Pro surfer Tai Graham hosted our BBF students at the Lawn

The semester is slowly coming to an end and three months have gone in three weeks. At least it feels like it. The newly found Bali Business Foundation program has been visiting a lot of businesses here in Bali, and the last one for the semester was the Lawn.

party at the Lawn
BBF students at the Lawn in Canggu. Photo by Tai’s photographer.

The Lawn and Single Fin voted as the best beach clubs in Bali

Developed and owned by pro-surfer Tai Graham, the Lawn was voted as the beach club of the year in 2019 by Conde Nast. Not only has he created the best venue in Canggu, but also Single Fin in Uluwatu. The two clubs are iconic to Bali, and one cannot visit the island without hearing about either one of them. BBF students were lucky enough to have the chance to meet the person himself, and to listen to a presentation of his, sharing his story with us.

Drinking beer during sunset in Bali
Sunset at the Lawn was incredible and the evening continued with light mood. Photo by Emil

Tai Graham – one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Bali

Meeting Tai Graham in person was surreal. A person with his demeanor and character cannot be identified as a business-man dealing in the millions, let alone a pro surfer. The charismatic and friendly behavior he displayed made us feel warmly welcome to his venue. The humbleness he carries with him can also be observed in his staff at the Lawn. Balinese culture, in general, is very friendly and open-minded and full of smiles, and the staff at the Lawn is no different. Tai told us that he goes around and mingles with all of his staff, sharing chores now and then, and getting a feeling what it is like to be working there.

Tai Graham in Bali
After the event, Tai stayed to mingle with the students. Photo by Emil

The sympathetic way of running a business, of leading people is most likely the key to his success. Of course, there is also a sense of fearlessness, adventure and risk-taking features in Tai, as every successful surfer has in them, and he has successfully exploited these manners in his ventures. As Berry, one of the attending BBF students put it:

“well, it was one of the most inspiring talks we have had. Also, good to hear that if you know what you want, you just got to start. Tai said he wanted to sell shorts or something in Bali so he could begin a surf shop (?) but actually did not know about business or selling at all, but just asked for a chance with nothing to lose.”

Tai Graham at Single fin
Tai Graham is a successful entrepreneur. But mostly he is a laid back pro surfer and a happy family-man. Photo by Emil

How to become a successful entrepreneur

Could it possibly be that we should do what we love? Or at least pursue the dream? In his presentation, Tai shared his method of reaching goals. Firstly, one needs to have a goal. Secondly, this goal needs to be attainable (anything is possible!). Thirdly, once the goal, the dream or the ideal is there, one only needs to work backward from there. Tai told us that he just wanted to be able to surf more and be free and happy. That was his ideal. The businesses he created were just products that would enable him to live his dream. That surely is a unique way of seeing business. What a legend. Freja, one of the BBF students, commented:

“[Tai] Graham’s presentation gave insights into an entrepreneurial, brave and creative mindset. His story is a perfect example and sum-up of why many of us chose to study abroad on the BBF program in Bali. Little did we know that the guy in front of us had created two successful millionaire businesses, without even attending University. The Lawn and Single Fin Bali are outcomes of a man’s search for a simpler life with more freedom and time to do the things he loves: to surf and spend time with his family. With great passion and network Tai has been able to build two of Bali’s most popular beach clubs. On top of that, Tai Graham has still managed to stay humble and he shows great concern for his employees and everyone around him. Well done!”

The Lawn during sunset
The Lawn is one of the most sought after beach clubs in Bali. Photo by Emil

The entrepreneur is someone we could all learn from. Not attending University and being more successful in business and life-style than most of us will ever be, Tai Graham surely can be seen as a role model for many. One cannot help but think what is the recipe for happiness. One thing is for sure: you’ll never know if you never try. Going on an exchange is a life-changing experience and is unmeasurably beneficial in every sense. Joining the BBF program allows you to experience a different way of learning, a more hands-on approach and living on the island of Gods. Perhaps that could be your first step to live your dream?

Are you dreaming of becoming a successful entrepreneur? Let us guide you! 

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

This article was conducted by our digital marketing intern Emil! 

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