International Men’s Day: Kent’s Detour to Entoure
In keeping with the International Men’s Day (IMD) theme for 2018, we’re featuring one of our male role models, Kent Williams. The founder and director of cycling event management company, Entoure, hasn’t just raised over $20 million for charity but is also a beacon for three of the six pillars of IMD. He’s a positive example for all men, he contributes much to the community and has an excellent focus on health and wellbeing.
What drove Kent to go from leading at some of the largest finance organisations to focusing on philanthropy? Here’s a hint: it’s wellbeing-related. Read on to find out more.
WS: How were you inspired to make the switch to charity work?
KW: A defining moment in my life was in my late 30s. I went to an executive conference about living your dreams and dropping the dream takers. It made me re-think my path and what I truly wanted out of my career.
While this was going on, Tour de Kids (fundraising cycling event for the Starlight Children’s Foundation) was being set up by a great mate of mine, David Kirkby. At that stage, I didn’t have a bike, and their first event was Dubbo to Sydney, 550 km over five days, and I had two months to get myself sorted.
My life changed completely from my participation in that event… everything I am now can in some way be directly linked back to it.
My life changed completely from my participation in that event. Everything seemed to snowball from being engaged in that network, and everything I am now can in some way be directly linked back to it.
WS: What was it that finally made you decide to start Entoure?
KW: Following a holiday with my partner back in 2004 and having undergone a Pranic Healing session, a variety of other activities and healthy meals, I found a huge awakening in me and a sense of clarity in where I was at and where I needed to go.
I realised that my job had outgrown me and that I was no longer the best fit for the role. I knew being empowered was essential for me to be happy and that riding a bike with mates, when linked to a cause, was more than just a fundraising concept. It was in its truest form my happiness.
Having undergone a Pranic Healing session, a variety of other activities and healthy meals, I found a huge awakening in me… a sense of clarity.
I knew I was a good people manager, I also knew committees running cycling events were all busy and time-poor, and I knew I had the skills and passion for ensuring people got to experience moments that would change their lives. All I had to do was set the platform so they could, and would, be their best for others.
I guess, for me, moving from corporate to philanthropy was just a change in product and a closer alignment of the activities I enjoyed outside of a conventional office, a merge of a job with my lifestyle.
WS: How has a typical day in your life changed since leaving the corporate world?
KW: Like anyone who works in small business the key changes are:
- Managing cash-flow and wearing a lot of hats;
- Freedom to do and speed to act. Since it’s only me, there’s no delay it’s either yes or no;
- Work-life balance;
- Walking my dog!
I spend a lot of time in a car. So, my day-to-day is a mix of driving and discovering routes to stage an event and sitting looking at a computer punching out documents, mapping routes and reviewing risk management procedures.
Despite driving around 60,000 km a year, much of my job is still home-office bound. However, unlike corporate, my start and finish times rest with me.
WS: What’s your proudest achievement?
KW: All of my achievements come from the efforts of others. Without riders participating we don’t have an event. Without a team around you kicking goals, it's hard to win a game.
Since 2008 events that we have managed raised over $20 million in funds. The lives impacted by that is simply astonishing, and the causes we support are outstanding. I am proud and thankful when people trust me to deliver a great event for them.
That makes Entoure more than a logistics company managing cycling events. I am very proud and pleased that I have been able to remain true to my values because of this.
WS: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
KW: Wealth is in your network. I remember reading once, "your net worth is equal to your network” and thinking ‘wow, that’s me’.
While we all need to manage life financially, my wealth was always in my team and my network. That’s always fed, my soul. That’s the way it was in the Commonwealth Bank and again in the Credit Corp Group, and without any doubt, the way it has been in Entoure.
In regards to Entoure, I have heard stories, met people and witnessed strength of character beyond belief that resets everything I see as important.
I have heard stories, met people and witnessed strength of character beyond belief that resets everything I see as important.