Man On The Street – Tim Gillespie

Age: 39
Occupation: Chief Operating Officer, Auckland Racing Club  
What are the top three things on your bucket list?

A visit to the Arctic Circle to see a polar bear in its natural environment, own or breed a Group 1 winner and watch the US Open Final at Flushing Meadows in New York.

What advice would you give your 20 year-old self?

Travel the world and get up to as much mischief as you can before it’s time to settle down.

How do you stay motivated?

I guess by always trying to make sure I’m enjoying what I’m doing – if things start to feel a bit stale, then I know it’s time for a change.

If you didn’t need money, what would you do?

I’ve always said I’d like to be a high school maths and accounting teacher, or tennis coach. So either one or both of those, probably both as unfairly, neither profession is known for its decent pay scale!

What is the worst mistake you’ve made and how did you fix it?

I’ve made plenty of mistakes but will never forget causing some damage while driving a forklift when I shouldn’t have been – took me a while before I was allowed back on the forklift.

What is your advice for people to fund their dream?

Have a clear business plan and talk to as many experts as possible to get their perspective on all angles of your idea. The New Zealand investment community is very supportive of well thought out and worked through ideas.

What is the best bit of advice, or quote, that resonates with you?

My high school (Palmerston North Boys’ High School) motto was “nihil boni sine labore” which translates to “nothing achieved without hard work”.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

At the moment it’s definitely Azabu in Ponsonby. Their beef tostada is a winner.

How do you keep up to date with current affairs?

I have a good WhatsApp feed with a few different groups of people which always seems to be pinging with jokes and cynical observations of the news of the day. I still love to read the newspaper especially the weekend papers.