A business born out of my passion for cycling
I explored the caverns of the Cycling Wear world— testing out different brands from all over the world.
That’s when I realised there’s a huge gap in the cycling wear market.
Many cycling teams wanted custom wear that was not only high-quality but could also represent them… But the existing brands back then couldn’t provide that.
This gave birth to a new business idea which allowed me to create my first business - Seight Custom Cycling Wear.
Within 18 months, I was running a $300,000 business from my kitchen table while still tinkering away at engineering. I wasn’t even 30, and all the success made me arrogant.
How my marriage and business came crashing down at the same time…
When I left my job as an engineer, I suddenly had to rely on my small business for financial support at a time when the Australian dollar had just plummeted…
This wiped out almost ALL of my profit margins as the prices of raw materials went up by 30% overnight.
Since I was so arrogant at that time, I didn’t rely on any mentors for guidance and I had to pay dearly for my poor business decisions.
I did things on impulse instead of practicality, such as spending $20,000 on a website rebrand that didn’t lead to any R.O.I.
Over time, things started to snowball for the worse and this fizzled into a $200,000 debt.
Right at this time, my wife announced that she was leaving our marriage, in part due to the time and money that my venture had cost us.
I remember her slamming the door and leaving.
She didn’t even give me a chance to say goodbye…
Every night I’d come home, but I was never REALLY there.
I wasn’t present.
I wasn’t showing up as the husband that she needed me to be.
This was when I hit rock bottom in my life - It was a good wake-up call for me…
I had 2 paths to choose from - Give up or rebuild
Shortly after, I decided to reflect on my life and spent more time on my hobbies as an escape mechanism.
I jumped on my bike with the aim of clearing my mental fog.
As I rode, I could see two different cycling routes emerge. I realised this was my fork in the road and the option I chose would decide my future: I could either quit and return to work for someone else, or recalibrate and make my business a success.
I chose the latter.
My situation began to change when I realised that the world owed me nothing, and I owed myself everything to rebuild my business from scratch.
How I went from $200,000 in debt to exiting my business for a 6 figure profit
This time, I focused on ONLY the few things that made a difference, and stopped wasting my time on everything else.
I created automated processes my team could use while I wasn’t around.
Instead of relying on me all the time, they now had reliable systems to depend on.
And slowly but surely, I got more and more of my time back.
It took 18 months to build my cycling wear business back up again, and eventually, I sold the business for a 6 figure profit - And this time, without all the arrogance.
What started out as mates riding bikes transitioned into a cycling clothing company that supplied multiple national champions in road, cyclocross, on the track and even a World Champion.
We made social impacts by supporting charities like Ride to Conquer Cancer, which fit within the business’ new values.
Making the decision to sell my business was long and difficult, but ultimately it was the right time to exit the business.
So, once again, I was at a crossroads. What was I going to do next?
Book your Private Coaching Gameplan Session
The Transition to Business Coaching and Building Evolve to Grow
I met Erin, my second partner, in 2016. I didn’t know what was next in my business, but on one of our holidays, she challenged me to consider what I really loved doing.
I enjoy helping people and rising to a challenge.
That’s when my partner gave me a light-bulb moment:
“Tristan, why don’t you use your existing expertise and skills to guide other business owners who are currently struggling with the same problems you faced in your previous business?
I’m sure you can help them out somehow!”
That’s when the idea of becoming a business coach to serve other entrepreneurs occurred to me.
Through research, I learned that there was a glut of business coaches out there, but not many with the lived experience that I had.
You’ll either see a more senior business coach, who while offering a level of expertise is often hampered by limited ability to adapt to the digital age.
Alternatively, you have the young bucks with no real business experience—just a flimsy life coaching ‘certificate’ and some successful social media accounts.
I began Evolve to Grow in 2017 with a clear intent to do better.
We help business owners like you to remove themselves as the bottleneck in their businesses.
We want to show you it’s possible to double your profits, unlock more freedom & family time, while finishing work by 2pm every day.
My team and I act as your Sherpa as we scale your business mountain together.