Nicholas Bowman-Scargill is an Old Ipswichian and Managing Director of Fears Watches, who was the Guest Speaker at Ipswich School Speech Day on 7 July 2017.
When I’ve been asked how I managed to start a watch company in my twenties, the response usually focuses on the practicalities of designing a watch, sourcing suppliers and running a business singlehandedly. Sometimes there might also be a nod to my five years of watchmaker training I completed at Rolex. Rarely though do I go into the complex web of experiences and lessons learnt over the years, which can be traced back to the day I joined Ipswich School in 1997.
Back then, as a timid, dyslexic 10-year-old who had just moved from all his friends in London, I couldn’t have appreciated what a difference attending the school would have on me. During the following years it became apparent that I wasn’t particularly sporty or academically minded, preferring the Design Technology workshop to the class room. However, early on several teachers explained the importance of putting in 100% effort even if you didn’t always achieve a 100% result.
I’ve used this valuable lesson countless times, especially when the first career I chose, in Investment Banking, evaporated in the 2008 financial crisis just as I graduated with a degree in Economics. Fortunately, having been enthusiastic and focused on every work experience opportunity and holding down several Saturday & Sunday jobs during my school and university years allowed me to find an alternative career.
These experiences and approach taken to every task have also proved vital in the success of re-launching my family’s watch company, Fears, in 2016. I’ve seen how it’s far too easy to judge someone’s worth simply by a grade, what’s more difficult to appreciate is the attitude that they bring to any and all jobs they do, something which is far more important.
You can see pictures form Speech Day here.