Love of learning leads to entrepreneurial success for QUT alumnus

First published 13 December 2019

Business and IT graduate Sean Melis has spent most of his life trying to figure out what it is that he enjoys doing the most. He’s worked professionally in fields ranging from graphic design, video editing, and digital marketing – to sales, data analytics and management consulting. But it was only when Sean started his own business, Bot Hello, that he found his career calling.

“Starting your own business is the ultimate, no excuse test. There’s no one to blame but yourself, and nothing to do but test, fail, and learn. I love learning, and that’s why I love running my own business.”

We asked Sean to tell us more about his entrepreneurial journey and share his advice on how others can start their own businesses.

How do you think your time at QUT prepared you for the real world?

QUT made a conscious effort to connect students to real-world examples, case studies, and professional networks. That learning approach provided me with a foundation that I can now leverage.

The greatest by-product of my university experience is without a doubt the friendships I made whilst studying. In fact, several of our clients come from referrals and introductions by friends I made at QUT.

Can you tell us about starting Bot Hello?

Bot Hello was the result of experimenting with Facebook Messenger chatbots for businesses I started in the past. My co-founder Jay and I spent two months setting up and managing several drop shipping stores before getting into chatbots. We utilised Messenger as a channel to handle customer queries and discovered that chatbots were an incredibly useful tool for scaling customer service with a low budget.

After seeing the proof of its value in our businesses, we demonstrated our solution to other business owners and immediately garnered interest across different industries. We saw the opportunity of a gap in the market – servicing businesses with high customer service volumes but insufficient resources to manage them.

As a result, Bot Hello was born.

What’s been your biggest success to date?

Our biggest success thus far has been landing Maybelline New York as a client. With barely any agency experience, time in the market, or financial resources, we convinced one of the largest cosmetics brands in the world to take a risk both on us as a company and a technology that has yet to be fully proven within their industry. The conversational product activation we built for Maybelline was the first-ever for the L’Oreal Group in Australia and turned out to be a massive success.

What would be your advice to new graduates?

Don’t ever stop learning. University provides an excellent base and foundation to get yourself a job, but if you want to excel in a particular field and achieve an abnormal amount of success—you have to put in an abnormal amount of work.

Invest in your own personal growth and let it compound—there is no wiser investment of your time than consistent self-education.