Entrepreneurs wake up early

I was never a morning person. My whole life I had to drag myself out of bed. My mom spent twelve years shouting at me to get up so I didn’t miss the school bus.I never made it to the first lectures at university.I was never first at the office at Deloitte.But one day everything…

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Entrepreneurs sell the dream

In 2011 I was trying to raise R850million to acquire a business. The fund-raise was losing momentum and I could feel the deal slipping away from me.Not only were potential new investors balking, but I was losing the faith of my existing investors.I went to my old man and laid it on the table: “People…

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Entrepreneurs don’t drive fancy cars

Some people have a passion for cars. They have gas in their veins, petrol in their brains, also know as “Petrol-heads.”This article is not for them. This article is for people like me, who don’t know a carburettor from a spark plug, and who can’t tell the difference between driving an M3 and a GTI.My people…

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Entrepreneurs give away their ideas for free

Ideas have creative value, but no financial value.Execution is where all financial upside resides.Sometimes you have a great idea. A game-changing idea. An idea thats worth a billion dollars.So you start thinking how to make it a reality and you quickly realise that you don’t have sufficient capital, technical expertise and/or time.Its at this point you’re…

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Entrepreneurs are like rock climbers

Malan Joubert once compared startup life to rock-climbing.One day you find yourself climbing a vertical sheer cliff face when, suddenly, you panic.You can’t move forward, you’re too scared. But you can’t go backwards either.So, you’re faced with two options: Grit your teeth, keep moving forward, and maybe die, or Don’t move, eventually tire, let go, fall…

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Entrepreneurs keep moving

Startups are like sharks. If a shark stops moving, it can’t breathe. If it can’t breathe, it dies.The same for startups.If you stop moving, you die.Starting a business is a frantic scramble to make money and pay the bills. Try this, try that, meet him, meet her, seemingly endless rabbit holes.It can be disheartening. Sometimes you…

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Entrepreneurs chase money AND passion

The life of an entrepreneur is uncertain.Even if you follow every tip from every legendary entrepreneur, you can still fail.If the urge to be an entrepreneur strikes you, remember this: Whatever you do, don’t make money the sole goal. Make sure you love what you do.Chase money and passion.That way it doesn’t matter whether you succeed…

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Entrepreneurs keep their promises

In business, trust is everything. Without trust you can’t raise money, sell product, find partners, or hire people.Trust is the glue of business. You need it or it will all fall apart.The surest way to lose trust is to break your promises.You must keep your promises.The easiest way to keep promises is to underpromise. That way…

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Entrepreneurs go down the rabbit hole

Raymond Ackerman, founder of Pick n Pay, South Africa’s largest retailer, once told this story:Whilst Raymond was CEO of Checkers, at the time the largest retailer in South Africa, some guy called out of the blue and asked whether he could get a tour of a Checkers store.Turns out the guy had recently bought four…

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Entrepreneurs listen to the farmer

Farmers know you should always put a red light in the chicken coop.But what do farmers know… I recently put our baby chickens in a coop with a white light. One morning I awoke up to find one of the chicks dead.It seemed to have been pecked to death. Savage chickens.So I googled “how to keep baby chickens…

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Entrepreneurs have the courage to go backwards

Life is like a clock. It ticks. Sometimes, it gets ahead of itself and you have to rewind the clock to set the time right.This is no fun. Going backwards never is. It takes courage.The easiest thing in the world is to lie to yourself. “Its not my fault the business failed.” “I didn’t screw…

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Entrepreneurs don’t need to be called CEO

School, university and corporate life inculcate a need for status.Are you a prefect? Are you a PhD? Are you a CEO? Do you drive a nice car? How many people work for you?These become the definitions of success.An entrepreneur knows these questions are meaningless. Once you’re stripped to the bone and left to fend for…

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