Q&A: Isaac John, from Tokoroa to Tech Project & YKTR

To celebrate Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani (Cook Islands Language Week), Isaac John, former rugby league player, co-founder of YKTR and the Tech Project shares some personal experiences.

Tell us a little bit about yourself
Stereotypical kid from Tokoroa – 30 years old former NRL player now run a couple businesses + a podcast.

Where is your favourite place in the Cook Islands and where is your family from?
I’ve only been to Raro three times and only ever stayed on Raro. But Muri beach was nice and I loved it there. I’m only half Cook Island but my dad is Mangaia and Atiu. He’s as proud as proud comes when it comes to the Cook Islands.

What is your proudest achievement?
NRL debut and playing for the Kiwis was special at the time. But honestly few messages I’ve gotten over the last couple years have trumped anything I’ve done in football. Inspiring people to pursue their dreams while chasing mine has been a fun by product.

What is your biggest regret/lesson?
None. Enjoyed all my failures. Not at the time but I do now.

What’s the best advice you received and from who?
Too many to name. But ethics instilled in me by my parents as a kid have shaped me into who I am today. I’m sure most kids raised by an Islander parent have the same values.

How did you get into YKTR?
Always had a passion for business through reading books about entrepreneurs then just tried it. I loved making content, business and hanging out with my friends. I use clothes as a vehicle to do those things.

What do you enjoy doing outside of running your own business?
Travelling. Experiencing culture. Food. Beers with the boys talking absolute rubbish.

Describe your perfect day?
I’m lucky I love most my days. I love my job so much I’ll happily enjoy working on a Sunday. But if I we’re to answer I’d say something that including, beach, beer, BBQ and a few good people.

If you could invite 5 people to dinner (here or no longer with us), who would it be and why?
Gary Vee – Business Idol. Kobe Bryant – Sporting Idol. Will Smith – Entertainment. Shiggy – Entertainment. Someone to Vlog it.

Plans and aspirations for the future?
To stay a student in life. Grow in business and as a person. I’m a simple kid.


Photo credit: hatch.macleay.net

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