What I learned from Andrew Hardwick (Founder at Hard Edge) and Joe Woodham (Founder at Torii Recruitment)

“I thought I knew something about business, and [then] went out and [learned that I] didn’t really know anything. [I] had no experience really. If you’re not exposing yourself to outside influences then you’re not growing, and you’re not learning.” – Andrew Hardwick

“There has to be some sort of plan that’s founded with a truth about the business, about yourself, that there is something that you have proof points against, [and] to have a brand value proposition that has meaning and substance behind it.” – Andrew Hardwick

“Having a story, knowing your why, is so very important not just from an external point of view but from an internal point of view. If you don’t personally engage and relate to what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, you’re probably not going to do very well.” – Andrew Hardwick

“The best way to find a solution to a problem is to ask people who have done it before.” – Joe Woodham

“When I started out, as weird as it sounds, I went straight to one of my competitors and I got their advice. As weird as that might seem to people, they were open with the information. I’ve always gone and spoken with my competitors, because as much as they are my competitors, they are my biggest allies as well.” – Joe Woodham

“When it comes to business sometimes you’re so focused on getting the job done you just expect people to follow you and it doesn’t happen that way.” – Andrew Hardwick

“The best way to engage people is to make them feel part of it. Let them have some autonomy. Let them make their mistakes. Let them have their input into our direction and where we’re going. I can categorically say everyone in our business has that ability to do that. And once they realise it, it’s funny the shift in their engagement in what we’re doing.” – Andrew Hardwick

“At the start I found a niche and I leveraged the shit out of it. I found what no one else was doing and tried to work with that because then I could use it as a branding strategy, a marketing strategy, and to bring in clients. I just find areas that are pain points for the customers that I want to work with, and I leverage them.” – Joe Woodham

With thanks to

Andrew Hardwick founded strategic creative agency Hard Edge in his home 12 years ago. Today the award-winning business works with Mercedes Benz, Telstra and the National Road Safety Partnership. Andrew explains how he overcame the challenges in those early days.

Joe Woodham is the founder of Torii Recruitment, specialising in finding the right team members for the IT sector. Joe describes the benefits of working alongside his competitors and how he consults them for advice.

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Question of the day

What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.