Born and bred in Nelson, 42 year old Day is the youngest of five from your average Kiwi family. The father of two dubs himself the family black sheep because he’s never had a “real” job. He did a nine-year stint at Victoria University, ending with a BA, law degree and a Masters in Business Administration. “I used to be a lawyer but I’m alright now,” Day quips. In fact, he has never worked as a lawyer, preferring instead to indulge his entrepreneurial bent.
Entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation in business have all played a part in the success of Bill’s highly specialised maritime service business - Seaworks. He is a typical entrepreneur – visionary, motivational, goal driven, risk taking and has a past littered with business failures. In his spare time he’s a treasure hunter, involved in three expeditions to recover gold from the wreck of the General Grant in the sub Antarctic Auckland Islands. Bill credits his business success to four main factors – strong teams, strong leadership, vision and risk. Doubtless his degrees in Business, Law and The Arts and his numerous other professional qualifications have been a contributing factor.
Seaworks has over doubled in size. Work has ranged from acting as a marine consultant for Stephen Spielberg movies to providing support vessels on oil exploration projects. They landed a multi-million dollar cable-laying contract for Telstra Saturn. In October 2000, Bill Day won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He won the award because of the success of his company, but what tipped it for the judges is his passion and bubbling enthusiasm for the task of being in business.
Bill Day’s recipe for what makes an Entrepreneur:-
· Don’t see obstacles.
· Live in the future; forget past failures easily.
· Don’t go into it for the money (Well, at least not until after the first million)
· Plough profits back into the company; be willing to take a long term view on financial reward.
· Be a good motivator; transfer your enthusiasm to persuade others such as bankers and clients to come on board.
· Take risks: risk taking is inherent in the nature of entrepreneurs.