ANDREW DEWEZ: FORMULATING THE LINK BETWEEN SCIENCE, IMAGINATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
One of the main objectives of mentorship is the implementation of the ‘See One, Do One, Teach One’ attitude: those who are mentored later pass on the craft to someone else. We recently met with Stephen Chapman, shine+ CEO who spoke of the value in mentorship after learning under serial entrepreneur Dr. Sam Prince. Now, meet the young man Stephen has passed his wisdom on to.
Chief Operations Officer Andrew Dewez was fresh from completing a degree in science at University of Sydney and was dreaming of joining the medical profession. Alongside this dream, however, was a drive much stronger.
Andrew wanted to dive head-first into the wild and exciting world of entrepreneurship. The appeal was the collision of creativity and problem solving. “The notion that if you have the confidence to create something that no one’s ever seen before, to bring it to life, is so appealing,” he said.
“As for problem solving,” Andrew continued, “there’s a quote that I love from Marcus Aurelius. ‘The impediment to action advances action, what stands in the way becomes the way.’ All throughout your schooling, for the majority, you’re taught to memorise and generalise and regurgitate. It becomes so monotonous and boring. I think it was a push back and just there to problem solve, see an issue and think what can you do strategically about it,” he said.
Andrew had an idea for a platform that he would later call Yoonify Health. Its concept was to bring health professionals and people that are suffering from various diseases together. Yoonify would then educate them and facilitate positive change through the spread of knowledge. “[We would be] connecting people with diseases such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and other preventable diseases, with exercise physiologists, as well as dietitians and psychologists, and then [centralise] this onto one platform,” he explained.
Working on this project opened Andrew’s mind to a different way of thinking about these illnesses. “One of the biggest problems underpinning preventable diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, is something I actually learnt from Karn Ghosh, the CEO of HIT100. He told me that this isn’t a health issue. This is a social justice issue, and why it’s a social justice issue is the fact that those kids don’t choose what goes into their mouths until they’re 12 or 13. So, if their parents are feeding them terribly high sugar, caloric, [and] low nutrient foods, then they are so much more prone to obesity and type 2 diabetes.”
Andrew joined shine+ after seeking advice from Stephen about his business plan. To explain how their first meeting went, he shared a rollercoaster of a story:
“I was supposed to meet him at The Hills Eatery, which, according to Apple Maps, was near Bondi Icebergs. When I got there, I couldn’t see it. I didn’t want to be late, so I called Steve. Turns out, it was on the other side of Bondi,” Andrew recalled.
“So I sprint to Hills Eatery. I get there roughly five minutes late. I’m profusely sweating. I’m panting like a dog. He asked me to launch straight into it, and I’m trying to pitch this idea whist, I actually can’t breath because I’ve been running. I could feel the sweat too. On that front, it didn’t start off well for me. But I still remember quite profoundly that I learnt the most about entrepreneurship within that hour than I had done prior to doing Yoonify.”
Despite this encounter, Stephen and Andrew later became quite close friends. Andrew was later asked to help with shine+’s development on a full-time basis, initially as an operations manager. In this role, he was able to oversee most of the areas in the business that embody the qualities of entrepreneurship as a whole.
“Entrepreneurship is so multifaceted,” he said. “We are doing an idealistic program on how to teach entrepreneurship, and the idealistic part is that we believe entrepreneurship can be taught to anyone who [is] willing to learn. So what have I learnt about entrepreneurship? That anyone can do it.”
Read more on the journey of Stephen Chapman, Australia’s 25 Entrepreneurs under 25
Read more on entrepreneurship from the mentor of Andrew’s mentor: Dr. Sam Prince
Andrew’s love for science, however, was never completely tossed out the window. He was able to bring this knowledge into shine+ to help with the problem solving aspect of the job.
He owes a lot of the lessons he has learnt to Stephen. He lists some of Stephen’s personal qualities that make him such a great mentor, including his wisdom, his skills in applying knowledge to various aspects of his life and career, understanding how to create the best version of someone, and his ability to control his emotions.
“Controlling your emotions is one of the best things you can learn to do, because you often make bad decisions when your emotion takes over,” Andrew said. “Seth Godin talks about ‘Lizard Brain.’ When Lizard Brain happens, you can do all the research, and you can see what happens. Your brain literally gets hijacked by the amygdala. You [can] no longer use your pre-frontal cortex to make effective decisions. So, the skills to regulate and calibrate and control those emotions are extremely powerful.”
Want to stay cool under pressure? Read more on tips to maintain focus
Andrew strongly believes in the development of shine+ as a global brand. He says the functional aspects of shine+ aid its ability to help the drinker achieve their very best through their own abilities.
“It gives someone the confidence to walk into a meeting and be their best version. Have the confidence to walk out on the sporting field, and do the best that they possibly can. It’s not about a silver bullet, magical pill that you can take that allows you to increase your IQ. It’s about performing in those big moments and giving you that extra edge to be [your] best version,”
See for yourself by giving shine+ a try to help you ace your next test, or dominate an upcoming business meeting. Get your shine+ fix here.
INTERVIEW BY JESSICA TESTA