What exactly is passion? And how can we align it to our everyday work?

In this series, we meet the everyday people living life to its greatest potential by aligning passions to their work.

We meet the people who have been able to turn their passions into a career, or a career into their passions. They have been able to find value in something they love and live giving value to others.

Glenn is the founder of Ayers Watches. Starting from an immense passion for watch collecting, Glenn has built a watch brand like no other. It all began when Glenn found himself searching for the perfect watch that was practical, a conversation starter and could be passed on through generations. He couldn’t find the perfect watch so decided to build his own.

For over five years, Glenn has been growing his craft and extending his deep understanding of watch-making and found a way to turn his passion for watches into a career. Between Melbourne and Hong Kong, we got the chance to chat with Glenn about juggling a business with family, taking a leap into action and how to not let fear stop you on the way.

Promote This: Thanks for chatting with us today, Glenn. Can you tell us a little bit about Ayers and how it all started?

Glenn: Ayers started in Hong Kong in 2013. I’ve always been a keen collector of watches and I had so many questions about them. I wanted to be able to produce good watches and I discovered that it doesn’t have to be super expensive like other companies are charging. I also wanted to look for a specific watch that had the WOW factor and I couldn’t really find one on the market except for ones that were tens of thousands of dollars so I decided to create my own. So I started speaking with manufacturers and I developed a more technical understanding about watches. I was able to use my passion with watches to grow on what I already knew. The journey has been really long—nearly four years now—and if I did not have a passion for it then I would have quit a long time ago. Although we’ve have some setbacks, with passion, it gets you to persevere and keep doing what you love, day in and day out.

Promote This: So what does passion mean to you?

Glenn: Passion is something that drives you. It’s all about having a lot of love and interest in something that you can do for a long period of time. It doesn’t matter what other people say about it. So I was collecting watches and my wife was thinking, why are you so obsessed with watches? She didn’t understand. Now she understands more about collecting watches because I’ve introduced her to it. When you have a desire for something, that is passion.

Promote This: How did you manage to link passion into your brand? What do you do in your workplace that is fuelled by passion?

Glenn: I was always passionate about designing a watch in terms of lifestyle. I understand about my customers and how they want to wear a watch. I live in a large metropolitan area in Hong Kong and a lot of people work hard and play hard in large offices. After leaving their jobs, they continue on to bars, restaurants and into the night before they come back to the office the next day. So I designed a watch to go with that lifestyle. It looks professional and clean in the day time which is suitable for the office, but when they come out to relax and play, Ayers watches have a sense of character and are a conversation piece because they glow in the dark. I wanted to design something that people could use at all times.

Promote This: Why do you think it’s so important to align passion to your work?

Glenn: If you don’t have passion aligned to your work ,work is a chore. When you do have passion you can look forward to going to work everyday. For Ayers, I don’t think about yesterday, or today, it’s more about my vision that I have. When you have passion, you have a vision for how you want that product to be experienced by your customers so you work tirelessly for that goal.

Promote This: How do you juggle having a family and a business?

Glenn: I think when there’s a will there’s a way. You need to be able to multi-task and bring people around with you on that journey. When my wife is supporting the ideas, that helps a lot. These days having a family and a business is doable because if you have passion you can make it happen. If you have a partner with aligning visions to yours then it does make it a lot easier!

Promote This: You’ve had to take a lot of large leaps in your business; what do you think holds people back from taking action?

Glenn: I think a fear of failure. People are worried they will fail. If you have that mindset, I think you may have already lost the battle. When you are younger, you learn to walk and you have to fall multiple times before you can walk on your feet. We think of failure, but not learning. No one can get things perfect the first time in anything they do, so a lot of people have to go through this learning process. It’s ok to see some setbacks and to not let the setbacks defeat you. It’s all a part of the learning process.

Promote This: What does the future look like for you Ayers?

Glenn: The future is bright. Ayers is definitely a watch brand that we consider to be linked with adventure. I am excited to see what more I can bring to the table with my learnings of this industry. The first design takes inspiration from Melbourne, with designs that have been inspired by the buildings in the city. In the day, it’s professional and in the night time, the city glows. Adventure and exploration is important in Australia and the watches are strong with water resistance so that you can take off your suit after a day of work and you can go out to explore or adventure with your mates. Most dress watches are built with only 30-50m water resistance but Ayers watches are built to last. If you want to, you can go swim in the river or the sea, making it incredibly versatile. The watch is built with durability and of a high quality that will allow people to pass it on to the next generation. That’s very important for me, to keep that adventure going.