Great leadership is an effect of lifelong lessons that include surviving and thriving for a dream. In this empowering episode, Ben Baker talks to Scotty Schindler, the CEO and Founder of the software startup company ReNet. Scotty opens up about his humble past and shares how he created his own software empire. He also dives into the hiring process and spills some leadership secrets on how he’s keeping the company mission, vision, and values intact while making it continuously grow.
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Surfing The Waves Of Leadership With Scotty Schindler
We have a guest that I had been waiting to have on the show. Scotty Schindler is a mate of mine from the Eastern Coast of Australia. He is a surfer extraordinaire. He’s retired. He’s on his second career and he’s doing probably more with his life that he’s “retired” than most people do their entire life. Scotty, welcome to the show.
I want people to have a great idea about where you came from, where you are, and where you’re going. You’ve had an amazing career and you’re having a second amazing career. What’s the story of Scotty Schindler and how did you get to where you are?
There was no magic wand, so let’s get that right. I grew up with a poor family and a not so good neighborhood, and a single mother with four kids. I was the only boy surrounded by four women, three sisters and my mom. Since the age of sixteen, I’ve paid for everything and done everything on my own. There’s no silver spoon, no magic wand, no mentors or father. I said to go out and start and I did. I started trying to create a lifestyle for myself and something new. I didn’t want to be like how I grew up, I wanted something better. It took time. I churned through and I went through the insurance business, which was awesome.
I started working for an American insurance company and they were all about motivation, goal setting and success. I started to thrive on that stuff. After several years, I decided to have a crack on my own and start a software company. Even then, it took six attempts before I founded the company ReNet. ReNet was the sixth attempt at a software company in the IT world. I had that for eighteen years and you’re right. I did manage to have a full succession plan after the entrepreneurial goal was achieved and I managed to exit, be retired and financially independent by the age of 46.
If you want to know what I’m doing, I’m not as busy as I was then. I am being asked to do a lot more talking, sharing the stories and some of the unique things I did. Apart from the motivation the Americans gave me from the insurance company, I had to crack at a lot of things I believed in on my own. What I’m finding is some of that’s fairly unique and I went, “I’ve learned some unique ways of saying this stuff. I’m enjoying it. It’s like an adrenaline hit, an ego rush that people are enjoying the content and the way I describe things as a normal person, who achieved some extra normal success. That’s what I’m enjoying.
You’re very humble about where you came from. I love that about you. ReNet was an incredible success on its own. There are a lot of failures that you said, six businesses that didn’t quite make it before you did it. In the property management field, that ReNet bled into it and you guys managed over $1 trillion worth of property. You must’ve learned some incredible things along the way. The lessons that you must have learned. I want to get into that first and foremost because we are all a byproduct of our past, of the things that we learned, of the experiences that we had, of the successes and the failures.
I’d love to talk to you about what were the failures that brought you to learn to start ReNet. What are the successes once you became successful in ReNet that you said, “These are the fundamentals of my brand, of my business. This is how I want to treat my customers. This is how I want to treat my employees. These are the things that are important to me?” It’s important for people to realize that it’s a journey. Life is a journey and businesses are a journey. I want to go on that journey with you and sit there and say, “What are the things that you’ve learned along the way that allowed you to have that type of success beyond learning how to be self-motivated?”
One of the good things when I got to the end and I exited and I was out of the business. It’s like the end of the football season, you get to look back on the season and go, what worked and what didn’t work and you did that after a game or a season. My thing was I got to do it after a career. I’ve got to look back and go, “How old are you?” Some of the things I wanted to execute when I first started in 2000 did work. Let me get back to the insurance days. What I did was they got a little bit of money from a lot of people all the time, I renew all the time.
I need to create one of those. One of the business principles I had and this is before Software as a Service, before you subscribed to all these things. You still bought all your software. I wanted to create something where people had to pay like the insurance a little bit of money all the time. It repeated. The other thing I wanted to do was make sure it was smart, it was intelligent. In other words, let’s say at the turn of the century, one of the most advanced things you could do online was get a website. It’s not very advanced, but back then, they have a website presence. You have a brochure online where people can type in my web address and find my brochure.
I knew that if all you did was that, it wasn’t very intelligent. You have to keep producing more websites. It wasn’t a duplicatable system. It wasn’t anything intelligent about it. It was going to work. I wanted to make sure I had something that was duplicatable and that’s where in the end, I created the software. I went down the software part. That took a little while to get to because at the time online databasing, which is called in the cloud, that didn’t exist. It was very fresh. It did exist but it wasn’t as it is. I was at the forefront of that technology, but it was hard too because people didn’t want to subscribe to a service.
People wanted to buy a product and they wanted to own it and put it on their computer in their office. I had all these barriers of market entry as well because people weren’t expecting it. We know we want cloud services. We want to be in New York to Fiji, we want to be on holidays with a family in the snow. We want to be out and be at a coffee shop if we need to and check on a few things. We want everything in the cloud. That wasn’t the case several years ago. The barriers to entry of a product like that were quite strong. I didn’t give any choice. That’s what I wanted as a company and that’s the product I took to market. A couple of those things worked well. Time duplication worked the way I built the product. The way I went to market with the product was at the end of the day very fortunate. It’s standard practice.
The other thing as far as the product goes and the way I rolled it out was very smart as the way I duplicated the time, the knowledge and effort. I had my clients build up the product for me. Instead of going to market and finding out what people might want in trying to build a product for it, I went out to the cold face and I asked people as I sold them a product, “What else could I do?” I kept on building on that. I had a good product, but I didn’t plan on the business of going as big as it did. I wanted to have a business that was manageable, sustainable and profitable. I had that but it kept on growing. I’m an entrepreneur, so every time there was another opportunity, I took the opportunity.
That was my goal at the beginning, sustainable, profitable and manageable. You can’t get those three and you’ve got this unicorn idea in your head. You might collapse or maybe I could’ve had a unicorn business. I still did very well out of it and I’m very happy. At the end of the day, I get an A-plus report card even though I’m not Richard Branson nor Bill Gates, I still did well out of the software. You’re right at the end, several years later I manage $1.125 trillion worth of real estate across Australia and New Zealand, which is something I was so proud of.Your staff members are your most important asset, not the client. Click To Tweet
That’s an incredible outcome, but it’s the process that got you there that fascinates me because you said something that should be intuitive for everybody, but it’s not. Too many companies, and you’re right, the unicorns, and everything go, “I’ve got this great idea. I’m going to go out and build this and there will be a market for it.” Of course, there will be a market for it but that’s not reality. The reality is you need to sit there and say, “What does the world want? What does the world need? What are the problems that I can solve and go out and solve them?” You are constantly doing the communication thing with your customers to sit there and say, “I’m already doing this for you. You already know, like and trust me. You’re already doing business with me. You already know that I’m taking care of you. What else can I do for you?”
That’s an extremely powerful thing for any entrepreneur, any business owner to think about is talking to our customers. It’s having a real-life communication of saying, “What am I doing well? What aren’t I doing well and how can I do this better? How can I serve you better?” It wasn’t just you. This company with you at one point, whatever trillion-dollar company, wasn’t just you. How did you instill that level of success and motivate your people so they understood your mission, vision, and values to be able to treat your customers in the way that you saw your brand should treat them?
I hired everybody so I never add sourced hiring everybody. Everyone I employed or hired with a certain expectation that they wanted to go on a journey of growth and development themselves. I didn’t hire, I like to use the term sugar and cream leadership. I wasn’t looking for the cream. The other people on the top, I was looking for the sugar. The people that needed a little bit of steering and a little bit of motivation, they could become someone themselves like I was, I’m a rough diamond. I wanted those rough diamonds to come into the business and create those opportunities. To get there, we went on this journey.
I had no to fire policy. Not that I didn’t actually fire anybody. I had a couple that I had to in the first month or so and one guy that did some misrepresentation. Generally, once I hired someone, we’re stuck for life unless they left. I made sure it was my responsibility to get the value out of that staff member because I saw it in the end, the staff members with my most important asset, not the client. If I looked after my staff and I train my staff to do what I wanted them to do, they would be giving that to the thousands of clients that we had. I spoke to a lot on the staff their development, their knowledge, and their skillsets.
That’s how I retained staff. In the end, retained clients and grew the business through the staff. I couldn’t do it all on my own. I’m acutely aware of that. That’s part of the whole time duplication. How do I get more Scotts in the business to do what Scott does? I haven’t any more Scotts in the business to be better at what I do. Not only do I get someone to replace me, but I’ve also got someone to improve me and I was constantly trying to achieve that for client retention, product development. What are the ideas and how would these people add value to both myself and the company, the products and the clients? That was some of the basic principles of how I developed the company. My staff retention was pretty high. I didn’t have too much trouble with the staff.
Are you hiring people for a position? Are you hiring people based on, “I think that this person is someone that can grow within our company?” What are the qualities you were looking for when you were hiring that particular person?
The number one quality I was looking for is direction. I don’t care where they were, I care where they wanted to go. That was the biggest thing I had. Were they coming in motivated, wanting to learn and grow and become better person themselves or were they at a certain level that I didn’t see the potential to grow any further? If someone came in that skillful and knew a lot, but I felt like that would be trying to sell what they knew, they weren’t selling on what they wanted to learn and the direction they wanted to go on their career in 4 or 5, 6 years’ time, they weren’t the person for me. They would come in and they wouldn’t grow and prosper.
I tend to hire someone within six months’ time because I have to teach them everything about the product anyway. It’s impossible for me to hire someone to come in and know what the ReNet product did. It’s physically impossible. There’s no one else. It was at our own proprietary software. I wrote the software with the team or on my own in the early days. There was no way I can hire someone new. I have to teach them everything anyway, even though they might be programmers and bring a skillset.
If they weren’t the people that wanted to grow, prosper and help us with the product development and the road maps we had, there was no point. It was super important and critical about where these people wanted to get to. Not because they were good but because they wanted to be better. That’s what I was looking for. Every single staff member in the business was on bonuses. I didn’t have office hours. They could come and go as they wanted. They all got bonuses and they all could go the extra mile and top up their income if they wanted to by doing whatever it was. It was important. Not so much of the skillset, degrees weren’t important. I could teach them stuff. I needed them to be open-minded and spongy enough to learn, grow and develop.
Companies need to be able to think about that because there are too many companies where people are hired for a particular skill. We need a programmer that does this or we need somebody that can do that. When you’re hiring those people for the job, they’re going to get bored in six months, a year, two years and five years down the road. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, but if you don’t have something for them to transition into, if you’re not hiring people with a growth mentality and people that are looking to get to that next level, they’re going to leave you and they’re going to leave you quick.
A good example of that is when I hired a graphic designer who wanted to be a website designer, it was perfect because we didn’t need a graphic designer. Someone with graphic skills who wanted to be a website designer is perfect. We taught him how to build websites our way, not him and what we did to produce real estate websites that were integrated with that real estate software. He’s learning something new. He’s got an extra stride when he comes into work. Not only is he putting this graphic skillset to work and feeling good about his value that he’s adding to the business, he’s learning something new. He’s growing and developing.
To give an example to use the word him, my head website designer in the end that was with us for seven years, I bet he went back to his wife and said, “Look what I did? Look what I achieved?” It was new and fresh. There was a young lady we hired. She’d done her certificate for IT. She was quasi playing around becoming a programmer. In the end, we hired her to do the support because she understood all the software. We then told her. In the end she was our salesperson, she was our trainer, she was our front of house and she was all things. That wasn’t what she wanted to as a career. I could teach her all those things because she was open-minded to it. In the end, she was good at it. I can give you all the stories about all staff that did that stuff.
I took them on journeys themselves. What are you good at and how can I utilize that to grow the business? My staff was so important how I noted them true to become another Scott, but preferably a better Scott than Scott is, so that way I had more of me in the office doing what I could do good. That was so important. It’s hiring someone that might have a degree or a qualification or ten years’ experience of doing something. It’s okay, but as long as that’s not their stopping block, as long as that’s not where they’re at. What I want to know is where do they want to go. What does the future hold for the next ten years? I don’t mind if someone says, “I want to start my own company in five years’ time.” That’s okay. I’m always happy to take them on that journey and get the best five years out of them until they started their own company. As long as they wanted to grow and develop, I was happy.
Even if they grow and they grow out of your business and they grow into their own, they become advocates for you. They don’t leave your company with a bad feeling and an old taste in their mouths. They know that “Scotty helped me get there.” They become partners and they become sourcing relationships. There’s a lot of value to that as well. You’re right, not every person is going to stay with you forever. I wish it was true but it truly isn’t. It’s not going to happen. In this world, not everybody is going to stay with you, but if you can get the best out of people for as long as you can give them and give them the motivation, the training, the value and be a leader to them, that’s where the real relationships happen. My question to you is as the company grew, as you got bigger and you went from being 5 to 25 to 5,200 to however many employees, how did you keep up the mission, vision, and values of the company and communicate effectively as the company grew? That’s a huge challenge for a lot of companies.New hires need to be open-minded and spongy enough to learn, grow, and develop. Click To Tweet
It is a huge challenge, but it comes from the top down. At the end of the day, they become a product of yourself. It doesn’t matter how big your team is. You could be a team with five people. You could be a team of 500. I don’t know what it’s like to have a team of 1,000 or 5,000 or an Apple. It goes from Steve Jobs all the way down. That’s how it works. It starts at the top. If you don’t practice what you preach, walk the walk, talking the talking, you don’t have that ground-level support. It doesn’t happen. You have to have that stuff from the top. It wouldn’t matter whether it was a football team. It’s the same thing. If you’re telling your team to turn up for training on Tuesdays and Thursdays and you don’t turn up yourself as the leader because you’ve got bookwork to do, that’s not effective.
It starts at the top and works its way down. In the company, I hired all these people on all these expectations. In a sense, my role changed in the end that my most important clients were my start. If they were happy and I’m producing what I wanted him to do for the company, it was leading its way down to the end result, which is clients, revenue and growth. My most important clients every single day of the week was actually my staff. How are they feeling? How are they doing what they’re supposed to do? If you get an operating capacity of a company at 80% or 90%, it’s operating pretty good. If they’re operating at 50% or 60% capacity, which is probably normal because of all the stuff people have to do that’s outside of capacity levels, it’s hard. That 20% to 30% is a lot of money in revenue and environment that people feel a part of.
If you can focus on your staff is the most important asset you have and make sure they’re doing all the things right, you’re keeping them all top of their game, your company is going to be fine. It does start at the top. Going back to what you said, I like the leadership report card. If you’ve been a good leader and you’ve been a good person that’s developing the skillsets of others, when they leave your business, they should go on and prosper. If all the people leave your business fail, which is probably not possible. Let’s imagine you had a business and every time someone left, they all fell over to, “You might think and see that one is no good.” That’s not true. If everyone goes on and prospers and succeeds because you were good at doing what you were doing, and you only get people for so long before they want to leave the nest. If they’re any good, they’re going to want to leave the nest.
It’s like kids. You don’t want them living at home forever.
While they’re there, give them all the opportunities and help them grow so that way when they do leave the nest, you’ve got the best out of them and they can have the best journey of themselves as well. That’s the way it is. Your leadership report card is more about what happens when people leave rather than while they’re with you. If they leave, go on, prosper and succeed and not everyone’s going to, but if a lot of them do, you’ve done a good job as a leader. It’s the report cards, not while they’re there. The report cards look back on the last five or ten years.
Where are they now? If some of those people have gone on, prospered and succeeded, you’ve done a good job. You’re going to turn those people over. That’s a fact of life. Hire someone new and the year after, like you did and the year before. What’s the report card? How do you know if you were a good leader? For the people who left in the last ten years or five years, where are they? Have they gone on and use some of the things you taught them? If they have and they’ve grown businesses on their own or they’ve succeeded on their own, then you’ve done a good job.
There’s a lot of gratification as a business owner. I’ve never had a business that large. I have, I’ve had businesses where I’ve had 30 employees, but you’re right. It’s watching people succeed on their own. There’s an amazing satisfaction in that. There’s an amazing satisfaction to know that you might’ve had a small hand in giving them the tools, the confidence and the ability to go out on their own and be the best that they can be. There’s a lot of pride that comes out of that and that can only do that if you’re a great leader.
If it’s not all about you, if it’s all about the team. If it’s about the people, and I love the word that you said, internal clients. I believe the same thing. If we treat our employees like clients and our first level of clients and they are the most important people to us, then I think that our businesses will always succeed. It’s when we treat our people like numbers. “If they leave, I can hire somebody else. Bring me somebody off the street. It’s no big deal.” Those are the companies that are never going to succeed in the long-term.
There are some people that come into the business and in the end, you find out they’re soldiers. They want to come to work, get their job done and leave. You can’t do much with those. I had those. You’ve got to let them be soldiers. They’d be the best soldiers they can be. You can’t expect them to be there at 7:00 at night trying to finish this stuff. It’s 5:00, the bell rings, they’re out of there even though we have no bell. You have to accept that’s the way everyone is. What you’re looking for is the people that do want to achieve more, grow more and succeed more.
They are the people you’re honing in your skillset for because they are the ones who become part of your core team of the future of the business. I’m also a big believer in self-leadership too. If you know who you are, where you stand and what you want to do, you look at yourself first and then that flows on to everyone else because you understand how to be a self-leader. You can also help other people to become self-leaders as well, to learn, grow and prosper on their own as well. That all comes back to the business.
Some leaders run around, but positively they’re blaming the other people in the business when the business owner or the manager at level of in the company doesn’t even know what they want to do or where they want to go, what they want to achieve. Self-leadership is so important too. Being able to set your own goals, have your own objectives, understand what your activities are going to be to achieve what you want to achieve. That can flow through the business either up or down, depending on where you are.
Let’s take that moment to transition to where you are because you’ve made the transition and you’re speaking and doing a whole bunch of other things that are outside of the business world but attached to the business world. Tell me about how you made that transition. Where was the light bulb that came on after you left ReNet and saying, “It’s now time for the next chapter and this is what it’s going to be?”
The truth is, I didn’t want to leave ReNet. What happened was, as a true leader, what I did was I made myself redundant in the business. I believed I should be redundant at all times. I can do anything but my objective was to make myself redundant. New owners came along in October of 2017 and I replaced myself as CEO and the other guy came in as CEO. After a couple of months of me sitting there on the sidelines, giving him an opportunity to be CEO and being the spare tire. I didn’t work. If it didn’t work, I’ll step back in. If it does work, I’ll come up with a new role for me. I stepped aside and did nothing because I didn’t need to do anything.
It was awesome. It’s on a report card. He took off and off he went. They turned around and their comments from the new owners was, “What do you do here anyway?” I’m thinking, “Isn’t that a good leader when the business can operate with or without me? That’s perfect isn’t it?” Long story short is we didn’t saw eye-to-eye so we parted ways. The transition came that I said, “Don’t worry about it. I’m financially independent. It’s your company now. I can’t do this bitsy thing. I’m out. It’s yours. Take it, run with it, do whatever you like.” I took a few months of loss of sleep wondering why because I had no other plan B. That was it.Your company will not grow without ground-level support and you practicing what you preach, walking your walk, and talking the talk. Click To Tweet
It was retirement and I went surfing, I started mowing the lawn and washing the car a lot and do those things. People started asking me, “Can you come and help me in my business? Can you come and mentor me?” I have charged them some money for that. That was all right. What I found was when I opened up this journey of where I am, I expected when I was talking to people for them to going, “I’ve read that in a book. I saw that in another conference. I’ve seen that on a video somewhere else.”
I expect them to be not open to some of the ideas I have. It wasn’t the case. People are going, “I liked the way you put that. I liked the way you talk about time duplication. I liked the way you talk about business judo. I like the way you balanced it out with school teacher hours. I like the way you talk about healthy, wealthy and wise as a business owner. I liked those things.” All of a sudden, I was asked to talk to Google. Google asked me to talk for their startup grind series. I went, “I can do that.” The rest is history since then. More and more people want to know a couple of small snippets of how they can take and grow their businesses and be effective. I’m happy to share this story. I have no qualms with that at all. I produce a lot of free content on my LinkedIn profile. Anyone can go and look at. It’s all free and I hope to have some success themselves. This chapter that I’m in has started because of, I’ll call it domain or opportunity, either way. People that are interested in my story.
It’s not only the story but it’s how you tell it. I’ve been through your website. You and I have talked half a dozen or a dozen times. I’ve watched your videos and it’s not the words themselves, it’s the person behind it because you’re authentic. That’s what people draw to other people, it is authenticity. This is your life story and you tell your life story in a way. I could never tell your life story and you could never tell mine. We both come to this world. We’re both on stages. We both talked to a lot of people. We both have that wonderful way to tell stories in the world.
You’re going to tell it completely different from I am and I’m going to tell from yours. What it comes down to is you need to be authentically you. I love that about you. I love the fact that you sit there and say, first of all, the humility and second of all, it’s the fact that, “This is my story.” You told me, “Ask me anything you want. I’m an open book.” That’s powerful. That’s a person who sits there and says, “I’m comfortable in my own skin. I’m comfortable with who I am. I’m comfortable where I’ve been. I’m comfortable where I’m going.” My question to you is, where are you going?
I don’t know. I’m happy to see for the first time in my life where the universe takes me. Through those insurance days, I was teaching and training people on how to sell. Sales is my trade. If I had to give a trade, it’s selling. It’s fun to how being able to ask the right questions, do the right closers, give the right presentations that produce the result, even though I can’t. A lot of people are scared of selling, but they shouldn’t be. Selling is a forgotten trade, unfortunately. I see so much opportunity to share more and more knowledge with that. That’s easy for me.
That’s something that I could do any day of the week, where I am enjoying is this whole journey. I worked for new American insurance company. What would really validate my story for me is being able to go to America and share the story with Americans. If a guy from Australia and regional Australia can use all those American motivational books, knowledge bases and all their principles to succeed, the American should be able to do it. I can go to them and say, “I did it. I followed Napoleon Hill. I followed all those books.” I’ve got Tony Robbins’ Personal Power from 1996 or 1997 when I bought it.
I followed all those things and it worked. If I can do it, you can do it. Where to from here is I’m going to let the universe unfold as it does. People are asking me to talk all the time in front of house is something I did even through the software with the training and the teaching. I did all that. It’s all easy to stand in front of groups and share my story. I’m talking with Ignite Mid North Coast, which is a government initiative about regional development in Australia and what it looks like maybe in 2030, what does regional Australia look like?
To give you an example of what you said, when I got asked to talk for Google, I had a friend of mine asked me, “What are you doing to prepare?” I said, “Nothing. I don’t have to prepare anything. I was there.” It’s true. You can ask me whatever you want and I’ll tell you what I did. I don’t have to get it right because that’s what it says in the book. I may even miss quoting Napoleon Hill all the time but I don’t care. What I can tell you is here’s what I learned. Here’s how I implemented it. Here’s how some things work and has some things didn’t and how I’ve managed to turn those things around and in the end still have a company, still have growth and still succeed.
Was every year a big year? No. Did I have staff leave? Yes. Did I have clients leave? Yes. Did I have a product that didn’t work and they have setbacks? All the time. I’ll get up and talk about what I did and how I implemented it as a normal person can and talk about things in a normal way without it being academic and full of big words, what acronyms and buzzwords. If that’s the way the journey takes me in the next ten years, I’m super happy to do the traveling, share those lessons and give people that confidence and belief that they can do it too.
I can’t let you leave without talking to you about surfing and being a firefighter. These are the two things I love about you. The fact that you still do volunteer firefighting or are you actually on the brigade?
There are three levels in Australia. There are full-time guys, who are full-time firemen. There are the volunteer guys, which are the bush guys and they did the bushfires. There are the people in the middle, which believe it or not, is 80% of the fire brigade. They get paid when there’s an event. We don’t sit at the station waiting for a call. If there’s a car accident in a hotel that involves the fire brigade, I’ll get a pager to go off. If I’m available, the pager will go off and say, “There’s an incident, turn up the station.” We’d go out and respond to a house fire or a car accident, the ambulance assist, bushfire, anything in our little regional area right out on our community. It’s paid.
I do make about $10,000 a year, which I like because it means it’s professional. They train us properly and we’re expected to be there. When you’re a business person, you like that level of professionalism. Where actually 80% of the fire brigade, the retrained people like me. Only 20% of the fire brigade sits at the station waiting for the buzzer to go off because there’s some incident in the cities and the big towns, the rest of us are retrained. Let’s face it, nothing happens for a week and if there’s a car accident you go and help. You might get some times five in one day and nothing for a week. You don’t know it. That’s my way of giving back to the community and I’ve been doing that for several years.
The $10,000 a year doesn’t make a massive difference. To me, it’s a good money. For a long time there I also got to wear a different hat. When the pager goes off, I stopped being CEO of ReNet and I go on and become firefighter Schindler. I go out and I get to focus on something else for five minutes or one hour. Deal with the situation which teaches you so much about response times and being able to assist situations which can be bad and try and work out how to solve them. You get to do a lot of things like that, it was awesome. I love being able to wear that other hat, then go back to work. I’ve implemented a lot of things out of the fire brigade into business life. For example, one of the analogies I have with the selling zones is the cold, warm and hot zone. In the fire brigade, we have the hot zone. We have the warm and the cold zone, the hot zone is where the fire is.
The warm zone is where all the infrastructure is like the actual police, the ambulance, the fire brigade track and everything else. The cold zone is everyone else. In selling, it’s the same. You’re getting people out of the colds and warms so they can have a conversation into the hot zone where they become a client. I can use that analogy all day. I’ve learned a lot from the fire brigade too by being able to think laterally about how that applies to business. It has been good fun. The fire brigade for me has been, a way of me getting back, but I’ve also managed to take a lot of business ideas advert as well. I’m proud of what I do there. I could have been a volunteer, but I wanted to go down the path of the middle road because I thought it was more professional.
Go to Scotty’s website ScottySchindler.com to look at the surfing videos. Your surfing stuff is awesome. I’ve got to come out to Australia so you and I can sit on the beach, have a beer and you can teach me actually how to get up on a board, let alone surf. I want to learn how to get up there. One last question I ask everybody when you walk out the door, when you get in your car and you drive away, what’s the one thing you want people to think about you when you’re not in the room?
A lot of people think I’m lucky. If I had anything, I’d want people to not think that I was lucky, but to think they could be lucky too. They could be able to achieve the successes as well, “If he can do it well, why can’t I?” Not so much about me. At the end of the day, I get lucky. A lot of people on this journey themselves and they’re not quite there or they haven’t quite got the traction. I managed to get it all through sheer determination and hard work. I’d like when I left the room, they’ll go, “I liked Scotty’s story. If he can do it, I can do it.” That’s what I’d like to have happened. Not so much about me, even though there’s some cool stuff in there, it’s not about that. It’s about people being able to see that in themselves and be able to go, “I can learn from Scotty. I can go on this journey and I can have my success and my goals achieved with a bit of dedication and focus.” That’s what I’d really like.
The harder that you’ve worked, the better you’ve treated people, the luckier you’ve become. Thank you for being a lucky guy and thank you for being such an amazing guest. I’ve enjoyed this conversation and thanks for being on the show.
It’s my pleasure. I enjoy sharing it. Through things like LinkedIn be able to connect with people like yourself from all over the world.
Let’s make sure that more people connect with you.
- Scotty Schindler
- Personal Power
About Scotty Schindler
Scott Schindler is a business and sports leader proudly from Sawtell, New South Wales, Australia. Now the retired startup founder and CEO of ReNet, he is recognised as a leading Aussie business identity and keen surfer who has won multiple Surfing Titles. An overview of Scott’s life shows an enviable ability to achieve success in anything he pursues. At its core, Scott’s career is a story of creativity, hard work, and a love of Australian life. As CEO of ReNet, Scott has presided over the growth of a startup business that began in 2000 with just 1 single property listing advertised. On Scotts’ retirement in 2017, ReNet managed over $1.125 Trillion Dollars ($1,125,771,059,045) in real estate across Australia and New Zealand by 5,000 real estate offices and some 15,000 real estate salespeople. In complement to his role as CEO, Scott is also a highly sought-after public speaker, trainer and thought leader within Australia, and around the world. A business mentor and sales trainer that can back up advice with proven results in his own life, Scott credits his ‘quintessentially Australian’ identity as a born optimist, and clear-cut straight talker, as key to his success in this arena. Before this present chapter of his life, Scott acquired his business and sales trade during 10 years in the insurance industry in the ’90s. Other organisations Scott is actively involved in are the Sawtell Boardriders, Sawtell Business Chamber, Surfing NSW and Fire + Rescue New South Wales. The roles vary but Scott’s devotion to community is a constant, and so too an unending love of business and surfing that has carved out many, many adventures. Alongside having represented and won for Australia at the World Surfing Titles, Scott also holds multiple surfing championships at all levels of amateur surfing. With an enduring belief that success in business and sport require dedication to the same qualities, Scott is also very proud of his work as a coach and trainer of WQS surfers, and Aussie surfers in junior development. When away from his work or sporting commitments, Scott spends time with his family, friends, and is a proud supporter and sponsor of local sporting groups such as Sawtell Surf Life Saving, and Sawtell Scorpions FC.
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