Tom Kooy on Action Setting, The Chaos of Entrepreneurship and Why Gratitude is the Antidote to Self Sabotage

Tom Kooy (@TomKooy) is a serial entrepreneur, seasoned venture coach & active angel investor with 14 years in the game. Over the last 2 years Tom has invested over $1.2m into socially minded startups. As his focus has been finding and growing businesses that not only seek to profit but want to solve core social issues. Presently, Tom is involved in 5 rapidly growing businesses and is highly sought after as a speaker by businesses nationally and throughout the Asia region, as he speaks on how to bridge the gap between profit & social purpose.

Tom currently holds the position of Director of Impact Investing at Impact Seed, a Perth based organisation that supports, trains and educates founders of social enterprises, while also helping them to secure investment from a burgeoning community of impact investors with an appreciation for the financial and social value that commercially viable social enterprises provide.

Tom Kooy Interview

During our chat I had the pleasure of picking Tom’s brain on all manner of subjects. Some of the highlights from our chat include:

  • The role of coaching in business and how it has evolved since Tom started in 2004.
  • Tips for overcoming imposter syndrome and self sabotage when business is going well.
  • The importance of feedback systems in business and celebrating your wins.
  • The key consideration for any entrepreneur thinking of growing their business.

To listen to this episode or any episode of The Network with Mike Drysdale simply hit play on the Soundcloud player or any one of the buttons below.

A link to The Network with Mike Drysdale on iTunes



Want to hear a conversation with another inspiring leader in the realm of social Enterprise? Pete Winn is the founder of KarmaPay a business attempting to raise 20 billion dollars a year in order to fund universal education. In this episode Pete shares a host of incredible resources including some of the books that have changed his life, his unique methodology behind building credibility and how to use values to safeguard the decision making process in your company.

The Show Notes:

3:04 What does a business coach and social impact investor look like in high school?

5:34 Can a 21 year old be a business coach without eating sh*t for twenty years first?

7:46 The difference between coaches and mentors/teachers?

8:56 The most important questions you can ask yourself as an entrepreneur.

10:16 What traits are more problematic to have as a business owner – Great high level thinking without the ability to create action, or great tangible implementation without the ability to engage at a higher level?

13:05 what are the biggest differences you’ve observed between coaching businesses 14 years ago to coaching businesses today?

17:56 Would you consider yourself spiritual in any way?

19:16 As a business coach is it hard to keep up with trends across different industries or is what you do independent of that? (Tom’s focus on leading insights and balance between being in the trenches and coaching at the same time.)

22:11 How do you help people dealing with imposter syndrome, when we question if we have the skills and abilities to achieve what they want to achieve? (Finding ways to prove to yourself through planning and feedback that you can do what you wish to do.)

24:41 How video games set up feedback systems that give us a greater sense of productivity than life does and the importance of implementing feedback in our own lives. 

Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal

Asana – the task manager that celebrates you ticking items of your to do list with unicorns

30:11 The importance of figuring out how you celebrate internally.

The Fifth Discipline by Peter M Senge

34:26 How do you strike the balance of not overestimating what you can achieve in 30 days with not underestimating it and being ambitious enough to push yourself?

39:11 (Facebook Question) What kind of person do you think benefits most from your training? (Discussing the qualities that precede self awareness.)

44:01 TACTIC: Separate yourself from your current environment to give yourself time and space to consider what your life looks like. Set regular times to repeat the process.

45:10 (Facebook Question) What are three daily, monthly or yearly things that you do without fail?

1. Totally disconnecting from technology and your usual consumption to achieve a different state of mind.

2. Writing down what you have achieved this week. Making note of What you have been working on? Have you succeeded or not and how can you improve?

3. Giving yourself a daily rating out of ten.

47:36 How to avoid self sabotage when things are going “too well” by embracing the idea that chaos will eventually come and to expect it, so that you can be prepared.

49:13 How to replace anxiety with gratitude and turn fear into excitement.

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

51:04 How to use gratefulness as a great disconnector of self that allows us to refocus on serving others. A focus on serving others removes the fear of the unknown regardless of growth.

52:36 How to improve the quality of your on-boarding process.

56:14 Tom’s experience with helping people find and break away from co-founders in business.


58:05 If there was a book that you have gifted most often in your life what would it be and why?

Theory U by Otto Scharmer

59:00 If you could have dinner with five people alive or dead who would they be and why?

Richard Branson, Barrack Obama, his late Grandfather, Peter Senge and Ronald Regan.

1:01:15 What purchase under $100 has made the most positive impact on your life and why?

A tennis ball for use in yoga and alignment exercises.

Bruce Scott – The Body Magician

1:03:47 What brand are you irrationally loyal to?

Tom’s addiction to Apple and my defection from iPhones to the Pixel 2.

1:04:40 What is Tom’s response to Apple no longer seemingly following their why?

1:04:49 If you could put a message on a billboard anywhere in the world what would it say?

“What’s your Why?”

Get in touch with Tom

@Tom_Kooy on Twitter, Instagram, Medium and LinkedIn

Tom’s Ask? Take one step in living out your why today.


Mike Drysdale

6 thoughts on “Tom Kooy on Action Setting, The Chaos of Entrepreneurship and Why Gratitude is the Antidote to Self Sabotage

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.