My story...

Nice shirt, but who is this bloke?

Much more than a long surname...


I’m an Accountability Coach, Business Advisor and Presenter that delivers measurable results to high-performing individuals and teams.

I mentor and work closely with the entrepreneurial community; to build, grow and scale businesses.

I’ve been well-credentialed throughout my own entrepreneurial journey which has been filled with high achievement and great success. I bring solid skills, an informed perspective that confirms – I walk the talk.

I work with high-performing entrepreneurial business owners, executives and teams to ensure full accountability which means they meet obligations, goals, promises and commitments made to others and to themselves. This is critically important when building successful businesses. I’m a passionate, energetic and focused leader that is accountable and driven. I have a proven track record in both large corporate and small business.

For 10-years I worked for Apple as ‘Manager of Commercial Markets’ under the inspirational leadership of Steve Jobs.

I got my sea change

I have amazing experiences and wonderful learnings from my time at Apple, along a few battle scars as a corporate escapee. I needed change, a genuine sea change always appealed. So we created a boutique and entrepreneurial ‘lifestyle business’ in the marine industry (now that’s a genuine sea change). Our business started off small and we grew quickly to meet the needs of the market. My business partner Andrew Rose and I successfully sold the business and exited some 15-years later.

My next challenge was as Manager and Ambassador for a bayside community for 4-years. This was a new residential, marina and harbour development for 1,000 families (kids, dogs and boats) in Melbourne’s west.

I’ve always had a deep connection with the ocean, I’m a wanna-be pro surfer that lacks ability but that’s never stopped me. Along the way, I have written three award-winning bestselling books on boating, family and lifestyle. My first title went Top 5 on iTunes. I built a strong community on social media, a growing media profile and are widely respected amongst entrepreneurial circles as “the guy who gets sh*t done”. Naturally, that works for me!

I’m a seasoned presenter with radio 3AW as “The Boat Guy”. I present the ‘Beach and Bay reports’ over summer which I’ve done professionally since 2014. I love the challenge of live radio and this aligns well with my passion for the outdoors, lifestyle and the ocean.

I graduated from the Dent Global’s ‘Key Person of Influence’ entrepreneurial accelerator program in 2012 and was the first back-to-back winner of their ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award for Australia.

Enough about me, let’s create your story!

My Skills & Experience

1. Disciplined

I’m focused on making the business work and eliminate any hindrances or distractions standing in the way of reaching my goals.

2. Confidence

I am confident that with my knowledge, experience and with the support of my community/mentors, that I will make business succeed. I exude confidence in everything I do.

3. Open Minded

As an entrepreneur, I realise that every; circumstance, event and situation are potential business opportunities. My ideas constantly flow about workflows and efficiency, people skills, product eco-systems and potential new business opportunities. I have the ability to look at everything around me and focus it towards my goals.

4. Self Starter

I know that if something needs to be done, I should start it myself and there is no better time than the present to ‘just do it’. I set clear parameters and make sure that projects follow that path. I’m proactive and intuitive, I do not like waiting for someone to give me permission, so I prefer to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.

5. Competitive

I have formed businesses where I see growing opportunity to do it better. Tick Those Boxes is a perfect example where there is plenty of ‘Business Coaches’ in the market, but rarely do the focus on actual ‘Accountability’. This is why I work with a number of clients of business coaches, to offer hands-on implementation of what’s been agreed between the client and their coach.

I formed Tick Those Boxes because I know that with my knowledge, experience and energy I can do a better job of solving a clients real problem, thereby making a quantifiable difference to them by simply delivering a much better outcome than the others. I’m incredibly competitive and I respect my competition knowing their role is to largely keep me accountable, and make me better.

6. Creativity

I’m really good at being able to make connections between seemingly unrelated events or situations, in a creative and commercially focussed manner. As an entrepreneur, I often come up with solutions which are the synthesis of other items. I’ve been known to repurpose products to market them to new industries and new clients.

7. Determination

I am not thwarted by my defeats. I look at defeat as an opportunity for success and as a learning experience. I am determined to make all of my endeavours succeed, so I will try and try again until it does. As a successful entrepreneur, I do not believe that something cannot be done or at least I’ll try so many times, that every opportunity is explored or exhausted.

8. Strong people skills

I understand the importance of people as an asset in any business. Consequently, I’m have strong communication skills, I like to sell the product and I motivate employees and others as we work together as a team toward a common goal. I know how to motivate my employees, so the business grows overall. I am great at highlighting the benefits of any situation and naturally coaching others to their success.

9. Strong work ethic

I lead from the front. As a successful entrepreneur, I will often be the first person to arrive at the office and the last one to leave. I will come in on my days off to make sure that an outcome meets (or exceeds) expectations. My mind is constantly focussed on delivering products to fix customer problems.

10. Passion & Energy

Passion & Energy is one of the most important traits that I posses. With a genuinely love my work and my why, I’m willing to put in those extra hours to make the business succeed because I just love what I do which goes beyond the money. I’m constantly reading and researching ways to make the business better.

11. Been There, Done That

I’ve worked in both BIG business (read my experience at Apple) and as an entrepreneur in my own right.

I’ve built several of my own entrepreneurial businesses throughout my working life. Largely in the service and lifestyle industries, we have also acquired businesses as part of a strategy to achieve growth and market share.

We’ve also started businesses to see ‘how it goes’… We built a great reputation supported by a strong business model. We got the annual turnover to $5m+ and some 15 years later, my business partner and I successfully sold the business and exited. I’ve walked in your footsteps, been a ‘solopreneur’ and I know the roller-coaster journey ahead of you all too well.

Recognised in the following areas:

  • Strong Listener
  • Positive Attitude
  • Energetic and passionate
  • Highly Accountable
  • Takes the initiative
  • Excellent Communicator
  • Media Experienced (TV, Radio, Podcast & Newspaper/EDM)
  • Author – bestselling, award winner
  • Teamwork Centric
  • Willingness to learn
  • Proficient financial knowledge
  • Thinking skills (problem-solving and decision making)
  • Resilience
  • Strong leadership
  • Sales and results focused
  • Channel and reseller management & distribution
  • Sales management (sales funnel and process)
  • Customer focussed
  • Customer experience driven – Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Proficient marketer – above and below the line, eCommerce, and social media
  • Emergency Management Plans and OH&S
  • Tourism, and competing in an over crowded market
  • Stakeholder & investor liaison, reporting and engagement.
  • Business Collaboration
  • Partnership Management
  • Business initiation, establishment and turnaround

Download your copy of Darren’s resume
– Darren Finkelstein Resume 01112019


Key achievements

  • I work with entrepreneurial business owners to Get Stuff Done.
  • Working with me increases my clients probability of achieving their goals, promises and commitments made to others and to themselves, to a whopping 95% following my programs and sessions.
  • I work with a number of business coaches to offer their clients direct hands-on implementation of their strategies and actions.
  • I have a well-informed perspective based on my personal and business experiences.
  • Completing my sessions gives you; increased sales and higher profitability which means you make more money $
  • Implement processes and strategy to solve real problems that give weekends back to my clients, so they can spend quality time with those that are important.
  • Create outcomes which enable my clients to meet obligations, promises and commitments to others and to themselves.
  • Enjoy an ongoing partnership and collaboration with ‘Entrepreneurial Futurist’ Andrew Griffiths, to deliver world-leading programs, sessions and workshops for entrepreneurs worldwide.


Key achievements

  • Radio Station 3AW’s ‘The Boat Guy” presenting live Beach and Bay reports each summer (December to March) with a listening audience of 400,000+ each day.
  • Clocked over 500+ radio segments on Radio 3AW (693AM or DAB) since I commenced in on air in 2014 and still going strong today.
  • Author of 3 x boating and lifestyle books:
    Honey, let’s buy a BOAT! (2012) *
    Honey, let’s go BOATING! (2014)
    Honey, let’s sell the BOAT! (2016)
    * iTunes Top 5 bestseller and industry award-winning title.
  • On-screen presenter and Boating Ambassador for ‘Life’s Better With A Boat’ for the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV)
  • Regular Melbourne Boat Show speaker/presenter on super stage.
  • Boating Ambassador for Mirvac. Objective to engage a residential community on the banks of the Yarra River, to the joys of boat ownership.
  • On-Screen Presenter for TV series: ‘All About Boats’ screened on Foxtel and Ch7 Mate
  • 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

I’m the former Entrepreneur-in-residence and Ambassador for CoWork Me in St Kilda. CoWork Me is a southside coworking hub and business incubator in St Kilda, opening up spaces for new and seasoned professionals to do their best work.

“For our members, Darren runs regular learning sessions, he hosts great ‘lunch and learn’ events in which he brings in subject matter expert speakers and he shares all of his knowledge and experiences with our members and this greatly assists their businesses to grow and prosper”, said Rob Materia, General Manager.


Key Achievements

  • 4-year association with Wyndham Harbour (a residential and marina development that opened in 2015)
  • Marketing Ambassador encouraging non-boaties to consider boat ownership at Wyndham Harbour. Introduced ‘Discover Sailing’ program to Alamanda College for children of the west aged 8-16. Sailing is now an elective subject, part of the educational curricilum.
  • Marina ‘boating ambassador’ (responsible for the marina’s brand establishment, community engagement and marketing campaigns)
  • Marina Manager (last 2-years) responsible for marina’s entire operations covering 150-berths and associated infrastructure

  • 4-star Industry Accreditation
  • Clean Marina Certification
  • Set up three restaurants 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 services connection to water or electricity
  • The comprehensive marketing program for the 2018/19 season resulting in the achievement of growth targets, brand awareness, and marina occupancy
  • Built (recruited and trained) a strong marina team to deliver a ‘great customer experience’ in a safe environment

  • Established a net promoter score (NPS) customer engagement program for all marina visitors, now achieving a top-quartile 52 score
  • Responsible for a $1m operating budget with full reporting to the Board of Management and Shareholders
  • Created industry best practice ‘Marina Emergency Management Plan’ commended by CFA and WorkSafe
  • Implemented eCommerce solutions integrated into the remodelled CRM program managing all aspects of the customer on-boarding and touch points


Key achievements

  • Self-employed, small business owner
  • Creator and founder of boutique industry accredited boat broker, service and repair centre and new boat dealership called: St Kilda Boat Sales and Service Centre. Based at the iconic St Kilda Marina, Victoria Australia.
  • We created a product ecosystem where our ‘active money tree’ system that identified many new, innovative revenue streams that focused on customer solutions and delivering new service opportunities.
  • Sold 500+ vessels over 15 years of operation, valued at over $45m
  • Employed a team of sales and administration staff to support sales program.
  • We opened the Service Centre in 2003 to complement the boat sales business.
  • Serviced & repaired over 300 boats per year. Managed slipway, chandlery, fuel sales and service facility at St Kilda Marina with an annual turnover of $1m+.
  • Service, repair and maintained some of Victoria’s most impressive and expensive vessels.
  • Client base included the full spectrum of the community – BRW rich list, retirees, self-employed and tradespeople, all wanting to enjoy a boating lifestyle.
  • Advertised nationally, first industry broker to use video in sales process & website (an industry standard today)
  • Established YouTube channel (450,000 views), LinkedIn (4,300 connections) Facebook (2,000 friends) and Twitter (2,000 followers). Elected by industry peers to represent as a Director and Board member of The Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV) from the 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 ACCC and still running today.
  • 2016 saw the opening of a second boat sales office at Wyndham Harbour marina
  • After 15 years of establishing and growing a successful and profitable business, the business was sold in 2017 my business partner and I both exited to seek new opportunities and go our own ways.- 


Key achievements

  • Began as Major Account Executive responsible for Major Account Program (Fairfax, BHP, Telstra), Government, Global Account Program (News Limited, KPMG, Boston Consulting) for southern region VIC, SA, WA and TAS
  • Facility Manager for Apple Melbourne office for five years
  • Media trained to respond to all press and media enquiries including; product and financial
  • Represented Apple on the Victorian Premier (Jeff Kennett) multimedia taskforce and was a founding board member of Interact Multimedia Festival for the state of Victoria.
  • Escorted Australian VIP guests to Apple head office in Cupertino California for presentations and technology briefings on approx. 20 occasions. Special guests’ speakers from Apple head office included: Jonny Ive, Phil Schiller, Fred Anderson & Jon Rubenstein.
  • Part of the national roadshow team to launch the original iMac in 1998 to Australia audiences
  • Keynote speaker for Apple at Pan Pacific Newspaper Association conference in New Zealand alongside CEO from Fairfax and CEO from News Limited
  • Promoted to Manager Commercial Markets across the southern region. Areas of responsibility included: Apple Centre’s, All Resellers, Specialist Retail and Department Stores, Major Accounts, Global Accounts and Government.
  • Won the prestigious Golden Apple Award for Asia Pacific region in 1998


  • Coburn’s Distillery, Bowral NSW (advisory)
  • Baru Threads, Camberwell Vic (advisory)
  • Nacre Consulting (advisory)


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



Here's what my clients have to say!

Rodney Horin

I’ve known Darren for many years and have professionally engaged him as a business and life coach on numerous occasions, sometimes for lengthy ongoing periods and on other occasions for specific projects. During each of these periods his commercial intelligence, ability to listen, clarity of thought and strategy has been of enormous benefit. His ability to cut through to the core issues and advise on how best to address and implement outcomes has enabled me to continually stay focussed on my business and vision.

Rodney Horin
Managing Director Joseph Palmer & Sons
Ned Coten

When I think about Getting Stuff Done, I think about Darren Finkelstein. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Darren over the past 6 years. During that time, I’ve seen him get more done than many do in a lifetime. He’s become a bestselling author, with three books to his name, a sought-after expert in the media and is a successful entrepreneur. He’s smart, action-oriented and easy to get along with. Darren has been of significant help to me personally and is one of my ‘inner-circle’ of trusted, go-to experts when it comes to business. When I need to make things happen, I talk to Darren.

Ned Coten
Business Owner, Board Chairman (Basketball Australia)

Darren has a take-no-prisoners approach to getting stuff done. He's achieved so much in his own businesses for years (like, who writes three books in a row whilst running a business?!). So, if you're frustrated business owner who feels like you could be ticking more boxes, your next step is to get Darren on your side.

Tim Reid
Host of The (award-winning) Small Business Big Marketing Show

'Get your weekends back'
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