In 2015, I started my own company, Lifeboat Scooters, born out of a mix of passion and desperation. Built on a dream, funded by passion, and backed by reputation, that ethos would eventually carry my products to tens of thousands of scooter riders all over the world.

However, to start, I was selling locally made handlebars to other riders in my hometown of Brisbane, Australia. The first small batch I had produced was officially sold out, so I was overdue for a re-up. I took every cent I had to my name and ordered as many handlebars as I could. It was $3,000 and that got me 40 pairs of handlebars. That was everything I had, but it was everything I needed. I formulated a plan to launch an online scooter store, where I could sell my Lifeboat products alongside other more established brands in the industry.

However, others in the industry were not so keen on seeing me get established. Only one out of the five major distributors agreed to supply me, stating that since I didn't have a physical store, I didn't really have any skin in the game, like I wasn't invested enough. Some had policies, some just didn't want to piss off their other retailers, but the verdict was out: if I wanted to play with the big boys, then I needed my own physical storefront. But remember when I said I spent my life savings on a batch of bars? Opening a physical store was simply not on the cards for me. I had launched multiple physical stores for other people by this point in my life, so I had a pretty good idea of what kind of costs would be associated. Slat wall alone costs thousands of dollars. So, I stuck to my guns and launched my online store with my own gear and whatever product i could get from the one supplier who would stock me.

The online store was launched, a team was forming, and the hype was building. Orders weren't exactly flying out the door, but my bars were moving just enough that I could scrape by each week… just! The owner of a shoe company in the industry and I started talking and discussing the possibility of forming a partnership. I had the vision, the riders, and the experience, but I was missing a crucial resource for any fledgling business: money. He offered to put up $10,000 to secure a lease and build out a physical store. I fully intended to take him up on his offer. In fact, I was scouting locations and getting estimates on fitouts. I was moving full speed ahead. I mentioned it to my friend Reece, who told his dad, Muzz, who used to run a popular pie shop. One day, while Muzz was picking Reece up from a ride, he came over to me and, rather forwardly stated, “$10,000 is nowhere near enough. If you need money for your business, talk to me”. Next thing you know, we're at a McDonald's pricing up my dream scooter shop. "We're gonna need bond, a sign on the roof, decals on the windows, slat wall, a computer, a printer, not to mention the stock." It didn't take long to hit the magic number: $50,000. Muzz was officially in for $50,000.

At the time I was flat broke. My wife was paying all our bills, and I was surviving off handlebars, rationing the profits into cans of baked beans, 7/11 coffees, and Subway's infamous $2 toasties.

But I was delusionally optimistic and beyond desperate to hack together a system where I could make a living doing what I loved. I got the most minimal version of my product ready and released it, the bars. I put together the best website I could and launched it, with barely any product on it.

All I did was start. And like planting a flag, I posted on the internet saying "This is what I'm doing!" And for me, it worked out better than I ever could have imagined.


Finding Freedom is meant to be read in the following order:
Petition,  Dedication,  Conviction,  Exodus,  Competition,  
Treason,  Funding,  Physical,  Virtual,  Exponential.

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