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During his 25 years in the construction industry, Filimon employed over 1,000 people in his team. Throughout the course of his company he learnt a few things about people & learnt plenty in the design and building of magnificent structures. Over time he saw a strong connection between the two and realised that he much preferred & was better at Building People in comparison to constructing buildings. From a child, whether through sport, work, or business, he came from an environment that always asked, “how can it be done better?" The combination of all of this began the genesis of the “Built Better Project.”

 

People seem to want to move straight into the Penthouse of life; they want to have the best without becoming the best. The building with the greatest penthouse but built on weak foundations will always topple to the ground. In society, when we witness a life built on unstable foundations we see this ‘toppling’ in the form of fractured family units, loss of job or business, friendship breakups, emotional instability, mental health issues, depression and even self-harm.

 

In construction there are many different types of people across a range of ethnicities, genders, ages, and social demographics. Encapsulating all that were their experiences and perspectives which gave them their knowledge and meaning in how they view the world. Still, they all come together to create something that was designed step by step consciously, and with purpose. Most importantly it was built on a broad, strong foundation! After a lifetime of observing, practicing and testing this, we adopted the same blueprint to build people!

 

We ask, in society today are people intentionally building a life like a solid skyscraper, or are they slapping together a shanty shack which will topple at the first sign of nature's test?

 

After living a life through the filter of Be Better, we ask people to demand more of themselves, to stop gazing up at the penthouse of life wishing you’ll get there, but to find the tools, structures, and community to go do it!

The Story of The Built Better Project

about fil

About our Founder | Filimon Filippou

I have always done things differently and have been from a very young age. I have continually challenged things believing there is more to life than what I was observing around me. I was that pain-in-the-arse child who asked lots of questions and would only understand things from experiencing them. From that I became a pain-in-the-arse teenager which led me to graduating, yes you guessed it, to a pain-in-the-arse adult! 

 

This is how I was, and possibly still am perceived, but for me I was always establishing my own terms and conditions, nurturing into my own character. When younger I was expecting more of myself than what was I offered, I now believe in enabling more from others than they expect from themselves. What worked for me was coming from a migrant, hardworking family that may not have encouraged this, but they definitely did not deny me of it. 

 

I noticed in my early 20s that people were not experiencing or living life, they were more so doing life with the goal of attaining stuff. They were told to behave a certain way, speak in a certain manner, and achieve what others expected them to achieve.

In that young mind of mine, it seemed that people were competing to amass the most possessions, retire with the greatest complaints, and then die with the heaviest of regrets.

 

In my innocent ignorance and youthful naivety - and possibly influenced by the song My Way which was continuously played during my childhood. I chose to live a life of experiences and courage rather than one of formality and compliance. 

 

I appreciated my Greek heritage, the philosophers and the history that came along with it. So much so that when I read the words written by Plato, “know thyself," my young mind took them quite literally. When choosing this path I did not know it would put me on the journey of hardship as much as it did wonder. When everyone around me seemed to zig, I zagged, and there were many times when I was made wrong for being misunderstood. Even though I was extremely curious, I was not conscious of what I was doing, how I was doing it, or why I was doing it. 

 

I was not surrounded by wealthy people who could guide me, nor did I come from a family where freedom and abundance were purposefully practised. But I did come from a family where taking risks and fighting for our individuality was considered normal. From this foundation, I knew that if I rolled my sleeves and threw my hat into the ring I would not only discover myself but make things happen.

 

When one chooses a life of adventure and experiences it delivers the richness of variety. It was in this variety that I discovered the best, and worst parts of myself. Not only within friendship groups, different jobs, sports, schools, book genres and self-development programs, but also the variety and range which was deep within myself.

 

I put myself in so many different environments that while it seemed I was losing touch with who I was, I was actually constructing all that I could become. I silently gave myself unrealistic audacious goals and then purposefully went about not being fixed on the planning in which to achieve them but trusted through my foundation that I would achieve them.

By working in the family business from 9 years old and achieving a relatively high level of success across several sports as a child, I built on top of those experiences as I went into adulthood. I worked as hard as I played, and I played as hard as I worked. Along the way, me started to grow brains and get gooder and gooder at becoming myself - knowing there would be mistakes but not allowing them to negatively impact me.

 

The day after finishing school which I failed miserably, I got into the construction industry. Because of my upbringing and knowing from a young age that I was unemployable it wasn't long before I started my own business which then grew into a rather large company; having employed over 1,000 people during its existence. Throughout that time, I not only learnt the ins and outs of every role within the business, but I also took up a sport I would never have thought of taking up; trail running.

 

This period became the game changer for me because it not only put me into an environment of corporate people for the first time – something I swore I would never become when I was a child; but was grateful for due to the range of behaviours I encountered with people, it also allowed me to explore my mental and physical capacity. Over the years I ran many ultramarathons in the bush and mountains, but the magic came from the time devoted to training for them while still running a large company alone and even moving into other ventures.

 

Just like all the other experiences and endeavours I took on in life, I used this period to expand into yet another version of possibility. I was considered what would be successful according to society’s standards; (a growing and profitable business, home paid off within 10 years of purchasing it, investments across different scopes) but I had no idea what I was doing, nor how I was doing it. 

 

I always practised changing my environments, and when I did so I ensured I was the smallest fish in the pond. When I came close to reaching my capacity within that pond I always knew it was time to leave, this became a habit of life as I believed comfort was the death of the human spirit.

 

While people around me amassed more and more possessions, my wife and I spent many years of travelling and experiencing different parts of the world; all whilst still running the businesses. In 2012 the conversation about having children started to come up. This created a whole new level of thought that I had not really planned for. How can somebody do it “my way” if they had to be responsible for a helpless baby? I didn’t know it then, but it was during that period that had led me to this point in time where I'm not only able to share my story but the value which has come from it.

 

During those years before my daughter was born in 2015, I adopted the same constructivist philosophy I had done with every other part of my life - I was going to make it all up. This is where the Genesis of the Under Construction program began.

I came from no real structure, did not conform to any particular way of life, nor was I any good at listening to the advice of others who were leading a life I knew was not for me. So while training all those thousands of kilometres out in the bush and working across the countless construction sites across 3 cities I became conscious of the invisible structure I had created!

 

‘Know thyself’ is a common phrase that weakly gets splashed across many memes and fridge magnets. What people don’t know is that two other aphorisms, or principles which were inscribed by Plato on that forecourt at the Temple of Apollo in ancient Greece. Even though reading them as a child, I did not know I had subconsciously planted their meaning into my beingness of life.

 

Together the 3 maxims scribbled form somewhat of a code; ‘Know thyself - Nothing to excess - Certainty brings insanity.' Being an amateur Fil-osopher myself, I’ve since added another maxim to complement the three Plato gave us all those centuries ago… “Don’t take yourself so fricken seriously”! If one pays attention they will see how the essence of these four principles is sprinkled throughout each of the parts of the Built Better Program.

 

Within all those varied experiences, all the interactions that were seen and felt within them, all the perspectives that were offered, I reverse-engineered my life in its best, and in its ugliness. I then came up with a program that was designed to be for my daughter alone. There were no intentions to make it anything more.

 

Since 2014 I used it more and more while mentoring younger people and coaching adults, I realised its power as I continued to see great results. In essence, The Built Better Project does not tell anyone how to do things, instead, it offers and challenges them to break through the shackles of domestication and conformity; and to choose a life of courage and adventure. To reach the endpoint with bliss and satisfaction knowing they did it their way.

 

In that, I invite you to think about just one question…​

What would my purpose be if I followed my childhood dreams?

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