Part Bear Grylls, part Bill Gates, but 100 per cent Aussie larrikin. That’s how Australian actor Paul Hogan describes Dick Smith.
The philanthropist, businessman and adventurer is this week’s special guest on Vision Australia Radio’s Studio 1 podcast.
Having just released his autobiography, My Adventurous Life, Dick Smith talks about everything from becoming the first person to circumnavigate the globe solo in a helicopter (1983), to developing his namesake business Dick Smith Electronics (1968).
“I have been in life incredibly lucky,” he told host Sam Rickard.
“I mentioned how I could have been going off to Vietnam when it was conscription, but my age just missed out. And so when many of my friends were heading off fighting in Vietnam, I was starting Dick Smith Electronics, and so I was very lucky there.”
Photo: The cover of Dick Smith's autobiography, My Adventurous Life.
Selling this business in 1980, he used his money to pursue a life of philanthropy, activism and adventure.
“All the worldly people I knew used to sit at home and basically not do a lot,” he said.
And I thought, wow, if I had enough money, I'd charter a boat and go adventuring or climb mountains or do anything.
“And that was my view at the time, and it's still the same today.”
Learning to fly in 1972, he didn’t just go for joy rides. He became the second person to fly over Mount Everest (1991), regularly flew to the North and South pole and made the First Trans-Tasman balloon flight (2000).
His advice for any aspiring entrepreneur and adventurer?
“Ask advice. Copy the success of others. Surround yourself with capable people and you should work really hard,” he said.
“So you put those four things together and you're going to do OK.”
Listen to the full interview in the player below:
My Adventurous Life is available in all good book stores. The audio book is narrated by Dick Smith, and available at most ebook retailers.
Studio 1 is Vision Australia Radio’s weekly look at life from a low vision and blind point of view.
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