508. Turning His Obsessions into Professions
Julian could not stay interested in school, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t willing to learn. When he got out of school, without prodding from anyone, he took himself to the library and began a lifelong commitment to self-education in the fields he was most interested in. Along the way he has had, and continues to have, highly interesting careers.
Julian Mather was not at school the day they taught conventional career planning. A chronic truant, he educated himself and read between the lines to find the secrets to turning his obsession into his profession. From high school failure to Army sniper to globe-trotting TV cameraman to kids’ magician and entertainer to online entrepreneur, he really hasn’t felt he has worked a day in his life. And at 55 he says he’s just beginning to hit his straps.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“I did really well at school—if you don’t count learning! I had a terrible time in school and had to repeat my final year. So, I took myself out of the system and took myself to the State Library, where I began my lifelong commitment to self-educating. I knew that I wanted to be a photojournalist, so I got every book on photography that I could. I pored over the pages, and I looked at all the grainy black and white photos. I read between the lines and it taught me a couple of things. One was that if I wanted to be a photojournalist I’d have to have a camera in my hand at all times. The other was that I had to go where the action was, and it wasn’t happening in my hometown of Brisbane, Australia!”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I got out of the army after three years and started to hunt for any photography jobs I could find. I ended up printing photos in photo labs. But then an opportunity came up to do a training internship with ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC focuses more on documentaries, which is what I wanted. I got into a ‘trainingship’ for three years and, Bang!, I was doing what I wanted to do. They essentially gave me money in one hand and a plane ticket in the other, and said, ‘Go and document people’s stories.’” And he did. For 25 year.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“If opportunity comes, just grab it! So many successful people are just ordinary people who are willing to do things that other people are not ready to do. We let so many opportunities pass because we do not think we are qualified for it, or for many other reasons. If you do not grab it, someone much less qualified than you will grab it!”
Steps to Success from Julian Mather
1. Learn everything you can about the interests that drive you. There are plenty of resources out there, many of them free.
2. Just keep going, and if there’s something you don’t know, find someone who can tell you.
3. When opportunity comes, grab it!
Connecting With Julian Mather
A free 10-part video course to introduce over-50-year-olds to podcasting. It promotes setting up a podcast and how to record your family history as a way to master the techniques required and do something wonderful for your family at the same time. Available at near the bottom of the home page on Julian’s website.
Subscribe to the Podcast Free: