E-education is key, and that is what Scott Cooper is all about delivering…
I chat with Scott Cooper, a man of many words who is lucky enough to have crisscrossed his way between the Pacific (that’s between Australia and the States folks) to kick-start business in the e-learning book sector. It wasn’t always easy as Scott goes into depth about sobriety and how being so open has helped him be he be his authentic self through his business.
Scott, you are a self-published author of e-learning books. How did that all come about?
After working for GO1 (an online learning technology startup) for around 6-8 months, it became very apparent that finding resources to help people who are starting to get into online learning and training were very hard to find. There are a lot of HR managers who are lumped with the online training for their companies and have no idea where to start. There are some blog posts out their covering parts of the process, but there was nothing comprehensive that explained the process from end to end, how some of the key concepts are executed and why they are used, and just the basics on how to plan, structure, create and deliver effective online training.
The book was originally supposed to be an ebook around 60 pages long that had some worked examples in a story writing style, but once I finished those 3 chapters I felt like we were missing a good chance to tell the whole story which led to me expanding the material from 3 chapters to 10 and encompassing the full process of course creation and dive deeper into each topic to walk through some of the theory with the reader.
What made you decide that you wanted to preach the importance of e-learning?
Having worked for an online learning company, on a daily basis, you can see the positive impact that embracing e-learning can have on everyone involved. For businesses, it provides a cost-effective way to maintain a safe working environment for your employees, and up-skill them in a range of subjects through short courses that allow them to grow with the business.
For individuals and the average person, you can learn just about anything online. It’s an easy way to help people learn new skills, get that job opportunity they have been knocked back for in the past, maintain their qualifications – and all without the long and expensive traditional education process.
In previous social media posts, you have been candid about your sobriety – how important do you think being your authentic self-influences your product and service?
No matter what you are doing, being your authentic self is important if you want to succeed. My social media posts can be quite direct on some topics, and I deliberately do that to show people that it’s ok to stand for what you believe in. The sobriety one was something I was particularly passionate about publishing because drinking alcohol is so heavily ingrained in Australian culture.
I have a lot of friends that want to reduce or stop, drinking but it can be very hard when almost every social interaction in Australia is based around having a drink in your hand. Showing people that it is ok, and some of the things that will happen make them realise that it’s normal and not a big deal. The same goes for any decision that goes against the norm, career change, starting your own business – these are not the norm in Australia, and challenging things to navigate not only as projects but with your friends and family too.
I publish this posts to be transparent and in the hope that they might inspire that next person to start a business or live a healthier lifestyle.
In the day and age whereas anyone could be an entrepreneur, what would be the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to kick-start their passion project?
The biggest thing is having a plan and sticking to it.
Anyone can come up with a good idea and do a few things for a few weeks, the consistency of sticking at the plan for a few years – which is what it takes to get something up and running properly is where things fall apart. Having that consistency, even if it’s only a few hours each week makes a huge difference and allows you to make progress and keep things moving. The second you stop, that’s when things start to fall apart, and you need to start again.
What has been the biggest thing you have learnt with starting your own business?
Starting a business is very hard but at the same time, very rewarding. You need to learn to trust the people you are working with to do their part because a team is always going to much stronger than an individual. Having a strong team/advisors/support network is invaluable, and will help you make the tough decisions and grow your business.
You are quite the jetsetter between the States and Australia. What is your favourite co-working space that you have visited?
I have been a member of WeWork for around 5 years now and have had hot desks and offices in 5 office across the world. WeWork memberships are great! As someone who is constantly travelling, I know that when I hit a city that has a WeWork office, I can always have a great place to work and book meeting rooms for catching up with customers or partners.
As an author, it is important to keep on reading to challenge your ideas and to seek our fresh inspiration. What books can you share with us that gave you that extra bit of “You can do it” inspiration?
There are a few books that I recommend to anyone that I work with:
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight – This is not just a book about Nike, it’s a great story about starting a small business, how to hustle to keep things up and to run, and shows that you don’t get lucky, you create your luck.
The Everything Store by Brad Stone – Detailing the journey of Amazon, you can learn a lot about business processes and how to scale what you are doing. The early Amazon story has some great lessons for entrepreneurs of all types.
Measure what Matters by John Doer – Setting goals and working towards them is a critical part of pushing yourself to the next level. John Doer is the man behind Googles OKR system, and this book not only helps you in setting these up for yourself or your team but has a stack of online resources that you can pick up and start using to improve the way you think.
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