Darren Finkelstein

Who is Darren Finkelstein ?

The Accountability Guy ®

Darren Finkelstein, Accountability Coach

And what's his story?

Darren Finkelstein, known widely as The Accountability Guy®, is a beacon of transformation and inspiration in the realms of accountability, leadership, and personal development. Darren’s story is about resilience, reinvention, and how he’s channelled accountability into his superpower.

With an illustrious career that spans across continents and industries, Darren stands as a formidable international accountability coach, advisor, mentor, and captivating author/speaker whose narratives and methodologies have empowered high-performing individuals and teams from Australia/New Zealand to the far reaches of Latin America, Europe, Asia, the United Kingdom, and the United States through his coaching programs.

The foundation of Darren’s methodology and teachings is based around his bestselling book, “The Accountability Advantage – Play your best game,” and his new book currently in production, scheduled for a late 2024 release, “NO – Building a life of choice without obligation.”

The heart of Darren’s international focus is to Get Clarity and know what to do first. Get Started, know what to do next, and Get Sh*t Done knowing what to do more of. Darren works with high-performing individuals and teams to help them realise their wildest dreams and smash their goals like glass pinatas!

From Apple to Genuine ‘Sea Change.' This is a Journey of Resilience, Reinvention and Transformation...

Before etching his name in the annals of coaching and mentorship, Darren was an integral part of the Apple legacy during the transformative Steve Jobs era. As the Manager of Commercial Markets for Apple Australia, his innovations, sales performance, and leadership were recognised with the prestigious Golden Apple for Asia Pacific, symbolising his influence in shaping the future of technology and business strategy. His journey from the suburbs of Melbourne’s Doncaster to the echelons of Silicon Valley embodies a story of relentless ambition and the pursuit of dreams against all odds.

Post-Apple, Darren embarked on a genuine ‘sea-change’, transitioning from the tech giant to co-founding a boutique lifestyle business in the marine industry alongside business partner Andrew Rose, which they successfully sold and exited the business to follow their own dreams.

This venture not only scaled new heights but also led Darren to become a revered figure in the marine community. His literary contributions, including the bestselling and much-publicised trilogy “Honey, let’s buy a BOAT!”, “Honey, let’s go BOATING!” and “Honey, let’s sell the BOAT!” further cement his status as an industry luminary and a visionary thinker.

Darren’s voice resonated beyond the printed page and into the Melbourne airwaves as a seasoned radio presenter on 3AW, where he delivered engaging ‘Beach N’ Bay Reports’, blending his passion for the outdoors with his expertise in lifestyle and the marine environment.

His entrepreneurial journey continued to flourish with accolades such as the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award from the Dent Global ‘Key Person of Influence’ program, where he currently serves as a Dent Coach, nurturing the next generation of business leaders.

Despite his towering professional achievements, Darren’s heart beats for the simple joy of golf, and working on his small farm, embodying his philosophy of embracing life’s challenges with enthusiasm and resilience, even if it means struggling to hit them straight on the golf course with consistency.

Not only does Darren Finkelstein’s story teach us about achieving the pinnacle of success, but it also imparts lessons about resilience and reinvention. He inspires change, transforms concepts into reality, and assists others in creating extraordinary narratives by channelling their passions and dreams. It’s common knowledge that Darren often says to his family, “What you imagine, you create; now let’s get going.”

With Darren by your side and in your corner as your coach, advisor, and mentor, the road to accountability and beyond is not just a route but a magnificent trip that is just waiting to be discovered. “Accountability is your superpower.”

Skills & Experience

1. Disciplined

Being ‘The Accountability Guy®’, naturally, he’s focused on making a business work by eliminating any obstacles or distractions standing in the way of reaching the goals that have been set.

2. Confidence

Darren is confident that with his knowledge, experience, and the support of his community and mentors, he can make a business succeed.

3. Open-Minded

As an entrepreneur, he realises every circumstance, event, and the situation is a potential business opportunity. This means there is a constant flow of ideas about workflows, efficiency, people skills, product ecosystems, and potential new business prospects. He is great at looking at everything around him and focusing it all on his goals.

4. Self-Starter

If something needs to be done Darren gets in and starts it himself, as there is no better time than the present to ‘just do it’. He sets clear parameters and makes sure projects follow their projected path. Being proactive and intuitive, he doesn’t like waiting for permission, so prefers to ask for forgiveness instead.

5. Competitive

Darren has formed businesses where he could see a growing opportunity to do something better than it was being done before. Tick Those Boxes is a perfect example. There are plenty of ‘Business Coaches’ in the market, however, rarely do they focus on ‘Accountability’. This is why Darren works with clients of business coaches, to offer hands-on implementation of what has been agreed upon by the client and their coach.

Darren formed Tick Those Boxes because he knew with his knowledge, experience, and energy he could do a better job of solving a client’s real problems, making a quantifiable difference through the delivery of a much better outcome. He’s incredibly competitive and respects his competition, knowing their role is to largely keep him accountable, and this makes him even better.

6. Creativity

Darren is great at making connections between seemingly unrelated events or situations. He does so in a creative and commercially focused manner. As an entrepreneur, he often comes up with solutions that are the synthesis of other items. He’s also known to repurpose products to market them to new industries and clients.

7. Determination

Darren looks at defeat as an opportunity for success and a learning experience. He’s determined to make all of his endeavours succeed, so he tries and tries again until they do. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you cannot believe anything is impossible, and one should at least try so many times that every opportunity has been explored.

8. Strong people skills

We must understand the importance of people, as they are an asset to any business. Darren has strong communication skills and likes to motivate employees as they work together towards a common goal. This ensures the business grows. He’s great at highlighting the benefits of any situation, naturally coaching others to their own success.

9. Strong Work Ethic

Darren leads from the front. He’s often the first person to arrive and the last one to leave the office. He’ll go in on his days off to make sure an outcome meets (or exceeds) expectations. His mind is constantly focused on delivering products to fix customer problems.

10. Passion and Energy

Passion and Energy are one of Darren’s most important traits. Genuine love for the work is why he’s willing to put in extra hours to make the business succeed. This passion goes beyond making money. He’s constantly reading and researching new ways to make businesses better.

11. Been There, Done That

Having worked in both BIG business (Apple Inc.) and as an entrepreneur, Darren has built several businesses throughout his career. Largely in the service and lifestyle industries, he also acquired businesses as part of a strategy to achieve growth and market share.

He knows what you’re going through, has walked in your footsteps, and has also been a ‘solopreneur’, so is aware of the rollercoaster journey ahead of you.

Darren has been recognised in the following areas:
  • A strong listener
  • Has a positive attitude
  • Is energetic and passionate
  • Highly accountable
  • Takes the initiative
  • An excellent communicator
  • Experienced in the media (TV, Radio, Podcast, News, EDM)
  • A bestselling, award-winning author
  • Teamwork-centric
  • A willingness to learn
  • Financial knowledge
  • Thinking skills (Problem-solving and decision-making)
  • Resilience
  • Strong leadership
  • Sales and being results-focused
  • Channel and reseller management and distribution
  • Sales management (Sales funnels and processes)
  • Customer-focused
  • Customer Experience Driven – Employing a Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Marketing – Above and below the line, eCommerce, and social media
  • Emergency Management Plans and OH&S
  • Tourism
  • Competing in an overcrowded market
  • Stakeholder and investor liaison, reporting, and engagement.
  • Business Collaboration
  • Partnership management
  • Business initiation, establishment, and turnaround

Based on my story and my life’s journey, here are five key life lessons that can be condensed from my journey: 

  1. Resilience and Reinvention Are Critical to Growth
    Challenges and defeats are not end points but rather opportunities to rebuild and redefine oneself. My journey from Apple, the technology titan, to a marine industry entrepreneur demonstrates the strength of perseverance and the fortitude to change one’s course.

  2. Accountability leads to empowerment.
    Owning your decisions, behaviours, and promises can elevate accountability from a chore to a superpower. My success as The Accountability Guy® exemplifies how accepting accountability can motivate individuals and organisations to realise their dreams and exceed their objectives.

    “Bite off more than you can chew, and keep chewing”

  3. Ambition fuels achievement.
    When combined with unwavering desire and determination, no dream is out of reach. My journey from Melbourne’s outskirts to Silicon Valley’s pinnacle of technology demonstrates that, with determination, any concept can become a reality. Especially given that I got expelled from school at 17, I never finished high school.

  4. Diverse experiences enrich leadership.
    – Diverse experiences from various industries and roles can help build a more comprehensive and adaptable leadership approach. My varied career across continents and industries has given me a unique perspective on mentoring and success.

  5. Life Beyond Success
    – Success is more than simply professional accomplishments; it is also about enjoying life’s basic joys and personal hobbies. I’m passionate about everything I do.


My wife, Suzi, and I are lucky enough to live half the week in Melbourne and the other half on a small acreage in the Goldfields district of Central Victoria. We both run successful businesses in these locations. Together with my love of golf, it has taught me the value of combining ambition with personal fulfilment, as well as approaching life’s problems with excitement and resilience. 

My life lessons and my own journey capture the spirit of creating a life of choice, founded on accountability and the pursuit of one’s passions.

As an entrepreneur, I will be judged not by how much I succeed, but by how often and how well I pick myself up, brush myself off, learn from my failures, and continue to try. Being a key person of influence in your industry forces you to stand out from the crowd and take ownership of your greatness, expertise, and credibility.

If you don’t take ownership of your position in your industry, your opposition will – and you’ll be left wondering why you didn’t.

Dent Global develops entrepreneurs who stand out, scale up, and make a positive impact in the world.

Dent has worked directly with 3,500 + businesses around the world to help them become more visible, valuable, and scalable.

Dent Global is a leader in strategy and technology for entrepreneurial businesses. Since 2010 they have opened up Head Offices in London, Sydney, and Toronto. Their company values are to be brave, have fun, and make a ‘dent’.

As a Dent Coach Darren works with current student intake groups to ensure students stay on track and successfully implement and execute Dent’s processes and frameworks. He also privately coaches many Dent alumni.

Key Achievements

  • Working with Darren increases his clients’ probability of achieving their goals, promises, and commitments made to others and themselves by a massive 95% when following his one-on-one programs and sessions.
  • He also works with a range of Business Coaches, offering their clients direct hands-on implementation of their strategies and actions.

He delivers on what he promises:


Over the 12-month period from 1/2/19 to 30/1/20 these amazing results were achieved:

  • 91 x One-On-One sessions with clients
  • 169 x ‘Weekly Check-ins’
  • 1,225 x Goals/Actions/Tasks created by clients during our sessions
  • 1,189 x Goals/Actions/Tasks completed by clients
  • 97.1% – Client success rate
  • 97.8 – Client satisfaction score

Darren Gets Sh!t Done!

  • Completing Darren’s sessions provides you with increased sales and a higher level of profitability.
  • Learn to implement processes and strategies to solve real problems, getting your weekends back, so you can spend quality time with those you love.
  • Create outcomes enabling you to meet obligations, promises, and commitments to others and yourself.
  • Enjoy an ongoing partnership and collaboration with ‘Entrepreneurial Futurist’ Andrew Griffiths to deliver world-leading programs, sessions, and workshops for entrepreneurs across the globe.

– RADIO 3AW ~ NINE MEDIA (2014 to 2020)
– LIFE’S BETTER WITH A BOAT
– MIRVAC
– ALL ABOUT BOATS for Ch7 and Foxtel
– DENT GLOBAL ~ Key Person of Influence

Key achievements

Radio
  • Radio Station 3AW’s ‘The Boat Guy’ Presenting live Beach and Bay reports each summer from 2014 until 2021. From December to March, with a listening audience of 500,000+ each day. Even bigger during “Breakfast with Ross and Russ”
  • Clicked over 500+ radio segments on Radio 3AW (693AM or DAB+) since I commenced on-air in 2014 until 2021 when I hung up the mic.
Author
TV
  • On-screen presenter and Boating Ambassador for ‘Life’s Better With A Boat’ for the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV)
  • On-Screen Presenter for TV series: ‘All About Boats’ screened on Foxtel and Ch7 Mate
Speaker
  • Regular Melbourne Boat Show speaker/presenter on the super stage.
  • Boating Ambassador for Mirvac. The objective is to engage a residential community on the banks of the Yarra River, with the joys of boat ownership.
  • International Case Study for Dent Global the ‘Key Person of Influence’ entrepreneurial program.
  • Highly acclaimed speaker & presenter at Dent Global’s Brand Accelerator events held in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore
  • Professional International Speaker (Workshop, Conference and Event) – live on stage and virtual

Key Achievements

Management
  • 4-year association with Wyndham Harbour (a residential and marina development), having opened in 2015).
  • Marina Manager (2 years) responsible for the marina’s operations covering 150 berths and its associated infrastructure.
  • 4-star Industry Accreditation
  • Built (recruited and trained) a strong marina team to deliver a ‘great customer experience’ in a safe environment.
  • Set up three restaurants together with the development team.
  • Built and commissioned a fully automated, unattended, vessel fuel dock open 24/7, the first established in an Australian marina without a services connection to water or electricity.
  • Established a Net Promoter Score (NPS) customer engagement program for all marina visitors, achieving a top-quartile 52 score.
Marketing
  • Marketing Ambassador encouraging non-boaties to consider boat ownership at Wyndham Harbour. Introduced the ‘Discover Sailing’ program to Alamanda College for children aged 8 to 16 years old. Sailing is now an elective subject and part of the educational curriculum.
  • Marina ‘Boating Ambassador’ (Responsible for the marina’s brand establishment, community engagement, and marketing campaigns).
  • Established a comprehensive marketing program for the 2018/19 season resulting in the achievement of growth targets, brand awareness, and marina occupancy.
Environment and Regulations
  • Clean Marina Certification
  • Created industry best practice ‘Marina Emergency Management Plan’ commended by CFA and WorkSafe.
Finance and Technology
  • Responsible for a $1 million operating budget with full reporting to the Board of Management and Shareholders.
  • Implemented eCommerce solutions into a remodelled CRM program managing all aspects of customer onboarding and touchpoints.

Key achievements

  • Self-employed, small business owner
  • Creator and founder of boutique industry accredited boat broker, service and repair centre, and new boat dealership: St Kilda Boat Sales and Service Centre, located at the iconic St Kilda Marina, Victoria, Australia.
  • Created a product ecosystem where an ‘active money tree’ system identified numerous new, innovative revenue streams focusing on customer solutions and delivering new service opportunities.
  • Sold 500 + vessels over 15 years of operation, valued at over $45 million.
  • Employed a team of sales and administration staff to support the sales program.
Our Services
  • Opened the Service Centre in 2003 to complement the boat sales business.
  • Serviced and repaired over 300 boats per year. Managed slipway, chandlery, fuel sales, and service facility at the St Kilda Marina with an annual turnover of $1 million +.
  • Serviced, repaired, and maintained some of Victoria’s most impressive and expensive vessels.
  • The client base included a full spectrum of the community – People on the BRW Rich List, retirees, self-employed, and tradespeople, all wanting to enjoy the boating lifestyle.
  • 2016 saw the opening of a second boat sales office at Wyndham Harbour Marina.
Advertising
  • Advertising across Australia, Darren was the first industry broker to use a video in the sales process and website (now the industry standard).
  • Established a YouTube channel (450,000 views), LinkedIn account (4,300 connections), Facebook account (2,000 friends), and Twitter account (2,000 followers).
Representative
  • Elected by industry peers as Director and Board member of The Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV) from 2008 – 2015, operator of the Melbourne Boat Show.
  • Chaired the BIAV team to create an ‘Industry Dealer Accreditation Program’ for Victorian boat dealers. Approved by the ACCC and still running today.
Moving Forward
  • After 15 years of establishing and growing a successful and profitable business, it was sold and exited in 2017. Darren and his business partner decided to seek new opportunities and go their own ways.

Key achievements

  • Started as Major Account Executive responsible for the Major Account Program (Fairfax, BHP, Telstra), Government, Global Account Program (News Limited, KPMG, Boston Consulting) for the southern region (VIC, SA, WA, and TAS) of Australia.
  • Became Facility Manager for Apple’s Melbourne Office for five years.
  • Trained to respond to all press and media enquiries including products and financials.
  • Represented Apple on the Victorian Premier’s (Jeff Kennett) multimedia taskforce and was a founding board member of the Interact Multimedia Festival for the state of Victoria.
  • Escorted Australian VIP guests to Apple Inc.’s head office in Cupertino, California for presentations and technology briefings on approximately 20 occasions. Special guest speakers from Apple’s Head Office included Jony Ive, Phil Schiller, Fred Anderson, and Jon Rubenstein.
  • In 1998 was part of the national roadshow team launching the original iMac to Australian audiences.
  • Keynote speaker for Apple Inc. at the Pan Pacific Newspaper Association conference in New Zealand alongside the CEOs from Fairfax and News Limited.
  • Promoted to ‘Manager Commercial Markets’ across the southern region. Areas of responsibility included Apple Centres, All Resellers, Specialist Retail, Department Stores, Major Accounts, Global Accounts, and Government.
  • Won the prestigious Golden Apple Award for the Asia Pacific Region in 1998.

Current

  • Baru Threads, Kalista Vic (Advisory)

Previous

  • Board Member and Director of Interact Multimedia Festival for the State Government of Victoria.
    Invited by former Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett.
  • Board Member and Director of the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV).
  • Chairman of the Boat Dealer Division of the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV).
  • Director of www.BoatOnSale.com.au for the Boating Industry Association of Australia (BIAA National Committee).

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