to drop to $1,200, come end of September, and it’ll stay on at $1,200 per worker, providing, and this will be tested, that there is a continued drop in income and companies will have to show their earnings, and their tax, and everything to prove that they’ve had a drop in earnings. But secondly, they’ve said that as of January 2021, it’ll drop further from $1,200 down to a $1,00 per employee. So they’re weaning us off it. And for part-time workers, come October this year, it’ll be $750 per fortnight for part-time workers. And then come January next year, that will drop to $650 for part-time workers, and $1,000 for full-time workers.

And with the job seeker, which was like a subsidy, like a boost, if you were basically unemployed or on Centrelink benefits, they made that $1,100 a fortnight. So they’re dropping that back down again. There’ll be all sorts of means testing, and partner testing, and workers will have to show that they’re actively looking for employment. So the blanket rules that they just put out there when we were in panic stations in March, they’re winding that back, and they’re not pulling it off and making us go cold turkey, but they’re reducing it to take us off that system, and to get us used to standing on our own two feet.

The Reserve Bank governor also gave a speech today at a lunch, and everyone listens to whatever he says, Philip Lowe, and what he said is, “Yes, things are bad, and we’re in for a bumpy road ahead.” He said, “It could have been a whole lot worse.” And he said that, “870,000 jobs were lost in April and May. And on top of that, a further 760,000 people were not working no hours at all.” So there’s a lot of unemployment. The official rate is 7.4%, but obviously, it’s a lot higher, and that’s going to get worse. Even though we’ve still got JobKeeper and Jobseeker, and people have relaxed a little bit, breathed a sigh of relief, we’re not out of the woods yet.

And employers are going to think twice, and that’s what industry bodies are saying, before putting their hand out to try and keep a zombie business alive, because it’s just accruing more and more debt and losses, and the government support is kind of like a placebo effect that’s making people complacent, and they’re in the calm before the storm, and they don’t realize it. So they’re going to be totally blindsided. So what they’re saying now is the Reserve Bank governor has said, “Yes, things will get worse. Unemployment will get worse, and we have to ride it out. It could have been a whole lot worse. Hopefully things will get better from now, but consumer confidence is really low.”

So the Roy Morgan Poll came out and [inaudible] head economist said that what’s happened now is that we were so low in March. They’d never seen consumer confidence, according to the poll, as low since records were kept going back to the 1970s, but they said what has happened now is that it improved a bit when we came out of lockdown, and now with what’s happening in Victoria, and also increases in community transmission in New South Wales, people are realizing that, “Okay, things aren’t just plain sailing from here on in.” And unemployment numbers are coming out, and what they’re saying now is, “Okay, things could get worse. And consumer confidence is poor.”

When consumer confidence is poor, no one spends, more jobs get lost and it takes longer for the bellows to get under the economy and start that fire again, which is not what we want. But I decided, this particular State of Play, to talk about our response. Because remember in a time of uncertainty like this, there is so much that’s outside of our control. And the temptation is to wait for the government to do something, to give them power, and to wait for people who we deem to be smarter than us, or better than us, to tell us what to do, and to give us a helping hand. And at the end of the day, that’s fine. When we’re children, we look to our parents to solve problems, but right now it’s our response that counts.

No, we can’t control the virus. No, we can’t control the economy, or what’s happening with jobs, or what politicians are doing, or anything else globally, but we can control how we respond to the objective facts that are out there. And over recent weeks, we’ve had our reignite, our ignite series of live streams, where because of COVID, because of a changed world, I have found myself in a really fortunate position, and I’m so grateful. I feel really blessed that I’m allowed and able to connect with people I’ve only ever just admired from afar in books, like great thought leaders, and very, very successful people of a global nature, who I wouldn’t have had a snowflake’s hope in hell of getting those people out to Australia to come and speak to us and empower us as a community.

And I was resorting to reading their works, being inspired by them, and in turn translating that to our community, but because of COVID, and because of these people being in lockdown, and the way the world’s changed, and everybody able to connect together, and sharing, there’s a new rising tide of sharing and exchanging knowledge, I’ve been able to bring to you through our ignite series, people that I never thought I’d be personally speaking to. And I can say that it’s a privilege in hosting that series to actually have, it feels like for me, and I’m sure it must for you guys at home, a live tutorial, like having one-on-one.

Because you’re actually going into their homes, you’re seeing their books, I’m watching what books they’re reading, and asking them questions about Australia, about what’s happening here, about what they would do. And just hearing stories. It’s almost like being out to dinner with them. So I feel very privileged to tap into those sorts of minds. It’s like being privately tutored or mentored by those people, and I hope it has the same effect on you. So we had Dr. John Demartini on our live stream last time, we had Brian Tracy, we’ve had Robert Kiyosaki, we’ve had Gary Vee, and it’s just been mind blowing to be able to connect with those people.

And coming up this weekend on our Titans of Business, we’ve got Seth Godin, greatest marketer in the world, Jay Abraham, also huge in sales and marketing, and business turnarounds, and distressed businesses, as well as Verne Harnish. So you may have read some of his work in business, but he’s written Gazelles and Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, so about what makes businesses great, and how they can scale effectively. So my absolute idols, three of them, these huge titans coming together to talk to us on Saturday. And I’ve been fortunate enough to connect with them in advance, and to talk about what they’re going to be discussing at our live stream, and briefing them on what I think we’d like to get out of their heads, so that we can confine 50 years of knowledge into learnings for us, that will benefit us in the current climate.

And if I distill everything in our ignite series and what all these great minds are saying, there’s three basic things that stand out to me in a time of change and opportunity like this. They all have a common theme, and it’s not what you think. It’s not, “Hustle, get out there, market, sell, get money off people.” it’s all about value. They talk about adding value. In a time of need, in a time of change, if you can get on the front foot, if you can ride a wave, if you can add value to people and fill a need, then the world’s your oyster. So how can you add value? I know that we’re going to talk about that again on the weekend, and it’s been a recurring theme, and when I look at times in my life where I was kind of down and out, or I felt like I hadn’t got where I wanted to go, and I’d drawn a short straw and lost, I thought about, “Okay, how did I get out of that?”

And it was always focusing on adding value, not what I could take, that scarcity mentality, but what you can give, because it is a rising tide effect. So some of you may have heard my story before when I started doing law. And that was more as a reaction from failing as an actress, and then when I graduated to law, I had a vision of doing litigation, didn’t get into litigation, ended up getting into debt collection. And remember, we did a quote a couple of weeks ago, and we talked about Teddy Roosevelt’s quote about being in the arena face down. And I said, “Most of us are not vulnerable. Most of us are happy to talk about it afterwards, and we do the happily ever after story.” I was face down in the arena, then luckily things changed, it got better, and we all lived happily ever after.

And I tend to gloss over things in my stories too. So I think that I say words to the effect, “Well, yes, it was all bad, but then I just focused, and I tried really hard, and I thought, ‘Yeah, [inaudible] I’m just going to go to the bar. I’ll be a barrister.’ And then I succeeded at that, and we all lived happily ever after.” When we look at Teddy Roosevelt’s quote, he talks about being face down with the blood, and the sweat, and the dust, and if we really seize on that moment, and I’m totally honest, there’s a story around the segue from solicitor to barrister. So when we look at adding value, what happened with me was that I ultimately decided that, “Okay, I’m in debt collection, I have to make the best of that.”

And what would happen was I go to the local court at North Sydney, and I would sit in a list for civil matters. So what happens in courts is normally they’ll call the criminal matters first, because usually people’s Liberty’s at stake, it’s more important matter. And they run through those sorts of matters, and then they get to the civil matters later. Because criminal is where the crown or the director of public prosecution, someone, the state, is prosecuting a person, and civil is more two individuals fighting about debt collection, or contracts, or commercial matters. So they figure you can wait. So I would get to court, and they sat with their list once a week, I get to court every week and I’d sit there, and I’d listened to them run through the criminal matters. It was just a local court, so they were things like drink driving, or what they call, “summary offenses.” So pretty minor offenses. When I say minor, it was low range, what they call “PCAs,” prescribed concentration of alcohol, that sort of thing.

But I would listen, and a lot of people would just turn up at court because they got that court notice, and they’d turn up with their court attendance letter, they had no idea what they were doing, they were afraid, and every single time the magistrate, [inaudible] in that day would say to the person, “Okay, well, you can get legal representation, you can plead guilty, if you plead guilty at the first available opportunity, then it goes better for you and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And he would run through. He had a list of 50 people, and he’d have to run through the same spiel every time, and most of them would adjourn, because they’d say, “Oh, well, I didn’t know I could get legal advice. I’ll come back in a week or two.” Or whatever.

And he’d put them back in the list for the next month. And it was just it seemed inefficient, a waste of resources. The poor guy, the list took hours, and hours, and hours, because he was saying, like a broken record, the same thing to every person over and over again, some of them would qualify for legal aid, and there was a legal aid solicitor in court, but otherwise they didn’t, and they just went back into the hopper again, came up a week later. So I thought, “How silly,” and “I want to be a litigator.” So I went and spoke to the magistrate, and was I scared? Yeah, I was so scared. I thought, “This is so stupid. It’s probably really official, why would they let me do something?” But I went to him, and I said, “You know what? It seems to me that you’re saying the same thing over and over again, and why don’t you send them to me? I can do it for free, I can give them legal input, legal advice.” And he said, “Yep, that’s a great idea.”

So I was the court solicitor, and he could send them to me, and I would say to people, “These are your rights.” And they have a section of the Crimes Act, at least in New South Wales, and it was section 556 A. So what it said was, if it’s minor and you plead guilty, yes, you’re guilty, but you have an explanation, and the magistrate has a discretion. And if you do a plea in mitigation, so basically if you say, “Look, it’s my fault.” You fall on your own sword, “I was bad, and I’m sorry. And this was why.” Which was everybody’s story. They didn’t know the ins and outs of the Crimes Act, but they knew that they had an explanation, they just wanted to be heard.

And so what I then started to do, I started doing it for free every week, and everyone would come to me, and I’d get up on my feet, I had my day in court, I got to argue their case. So for many of them they’d say, “Yes. Okay. I was over the limit, but I didn’t have dinner, and I met someone, and I had two drinks, and I thought I’d be fine with two drinks, but I hadn’t eaten all day, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I had no idea. I came to the attention of the police, not because I was driving a erratically, but it was a random breath test. Plus I’ve got a good driver record, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And the magistrate would have a discretion. And nine times out of 10, there was a perfectly reasonable explanation.

We wouldn’t waste the court’s time, first instance we’d say, “Look, yep. We’re guilty, we’re sorry. Can we please explain?” And ultimately, no conviction would be recorded on their record, which was the outcome that they wanted. And so after I got experienced at it, I said to the magistrate, “Can I charge for this? Can I just charge $100 a pop to do a plea in mitigation?” Because I knew other lawyers would charge much more than that, and he said, “Yep. Okay.” So back in the day I brought my little credit card to court, where I’d swipe the card, I would say, “This is what it’ll cost you, I’ll stand up, I’ll argue, this is what’s likely to happen.” They’d give me instructions, and so it went from there. And that’s how I segued my way in to litigation, by doing pleas in a hungry market at court, because I A, saw a need in the market, and I knew that I could add value, and thirdly, I knew it would be a win-win for everybody there.

Anyway, [inaudible 00:24:38], these are my 20 year old war stories, but ultimately you are going to see so much more opportunity right now. And that’s what all the experts are saying. In times of change, you will notice things, keep an note book there. What do you notice where you go? That’s really ridiculous. Why don’t they do it this way, or what a waste of time, what a waste of resources. You probably already have things springing to your mind right now that’s inefficient because things have changed, and we just haven’t built the systems to catch up. Which brings me to the next point. The lowest common denominator they talk about, there is so much opportunity right now, everywhere, opportunity is about, and because of times of change. It’s just that most of us don’t like to embrace change.

What we like to do in times of change is resist, defend the status quo. Warren Buffett once said, “In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” We tend to want to patch leaks, we tend to want to do change by increments like, “Oh my goodness, it’s so bad. Yes, I’ve lost my job, or I’m about to lose my job, or I feel like I’m on the knife’s edge, and the company is going to downsize, and what are they going to do about JobKeeper? Oh, JobKeeper came back, and at least I’ve got to a next March. Let’s hope I don’t go down that slippery slope. Let’s hope the Reserve Bank does something, let’s hope the banks do something following that.” All of that is outside of your control. That’s just crossing your fingers and hoping something external will come and change the course of the tidal wave that’s bearing down on you.

You cannot depend on something external. What you can control is your response. And when I say response, the response isn’t to hide and hope, the response isn’t to rock in a fetal position in the corner, the response is, “Hey, it’s a level playing field, there is no barriers to entry anymore. It’s anyone’s game here. What can I do? How can I add value? And how can I seize opportunity?” Deming once said, remember Deming of Toyota fame, American economist, but who went to Japan after WWII, and revolutionized the auto industry. And he was passionate about change. In fact, he said “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” In other words, many of us are frogs in boiling water. We’re not noticing change. We’re defending the status quo. John Kenneth Galbraith, the economist, said, “Faced with the choice between changing and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” How ridiculous?

We tend to say, “No, no, no, nothing will change. I’ll just keep doing the same thing. I’ll just use old logic.” Which is insane. That’s never going to help. What worked before will not work now. The court list that the magistrate used to go through, maybe they worked a hundred years ago, but it doesn’t work right here and right now, and what he needed to realize, and what no one in the system, or the heads, or the bureaucracy that ran the court system realized that there was a lot of time and money that went into it, wasted time and money into the justice system, that could be expedited if people just communicated better, had some assistance, had some options, and some rights. There on the day, we were in an instant society that wants instant answers.

So how can we provide them? How can we give that instant gratification? It is a time of massive opportunity. Bill Gates said, ans if we’re looking for some sort of oracle to respond to, Bill Gates said, “This is a fantastic time to be entering the business world. Right here, right now, this is our opportunity. Fantastic time to be entering the business world, because business is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50.” And that was pre COVID. That was just because of technology. So imagine now, with the massive changing world that we’re living in, what the upside potential is.

And finally, and you guessed it, the opportunity is to embrace change, because change is here. All of the experts that I’ve spoken to have said, “We’re never going back the way we were. You can’t go into a bunker. You can’t go into an induced coma, or hibernation, or life support, and then like Sleeping Beauty just emerge when it’s all better and live happily ever after.” There is no snap back. There is no normal where we return to. There is a new normal. And at the end of the day, yes, it is uncertain. We don’t know what lies ahead. There may be a second wave, there may be a third wave. My son said to me the other day, “Oh, I don’t have to study for the HSC anymore, because apparently it will be called off because of the second wave.” Who knows, he might be right. But hey, I would rather prepare, and plan, and expect things to not go the way I planned, because at the end of the day, change is always preceded by some sort of chaos.

So we’re in that chaos now, but you can’t use that as an excuse. You can’t miss the riding tide, you can’t miss that wave, you’ve got to ride the wave to shore, you don’t want to swim against the tide, or get caught in a rip, get a cramp, and go under. Ride the wave of change. Tim Ferriss, and many of you will know The 4-Hour Workweek which launched his career, that book, Tim Ferriss said, “The stars will never align, and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but also it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins for you either.”

Conditions are never perfect. Someday is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pros and con lists are just as bad, if it’s important to you, and you want to do it, eventually just do it, and correct course along the way. It’s the only way, jump in the deep end, and just start. Opportunities will come to you as you go, but you have to start. And yes, you will be swimming against the tide. Most ordinary people believe that they have no control. Most ordinary people will say, “I lost it all in the recession. Oh, you know when they extended JobKeeper, and then they didn’t extend it beyond March, 2021? If only they had of done that.”

It’ll always be someone else’s fault, or they’ll just be a victim of fate and circumstance. Well, guess what? We’re all victims of fate and circumstance right now. And what we can control is our response. So how are you going to respond? 98% of people are going to just defend the status quo, tell you every reason why change is not worth it, why you’re going to fail, why it won’t work. Rory Goforth Once said, “There are two types of people who will tell you, you can’t do something. First type are those who are afraid to try, and the second type are those who are afraid that you will succeed.” So what’s holding you back right now? The opportunities are lined up. All you have to do is focus on adding value, and there are pockets of loss, there are pockets of pain, there are pockets everywhere, all around us, where you can add value. No matter who you are, no matter what resources you have at your disposal, there really is no excuse.

Gary Vee, he said the other day, if he could pick any time in history, if he had a time machine, 100 years from now to come back, it would be right here and right now in Australia. So there should be nothing holding us back, and if you’ve lost your job, or you’re worried, or financially stressed, now is the time where you can build something great. You can add massive value. Just make the change and seize the opportunity, because you’ll never ever get an opportunity like this. People are doing deals left, right, and center, and now’s the time.

So join me on Saturday at our live stream, where we’re going to share more, and I’m going to reach into the brains of people who are going to tell us this sort of stuff. You’re going to get it direct from the horse’s mouth. People who have run multi-million dollar businesses, advisers that advise Google on their marketing, that sort of thing. We’re going to be able to get it direct from them what we should be doing, where the opportunities are, and it’s tailored for Australia, for small business, and people on the cusp of change. Just moms and dads, ordinary people. You don’t have to change the world. You don’t have to be the next Steve jobs or Bill Gates. You just have to do something with what you have starting now.

So join me on Saturday. We’ll put the link there to register for that live stream, our Titans of Business. That’s going to go in the comments section, as well as the description section for this live stream, and it’s one not to miss, that lineup of talent, Verne Harnish, Seth Godin, and Jay Abraham, all together in the one morning. Just bring your pen and pad, and just write, write, write, write, write, because you won’t draw breath, and the information is gold nuggets. Especially catered for us here, right now.

And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to get regular updates, share this with your friends, tag them in the comment section, and if you’re watching on YouTube, don’t forget to like, subscribe, hit the bell if you want to be notified every time we release new content. That’s it for today. But we’ll catch up again at our State of Play at 4:02 on Thursday. In the meantime, stay safe, take care, and we’ll talk soon.