Our Story

Andrew tells the story behind The Bullshift Company:

I started my first business, Speaking With Confidence, in 1993 at age 18. I offered public speaking and debating skills in schools. I had no money, qualifications, contacts, teaching experience or equipment, not even a computer. I borrowed $500 from a mate to buy stationery and a second-hand suit and sent a letter to 25 schools. The first school to call was St. Mary’s AGS.

I was fortunate to get work with five of those 25 schools so I sent out a new letter to every school in the White Pages and called them all to follow up. Eventually, I had a debating program with a team of coaches and would go on to work with 60,000 students in 110 schools over the next 15 years in leadership, positive thinking and overcoming the Tall Poppy Syndrome.

My first gig as a Facilitator with adults was with the (then-named) Department of Minerals and Energy in 1995. I was 20. Soon after, I would also begin working on the Detective Training Program with WA Police and this would eventually lead to 20 years of working with cops from 40 countries.

I reconnected with an old high-school debating mate, Katrina Bercov, who had a business called Ovations Edu-tainment. We joined our two enterprises and offered corporate training, school leadership programs and Murder Mystery Nights. At the height of the business, we employed 20 people in four states.

In 1999, I went to Werzel’s Comedy Lounge for the first time and got hooked on stand-up. This had a profound impact because it greatly improved my professional speaking and facilitation skills, led to the creation of “Mick the Demotivational Speaker” and introduced me to Malcolm Dix.

I don’t know if I would’ve ended up MC’ing concerts for four of Australia’s state orchestras or succeeding as much as I have as a speaker and facilitator if not for so many years of learning the skills of comedy.

Katrina and I wrapped up Ovations in 2005. We’d had a lot of fun, did some wonderful work and learned an enormous amount but it was time for us each to move on.

I set off as Horabin Company. I recruited the wonderful Malcolm Dix to write and perform as “Mick the Demotivational Speaker” because the lovable bogan was getting more gigs than I could handle.

Malcolm left his job as a Youth Worker and started his own enterprise full-time as a corporate comedian, MC and facilitator. Between us, we’ve performed “Mick” hundreds of times all over the country and in New Zealand and Chile. Malcolm also developed his Corporate Hoax characters – a specialised form of comedy very few comedians can pull off.

In 2006, I performed with Xavier Michelides and Claire Hooper at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. I then toured a one-man version of my comedy musical What A Man’s Gotta Do to 12 WA towns (supported by Country Arts WA and produced by Gary Williams). Later that year, I directed a full-cast version of the musical and recorded a soundtrack with nearly 50 musicians and singers. I also met a hot chick named Janet Foreman. It was a big year.

In 2008, Janet and I married and moved to Melbourne. For 15 years, I had been working in schools, big companies, small businesses, government departments on all levels, NGO’s and professional associations and one thing struck me everywhere I went – people would say “There’s too much bullshit in the workplace. Why is it so hard to be honest? Why is it so hard to give and receive feedback?” On holiday in Port Fairy, I was hit by the idea for the book and in four days I wrote Bullshift.

In 2009, our first daughter was born. In 2011, after three great years of mostly working in the eastern states and presenting on eight different courses for the Australian Federal Police, we moved to Fremantle.

In 2012, our second daughter was born. I then took the solo version of What A Man’s Gotta Do on a national tour of 46 towns in five states. It was a tough year.

In 2013, deeply affected by a negative experience a friend had in a professional association, I created a group I called Open Circle – for sharing, networking, inspiration and support of professional speakers, facilitators and comedians.

In 2014, a bloke named Bill Withers – who had founded a company named acQuire and engaged me to work with them – told me about a new company he was starting called ADAPT By Design. He would be working in the field of Total Systems Succession and providing technology and services to privately-owned companies to enable conscious leadership and sustainability. I soon found myself training to be an ADAPT Practitioner.

Understanding Total Systems Succession greatly inspired me and also showed me all the pieces of the puzzle I’d been missing in my years of business. It started working its magic on Horabin Company.

In 2014, a member of Open Circle named Franca Sala Tenna asked if she could bring along her friend – Rabia Siddique.

In addition to becoming friends with Rabia and enjoying an exciting professional association, she would introduce me to her friend Patricia Scaturro who would become my Business Manager at the beginning of 2015.

Malcolm Dix and I – now with a decade of working together – increasingly found connections in our personal and professional journeys and I asked him if he’d consider merging businesses.

A long-time client named Darren Lee from Market Creations dropped me a line that he’d expanded his business and would now have an office in Perth. I asked his company to overhaul my marketing. In the process, I found myself integrating:

  • What I was learning from ADAPT By Design
  • What I had noticed from 22 years of business and particularly the last 7 years of presenting Bullshift to such a vast range of clients
  • The ways in which Malcolm and I were aligned but also different and complementary
  • What might be possible with Patricia as Business Manager
  • Now “Horabin Company” was way too narrow and ego-centric and I needed a new name for the expansive new vision we shared

Thus, we have The Bullshift Company and this site in front of you.

Obviously, I’ve left most of it out but it’s already long enough and you just need the gist, right?

In The Bullshift Company, you’re looking at nearly 40 years combined experience presenting, facilitating and performing combined with 40 years of project and financial management. As we utilize the ADAPT Method to apply Total Systems Succession in the company, we reckon we have a bright present.

Would you like to work with us? andrew@bullshift.com

Click here to find out What We Do.

Click here to read more about Malcolm Dix

Click here to read about Our Purpose and Values.