Garrett Gee, standing in front of a nearly full auditorium and running on minimal sleep, encouraged a room full of young entrepreneurs and travel lovers to “create their own unique future.”
The Rollins Center of Entrepreneurship reached out to the former BYU soccer player and asked if he would be willing to speak at his alma mater.
Gee was in the middle of an 18-day stay in the Philippines filming a television show called Discovering Root at the time. Gee realized he would get back to the U.S. at 7 a.m. the day he would be speaking.
A self described “Yes Man,” Gee agreed to speak.
Gee is known for selling his app Scan to SnapChat for $54 million in 2015. Now he travels around the world with his family as a full-time job. While that sounds expensive, the Gees haven’t touched a cent of the $54 million.
Instead, they sold their belongings — nearly all of them — and started traveling off those profits.
Gee was introduced by his wife Jessica at the lecture and spent the opening minutes asking the audience some questions and giving away a number of items. One lucky attendee was gifted a GoPro camera for her upcoming trip to Thailand.
Gee’s lecture focused on his entrepreneurial story and how he got to his job, what he calls an “adventure travel journalist.”
Gee told the story of how Scan was started, signing with investors, selling it and becoming a millionaire. But, he realized there was a pattern in every venture he has done.
“There is this overarching theme during my time at BYU, at Scan, at SnapChat and now the Bucket List Family,” Gee said. “(It’s) seeing what life is telling us to do, it not feeling right and then stepping outside of that path to create our own unique future.”
Gee told the audience the details of his philosophy on life to close his remarks.
“Pure intentions, hard work and being true to self,” Gee said.
After Gee finished his lecture, he brought Jessica and his kids up on stage and for a questions and answer session.
The Gee family, including 4-year-old Dorothy and 2-year-old Manilla, answered questions for nearly an hour. The questions varied from Dorothy’s favorite Disney princess, to what it’s like to go to church in other countries and how they made the Bucket List Family profitable.
Towards the end of the event, Jessica announced they had a special gift for someone.
Melanie Pearson Day, a former BYU women’s basketball player with terminal cancer, is attempting to complete her own bucket list. Jessica, with tears in her eyes, gifted Pearson Day and her family an all-expense paid trip to Sundance.
After the event both Garrett and Jessica spent two hours meeting, answering questions and taking pictures with anyone who wanted to talk to them. Jessica made an effort to hug everyone who approached and Garrett introduced himself and had conversations with every person.
The Bucket List Family is now headed to Bora Bora for a couples retreat, Hawaii for three weeks and then Africa.