Brad Dunne is the founder and managing director of Projects Queensland, a national Australian building and construction company that creates the built environments for most of the worlds exotic luxury retail brands. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Channel and Dior are some of the company’s major clients. The company also works closely with Governments, Universities and Hospitals as a trusted building partner as well as private clients bringing to life almost anything that’s conceivable.
Having grown up in the Western suburbs of Sydney in the 70’s Brad quickly found his passions for surfing and sailing more suited to Queensland’s Gold Coast. Not possessing the greatest schooling credentials Brad made his way north based only on his ability to dream, his sense of humour and a good dose of curiosity.
After what on the surface appeared a blessed life Brad became faced with significant mental health issues, all unfolding and affecting everything within his life. Facing this with the absolute honesty and transparency and with all the faith and trust he could muster, Brad emerged again to reclaim his life not only mentally but with a greater connection to mind, body and soul. The very bottom of the darkest pit was in fact the opportunity to rebuild the foundations that stand him again strong and able to live a full and meaningful life with relevant purpose.
Today living in Perth Western Australia, married and with 4 Children, Brad runs the same company he founded almost 30 years ago. Other activities included the development company he runs with his wife Sharon and eldest son Bennet and his involvement in motorsport in the Porsche Carrera cup program. Brad remains passionate about his surfing and takes advantage of the magnificent West Coasts waters through boating.
Having faced the debilitating real life issues of depression and anxiety that effectively went on for 15 years, Brad is the living example of what might appear to others as an “enviable” life, which can in fact be a life of living hell. His commitment to being of help to organisations supporting those with mental health issues or to individuals suffering depression and anxiety has become a passion which provides great personal fulfillment. Being able to give back through listening and a genuine care for humanity is something that we as connected human beings must embrace.
His fundamental beliefs are now based on these reconstructed foundations. “We are born to live full and meaningful lives, we are not born to struggle. When we become honest with ourselves we open the pathways to find our real values which lead us to our purpose”.
“What is it that I am sweating about and how much of that sweating is over things that is really relevant?”
Being honest with him self, with his skills and capabilities, his habits, and how this began to transform his life.
Not trying to pretend he is someone that he is not.
Accepting who he is and being grateful for that person.
What being responsible means.
Brad uses a recent incident to outline how he has changed his response to upsetting events, observing the emotions, allowing them to be present, observing the feeling that are associated with that.
In his early thirties started to have a lot of fear in his life as the business responsibilities increased.
Brad was a fairly macho guy in the building industry.
2009 to 2014 Brad suffered three very major breakdowns, one very close to a suicide. The last one had Brad in hospital, and it was at this point that his recovery started.
JK Rowling “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
At the place of rock bottom, Brad felt stripped bare. It was a place he could rebuild from.
He discovered that he had bee incredibly superficial, not true to himself
Brad had developed a fear around business and money, this became one of his greatest anxieties
Brad recognised patterns developed through his upbringing plus a feeling that he did not deserve the success he had
“I am a imposter”
Brad no longer fears the future, he works in the moment as best as he possibly can
Strategies Brad deploys in case the fear might arise again.
- Observation, and awareness
- The three circles – the smallest inner circle is the controlling circle – the circle to be totally in control. What is he totally in control of in this moment? The second circle is the circle of influence. What does he influence. He influences his business, he doesn’t totally control it. “I can influence how I speak to someone but I do not totally control how they respond.” The third circle is the circle beyond control. Brad uses this tool for many things, emotional and business decision making. “What can I control here, have I done that?”” What can I influence here, have I done that?” Then there is nothing more that can be done. So we cannot waste emotion or allow fear and catastrophes to enter into this situation.
- Taking responsibility
Control was one of the biggest issues Brad faced. He tried to control relationships, outcomes.
At rock bottom he became very honest, very transparent.
Brad didn’t even know why he was fearful
The word dread would describe much of Brad’s emotions at the time.
“Talking about it was so difficult because I didn’t even understand it myself.”
After the first two episodes he would then launch himself back into the business as if he were bullet proof.
Healing involved recognition of the level of dysfunctional thinking he had had for so long, and the amount of effort he had put into things he couldn’t control
Brad no longer has any fear of being vulnerable, he finds it a wonderful part of his life.
Would he change anything?
How has his experience with depression and anxiety helped him as a business owner?
What he is not trying to be and do now.
“I trust a lot more now”
“Being a man is secondary to being a human being.”
“Let the game come to you.” “The Game has finally come to me, but it has taken 50 years.”
“There is nothing either good or bad in life, it is only our thoughts that make them so.”
“We are not born to struggle, we create struggle.”
The importance of forgiveness.