There are a lot of things you can learn from a creative entrepreneur, and in the second part of our interview with Yoris Sebastian, we definitely learned more. The creative entrepreneur again emphasises the importance millennials and why he wants them to find their reason for living in order to be productive. Even as someone who has mentored a lot of successful individuals, Yoris stays humble and reminds us that sharing knowledge will never make us inferior in any way, as knowledge is limitless. Read on to find out more about his take on being a mentor and why he believes in dreaming small.
A lot of people have attributed their success to you. What do you make of that?
As a mentor, I always teach people 100 per cent without expecting them to give anything back in return. For me, if we give people some knowledge or even the maximum amount of knowledge that we have, it will never be a problem because our knowledge will keep on increasing and we will gain more in return.
Can you share a memorable experience of being a mentor?
One of the participants in my workshops is actually the owner of Holy Cow. So after the workshop was over, there was a dinner, and I remember I talked to him briefly. I found out later that he went home to ask his wife about using their life savings to open Holy Cow because I told him it was a good idea. I remember he told me that he wanted to quit his job to focus on Holy Cow, and I prevented him from doing that. I reminded him that he had a family, and if the business failed he and his family would suffer. So I asked him to talk to his boss and get permission to open Holy Cow after office hours. He opened the restaurant, and, as you now know, Holy Cow became a hit and he resigned in the end [laughs].
Let’s talk about you. Why did you decide to quit your job at Hard Rock Café and become an entrepreneur?
My parents were really worried at the time because I already had a high-level position with Hard Rock Café as General Manager. But at that time, I figured that I had to level up in my life. I believe that in the end, it’s all about calling. If your calling is to become an entrepreneur, then you will become one eventually if you follow your calling.
How does OMG Consultant manage so many projects with just five full-time employees?
We utilise a lot of freelancers. When we have a project to create a hotel, we hire many freelancers, and when we are producing films, we hire lots of freelancers. Now we actually have the privilege of choosing the brands that we want to do projects for, so we take a look at businesses around us and see which one is developing. We don’t even have a website, but we let people know our existence through our creations.
How is OMG Consultant different from other creative agencies when it comes to making profits versus quality?
For me, OMG Consultant is a hub from which we sell concepts and glorify results. That is why our Managing Director is a Master of Arts graduate, instead of a Master of Business graduate. Art is all about the creations, whereas businesses glorify money.
What kind of strategies do you use to stay ahead with your business?
We are seldom concerned about marketing because we don’t really focus on that. I only think about how I can give positive impacts to our clients. Let me give you an example: after Holy Cow became successful, a lot of people tried to copy its business model and most people would have probably turned their focus on this new competition. But for me, it is unnecessary. Don’t waste your time worrying about imitators and instead think about how you can get better and how you can serve your clients and community better.
Who would you consider to be your role model?
Walt Disney. The reason is because even though he has passed away, his legacy continues to exist and thrive till today. I admire how Walt Disney fought for the Mary Poppins story by constantly pursuing the author P.L. Travers even though she was known as being headstrong. He fought for the rights to Mary Poppins by visiting her relentlessly, and without that, the beloved Mary Poppins movie would not exist today.
What are your favourite books?
One of my favourite authors is Seth Godin because a lot of his books talk about creativity. His books entitled Meatball Sunday and Purple Cow are among my favourites. I also like to read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I read a lot of books on fan relationship management, too, because I think it’s important for brands to create fans instead of customers.
What are your goals currently?
Actually, it’s my upcoming novel. I used to get scared when I wanted to say this, but this is what I am fighting for right now, which is to get my message across to a wider audience. I was born into a middle-class family, which means that I am neither rich nor poor. So, basically, in my novel there is one thing I researched about, and so far, I have never found anyone who has ever created a book talking about dreaming small. As a small kid, we are always told to dream big, but when we dream too big, we get depressed because it is so difficult to reach that dream. So when I changed my strategy to dream small, I found that I succeeded more.
Seeing the creative industry, what are your predictions for the future?
I am very optimistic. Since 2006, I started to become more aware of the creative industry. And since then, I started to approach companies who are not creative enough to grow. Now, I can confidently say that the creative industry will take over the role of oil and gas. And I believe that the biggest income will come from the creative industry. Just like my friend, Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil, who has done many creative things. If he is chosen again as the mayor, we are planning to do something cool for West Java tourism. And if it is proven to be successful in West Java, we are planning to share it with the other provinces in order to enhance tourism in Indonesia.
What is your hope for the younger generation who would like to start a business in the creative industry?
It is fine to look for reference from other successful businesses, but after studying them you should always stick to your ikigai (reason for living). Everybody has their own reasons, and it is not about being successful and rich, but it’s about being happy and successful. The younger generation should ask itself: “What is the reason for me to wake up in the morning?” This is my message for millennials in Indonesia.
Edited by: Umesh Bagchandani