From the military and corporate security, to business development and now software, Paul New’s career path has not been linear. The CEO of FM Innovations speaks of creativity, culture and not being afraid to take necessary risks for success.
At FM Innovations we like to think of the trajectory, we’re on as somewhat of a ‘software journey.’ The software landscape is always changing and if you aren’t amenable to that change then you will inevitably get left behind, and getting left behind certainly isn’t on the cards at FMi. I love being a part of a team that embraces the tech revolution rather than shies away from it.
I don’t like to be stifled. Many consider the business world to be barren of creativity or imagination, yet I have found it can be quite the opposite, so I decided not to settle for the corporate wasteland. I wanted to work in an environment where thinking outside the box was encouraged, not frowned upon.
What’s been your proudest moment in business?
My proudest moment in my business life thus far has been taking the risk of leaving the conventional corporate world and starting a new phase where I’ve been focusing on endeavours that resonate most strongly with me, specifically in the spheres of innovation and tech.
What mistake have you learned most from?
I don’t like to think of the choices I’ve made as mistakes, rather I like to think of them as learning experiences. However, hindsight is a wonderful thing and in retrosepect maybe I should have anticiapted some of the rigidities of the corporate world.
What would you say is the recipe for success in your sector?
Just like a good Pavlova – success is in the subtleties. I tend to favour a more improvised method as I believe the ability to think fast in business is invaluable.
What have you learned about yourself?
I’ve come to realise that adaptability in business is essential and that without this willingness to accept change I would not have been as successful. I’ve also learned that you can’t let fear impede you when it comes to taking risks.
What has been your biggest sacrifice in business?
Sacrifes lead to opportunities so I always associate my biggest sacrifices with my biggest successes. So in sacrificing the security and privileges that a role at a publicly listed company provided, I had my biggest success of all - taking up the position of CEO at FMi.
Given what you know now, what would you do differently?
Nothing. All roads lead to Rome, but obviously not without hard work.
Who would you most like to employ in your business – famous or otherwise?
Bill Gates. And my reasoning can be summed up in one word – Microsoft.
Best piece of advice to other business owners?
Culture is key. A working environment lacking positivity and enthusiasm dulls productivity, much to the detriment of business success.