Michael Hill is a kiwi that has made his mark in the global community. He proves that no matter what anyone says about you, you can still achieve massive feats. He is just a normal down to earth guy, but the only difference is that he founded Michael Hill Jeweller. From being bullied and told he was useless in class, Michael Hill never gave up. Was there any inspiration in Michael Hill’s early life that led him to his current career? When Michael Hill was young he enjoyed primary school but was quiet and shy, he also didn’t have the best academic abilities either. When he went to college he didn’t like his teachers and nor did they like him. His poor maths skills got his teacher around to his house telling his parents he was useless and he would never achieve anything in life. Setbacks like these just made Michael Hill stronger and more determined in his later life. He didn’t have any friends at school; in fact he had the exact opposite. He had bullies. In class he was too worried about the bullies kicking and punching him after class to pay any attention to what was happening in lessons. He never told anyone about it. One day at college he heard the music teacher playing a lovely instrument which just happened to be the violin. This was the first thing that he was good at and had a passion for. He started having lessons and gradually practised more and more having found a love for something. He joined the school orchestra and for once felt like his was ‘normal’ and that he fitted in. He left school at 16 as he knew what he wanted to achieve in life – he wanted to be a professional solo violinist. Also he was no use in class anyway. He practised all day every day from 9 – noon and again from 1 – 5 or 6. This means he was practising at least 7 hours a day. His parents realised he was serious about his violin career and thought it was a great opportunity for him to audition for the national orchestra. The auditioner said after the audition there was talent but that he had started too late in his life to get to the top. He needed to start as a primary school student. After those words of disappointment, Michael Hill went into a daze for a couple of days. This is when Michael realised he would be nothing in life; he wouldn’t achieve anything and wouldn’t have a fulfilling job. So when his uncle Arthur offered him a job at his jewellery shop, Michael had no reason to turn it down. Little did he know that his new job would open up a whole other world. Michael Hill worked at Fishers the Jewellers for 23 years. During this time, he married in 1965 and had two children, Mark and Emma. He worked his way up the chain at fishers, starting as a watch fixer (although he didn’t really know how to fix watches), and then continuing on as a salesperson and finally reaching store manager. All this time he had been saving up to build a house on a lovely section; he and Christine (his wife) bought. They took much pride in their house and building it. It was considered one of the most unique, architectural houses of its time in the region and it took four years to build. Unfortunately their house burnt down not long after they finished building it. During this tragic event Michael Hill came to realise that life was short and that he didn’t want to waste his time on planet Earth working for someone else, in someone else’s store. Michael had far bigger ambitions than that. He wanted to achieve something in life. So right there and then, as he and Christine watched their house go up in flames, he made a goal for himself – to buy Uncle Arthurs Jewellery shop. He’d vaguely thought about the idea before but it wasn’t until the house fire that he was so determined to make it come true. In some ways his house fire was the biggest inspiration he ever got. First shop and challenges
What were the challenges Michael Hill had to overcome in setting up his first shop? Michael Hill realised he wouldn’t have enough money to buy Fishers the...
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