Where are you from?
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
What’s your background?
So I grew up here in Brisbane. I was born in Brisbane and grew up here until I was 8 years old. Then when I was 8 I moved over to Shanghai, China and spent 2 years growing up in China which was fantastic.
I was living in Shanghai, going to an international school and travelling all around the world. I came back to Australia when I was about 10 years old and finished my high school here in Brisbane. And then, after graduating high school, ended up deferring university to run my business full time.
So, for me, I started Bop Industries when I was 14 years old and in grade 9 as part of a school business project and grew it from selling keyrings at local markets to by the time I was graduating year twelve, we were running one of Australia’s largest holographic projections companies.
So we were doing events all around the world. I was missing about 5 weeks of school every term just travelling around to meet clients and doing some really cool stuff. And then, yeah, from there graduated year twelve at the end of 2017 and ran the business full time and I’m still doing it today and I’m absolutely loving it. I’m getting to be on a plane about once every two weeks, travelling everywhere and meeting amazing people and helping inspire the next generation while also creating some pretty cool tech along the way.
What’s important to you and your life?
I think, for me, I’m a very outcome driven person. I think, from my mom I’m a bit of a workaholic.
I actually love it but I think, for me, I work driven very much by impact as opposed to profit.
So, I’m all about the purpose and all about really making a difference. So for me, definitely being able to make a difference. Getting to travel is really important. I can’t stand still. I get itchy feet really, really easily. So I love being able to travel, make an impact, and see some outcomes but also, too, I think, family, friends and good relationships are really important to me.
But I very much believe that you become the culmination of the five people you spend the most time with. So I make sure that those five people that I spend the most time with and everyone else that I spend my time with is what I want to be more like.
What specific experiences have shaped your view?
I think living in China has definitely opened my eyes to the world.
So being able to have friends from all around the world — and I still keep in touch with all those friends — has given me a very global mindset.
Ever since coming back when I was 10 years old, I’ve been desperate to get out of Australia again. Like, I love coming back home but at the same time I’m always super excited to leave and experience new countries, new cultures, and new experiences.
I think, as well as that, definitely my mum’s work ethic. She has worked her way up in the HR space at Accenture. So seeing her climb the corporate ladder and be able to do some amazing things has really driven my work ethic. And also, too, I think, my mentors.
I got started in the startup space in Brisbane. I was 14 years old. Isaac from Fishies, he reached out and said “like hey, come hang out. Come on, get involved in the community,” and just growing up and seeing the Brisbane Startup ecosystem grow with me has been really cool.
I think it was very much still in its infancy in 2014 and seeing it now in 2019 with coworking spaces across the city is super exciting and really embracing that ‘give first’ mentality that I think Brisbane really has, it’s all about paying it forward, getting involved in the community and helping out whoever you can. Yeah, I think that’s the main things that really shaped who I’ve become today.
I’d love to find out from people that have already walked this walk before, like potentially people that are retired or that are in the final stages of life. I’d love to see what is important to them now, what was important to them when they were in the peak of their career and what they would change if they were to do it again.
I think the biggest fear of mine is that I’m gonna get to sitting in my rocking chair and I’m gonna regret the decisions I made. I would just love to talk to someone sitting in their rocking chair and get their point of view, like, talk to someone that was super high performing and valued their career, and someone that really valued their family — talk to both of them about them about what their thoughts were about their decisions.
Scott is the founder of Bop Industries.