Scott Norton is your prototypical millennial – a tinkerer with a creative and entrepreneurial streak . There’s a narrative that the financial crisis crushed economic mobility for an entire generation of Millennials – in fact, Scott’s first job was at Lehman Brothers in 2008. Yet for Scott, the crisis catalyzed a trip around Asia on a foldable bike spanning 23 countries and 100 cities. Upon his return he co-founded Sir Kensington’s, challenging the consumer goods “complex” of ketchup and mayonnaise. We explore mission-driven businesses – are they marketing hype or changing the world? Regardless, big business has taken to the idea; last year Unilever acquired them for a pretty penny. Scott’s got the belt notches: he’s a touch above 30 with a spectacular exit. How does this change someone? For sure, it takes failure off the table. But contentment, being present with loved ones, a quiet mind, and yes – even freedom – don’t appear overnight and can remain viscerally elusive.
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When I was in college, I had this revelation that I wanted to live my life like a character in a book. I wanted to make decisions for the most interesting story. So many decisions don’t seem linear (from a career point of view). I made those decisions because I want to be on an adventure. I love adventure.
Why everyone should go on a bike adventure
So many things we’re graded on involve the intellectual. For me, the runner’s high is important to my sanity. The experience of riding a bike, exerting yourself every day gets your endorphins, dopamine, serotonin – the sunshine. I recommend everyone do something like that, it gives you so much perspective on the world outside of New York and develop empathy.
The tension between freedom and commitment
One of the biggest points of tension in my life is the tension between freedom and commitment. I love freedom and on the other hand, I’m attracted to commitment in things that make me truly happy in the long-run, like love and family.