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31 August 2020

Scott W

Photo by Peter Holcroft

I grew up in the Byron Bay area. Did I enjoy school? Yes and no. Things turned around for me when I did some leadership camps. One of the biggest things I learned is that you don’t need to be a full-on out-there person to make a change. You don’t have to walk on fire – you can go out and do something small and it will have a massive change in ways that you can’t think of. I’ve learned that backing down and following others can have more of an effect than being a loudmouth yourself.

My experience at school was pretty much that I went from being a loner to just missing out on the captaincy in Year 12. When I was in high school I didn’t learn as much as I probably should’ve, but after leaving I was listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, just anything at all that I took an interest in – anything to do with numbers, even looking up things like mobile phone towers and learning how they operate. If I saw something on TV that sparked an interest, I’d go and take half an hour to learn more about it. I was self-taught in terms of general trivia, how things work, things to know in everyday life.

Over the last few years I’ve taken a really keen interest in phones – buying and selling – when I can. And I’m not a master, but I’ve learned a fair amount of negotiation skills from it. I’ve learned some trade secrets. It’s a hobby for me, to try and improve on negotiation skills. You can always get better at those; it makes being able to buy and sell a bit easier.
I’m really big on technology so I use my Big Issue money for anything to do with it. Something I want to try and get into is to start some stuff with YouTube.
Next year I will have been selling The Big Issue for 10 years. I’m wanting to plan a community dinner. I’m in the process of trying to figure something out and hoping that COVID doesn’t hit hard and hang around. I have a lot of regular customers, and a few people who are really close with the support they’ve given.
The best thing about selling The Big Issue is working my own hours and setting my own everything. I like feeling free. I’ve woken up early of a morning – the earliest I’ve ever got up and ready to go out and sell was 3.30am.
I got a call from The Big Issue head office recently saying I won an award through the Potts Point Partnership – a sole trader award. It’s good to know the community’s still behind me – it cements my place, if that makes sense. Makes me feel proud.

Interview by Melissa Fulton
Scott sells The Big Issue outside Woolworths in Potts Point, NSW.