Garret Norris| Founder of HBB Group
Success leaves clues.
Finance Strategists sat down with Garret Thomas Norris, CEO of HBB Group. He shared his perspective on the company, as well as insight he gained while running the business.
Who is Garret Norris?
Q: Who are you and what’s your background?
I am the CEO of the HBB Group which owns the KONA Group, The Healthy Business Builder Group, Business Coaches Sydney, and Sparkle Training.
With over 30 years of experience and outstanding results in sales and sales management I am a highly in-demand trainer and coach to some of the largest organisations including Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Austral Bricks, Caesarstone, and American Express (AMEX) to name a few.
Since residing in Australia, I’ve transformed the performance of many key organisations. I’ve been instrumental in securing contracts with some of the largest Australian companies including Westpac, Veolia, University of Wollongong, Telstra, IBM, Sony and Paramount Pictures.
In addition to consulting to the ‘top end of town’ I have also assisted a number of small to medium size companies to restructure the internal and external communication of their sales and marketing departments and go-to-market strategies to drive results.
I am dedicated to training based on real-life business experience with the passion to see businesses succeed through disciplined management, creative marketing and committed client service.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and why did they have such a significant effect on you?
This is a hard question as I have learned something from everyone I have met. However, when I met BONO from U2 I was a young man and “star struck.” I was a waiter in a hotel doing my management training. I remember thinking that, if I were ever that famous and rich, I hope I would be as gracious and have his humility.
The same thought came to me when meeting Richard Branson but for quite different reasons.
While we all recognise famous people, it is the ones that may not be in the public eye or famous that leave the biggest marks. Sarah El-Moselhi (My EA, an accomplished journalist, and an amazing mother of 4 beautiful children). Glenn Dobson (24 Iron men, broke the record for the oldest gage fighter, my business partner, and a great father and husband).
I could go on but it is the everyday interactions that make the most impressions.
Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you have told yourself when you were in your twenties?
Every interaction is special. Try to have a belly laugh every day, take yourself out of your comfort zone, and find that perceived hard times are really times for growth.
Q: What is HBB Group?
The HBB Group consists of four unique brands, creating a world class tailored expert business growth solutions company.
Clients receive advice and training they need under one professional holistic group, allowing each client access to a rich portfolio of business products and best practice business services. It also means our clients have even more access to specialists with a wider range of industry specific experienced teams.
The Group also offers a comprehensive range of management and specialty business training, Australia-wide and internationally, to large corporations but also the SME market by drawing on the combined global experience of the HBB Group.
Our commitment to leadership aims to ensure our people feel valued and it is underpinned by our belief in the importance of wellbeing. These foundations inspire us to take action to improve businesses, its people, and drive business reform towards a more prosperous and sustainable society.
Q: What makes your company different from its competitors?
We are specialists in our chosen field. We have all walked in our clients’ shoes, experienced the highs and lows of business and we are passionate about making a difference.
We are a great business that is extremely passionate and we demonstrate REAL results for our clients.
Q: What led you to start HBB Group?
I was and am dyslexic and as a result I was put into the special needs classes at school, because, back then in Ireland, all they knew was that I could not read. At 15 I left school and home and moved to Dublin to pursue a career in catering. Fending for myself and living on 45 Punts per week (of which 20 went to rent) I managed to save enough for a plane ticket to London over 3.5 years while completing my hotel management training when I was 19.
Arriving in London with nowhere to stay I spent some time on the streets in Hammersmith. I bought a suit from the Salvo’s and approached the Centre West Hotel in Hammersmith and almost begged them for a job. Promising to work hard for a small wage if it came with accommodation, they hired me and this was the start of my career.
Much later I resigned as a Sales Director for ComputerLand UK to take a role at MTC. Again, this was a massive risk as I was a very successful young sales professional. Within 3 years the business grew to one of the largest of its type in London.
More recently, I decided to leave the corporate world working for someone else to start a company called Healthy Business Builder as I saw a need for a consultancy business driven by practitioners and not academics. However, going from a large corporate salary to zero was not without its risks. The business struggled in its first year and I considered moving back to working for a corporation again as I had a large mortgage living in Narrabeen on the northern beaches of Sydney. Rather than doing this, I “rolled the dice” again… with very hard work, and not relying on “hope,” the business really took off and we are now one of the largest in Australia at what we do, and making a huge impact globally as well.
Q: What has the experience of building the business taught you?
My business strapline is “hope is not a strategy” this is evidenced by the fact that I always have a strategy and I take action. There are many examples of both failed and successful experiences that I could give. Certainly I have made my fair share of mistakes. So, when I look at the feelings associated with the small successes I have enjoyed I can only say the feeling I have is humbled to be given the opportunity.
- Hope is NOT a strategy
- Emotion for home and passion for business
- Integrity is the only thing you truly own
Q: Where do you see things headed for you in the next 5 years?
I trust the universe, but we still have a vision and set targets, expect great things, and plan for the inevitable “bumps” in the road.
About HBB Group
The combination of Healthy Business Builder and The KONA Group in 2018 creates a world class tailored expert business growth solutions company. Clients can be assured they can continue to get advice and training they need under one professional holistic group. Through cementing the KONA and HBB partnerships, clients have access to a rich portfolio of business products and best practice business services. Learn more at https://www.hbbausgroup.com.au/.