Mumbrella360: ‘I get a lot of these articles that say I’m self made. It’s bullsh*t’ – StudioHawk founder discusses life-changing encounters

Harry Sanders’ literal rags to riches tale from being a homeless youth to the founder and director of a multimillion dollar SEO company is well documented, but when reflecting on his path to success at Mumbrella360, Sanders spotlighted three individuals whose support became turning points for his professional career.

After recounting his tumultous early years of having a homeless mother and a father who’s partners saw him as “baggage” – a period of time that ended with him living on the street – the StudioHawk founder shared: “I had two incredible people that changed my life.”

“The first was Carly, who was a social worker.

“Carly was the first person to… kind of help. She was from Vincent Care. I wasn’t paid for by Centrelink, so she did a lot of this out of her own time or her own effort.”

Carly’s work with Sanders consisted of creating development plans to help guide him through oncoming obstacles, such as finding a job and getting motivated.

“These plans would basically be the only thing keeping me going,” Sanders said.

It was also Carly’s suggestion that Sanders attend networking events in order to build his business – despite having “given up on [it]”.

“She [Carly] said, you should go to some events, meet some people, network, and see what happens,” he explained, before admitting that the networking hadn’t worked out as well as he’d hoped.

However, a chance encounter with a young girl was the ray of light Sanders needed to keep pushing onwards.

Harry Sanders

“I remember standing by the side of the road one day, and a little girl came up to me, out of nowhere… she came up to me, and she gave me this,” he said, pulling out a Vespa figurine.

“I keep this by my desk everyday, unless I’m bringing it to somewhere like here,” Sanders gestured to the room and the event as a whole, “to remind me to make some small action that could have a massive difference in someone’s life.”

The other life-changing encounter was with Graham Robertson – the former chief executive officer of Tetley Tea. Robertson and Sanders met at a time when the former was “working with a youth homelessness charity called Lighthouse”.

“He knew the signs of someone who was struggling,” said Sanders. And later on in their relationship, Robertson effectively became Sanders’ business mentor.

“He taught me about tax. He taught me about business. And he taught me more about networking,” the latter revealed. “[Robertson] still mentors and helps me today. [He] taught me everything I know about business.”

“I get a lot of these articles that say I’m self made. It’s bullsh*t,” the SEO expert declared at one point in his session.

Today, StudioHawk is an award-winning SEO organisation whose London office “just cracked a million pounds in revenue”. And StudioHawk’s Melbourne and Sydney offices are now supporting “a team of 60 world-class SEO specialist[s]” – not to mention a new public relations service offering.

But despite the awards and money that his agency gave him, Sanders said the sweetest fruit of his success was being able to buy himself and his mother their own houses.

“That was a life changing moment for me,” Sanders said.

“Being able to finally… get enough money out of the business, because I so wanted to reinvest it and help as many people.

“But getting that money out to help Mum to buy her a house, she lives right next door to me… and that’s only because of these small actions that other people have had.”

To watch this session recording and more from Mumbrella360, head to Mumbrella Pro.


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