I'm ready to level up!

Scotty Sio ON: Team Culture & Handling Pressure

Mar 07, 2021


  • “My inner why is what my purpose in rugby is now. To inspire.  My purpose in life, is to be a good family man. FAMILY: where life begins, and love never ends.”


  • It was such an amazing discussion with Scotty about rugby, culture, retirement, opportunities, education, challenges, family and love. Listen to how his family values became his foundation to the man he is today. How his parents inspired him to be successful in his field how he handles pressure and stress. 
  • If you believe that education is important, that family is everything, that leaving a legacy by inspiring others is powerful and preparation is important, this episode is for you! 


  • Whether you are a rugby fan (particularly a Brumbies or Wallabies fan!) , a leader in business or being a parent .. You're going to learn so much from this interview with Scotty.  

Not to be missed...

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Inspirational Quotes

Full Transcript

[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Life On Purpose with James Laughlin Show. Please note that there may be small moments where grammar goes off track - this is simply due to the fact that the LIVE episode was converted to full long-form transcript.  For weekly motivation, please subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Youtube.]



Scotty Sio, James Laughlin 


James Laughlin  00:00 

Welcome to life on purpose. My name is James Laughlin, former seven time world champion musician and now success coach to leaders and high performers. Each week I bring you an inspiring leader or expert to help you live your Life On Purpose. Thanks for taking the time to connect today and investing in yourself. Enjoy the show. Scottie Sio played on West Juniors growing up. He attended Trinity Grammar School in Summer Hill from 2006 to 2009. He played three years of first 15 rugby in his time there. He then played a year of grade at West harbour in 2010, and another year at Northern Suburbs in 2011. Before joining the Brumbies ahead of the 2012 season, he also made his Super Rugby debut. His current club team is the Tuggeranong Vikings in Canberra, Australia, and he debuted for the Wallabies in 2013. Now for those of you who don't know anything about rugby, the Wallabies are Australia's Rugby Union Team, they're world class. He's also played over 110 games for the Brumbies and 65 tests for the Wallabies. He's went to two World Cup for Australia in 2015, and 2019. And he has beaten the British and Irish Lions for the brumbies in 2013 and won the inaugural Super Rugby Australia competition with the Brumbies in 2020.  Hey Scotty! Happy new year, man, so good to see you. Tell me what are you most excited about this year? 



Scotty Sio  01:38 

Hey, James, Happy New Year to you and your family. First and foremost. Thanks for that, um, I guess just the the new challenges that a year brings, you know, you set goals at the end of every year. Review with your family or your close ones, and you kind of put the plans in place to try and, you know, achieve them this year. So, I guess for myself, personally, I'm heading into my 10th season at the Brumbies now. So, you know, I guess some would say, you know, a true elder statesman of the game. But, it's really inspiring for me to see the enthusiasm and how much passion a lot of young players have, when they come in, gives me a lot of drive, reminds me of the journey so far. And it's pretty cool to, you know, maybe be a small part of someone's journey, and help them achieve what they want to achieve within the realm of professional rugby. So, yeah, those are all the sort of things I look forward to, I guess, making plans for life after rugby. You know, as all professional athletes, no one, you know, we have a limited time to make the most of our arena. And, you know, for rugby, it's not that long in the scheme of life. So I guess, you know, there's a, I guess, a famous quote, in rugby that, you know, you want to have something to retire to not retire from so earlier you put those plans in place, I think the better off you'll be. 


James Laughlin  03:07 

That's amazing. And that's, that's a great lesson for a lot of young athletes out there who are at the start of their career. And they're not thinking about stepping down from the field, it's great for them to hear that from you, who is starting to think, okay, in the next three to five years, I'm going to be looking at some kind of succession plan for myself, right? 



Scotty Sio  03:24 

Yeah. 100%. And I think it's, I guess it goes in phases, I think I'm at that point in my career, where it's probably a crucial time for me to make the most of it and in to make the most of what rugby has given me. Such a big opportunity to network and meet so many different people, you know, the opportunity to meet you in Fiji two years ago, you know, and that was just us planning a trip, at the end of the year with some of the rugby boys and, you know, just decided to do that, you know, helped me connect with someone like you and here we are, you know, a couple years later, still connecting and keeping in touch. You know, I think that's one of the important things. But I think for anyone starting out, I think it's super important to invest yourself in rugby, I think your first couple years put in place, the steps that you need to help you sort of achieve what you do want to achieve in rugby. And I guess it's not a bad thing to pour yourself into rugby. Because it's a time for you to sort of, you know, soak everything in and take as much advice as you can and keep evolving as a player keep growing each year and that way you'll be ready for your opportunity. So, it's not a bad thing, I think early on in your career to be super invested in rugby. And then you know, eventually as you sort of figure out what your your routine is and what gets you going and what's your inner drive, you know, that's when you can sort of put those plans in place, have that steadfast routine, and then you start putting the plans in later in your career, when you sort of know that, maybe your time's up. 


James Laughlin  05:13 

I love that. That's so cool. And yeah, I reflect back to when we met. And it was kind of synchronicity. You know, we both made plans to go on an experience, a tourism experience there, Fiji, we met on the boat, and just right away, the one thing that struck me about you was your humility. And I just, I had no idea who you were, I actually thought you and your buddies were teachers who'd got a summer off spending all this time in Fiji. And then I realised by looking at the build of you guys, maybe they're not teachers, this is the front row of the Wallabies. It was really amazing to connect with you. And you were very heart centred, really down to earth. And then when I got to understand what you did is like, while you're a real high performer in life, and as I've watched you over the last few years, you're truly connected with your family, it seems to be like family is your foundational pillar, when I look at what you do on social media, it's very heavily rooted in your culture, and in your family. So I'd love to talk a bit about your family. So what was your mum and dad role in helping shape, the man that you've become? 



Scotty Sio  06:19 

Oh they were everything, and they still continue to be to this day. I guess, you know, when you're younger, I wouldn't say you take it for granted. But you're a little bit ignorant to what unconditional love is, and then how much your parents truly do love you and how really immensely proud they are of what you do in life. You know, as a young guy, growing up, you know, I guess my parents' approval on things and what they thought of things meant everything to me. And so, I was constantly trying to impress them trying to do everything I could to tick all the boxes, you know, and what I later learned in life was, it was kind of their way of pushing me out of my comfort zone, you know, trying to create a higher ceiling. Some would say as you as you go, and my dad's a, quite a smart man, very meticulous, in his preparation, in a lot of things, is a big forward thinker. And, you know, my mother, as most mothers are quite caring, you know, always there for you, always shoulder to cry on. But, you know, they had the ability to adjust and sort of go either way, as well, both time. So, you know, they could catch you off guard both ways. That way, too. Coming up. So I think one of the big life lessons I learned growing up was that, you know, rugby was kind of everything, it was just, you know, I was kind of in that mode at school where I was like rugby, rugby, it's all about rugby, I'm going to be a rugby union player, blah, blah, blah, which is good. You know, and you want to have that goal, you know, that you want to achieve, but you've got to understand, you know, the stepping stones you need to take to get there. You also got to understand that I was a bit naive, I guess, you know, I just kind of thought I was always going to be a rugby player, there was no plan B but you got to be ready for the fact that there are a lot of things that can get in the way of you achieving that dream as well. My father understood that through his experiences in life, both were born and Samoa, grew up in Samoa, during, you know, the 70s 80s 60s, you know, very tough times back then. Finished their schooling in New Zealand. MIT in New Zealand got married in Australia. So they're in 89. So they've been together for 30 years now, and managed to raise the four of us. So yeah, I think, you know, one of the things as I was alluding to back before with life lessons was my dad said that, you know, you're a student-athlete, student comes first. And he never likes to talk about it. But in year 11, I broke my hand heading into my second season. And, you know, I didn't really take the rehab seriously. I mean, I didn't really know that much you know about it. So I kind of just thought I was just gonna take the momentum from year 10 and just continued on in year 11 and it wasn't quite the season. You know, I hoped for it to be. I started off really slow. And my dad's my, I guess my studies were affected by that because I take my mood from training and games into school there as well. So yeah, I think my dad never likes to talk about it. But one day he said to the school, you know, unless he improves his grades I'm taking him out of the first 15 T. And I was there on a full scholarship. And, you know, I don't think it was his decision to make. But you know, when you live under his roof it's his rules, both of their rules actually, dad and mum, and he just didn't drive me to the first 15 game one day. And, you know, I'd sit down with the principal and and call my dad and my dad said, the most important thing to him is making sure his son got a great education. And that was the whole reason they decided to go ahead with the scholarship, in the first place, was that he understood that he'd be getting a great education first. And he knew how important that was going to be heading into professional rugby. And kind of brought things to light for me, I kind of plotted along through year 11, but realise that year 12 was going to be super important year off the field more than it was going to be on. And I think it put me in good stead moving forward. So yeah, I think you know, you pick up a lot of different things from your family, as you go. And you learn, you evolve, you grow. But the biggest thing is, they've just always been honest. With me, their assessments of decisions that I've decided to do in life, my games, as well, they don't beat around the bush, they just tell it how it is. And I think it's the most important thing for a kid growing up, you know, because if your parents can't be honest with you, who is going to be honest with you? So, you know, I think it allows you to be able to say criticism, you know, a lot easier, because if you're coping it at home, you know, everywhere else doesn't seem that bad. 


James Laughlin  11:43 

I love that. That's seriously beautiful. And I really respect and admire your dad for prioritising your education. Because I think for so many parents, you know, if you see your kid has this passion for a sport, or in my case, it was a musical instrument. Like, you want to just get them to follow that and not worry about the education. But hey, things can happen, a career ending injury for a musician or a sports person can happen. And so I think it's beautiful that your dad did prioritise that. And you know, over the last few years, I've been connecting with people that look at the longitudinal studies with young boys, particularly, who have education, really good education versus boys who don't, and the ones who don't tend to have worse social skills, lower emotional intelligence, higher incarceration rates, all these you know, all these things, these terrible things like anxieties, depressions, so education is a starting foundational building block. So your dad had it absolutely spot on. 



Scotty Sio  12:41 

Yeah, and I think one of the big important things I found out and it wasn't on the till about two years ago, is that, I guess education comes in many different forms, and types. It's not just sitting in a classroom, and just soaking things in that way, looking at PowerPoint presentations, and, you know, taking in a one sided conversation, and I think some people learn great that way. And, you know, it works right for them. And they're able to go into different areas in different fields of work that help them excel, with that type of platform. And what I found is that education is sometimes about exposure, and experiences as well. And you find that with a lot of the Pacific Island community, very hands on people, you know, and it's no secret to why, you know, a lot of them excel in areas with you know, there's a lot of group work involved. And what you find is you don't find funny thing, you being a musician, my mother taught me this. She sang in a lot of choirs, she was a minister's daughter growing up, you don't find a lot of individual Pacific Islander artists around, what you find is they do a lot better in groups, in choirs, in the fields of work, you'll find them. A lot of them actually don't mind working in construction, because they get to work with a group. Very good socially, you know, and they work well, within groups, they understand how to excel as an individual, within a team environment. You know, and I think there are things that you don't get taught through school and in life, they're just kind of things that you just have naturally, I guess, and I think that experiences teach you over time. So yeah, it's kind of crazy to see, you know, everyone learns in different ways, just like everyone prepares for things in different ways, and it's individual, but I guess, you know, for us, it's that how do you put your stamp on things and put your flavour on things as an individual, and excel in that team environment. 


James Laughlin  15:04 

That's amazing. And when you think about the Wallabies, there's such a different dynamic of different backgrounds and people and ethnicities. So you bring in your Samoan culture to the team. So how does that all work with everyone bringing their different ethnicities? Does everybody celebrate everybody's backgrounds and enjoy it? And do you guys bring it to the team? 



Scotty Sio  15:24 

Yeah, yeah, we do. It was something that probably didn't pay a lot of attention to early on in my career, and that's no fault of any ones. It was just the norm. And we kind of just, you know, stayed with it, it was just easier that way, you know, and sometimes easy road always isn't necessarily the best road taken, but it's a road nonetheless. And, you know, in 2019, at the Brumbies, Ben McCullough decided he thought, you know, with almost 50% of our squad being of Pacific Islander descent at the Brumbies, it's a true opportunity for us to celebrate that, and, you know, understand, you know different things about how to get the best out of them, you know, because sometimes we can be seen as quite shy. But if you understand the island culture and our mannerisms, you understand it has a lot to do with respect for elders. So, you know, dad being the head coach, we told him that, you know, you are pretty much like the chief of the team, you know, so when I, and it's very rude, you know, to be, first of all, when you're talking to someone, in the Samoan culture to be standing, you need to be sitting, and to be looking eye to eye the entire time. So, what I guess we see in Western culture as a disrespect, not making eye contact, the entire time, in other cultures is seen as this is a sign of respect. And it's just that understanding. And then this is where I live back to education through experience, and exposure on that. And he said, you know, should we get somebody in and do the PowerPoint and everything and I'm just like, no, because you've got so many different cultures in here, you lose, whoever was speaking first, you know, and we just, we don't have the time to do three different sessions about Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga. And it's a good opportunity for you to do like, in Sydney, we have Fiji Day, Samoan independence Day, Palma day, you go there, there's stores. It's a great experience of music, everyone goes to stage and sings, you know, and it's just a nice way to sort of engulf the entire culture into one experience. And he decided to do that for us. in 2019 So, we did a big Pacifica Day at the start. We didn't have a ceremony, and so in our modern culture, compared to probably Fiji and Tonga, I guess, covers a bit more, you know, sort of a day to day thing in Fiji. They do have cover ceremonies, but in Samoa only people with titles are known to drink the cover or the other during the other sermon. So it's things I'm still learning. You know, one of my few new year's resolutions is to relearn Samoan and reconnect with my heritage. And I think it's a big thing. I'm hoping to travel to Samoa at the end of the year, revisit the villages and just reconnect with the people who made my parents childhoods so special, you know, and see the places they grew up and understand where they came from, and keep understanding but yeah, it was pretty cool. We had our first Pacifica round. And so we had the Pacifica jerseys. Something that came kind of really full circle for me was unreal was my hundreds of Brumbies cat fell on that weekend, we managed to get a win. So yeah, it was super special, you know, and something that a really special year for me, and something that I've never experienced before, but I'm very fortunate to do Dan, our head coach, Chris Thompson, our CEO and the Brumbies for taking the time to recognise that and the flow and affect was when Dave when he came into the Wallabies, being of Cook Island descent. He's a very good singer, and he's really good on the guitar and, you know, decided that each person of a different heritage or different culture would sing songs every week. So, you know, it's our motto on our socials on the Wallabies, you know, Fiji song, Fijian song, Tongan song, Samoan song, the Maori song, and we try to Cook Island song, as well with the Australian song as well, they're obviously, yeah. And we tried to obviously learn the Australian Anthem for the last, the last game and the dialect of the gadigal people in Sydney. So that's why we sang the anthem first in that dialect. So, yeah, you know, it's really cool. I think it's one Australia's unique features is how multicultural we are, and how diverse we are. With all these, all these customs and traditions, and I think it's something we don't celebrate, you know, enough in Australia. But I guess you've just got someone, you've got to get some of the start the conversation. And, sorry, I'm sort of rambling on a bit here.  


James Laughlin  21:08 

This is great. It sounds that you've had an amazing coach there that thought, he's not just thinking of high performance, he's not just thinking of results. He's thinking about culture. And he's thinking about, okay, if I can develop and weave this amazing culture, bring all these different young lads and young men together, and really respect their culture, I'm going to get a better overall performance, they're going to enjoy themselves, and leave a lasting legacy. And it sounds like that's what's happening. 


Scotty Sio  21:34 

Just one one thing, one little story to finish off that question off was Mary Douglas, who's moved on to Japan or Scottish descent, joined our squad two years ago, for the last two seasons, or two or three seasons. And unreal guy, super humble, hard working, just, you know, had been around too few different teams bit of I guess, I say, journeyman is also a qualified, certified sorry, a lawyer has more. A pretty switched on guy. But um, he sort of, you know, showed me, I guess I've met a lot of really cool people over time, but he kind of, is just what I believe Rubgy is all about, he came in, have no idea, he played in New Zealand but really took to the Pacifica Bay and then last year, as well, just he will turn up to all the team drink cups, try to learn all the songs we liked, and everything, one of the days, because we have his house it is we normally tend to be the DJ, as well. So he drank, we're drinking in our garage davita cover ball ever, and he never had never covered before. So we are going to drink the cover. And he enjoyed it. And then I got him into play some Scottish songs for us. You know, we had no idea what they were saying in the songs. But you know, it's just, I think no one had ever asked him before to play his music unless he was with his family and friends. So yeah, we got around him. And I think that's a special thing is the bond you create with people and how comfortable you become with people, where, you know, you're almost there almost pretty much your family away from your family, you know, and I guess one of the things my mom always said is, you know, how would you, you know, would you treat your family like this at home, you know, so you've got to, you know, take those values and take that on the table and start treating your team because then the people you live with every day and people you go to battle with and other people who are going to turn up for you, you know, so, you know, if you want them to, then that's what you need today. 


James Laughlin  23:49 

I love that I love that you're really connecting family and high performance sport. And I think that there is such a cross connection between the two. And the fact that you've been brought up with the amazing cultural background by beautiful parents has allowed you to fit into some incredibly high performing teams and thrive. 


Scotty Sio  24:07 

Yeah, no, it has. I mean, it's put me in good stead. Again, I can't thank them enough for that so much. May they continue to do so much so yeah, I guess while I'm in this arena of professional rugby, you know, it's not a bad thing to splurge every now and then on them, you know, and really, you know, give them all the things that they, you know, they thought what they thought were maybe unattainable to them growing up so, you know, they're so humble about it. They try not to accept it. My dad sarcastically says no, but you know. 


James Laughlin  24:49 

We should say hello to them. 





James Laughlin  24:53 

Is it talofa? How do I say hello and Samoan? 


Scotty Sio  24:59 

Talofa lava. 


James Laughlin  25:00 

Talofa Lava to your parents then. So, tell me this? I look at you and I see such success. I see it from your high school age. I see at your club rugby club team, I see it at your step team, I see that your national team, you're incredibly successful at what you do. So if you were to look at what you do, what would you call your success formula is there certain things we like hard work, dedication, repetitions, mindset, what are some things that you look at? And say, that's my formula that helps me get a more successful outcome than if I didn't do that. 



Scotty Sio  25:35 

I guess I'm very organised, in my preparation, I have a routine that I tend to stick to a fair bit and consistency is key at our level. If you can't consistently deliver, you know, unfortunately, that's when you find yourself on the backburner there, you know, and it's, something that I think people tend to say, like, you know, people say, you know, don't talk about winning, you know, and listen, I think, you know, those are the sort of things that hold you back, when you're afraid to talk about something, you kind of feel the consequences that come with it, as well. And, you know, I think one of the things is just because you're afraid, you're not afraid one day to just start talking about winning, or, you know, start talking about things like this doesn't mean you're just immune to it, you know, to forever changing and evolving process, I think, you know, for an individual, you know, and like you said, so many different things come into play injuries, team selection, the weather of the day, you know, you know how you feel that morning, when you wake up, your preparation throughout the week. So, I think just being consistent in what you do, is super important. And in one of the questions I answered earlier, before, when you pour yourself into rugby early, that's the time where you find out what's most important to you, to your Monday to Friday, Friday grind. And that's where you need to spend at time experiencing, you know, new things and trying new things, because you might know what works for you, you might know your formula, unless you take the time to piece it all together there. So, yeah, I don't think it's necessarily like, you know, there's one standout thing, you know, that just got me to where I am today, I think, hard work, determination, persistence, all these things, they've got to become non negotiable for you, as a professional athlete, you know, and it's finding what your X Factor is, what's your point of difference? I guess, and, you know, injecting that into the team, you know, what do you as an individual bring, as a team, so understanding your core role in your position, and then understanding what you do the best compared to anyone in the world? You know, and harnessing that. So, I think one thing at the back end of my career, I've learned is that, you've got to be willing to keep growing and taking on advice as much as you can, you know, you can't teach an old dog new tricks is not the way for it might have been 10 years ago, but if you're not willing to change and to grow, and to evolve individually, and this is both on and off the field, you'd be stuck where you are, and you might play at a high level, you know, and you might just sort of stay there and it might be enough. But, you know, it's it then becomes the conversation of were you're a good player, or were you're a great player, you know, and if you're in a professional environment, and you don't want to be, you know, a great athlete, one of the greats and you know, what you really got to understand, and what are you really trying to achieve in this arena here. So, yeah, I can't pin it down to one thing. I think it's forever changing for me. As you see, you know, what's happening in the world is forever changing. So, yeah, I think it's just, you know, having an open mindset and refreshing every year and just remember what got you to where you were, and how hungry and driven you were when you first started professional rugby.  



James Laughlin  29:42 

I love that and you talked about personal growth on and off the field. So, what do you do off the field to continue to grow your mindset and to make your future brighter? 


Scotty Sio  29:54 

Um, look, I think, you know, education is is super important. A lot of boys study, I did to uni for a bit, I think there's things that I need to talk to our careers advisor about. I think one of the hardest things for rugby players, when they are finishing up with rugby is finding something else you have a passion for outside of rugby, you're obviously not going to have the same amount of passion for that like you did in rugby, but you know, you don't want to just go into another job just because it looks pretty and it looks nice, you know, you I think you've got to find something that you have a passion for. Definitely, so I'm very social person. Love golf, not that great at it. So, I tend to play a lot of Ambrose to all baseball with the boys, but I just enjoy the social aspect of golf. And, you know, it can bring a lot of different people together. And, you know, in one shot in nine or 18 holes can make around for someone . Played a lot of PlayStation, Call of Duty, Fortnight, what I found is actually, it's a really cool way to connect and stay in touch, just like zoom is and, as well. So I also, you know, obviously too much PlayStations never great for anyone, but I found that PlayStation probably has kept a lot of kids off the street. And it's probably good for professional rugby players, I think it's probably kept a lot of people from overindulging and gambling, and, you know, becoming alcoholics. And this so people have their opinions on PlayStation and that and I understand that too much of anything is never good. But I I think it has had a good effect on on, you know, professional sport, and, you know, young kids coming up. So, I think finding a balance is obviously the important thing there. But I think in the bigger picture, I think it's done a lot more for the economy than than most people would like to point out. 


James Laughlin  32:05 

100% agree with some of the guys in the All Blacks are also pro rugby players. They talk about Fortnight and all the gaming that they do just to relax and to decompress after a game. So, I think you guys all have that in common you high performers are big gamers. 


Scotty Sio  32:22 

I think it's you know, we're all pretty competitive to so 


James Laughlin  32:26 

Ever so slightly. 


Scotty Sio  32:27 

Yeah just a tad. Yeah, it's cool. Without the strain on the body, you're able to, you know, keep that competitiveness going there as well. 


James Laughlin  32:36 

I love it. And he would you have, if you think of someone out there who's dreaming. So they're they're sitting at home, they've got this massive dream, whether they're a kid or they're an adult, massive vision, massive dream, but they don't know where to start. What advice would you give to that person? 



Scotty Sio  32:52 

I think first and foremost, you need to understand who your support network is. And who are the people most important to you, they're going to help you achieve what you want to achieve. I guess for for me personally, was my family, letting them know what I wanted to achieve in life and then setting a plan moving forward? Luckily, for me, my parents had a lot more life experienced than I did. My father obviously had gone to a World Cup with Samoa, played for Canonbury. I did not know then. Yeah, I went to Canonbury University. So he played with the likes of Robbie Dean's. Victor Simpson. Jack Ross, you know, so a lot of a lot of New Zealand legends, there as well played against a lot of the All Blacks of the 80s. So yeah, you know, obviously played with the late, Peter Fatialofa as well, who was the captain of Samoan 1991. But, you know, I was very blessed, that I had them in my corner, and my mother as well, within what she had done in life, too. So, I think, you know, you fool yourself sometimes, if you think that individual athletes as well have just achieved everything of their own back, just done everything themselves, a lot of them boxersm tennis players, or this, they walk in entourage, because that's the people that they, they lean on the most when they need them, you know, music artists, actors, is they've always they're always in groups of people, you know, and that is, at the end of the day, the people closest to them, the people that are going to help them get to where they need to be, you know, have those honest conversations with them. And that and I believe that's the most important thing and recognise what you want to do, understand the plan to get there, you know, and then commit to that, you know, and then you understand what drives you externally and then the next sort of step, the next process is to find What's your Why? What's your inner drive? You know, what do you individually want out of life and want out of professional rugby? You know, wha kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? Yeah, that's the most important for me. 


James Laughlin  35:17 

That's amazing. And, you know, I think, when you said, you know, start with why it reminds me of the great author, Simon Sinek, who wrote the book Start With Why, and it's all about discovering your intrinsic drivers and what internally drives you. So, with that in mind, what legacy do you want to leave? 



Scotty Sio  35:36 

Yeah, I think it's a it's an interesting one, obviously, early on my career was, it was all family, you know, and that was what drove me and understand the sacrifices and all that, and it still does. And I think, you know, I've learned that sometimes it's not enough, you know, and what do you want out of rugby? And what do you want to achieve? And what are you paying for at the end of the day? And what I found is that, you know, I want to inspire the next generation, like a generation inspired me to want to play for the Wallabies, and to play Super Rugby. George Smith was my favourite rugby player growing up, I was young backrower, you know, so I, you know, wanted to be like him, I wanted to play in the back row and be kind of like a jack of all trades. You know, like, careful there as well. Obviously, being a young Samoan kid growing up, they were the people that are naturally gravitated towards, I guess, watching George Tokai. You know, George Gregan as well, you know, one day, I'd hope to be one of those players that inspires a kid to want to play Pro, you know, for the Brumbies and the Wallabies and leave it lasting legacy, get back to club rugby. And I remember how excited I was when we knew that first grade was terrible, we're coming down. So getting the opportunity to meet Benji Marshall, you know, in the mid 2000s, when I was coming through was just unreal. And you know, you sometimes we get that feeling, you know, when you go through and when you recognise that again, it's such a warm and unreal energy, you know, and kids bring that out of you, I think the most so I think that's, you know, when I look back on my career, I think you want to be known as a great player. But, you know, you'll find consistently a lot of us say, they also want to be known as you know, top like. 


James Laughlin  37:51 

Well, I think I shouldn't say I think I know, that is the legacy that you're creating, you emanate this authenticity, you're down towards your grind, and you're willing to speak to anybody and everybody, and you show that in person, you show it on your social media, you show it on the field off the field. So you're really doing an amazing job at that Scotty. 


Scotty Sio  38:11 

Geez, I appreciate it.  


James Laughlin  38:12 

Amazing. And the one thing I want to ask you as well was just around pressure, because a lot of people look at you on the field, they're like, Whoa, look at him go and look what he's doing. But not only you're dealing with on field pressure, you've got a life off the field, you've got to pay the bills, you've got to have relationships, you've got to deal with a broken down car, you've got to deal with what the media are maybe writing about your social media. How do you deal with stress and pressure? 



Scotty Sio  38:37 

Yeah, it's a tough one. Look, I think you've just got to look at it from the perspective of this is the pressure that we face, and then this the pressure that people around the world are facing or less fortunate than you are, you know, you've really just got to put things into perspective. You know, I think sometimes we probably make our problems to be bigger than what we think they are and when you do that you're able to micro manage them better, I think, as well there, but I mean, it's not a performance base environment without pressure. At the end of the day, the pressure to consistently turn up at training you treat pressure to, you know, perform on game day, week in week out, and continually push the boundaries there. And, you know, I guess the pressures are what they do, they live in a home. But, I think it's all part of the process at the end of the day. If you're too busy thinking about the outcomes and the consequences, then you forget about what's the process to figure these out, and it becomes so much tougher. So, I think, you know, I've been under pressure a lot, I don't think you can say that you haven't. And people who, in the professional environment, say they, they don't really feel the pressure are definitely lying. Everyone feels it in some sort of way. Everyone just has different ways of dealing with it. I found a lot of the things away from rugby, you know, sort of tougher to deal with. I'm single at the moment. So, you know, I guess I'm trying to find something to share this life with, someone who becomes important to me away from my family, and you don't feel the consequences of rugby, because you know, that you can turn it around in one week, or in one training session, you know what I mean? We all make mistakes on the rugby field, but the magnitude of the mistakes you make there, compared to some of the mistakes you can make in life, it's probably not even in the same conversation there. You know it's not like, you can, you know, stuff up a relationship, and then just make it up the next day, you know, people just sometimes don't let go of things. And sometimes you never recover from that. It's the same with all different personal experiences in life. So, there's definitely things that probably, I haven't found the answer for me. And I'm continually trying to find an answer and open yourself up letting fear of failure, away from rabies, is massive, and something probably that I've needed to continually deal with. So, it's always a tough one. So, I think it's there. And if you understand that, it's there. That's a good thing. Because you know, and when you try to sort of rock it out, it's always tough, because it's always sort of creeping up on you, when you understand that that might be part of the process. It is what it is. And it's about learning and growing from that experience, it puts you in a much better place moving forward. 


James Laughlin  42:07 

The first thing I'd like to say is a one, I love that you can acknowledge that you have a fear of failure. And I think that it's the first step, and being able to move forward and handle it because it's a human trait. I'm actually reading Barack Obama's book, A Promised Land. And he talks about his own fear of failure. And then as he got closer to Presidency, and he started to realise while I might become the president, fear of success then kicked in. And he's like, Whoa, started back away a little. So, I think no matter who we are, we're all human. We all have these fears of letting people dying of disappointment, of humiliation, of success, failure. So, I really admire you and acknowledge you for being open and saying, hey, that exists within me. But I actually have a coping mechanism and a strategy to deal with it. 


Scotty Sio  42:56 

Yeah, 100% funny, you say tha my siblings got my father his book for Christmas. So he's  also been reading and he says it's an unbelievable read. He just says, there are a lot of different things, obviously, the fear of failure, coping mechanisms in and around that. Being ready for opportunities. I think what he was the youngest senator or whatever, to put his hand up for presidency as well, I'm not 100% sure of the whole story, but my dad just sort of says, the biggest thing he learned from him was that no matter what, even when he wasn't ready, he told himself, he was ready, no matter what, even if he knew he hadn't prepared the best, his mindset was always always ready. He was no matter what came forward, no matter what came his way. He was always good to go. I think you read about a lot of different people through life, but I think, reading the book of the first, you know, black president of America would be, you pick up a lot of different life lessons there. So, it's no surprise to me that you're also reading his book and picking up a few things there. To add to your arsenal, I think it's great. 



James Laughlin  44:24 

It's a beautiful book and Scotty, at the first four chapters, I've probably made 300 little notes. But while there's so many lessons, it's a phenomenal read. And I think the internal dialogue thing that came out, the self talk, the positive self talk that Brock talks about so for you, is there anything that you do internally to prepare for a big test match or to prepare for the World Cup? Do you say anything in here that lines up with your heart and get you ready to go? 


Scotty Sio  44:53 

No. I think I had a tendency to overthink things. When I was younger I was so like my father, very meticulous in my preparation, and I'm so big on have to be here at this time. This is my role here, if this happens, this is where I need to be and sometimes you tend to lose that instinctive pneus. Over time, you know, and you become a bit like a robot where you're good within the game plan, but then it's that what I talked about is, what's your point of difference? Then again, what's your X Factor, and you lose yourself in it a bit. So, I think I just have to tell myself that I've been here, and I've done it before, plenty of times, and just go back to that, what worked for you, when you're coming through, and what got you to where you are today. And I just have to remind myself of that, at the end of the day, I remind myself that what I've done from Monday to Friday is enough, and I've ticked the boxes, and it's just about making sure that I turn up on game day for for my teammates, for my team, and for those people who are supporting me. 


James Laughlin  46:03 

That's amazing. I think people listening could also apply that to their own lives. And when they're coming up against a big, say, a career transition, or they're applying for a job, or they're about to get down on one knee and propose it, just remember, hey, I've succeeded in one thing, before I've succeeded in this, I passed that test, I got my driving licence, I think it's about empowering yourself and reminding yourself you have done it. And I want to thank you for sharing. That's amazing. 


Scotty Sio  46:26 

Yeah, 100% I think, sometimes, we're our own harshest critics, and we don't give ourselves enough credit for what we've achieved in life. And I never quite understood the quote, you know, you know, learning to love yourself. And makes it easier to love others, I've never understood it, but it's something that I guess I'm kind of getting to understand, and it's not just, you love yourself, and you can love others, it's more of an understanding of yourself, and what you bring to the table, and what your flaws are, and everything and being comfortable with that, as well, so that, when you meet people in in life, you're not afraid to tell them, that it's not all about the good stuff, it's about having that vulnerability to open up to people and say, Look, it is what it is, this is something I struggle with, or this is an experience that I've been through. And, I'm not afraid to talk about it. And hopefully, maybe it helps someone along the way or it helps you understand that situation better. So, if you do come across it, you know that someone else's has been through it, and they've found a way to, to get through it as well. 


James Laughlin  48:01 

That is so relevant. In this day. And age, when we've got Instagram, we've got club hosts, that's just been released, we've got Twitter, Snapchat, when we see everyone's kind of like highlight reels. And often we don't see their vulnerability. And when we do, sometimes it shocks us. So I love that you're encouraging people to express more self love, look within, and accept yourself for who you are, and then get out into the world, and you're able to connect with people and other humans in a totally different way. When you love yourself for who you are. 


Scotty Sio  48:30 

Yeah, I think it's super important, especially in professional sport, because whether you like it or not, not everyone's going to care about the Monday to Friday grind before a weekend game, all they see is 80 minutes between the white lines on the weekend. And, you know, some people will just, that's all they care about, you know, and they'll just judge you on that, at the end of the day. And if you can't look, if you can't learn to look past that, it's just rugby becomes not just rugby, but the professional sport environment becomes a bit of a burden on you. Because you're so harsh and so critical of yourself, that if you start taking in opinions of people who weren't there for you from the start, then it's just gonna keep weighing you down and keep weighing you down. And every mistake is going to seem like a big mistake, and it's all going to pile up and mentally it's hard to cope. You know, I think over time, and it's the blessing and the curse of social media, isn't it at the end of the day, and I'm not a fan of this. Everyone has their own opinion and blah, blah, blah. I think social media has given everyone too much power. And that's, that's politicians, professional athletes, day to day people at this it's given everyone too much power over other people's lives and I just think, I understand you're invested in teams, and you're invested in people and all this and that, but, don't throw stones in a glass house at the end of the day, we're here to judge people for what they're going through, and I think everyone has their own story, everyone's obviously going through different things, and, adversity, you can't just say, because someone is starving here, have no water, and that their problems are just bigger than what you're going for, you got to understand that every, every little problem, you know, counts, and obviously, I'm a man of faith, and a Catholic. My parents are devoted Catholics, obviously, a lot more forthcoming than I am. But what what I always understood is that, to God and Jesus, no problems bigger than the other, you know, every problem is important to them. So, I think it's the same thing in life. Where every problem counts, and making sure you're you're there for each of them. And making sure that you address each of them is important as well. 


James Laughlin  51:15 

100% 100% Thank you, Scotty, for sharing that it took me back to last year, I spent the whole year studying Nelson Mandela and reading books and watching documentaries and taking notes. And he said one thing that really resonated with what you just said, and it was all about judgement. And he said, don't ever judge a human by one of their current actions, or one specific time in their life. The only time if you're going to judge someone, he said, wait to the end, wait to the end of their life, and judge them on their whole life, what they've done, what they've given what they've taken, the goods, the bads. And I guess from him, and he spent 27 years in prison, he went to prison for treason, and then came out and transformed our country and united people and was really the father of forgiveness. And I love that outlook, don't judge someone on one thing they've done on the field, in the 80 minutes, don't judge someone on the one full power that they've said, or they've screwed up with a word they've used, or they've been interviewed and said the wrong thing, don't judge someone on that. Look at the whole span of their life and look within before you before you judge. 


Scotty Sio  52:22 

100%. And obviously, there are people, who support you as fans who love you, and have been there all the way. But I just think, social media has just given too many people too much power to just say what they want without any consequences. And, there's always going to be people that go, Oh, well, you know, when you decided to be a rugby player, this is criticism that that comes along and, and blah, blah, blah, and, but you've got to, you know, look at it in the scheme of life, in terms of people taking opportunities in rugby, you got to look at your workplace, if you are provided the same opportunity and work in your workplace, would you not go ahead and do it? You know, and you've got to ask yourself those questions. At the end of the day, so yeah, I think you've got to learn to deal with it. It's the, it's the times my father said you'd hate to be playing in this in this time. Because, you know, he's just being on social media, it's just realise how much people can just, I just have to get you can get you at any point in time. It's, there's an app for everything, but yeah, like I said, you know, it's the times we live in is the time we've grown. And that's why being able to adapt and adjust and evolve is super important. 


James Laughlin  53:44 

100%. And I think that, you know, as a professional athlete, I imagine resilience is so important. So that when you do get that criticism, which is inevitable, that you have the thick skin, that your parents helped you develop, you know, they told you the truth and kept honesty as a big part of that relationship gives you that resilience to deal with these haters. 



Scotty Sio  54:04 

Yeah, 100% and it's one of our pillars at the Brumbies. You have to remain resilient. As a rugby player. I mean, you're to look at guys like David polka, back to back ACLs, you know, that would have finished a lot of different careers. But you know, he went on, and became better in different areas of his game and evolved as a rugby player. And it's amazing to see someone who arguably probably didn't need to do anything to his game and could come back and still perform at a high level. But wanting that growth mindset within that and understood that it's a opportunity to grow within rehab as a player, and as a means to see and I think it's something that any young rugby player could learn from in terms of dealing with injuries and that sort of thing moving forward. 


James Laughlin  54:56 

I love it. It's amazing. And I've got one last question for you. I know that you've got a lot on your plate and you're prepping for big things coming up. So, I want to say a massive thank you for making the time. And it's really great to connect. Hopefully we can do this again in person in Fiji sooner rather than later. 


Scotty Sio  55:11 

Yeah, that's it. I have a few mai tais made.  


James Laughlin  55:13 

That sounds wonderful. Yeah. Well, the one last question I've got for you is, What is your definition of purpose? 



Scotty Sio  55:25 

Yeah, I guess it's similar to what's your inner why, and it can be such a broad question, I think there's no one answer. I think it's important that maybe you need a couple answers to a couple different answers to answer this question. And, like I said, I think my inner why is probably what my purpose in rugby is now. To inspire. I guess my purpose in life, is to be a good family man. One of the quotes I put up on my Instagram every year. And each year, it's always been something about rugby, persistence is key, work hard in silence, and let success be your noise, but I think I had to strip it all back. And remember what was important, and this year, it's family, where life begins, and love never ends. You know, and I think it's something that I'll live my life by this year. And I guess it's something we're talking about wanting to share, my life with someone, my experiences or someone, one of the really cool things I've noticed is seeing a lot of the boys and their kids where they're at an age where they can see being a father on and, and being a husband and that and love that he shares with his wife, and he has with his kids. But the really important thing is seeing how proud his kids are of him, they wear his jersey, they have his number, and they're in an age where they can share that with him. And I think that's something really cool that I'd like to experience one day. You know, and I think, yeah, I think, you know, your purpose is, is something that's forever changing. I don't think there's, you know, one thing that you should try to be in life, I think it's in a couple of different things that you'd like to leave in terms of a legacy and in terms of your experiences with people, they have different conversations and had different experiences as you so they talk about the different things about you that they got to spend time with, so, yeah, I guess I can't give you one of those textbook answers. 


James Laughlin  58:08 

You know, I was amazing.  


Scotty Sio  58:11 

I guess it's just something that I just keep learning and keep hanging and keep understanding as I as I go along. The journey of love. 


James Laughlin  58:20 

I love it. Well, I want everyone that's listened in, please head over to Instagram. Follow Scotty Sio that's s-i-o Scotty Sio, please go and follow him. He's an inspiration. Incredible player. So, Scott, I just want to say a heartfelt thank you for making the time to connect. 


Scotty Sio  58:36 

Thank you so much for having me on. Really cool to connect again. I think it's something really, important, I think to you know, cherish those people you meet and you connect with in life and then, you know, I think, you know, guys, give this guy follow, he's doing some really cool stuff. And you know, and I think there's a lot of vulnerability on his page for a lot of different people through life. And I guess it's, for a lot of our different experiences. There's an opportunity for everyone to learn and, and continue to grow. So, you know, for everyone listening or watching, you know, all the best for 2021 stay safe, keep healthy, much love to all your families. Same to you, brother. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it and in all the best for the year. 


James Laughlin  59:35 

Thank you so much for listening in today and investing in your own personal growth. Please hit that subscribe button. I would love love love. If you leave me a rating and review as it really helps me. Impact more people. I've got some amazing guests lined up in the coming weeks. And folks, it's that time. Get out there and live life on purpose.