Stand in a busy Maltese street for a few minutes and you’re bound to see a Bolt taxi, motorbike or scooter pass by.
Now the CEO of the company which has disrupted the island’s taxi and food delivery market has given people an insight into his mind and some of the mental secrets behind his success.
These are six things we’ve learned about Sebastian Ripard, the CEO at TXF Tech, partners for Bolt in Malta, Cyprus and Tunisia, from Lovin Malta’s new video series Meet The Boss.
1. His advice to youths is to be more social than business-focused
While many business leaders would advise entrepreneurial youths to focus on becoming go-getters, Sebastian’s piece of advice he would have given his younger self is more socially focused.
“I wouldn’t say you should start a business earlier, study harder or work harder, but to more to invest more in relationships.”
2. He’s a big believer in building daily routines and habits
Life can bombard you from so many directions, and Sebastian believes one of the keys to success is to weigh everything out to ensure your mind is focused on productive habits.
“I think everything is a balance; having more of one thing means having less of another. I think it’s about these daily routines and habit building, how to build up those habits that give you the energy you need to keep you within that bigger objective in that phase of your life.”
3. He thinks you should find what you love and let it kill you
Cutting corners isn’t an option for Sebastian; in fact, he ranks this as the worst piece of advice he’s ever been given.
“Thinking there are lots of shortcuts, visualising where you want to be and thinking you’re getting there just by doing that while shortcutting all the leaning, the hard work and the ups and downs,” he explains of this piece of bad advice.
“You’ll probably lose all the enjoyment because there’s enjoyment in the path you take, in the ups and downs.”
4. He believes worrying about COVID-19 is wasted energy
Bolt has had to adapt to COVID-19, reducing its taxi service to 10% of its pre-pandemic workload and focusing the lion’s share of its energy into Bolt Food.
However, like that anonymous soldier in the famous First World War poem, Sebastian believes it is pointless to worry about things out of your control
“When COVID-19 hit, we were thinking about how many people we would need to let go, how we were going to survive this, whether I would even have a job in a week’s time, and how I will pay for my mortgage if I lose it.”
“I got those kinds of thoughts. However, if something isn’t in your control, which this is not, stop worrying about it and try and focus on what it is you can do.”
5. He so nearly could have been an Olympic sailor
While his business is focused on roads, it’s in the sea where Sebastian’s passions lie. He narrowly missed out on a place at the 2012 Olympic Games and describes his decision to quit competitive sailing as the most difficult decision he’s ever had to make.
“A hundred teams contested, only 21 nations got to qualify and we missed out by a single place. However, we decided to pull the plug on it. That’s generally what I find hardest, deciding when to close the chapter on something when to say we’ve done well enough and that it’s now time to move on to the next thing.”
6. He believes the world should slow down a bit
Constantly demanding more and more is key to the human condition but Sebastian thinks the world has reached a historic tipping point.
“We have a big issue with always wanting more and it’s deeply ingrained within us. I think we started wanting more when we moved from hunter-gatherers to farmers, and over thousands of years of evolution we’ve worked best when we strived for more.”
“However, we’re now at the first point ever in our history where most likely more is not the answer.”
This is the first episode of Meet The Boss, a new Lovin Malta series in which we sit down with local CEOs to share their vision and business tips and discuss some crucial topics. More interviews will be uploaded in the coming weeks.