About Jackie Campbell
I founded Arca Morai after heading up a series of successful businesses over the past 20-years because I decided it was time to start doing what I believed – that a successful business you are passionate about can be run from anywhere in the world, any way you like.
My career has been far from conventional, which is something I am rather proud of as I’ve never been particularly good, or enjoyed, following the rules that others set. Yes, there are the multitude of life-preserving rules such as “Always stop at a red traffic light” and “Don’t step off the edge of the building as the law of gravity will take over and it won’t end very nicely,” but overall, I tend to do my own thing so long as it causes no harm to others and myself.
However, I haven’t always been such a flagrant flouter of rules - I was an Air Cadet for six years as a child. I loved being part of the 19 Squadron competitive drill team and we were pretty good, so clearly I did once have the desire and ability to conform.
Obviously, at some stage between youth and adulthood, my urge to run away from the flock, create my own path and break a few basic rules along the way, took over and to be honest, I have never looked back or been happier. I believe being a free spirit is good for the soul and allows us to be far more creative, more inspiring and have a much greater positive impact on others than we ever thought possible, in a formal, rule-abiding setup.
I joined the world of ‘adulting’ like most people upon finishing school. I had pretty passable grades, went to university, graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Geology) with First Class Honours (it’s still a mystery how I managed to pull that off) and joined the rank and file of corporate Australia. Working directly in the mining industry in remote areas allowed me considerably more freedom than an office, but my life at this stage was still all about following the traditional rules of progression.
I got married and set my sights on achieving a successful career, just as my education and upbringing had programmed me to. However, in 2004, when my world took a severe shaking from a series of events that all seemed to occur at once, I found myself questioning everything I had achieved to date, including my orderly work/career development. I discovered I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to veer quite drastically off the planned course.
I began to ask myself what on earth I was doing. Why was I trying to live such a conventional lifestyle and were my conventional career decisions actually making me happy? Why does a genuinely successful business have to be one that consists of people in offices working long (and often very dull) hours as part of a large corporate machine? This has to be bonkers and surely there is a better and far more entertaining and satisfying way to “be successful.” Plus, when we really get down to the nitty-gritty, what the heck does “successful” mean anyway?
I decided to make the leap from the comforting, secure and financially stable embrace of mining giant, Rio Tinto, to take 12 months study leave to start my PhD. Not surprisingly, I never went back to Rio.
The rest, as they say, is history and my next leap of faith was starting Arca Morai. Having lived through so many ups and downs, successes and failures, I decided while learning from my own experiences was invaluable, learning from others’ trials and tribulations was considerably less painful.
It is time to share our stories of success and failure, to have conversations with our clients about why we started our businesses, how what we do can support them and their businesses to thrive. To share what we know with the world in a way that makes it a better place to live in; to join and lead the conversation.
I adamantly believe that everyone can be the expert in their chosen field - we can all be the voice rather than the echo.