|Jon Yaakov Gorr, principal of Elephant Concepts
I want to tell you about how huge 2007 and 2008 were. How huge 2009 is shaping up to be.
In 2007, I wrote a manual on grey-water re-use for a green plumbing company, a franchising manual for a herbal distribution network, web-site content for businesses as diverse as toilet hire, restaurant guides, immigration to Australia and building companies. I researched the facts for litigation over alleged failure of a major installation of elevators, set up a global carbon credit exchange for forestry companies, advised on the drafts of an investment newsletter, and developed a sustainable packaging range made out of waste from the processing of silk and coconuts. Finally, I project-managed the fit-out of the new warehouse for our textile business: Our unique and stylish warehouse features low-wattage lights, re-used and re-cycled shop fittings, simple waste reduction technologies and 100% recycling of paper and packaging. In any spare time I had, I worked with my wife maintaining our 7 acre organic farm outside Warrnambool.
In 2008 I've developed the "7 eucalyptus leaf" sustainable garment grading label in concert with other eco-textile businesses; advised a Brazilian carbon-credit organisation, translated a website on life insurance from German to English, written business plans for Welsh social workers and Australian garment manufacturers, developed policies for a Danish software development firm, prepared a bail-out plan for a fashion festival and a corporate structure for an international soccer media firm, all whilst building the Beautiful Silks, Trade Carbon Direct and Elephant Concepts brands. I've written health and safety plans, business plans, investment guides and even a tour guide; the work done in India, in October 2008, housing and training poor unemployed rural women deserves not just a page but a book of its own (in my spare time, I'm writing one!).
In 2001, I was a hard-arsed city-dweller who could not tell a heron from a bowl of goldfish, nor a pair of fencing pliers from a bunch of carrots. I’d been a lawyer for 10 years, written a heap of conference papers, and active in the environmental movement for over 25 years. I was just about to submit my 100 000 word Ph.D. thesis.
Then my wife and I moved to the country, and turned our words into actions. We turned a bare block into an organic vegetable garden with three recycled houses on it. We neutralised our carbon footprints by planting over 3500 trees. Ours is the first commercial premises in Victoria to have composting toilets and grey-water systems in place. We re-use 100% of our water and source all of our firewood from on-site plantings.
At the same time, we built an environmentally aware importing business - we import natural fibres, and undyed garments of natural fibre. We’ve now relocated this business in Melbourne, and divide our time between city and country. In this business my duties range from website design to database administration, business planning to company secretarial duties and foreign currency trading to contract administration. I've developed the Beautiful Silks Business Mentoring Program for young designers and artists. I've developed a separate business consultancy on the side.
Until our move to the city in mid 2007, I directed a program for hosting young Israelis on Australian farms at the conclusion of their compulsory army service. I was also company secretary of a stage building company based in Melbourne’s inner north, and company secretary of a major software company with 30 employees nationwide.
Download my resume.
Download work samples: economic research.
Download work samples: franchising.
IBetween 2008 and 2013 my wife and I built the southern hemisphere's largest specialty silk importing business at our Melbourne warehouse before returning to Warrnambool in 2014. Now, in 2014 in Warrnambool, my wife and I sell natural products, and we sell them in natural or recyclable packaging. We are moving to packing in silk, paper, calico or cotton and have achieved our aim of being 90% new-plastic-free (apart from post-office products) by weight of new materials used. We were the first in the industry to move to using post-industrial plastic waste for large items. Our fabric bags are now for sale to the general public.
Our vehicles are fueled with alternative fuels (and some are bicycles - look for our cute bicycle trailers and electric motorised delivery bikes). Even our mobile phones are fuelled by green-power, of the wind-up dynamo kind.
I have also b uilt Australia's premier private law tutoring business and had three legal textbooks published by the international publisher Smokeball.
Now I have practical proof of a different kind of my thesis: our land, and our businesses, have been built on the conceptual analysis tools I developed whilst researching my Ph.D. I put a few simple ideas together laterally, seven years of effort, and... there they are. That's why I was so proud that instead of having a regular university award me my degree, it was awarded by the training division of Vikasana Institute, the organisation which actually used the work and thinking in my thesis.
My clients would say to me that there’s so much to learn that you can’t conveniently get out of a book…. Stuff that isn’t written down in one place and in some cases anywhere. And they’d pay me to find it, analyse it, and then write it down concisely.
Using the research skills I honed whilst writing my thesis, I was able to turn away from fighting court battles and concentrate on fast, accurate pieces of complex research and analysis, especially where lateral solutions are sought. Sometimes it means being able to fit square plugs into round holes. Sometimes it means being able to write a concise description of what you see and make recommendations so that it will fit into a round hole; so businesses are tweaked a bit so that their practices fit into the sort of framework upon which a franchise system can be built.
Performance guarantee: I don't take on more work than I can handle. Your work will be done within one hour per day tolerance of stated time-frame or I'll cut my fee in half.
Casual rate $160 per hour or $1100 per 8 hour day.
"Standby work" at 30% off casual rate.
Beautiful Silks House, 101 Victoria St, Fitzroy Victoria 3065 -
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