South Australian Business News

Why this try hard likes hard, interesting, meaningful problems

Jake Spain
Wednesday, August 2nd 2023

Listen to the full interview with Dr Michael Filosi on the new ThirtyNiners podcast.

Try Hard’ is usually a phrase hurled at those who expend unnecessary excessive effort, but Dr Michael Filosi, Principal Dentist of Fullarton Park Dental, is a proud and unapologetic Try Hard.’

Michael recently sat down with the South Australian Business Chamber’s Tim Lavis on the ThirtyNiners Podcast to discuss how his passion for solving interesting and meaningful problems from an early age helped shape the business owner he is today.

Growing up my dad was a motor mechanic and did it all himself – he didn’t employ anyone else, and I think by osmosis the incredible work ethic dad exhibited was always really impressive to me.”

Whilst Michael’s dad solved the hard, interesting and meaningful problems with his hands, Michael loved the challenge of solving them with his head.

Michael admits that early in his life this passion was directly channelled into board games, but says it is funny to look back on how this may have created the foundation for being a future business owner.

Playing board games has always really spun my gears, and it’s really a lot like a business — you learn to negotiate, you learn how to win with grace, you learn how to lose with dignity as well, and ultimately you learn how to cultivate ongoing relationships with those you play with, so that they want to continue playing the games with you afterwards”.

These early lessons sparked a ferocious tenacity and genuine enjoyment of diving deep into solving complex issues, but Michael admits one of the most fulfilling parts of being a business owner is surrounding himself with motivated and passionate people who like to do the same.

In the workplace or in general, I’d much rather surround myself with people who are ready to move mountains and work incredibly hard – I’d rather work with the candle that burns the longest, not the one that necessarily burns the brightest.”

Now being involved in the ThirtyNiners, Michael thoroughly enjoys having these hard and meaningful conversations with other trailblazing business owners in South Australia.

I am glad to be a part of it and there are lots of interesting discussions and learnings with contrasting approaches, and it is okay to hear a contrasting view on something and think I’ll probably learn something from it’, and if not, it is good to have your view challenged to help you grow”. 

This approach of being unapologetic in loving what you are passionate about is the bedrock of Michael’s core beliefs and something he is pleased to see South Australia now doing across the business sector.

I think not worrying about being in competition with any other states and having our own unique identity that then flows into business is exciting, and I’m really excited about the next ten-to-twenty-to-thirty years in South Australia”

So, what’s Michael’s next challenge? Reading his height in books, and as Michael reveals, he is 6 foot 6 inches (198cm).

I didn’t enjoy reading at school, but now I get to read what I want, and I think there is great value in reading books to help improve yourself, so I have set myself a challenge over the next few years to read my height in books and I am probably around two-thirds of the way there”.

To learn more about the power of being proud to try hard,’ listen to our full conversation with Michael Filosi on the ThirtyNiners Podcast by the South Australian Business Chamber. Search for it wherever you hear your podcasts.


Jake Spain

Marketing and Communications Executive
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