Corporate executive to TIV building course student

Blogger Aaron Lord chats with Conrad Morgan, a high flying corporate executive who’s changed careers to soon become a certified carpenter with TIV’s Building Courses.

From a booming business to a Carpentry classroom, Conrad Morgan didn’t need to make a change. Having created the life most of us only dream of, he is now a proud TIV student. What was unthinkable to most, was completely necessary to Conrad. Breaking all precedent of comfort, lifestyle and financial security he talks openly to Aaron Lord about his incredible journey.

It’s rare to meet people who exceed your expectations. Conrad Morgan is indeed one of those people. That’s not to say I didn’t have a high opinion of him before, on the contrary it’s more a refreshing confirmation of the character and humility of the man himself.

Understated yet confident, reserved but calculated, humble yet ambitious, Conrad Morgan has this thing we call life figured out better than most. Happily married with two beautiful children and the former owner of two McDonalds restaurants, it’s fair to say with absolute confidence that Conrad Morgan just knows how to get it done.

But don’t be fooled by his relaxed, placid nature and softly spoken words, for behind the friendly, approachable exterior is an extremely driven man who has the intelligence and skill-set that most of us don’t have the luxury of possessing, let alone understanding.

With success comes pressure however, and you don’t build thriving businesses without extreme stress and enormous commitment, both physically and emotionally to the job. After 25 years of such a high octane professional lifestyle, there was a definitive moment in Conrad’s life that was the catalyst for a significant change of direction, and that has led him to where he is today.

“It was during a trip to Bali with my family,” he recalls fondly.

“Beautiful sunset with my wife, nice glass of wine – it was at that moment we decided there was more to life than what we’d been doing for the last 25 years,” he adds.

Throwing caution to the wind and the rule book out the window, Conrad made a decision that would change his life dramatically. Living in Perth at the time, he made the call to leave his flourishing businesses behind and move back to Melbourne to pursue his underlying passion to become a builder.

“It was certainly a big challenge mentally,” he concedes.

“It definitely wasn’t a split second decision, and probably took three years to finally take the plunge.”

That ‘plunge’ was the contrary view of practically everyone around Conrad at the time, including his trusted accountant, who was predictably unequivocal in his advice.

“My accountant simply said ‘I wouldn’t do it – I wouldn’t get out’, says Conrad.

“He gave me my projected financial earnings and reminded me that I had everything I wanted in terms of lifestyle and family, but it was still a decision I felt I needed to and wanted to make,” he adds defiantly.

Conrad is now firmly entrenched in the Certificate III Carpentry program at TIV. Due to complete the course next month, he is an exemplary student and despite his high end of town professional past, still incredibly grounded.

“The course has been extremely fulfilling,” Conrad says.

“TIV, in comparison to other training institutes is industry specific, and goes above and beyond in terms of the autonomy it gives its students on projects like the new training facility in West Footscray.”

Under the guidance of TIV trainer Sean Clinch, Conrad is now well on track to be trade qualified by the end of September, and as sure as the day is long, he is already planning for what comes next.

“I want to be a qualified builder by the age of 50, which gives me four years to gain the necessary skills and experience,” says the 46-year old with assurance.

It would be a foolish man to doubt Conrad Morgan’s ability to get results, and the more I learn of him the more brilliant he becomes. His vision, planning and methods of delivery are text book. He is a brilliant mind – a genius in my view.

Predictably, Conrad has already secured work with a local builder, and is hopeful the initial trial period will translate into full time work upon completion of the course. How he secured the role is in itself a work of art.

“I was asked by TIV to do a promotional video for the launch of their new training facility,” he says.

“I had a local builder in mind (to approach for work) so I asked TIV for a copy of the video.”

“Because my background is not a traditional path in this industry, I need to approach certain things from a slightly different angle,” he continues.

“I’m always thinking about what my point of difference is, how I’ll be remembered, what sets me apart from everyone else,” he adds methodically.

They are calculated words from a brilliant thinker, and it comes as no surprise that his plan in this exercise was successful.

“I attached the promotional video to a personal email I wrote to the builder and it worked a treat,” he says victoriously.

“I’m now working two days a week while I finish my training and we (he and the builder) have a verbal understanding that if we continue to work well professionally he’ll take me on full time at the end of the course.”

While it was probably nothing more than a simple exercise to Conrad, it is this foresight, meticulous approach and methodical determination that sets him apart from anyone I have ever met.

In football terms, if a brilliant player makes the game look easy, then in the real world Conrad Morgan makes life look a piece of cake.

What is most impressive to me about Conrad is unbelievably hard to judge – he has so many attributes and qualities that form an impressive platform for him to take off in his future career in the building and construction industry.

Importantly, he is just a damn fine human being and is quick to praise those who have assisted him along the way, in particular his trainer and mentor Sean Clinch.

“Sean has been fantastic and I’ve developed a real friendship with him also,” Conrad says.

“He is able to explain the theory to a practical point of understanding, and lets you grow through trial and error.”

So where does a man with such professional credentials place his upcoming Carpentry qualification?

“I have a Master’s degree in Business (that I completed while working full-time and fathering two kids) framed in my office,” he says proudly.

“I consider this Carpentry course at TIV just as prestigious as my Master’s degree – I’m really proud of it.”

We are proud of you too mate.

Author: Aaron Lord

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