some image

Our History

The History of Beyond Success

Our founders, Paul and Mary, decided they wanted to ‘change the world’ by teaching and training others to reach their potential.  In more than 30 years, they have never wavered from this intention, and today are proud to own Australia’s most influential and successful personal development company.

Paul and Mary Blackburn were both teachers in a western Sydney high school in 1974 when they met and fell in love.  They married the following year.

Always a dreamer and possibility thinker, Paul quickly convinced Mary that two teachers’ salaries didn’t add up to millionaire status, and so they embarked on a number of micro business activities with mixed success.

By the early 80s, Paul, feeling lost, found himself in the self-help section of a bookshop and on impulse picked up a brightly-coloured, skinny book that promised “thoughts were things that controlled the world around us”.

Burning the midnight oil, he became more and more excited by the idea that you could “think your way to success” and was shortly off to America where “they even run courses on this stuff!!!”

Enriched, excited and enthused about what he’d learned in just one life-changing weekend, Paul knew he had found his quest and vision in life.  Mary, witnessing the new exuberance in her husband, understood that her life, too, was about to change forever.

From that day, Paul and Mary decided to “change the world” by entering the personal development field, teaching and training others to reach their potential.  In more than 30 years, they have never wavered from this intention.

By 1990, Paul and Mary had two young daughters and a dream of running their own conference centre.  They sold everything in Sydney – the Benz was traded in for a Range Rover and the windsurfer converted to an ultra-light sports aircraft that could fly out of the front paddock – and moved to their dream location on 250 acres, ten kilometres outside Gundaroo in rural NSW.

FamilyEighteen months spent living in a caravan with no water or electricity, building the Boolgana Conference Centre with their own hands, and raising two young girls, would be a test for any relationship – but they grew closer together as they cooked on an open fire, worked as builders’ labourers and washed the cutlery and themselves in the dam.

Meanwhile, Paul was conducting seminars and annual conventions across Australia.  Firewalking seminars were held as far afield as England, Ireland, Hong Kong and the USA.  Paul had regular spots on radio and TV, and sparked a media frenzy when one of the Adelaide Crows claimed to have sustained serious burns from firewalking.

By the mid-90s, as a result of Mary’s strategic marketing activities, Beyond Success’ corporate and government client list was growing, and business was booming.  Paul published his first book, Beyond Success: Why Everything You Ever Wanted Won’t Be Enough, which is now in its third edition.

In 2003, Paul was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and given three years to live.  While Paul proved the doctors and the diagnosis wrong, it made the couple re-evaluate their lives and their business.  Recognising that they had nothing to lose, Paul and Mary decided that their gift needed to be passed on to others who also wanted a better world.

Paul and Mary completely re-engineered Beyond Success, which now produces and sells thousands of home study personal development courses, tapes, CDs, DVDs, books, manuals and training programs.

Paul and Mary now train some of Australia’s – and in fact the world’s best coaches – and speak at success super-conferences of 1,000 people and more.  They sponsor kids’ and teens’ personal development programs and spearhead revolutionary personal development delivery systems.

The world is indeed a better place.