A change in direction

A change in direction

Wow, it’s been a long time since writing on here!

Unfortunately I’d made writing a post on my blog a big deal – just like that assignment you dread, that essay you have to write, or that research you need to begin; that it became painful to begin and led to a whole lot of procrastination. I don’t want this blog to feel like that; I want it to be exciting to write in. I want to be able to document my current reflections quickly, and leave it there if anyone’s interested to read it.

This guy is an absolute boss!
This writer is an incredible story-teller of his own crazy business stories, makes for some entertaining business reading!

So, in the footsteps of several of the top writers/business people I admire, I’m changing the direction of this blog to be short, quick-fire, unedited posts which I can get done instantly and fit into my other commitments. Examples of amazing writers that I’ve learnt a tonne from who do this include Seth Godin (the so-called “Godfather of Marketing”, James Altucher (this writer has some of the craziest business stories in existence) and Matt Mullenweg (The founder of WordPress, which happens to run 25% of the world’s websites, including this one and most of the others that I’ve made). Enough explaining though, let’s get into it!

Just over a year ago, I co-founded the charity The Learning Collaborative (TLC) with a bunch of friends. It’s been an exciting time; I was super-passionate about making as big an impact on the world as I could, and so were the rest of the team. Averaging probably about 20-30 hours/week of a commitment on top of med school since then, it’s no doubt been a huge part of my life. The premise of TLC was simple: create social impact using a business model, combining the two as a social enterprise.

One thing I’ve learnt from the experience is not to try combine profit and impact in one organisation. The market is a wild beast with huge potential in terms of profits and growth, but it simply isn’t wired perfectly for social impact. And to stay alive in a capitalist economy over the long term, you’d better make sure your organisation is absolutely focussed on profits and growth. The organisation can still donate it’s future profits to a charity/foundation of its choosing later on though!

This reality that best exemplified this to me was comparing the founding CEOs of two high-growth education organisations, both of which I’m privileged to be friends with; Jamie Beaton (Crimson Consulting) and Jade Leung (TLC), who despite both being incredibly intelligent and ridiculously dedicated, are such polar opposites in the way they aim to impact the world. While Jade carries a large amount of social influence and admiration from those around her; Jamie, who is a year younger, has a current net worth of $40 million. My personal opinion is Jamie’s money could create more impact than what Jade’s amassed through her impact-first projects, and most importantly will likely grow at a faster rate (living in a capitalist economy) than Jade’s impact, in the end delivering far more impact over the long-term.

Crimson LogoToday, I’ve therefore made a change in direction, walking away from TLC, the organisation I co-founded, and instead joining Crimson Consulting, a personalised education company. One has to swallow a lot of pride to leave an organisation they’ve founded, especially when I can imagine being considered a traitor on TLC’s side. I’ve always had a passion for both organisations, and had attempted to unite the teams on both sides several times even from the start (where TLC would have been launched as a “Crimson Foundation”), although in the end things ended up not transpiring.

Mark Zuckerburg; the recent face of philanthrocapitalism
Mark Zuckerburg; the recent face of philanthrocapitalism

All in all, one thing is clear for me; I remain absolutely committed to maximising the impact I can have on the world, just as when I began this blog and began TLC. My method of getting there however has changed, with the aim to grow myself as far as I possibly can through business to later impact the world in as big a way as possible – Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg being prime examples of this philanthrocapitalism model to change the world.

So here comes a new start, contributing as much value in Education as I can through Crimson Consulting, with 5 school talks already lined-up. My mindset will be focussed on personal growth above all else while in my youth, to be able to maximise the impact I can have on society in the long term. With high-speed growth heavily embedded into the culture of Crimson, based on a business model that is admittedly legacies beyond what I had contributed to at TLC, I see a good alignment of values – it looks like it’ll be a fun ride!

Sidenote: This post ended up being far longer than I anticipated, but only because this is a  topic close to my heart that I could write so quickly about haha – expect shorter, more frequent posts in general though, and I’d encourage unsubscribing if you become sick of it 😛

5 thoughts on “A change in direction

  1. We’d never think of you as a traitor, Mark! We love you to bits and will hopefully still be able to make you proud of what you started here at TLC 🙂

    To be honest, I know I’ve personally had this conversation with Jade a while back as well – saying that I’d also much rather see her really think about whether she can make more impact by putting impact to the side for a bit, yet here I am at the head of an (arguably) impact-first org 😛

    Honestly really looking forward to seeing where you head and celebrating the impact you have, mate 🙂 <3

    • Thanks Simon man, that’s really heartening (and relieving) to hear! I still have a lot of respect for you and the team, and hope you all go far personally too – looking forward to see how things pan out over time!

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