What is the 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians.
Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Eamon Sheedy, NSW
Name: Eamon Sheedy
Just when did you realise you needed money?
In the case of Eamon Sheedy, that moment came when he was all of seven years old. That is when he began to really need it. So much so, he would toil away at the garden, erect a small stall at the top of the driveway and sell flowers to strangers! In later years, when still at school, he would go on to hire friends to help door-knock and find odd jobs, supply imported chewing gum at high school, sell drinks at school carnivals, etc.
As far back as Eamon can remember, he has been an entrepreneur. He dreamed of a bigger world of business after obtaining some sort of university degree. But it didn’t quite turn out that way. When he was 11, Eamon found himself out of school and in real danger of being a flameout.
Eamon felt society soon condemned him to the status of a “loser drop-out,” as a person known to him termed it. “It’s fair to say I was a lost kid at the age of 16, wandering aimlessly through life without qualifications and without finishing high school. But I wanted to prove everyone wrong,” he said.
The guiding light, so to speak, was his outlook: He saw “opportunity wherever I looked.” He took it, too.
Today, Eamon presides over Big Red Packaging – a supplier of range of industrial, retail, gift and specialty packaging to businesses and individuals, a business he has built over the past two years.
At age 22, he hired his first employee and was running a company turning over well in excess of $100,000 per month. Two years later, Big Red Packaging has six employees and “record sales levels,” and pays nearly 100 times the $166 in rent Eamon thought he may not be able to afford for a self-storage unit a few years ago.
“I first got involved in the packaging industry after having to purchase materials to pack items for another venture. Upon receiving the packaging materials, it occurred to me there was very limited competition online for what is a multi-billion dollar a year industry in this country,” he recalls.
It’s been a great ride for Eamon but he has worked hard, too. “I see my work ethic as second to none. I have done the 100+ hour weeks and experienced having to run all around my warehouse day in day out, just to get things finished on time, doing the work of 2-3 people,” he says.
Thanks to a mix of hard work and inspiration, Big Red Packaging has enjoyed 100% growth for the most part and crossed the “magic” $1m per annum revenue. Today, Eamon says he is redirecting his early entrepreneurial “hunger towards establishing operations in other cities.”
Right now, the school drop-out can have the last laugh!
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