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Category Archives: Team Talk

Debt Free, Stress Free

Posted by Nelson D'sa on July 20, 2016

An inside look at how our team helps each other get ahead.


Nelson D'sa, our Operations Manager here at 35o South & Alongside pulls double duty by moonlighting as our team's financial coach. Our company values the ability to do things differently & create excellence in every part of our teams lives. Stress adds no value to anyone's life and the biggest stress most people face is money problems, only second to health. With that in mind Nelson is working with our teams to get them debt free, spending less than they earn and to set some financial goals. Below is his story about where he started & why he does this extra work in the business. We hope it helps you understand a little of who we are behind the scenes here at the restaurants.

My goal is to wake up on boat, on a tropical island in the sun. But realistically I need to work very hard in order to get there. I realized good things don’t come to those who sit around and wait but rather those who get up, get motivated and go for it. Which is when I also realized that yes, I was working hard, making a lot of money but I was also spending a lot of it too. I didn’t care how much anything was,whether or not I 

actually needed it but only if I could afford it so I bought it.

Then I met my partner who taught me the meaning of essentials, that just because I “wanted” something didn’t necessarily mean I “needed” it. She also taught me that I wasn’t going to end up on a boat, on a tropical island but instead on a kayak in a muddy river, if I didn’t stop spending carelessly and set up a savings plan. It changed my whole life.

I opened up a savings account with high interest after doing a lot of research as to what high interest actually meant. My first goal was to pay off my mortgage for our house we brought in Florida. 8 years later, it was paid off and we were debt free. Then the money that I made I wasn’t having to pay a bank, instead I was able to put it into my savings account. I am not trying to gloat or boast about how well off I was, all I’m trying to say is that if you set your mind to something and be consistent then you can achieve whatever you want to.

Every 3 months I reviewed which banks were giving the best interest rate, you have to be on top of this because banks will lower their interest rates and you wouldn’t even know. Everything we wanted to buy, was put into a list, the pro’s and con’s of each item were deeply discussed and we would then decide how urgent they were.

I am now very passionate about helping others be financially stable, helping them understand money. I want them to wake up every day and not worry about how many days until pay-day. I want them to be intelligent with their money and make wise decisions. It humbles me so much when my fellow team members who I have financially coached come up to me and tell me their car has broken down but that they have enough money to buy another one, or that another member of my team has moved closer to work so he can save more money. Stories like these make me feel like I have made a difference and makes all my hard work worth it. 60% off my team now have a savings account that they cant touch for 90 days, between 10-25% of their wages go straight into this account, my goal is to have 100% of my team with this account. Trust me, I will make it happen. 

My Team.... Scratch that, My Family.

Posted by Eddie Parker on July 13, 2016

Eddie Parker, our general manager talks about one of the things that he loves about being here at 35 Degrees South & Alongside. 

One thing I love about my job is the team I work with, they are the source of my influx of grey hairs and deteriorating hair line for sure. But they are also the reason I get out of bed on those days I just want to stay wrapped up in my blankets, they are the ones that make me smile and laugh when I’m not feeling at the top of my game.  And during six months of the year I spend more time with each of them than my friends or family. Actually scratch that, they are my friends and family. I guess that would make me the father. Urgh… Lets change that, how about we make Mike, the father in this family and I can be the ruggedly handsome younger uncle known for his swagger and style.

Right now we got that sorted, some Happy Facts about my team – Most of them have been part of our family for 2-3 years. All of them have a personality which is their own, although we have systems, scripts and structures they use these as a base line to shine through with their own personalities. They are all inspired to get involved in self development. They all (almost all.. it's a work in progress!) have a savings plan of 10%-30% of their weekly wages which go into a savings account that can’t touch for 90 days. That is on top of Kiwisaver contributions!

They all take part in every aspect of our business from menu and beverage list design to stock control, ordering, marketing and event planning. This business is a business of 20 leaders rather than that of 1-3 chiefs and 17 indians. No offense intended towards those that wish to just be Indians but my team is full of people who are striving towards being chiefs in their own right. We are involved in the local gym and our own company boot camps (healthy body and minds), we sit down together once a day and have a healthy meal and talk about our days events with each other. We all have learning journals with goals and a leadership team devoted to helping us all reach them. We are all humans, we make mistakes but we own up to them, we don’t blame, we admit when we are wrong . We are solution orientated rather than whiners and whingers, give us a problem and we will show you a solution. We spend a good deal of time joking & pranking as we do our learning and getting our hands dirty. We are in the business of experiences and memories and I think, well I know I have a team and family of individuals who are dedicated to this and dedicated to improving themselves so they get even better at this.

Ask me why I do this? On those really tough days what picks me up? What makes me go home and get ready to do it all again the next day? And I will answer easily without thought or hesitation and give you 20-40 names depending on the time of year or season. These are the names of my Team Members, the names of my Family. 

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