business coaching melbourne

How a small business coach helped turn a Melbourne

sneaker brand into a global force

How a small business coach helped turn a Melbourne sneaker brand into a global forceBy Ben Madden

In life, there are moments you remember forever. It’s the same in business. Joe Tamburrino, the co-founder of ATHLETIKAN, knows the importance of those life-changing moments all too well. Meeting small business coach David Taubman at St Ali’s in South Melbourne for coffee back in May 2018 set his business on a path that would lead to collaborating with some of the biggest athletes and entertainers in the world, including DJs, UFC world champions, hundreds of sport stars and major global influencers.

ATHLETIKAN make stylish and functional sneakers for both the gym and the street. They sell their sneakers exclusively online, in extremely limited runs. They’re sold on a first in, first served basis, which creates a sense of hype around each release. Joe and co-founder Robbie Ball released their first shoe design in 2017. They subsequently received global media coverage off the back of sold out releases, and they knew they had a great business on their hands.

Meeting David gave Joe a secret weapon for his business – someone that’s seen every situation that can pop up in business, as well as someone that he could relate to. David’s worked as an executive, solicitor, management consultant, executive coach, HR manager, mediator, and more, wearing plenty of different business hats. Recalling the initial meeting, Joe says, “Straight off the bat, I knew Taubs was an absolute weapon and exactly what I needed in the business to help drive its growth and to push me personally to my limits. In hindsight, it was a life and business changing meeting.” It’s a meeting that he didn’t really expect much from, saying, “A business coach was something that I never thought I’d need but I was curious because some of my mates who are entrepreneurs had business coaches and I wanted to see what it was all about. I didn’t think much would come from it. I was so wrong.”

Joe’s the first to admit that as a younger entrepreneur, he clearly had elite skills in the sneaker game including marketing, sales and creating hype, but there are other areas that he couldn’t pick up overnight. That’s where David came in. He says, “I had less experience when it came to cash flow management, strategy, commercial negotiations, staffing, intellectual property, distribution channels, business efficiencies and partnerships agreements that Taubs had an abundance of.” David’s helped add value to Athletikan in numerous ways including the way he constantly hunts for new angles and opportunities. This can be seen in their move into the UFC market, which has seen them land deals with UFC world champions like Rose Namajunas, Francis Ngannou, Alex Volkanovski and global stars like Paige VanZant, Michelle Waterson, TJ Dillashaw and Megan Anderson.

One of the things Joe loves most about David is his email briefs, which David considers to be his party trick. Joe recounts, “Taubs sends email summaries after every session, capturing every important word spoken in the session (Yes, every single word). The notes are mind boggling and need to be seen to be believed. From session 1 at St Ali in South Melbourne to now, he has sent me the e-mail summary of every session.”  It means that Joe and Robbie are able to take the notes from their meetings with David into the real world and apply them in situations where they might otherwise be unsure about the correct course of action to take.

Rather than operate in the world of hypotheticals, however, David’s been there in the trenches with the boys. Joe remembers a particular sweltering day where they secured a huge deal – and kicked on for drinks afterwards. He says, “One of our biggest achievements was securing a deal with a US celebrity whilst on our laptops in Taubs’ car parked in Richmond on a ridiculous 44-degree day.  We were sweating our balls off. Afterwards, we laughed our heads off and went for few beers.”

For anyone that’s looking to engage a small business coach, and might be on the fence about the decision, Joe couldn’t recommend the experience enough. “Without Taubs putting his blood, sweat and tears in over the last 3 years of us working together. ATHLETIKAN wouldn’t be in the position it’s in today. And that’s the bottom line. He treats the business like it’s his own. Money cannot buy that service.” It’s full steam ahead for ATHLETIKAN, and you can be sure that David will be there right by their side.

Picture of David Taubman | Business Coach

David Taubman | Business Coach

David provides 1-on-1 business coaching for with a focus on doing, not delivering theory.

David helps business owners across different industry sectors, people from all backgrounds, personalities, pressures and mindsets. From the first minute of the first session, David will share the tricks, tools and tips learnt from 20 years’ practical, hands-on experience growing businesses.

David Taubman is a highly qualified business coach
- Executive Coaching accreditation from the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL)
- Bachelor of Law from Deakin University
- Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and History) from Deakin University
- Human Resources Management from Macquarie Graduate School of Management
- Marketing Management from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management
- Nationally Accredited Mediator via LEADR (the Association of Dispute Resolvers).

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