Charlie Gunningham

I was walking down a beach with Lisa, my wife, in the Easter holidays, 1999. I’d been quite quiet for a few minutes, so I guess she knew something might be up.

“I want to do something else,” I told her. “Teaching is great, but I feel I should try something else before it is too late to try something else.”

This was before we had children of our own. It would surely be harder to shift careers when we had a mortgage, and a couple of children, in a few years’ time. We were in our late 20s/early 30s, so if things did not go well, there was still time to recover. I didn’t want to get ‘stuck’, cynical before my time.

“It’s not like teaching is going away,” I said, “If everything goes wrong, I’ll go back to teaching and at least I’d had a go.”

Lisa, of course, was wonderfully supportive. So, within a few months, I had resigned my safe teaching post at one of Perth’s top private schools, and launched myself head first into establishing an online real estate business (aussiehome.com), one of the many ‘dotcoms’ that were created around the turn of the century. Many of them did not last very long.

Somehow, we made it through. 10 years in fact. We were bought out by a much larger group, and all my staff earned full time jobs at the new organisation. I got to run a major real estate website (reiwa.com). After 3 years I took a job at Business News, where I am now CEO. We are working hard to transform the business digitally, and so far the results are very encouraging: subscriptions are renewing at highest levels on record, traffic has grown five-fold (even though we’re behind a pay wall), digital revenues are growing and we’re winning multiple awards and acclaim for our digital products.

Along the way, I’ve learned much about digital, transforming businesses, strategy and leadership. I am still learning. The posts on this, my personal blog, are my own thoughts, and not supposed to represent that of my employer.

I hope you enjoy them…

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2 thoughts on “Charlie Gunningham

  1. Charlie.

    We met on Jan 22 at a Spacecube event in Perth. I will like to seek your help with some guidance on a decision I am about to make and will appreciate if you will send me your contact details by email so that I may call you and book an appointment with you.

    I am average technologically savy and want to get a start-up business up and running. However, I need some guidance on how to manage and avoid some technological pit falls.

  2. Hey Charlie,

    Met you at a MeetUp last year where you spoke very well about the journey of AussieHome.com. I’ve had my own journey over the last year transitioning from Director of a successful Perth based company to move to Melbourne, have a bub with my wife and build technology that could have some applications in Real Estate.

    I’d like to get in touch to tell you our story and see if anything we have done can be useful in your past and present roles.

    Cheers
    Liam

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