Beware the whiff of desperation

On occasion, you’ll meet someone who is desperate. Desperate for customers, desperate for investors, desperate for cash. You can smell the whiff of desperation. Beware. Don’t antagonise, don’t reject. No sudden movements. Just slowly walk away. When people are desperate they can do rash things. Don’t make yourself the target of their rashness. Beware the whiff…

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Why venture capital is difficult in SA (and Africa)

Venture capitalists don’t invest in products or jockeys. They invest in exits.The only way to justify the high investment failure rate is to have regular exits at valuations much greater than 10x.When taking into account the time value of money, dividends don’t cut it. Only selling the business can realize sufficient return for a VC…

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Nothing is hard 

That’s how you should be thinking. The alternatives are, “Something’s are hard” or “Everything is hard”. Where does that get you? People feel sorry for you. You feel sorry for yourself. You can justify failure. None of that matters. All that matters is winning. You can’t win if you think things are hard. Nothing is…

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Building a team is like assembling a trampoline

One corner at a time. Otherwise there is too much “pull” to one side to hook on the other side. Commercial, operations, HR, finance, IT, etc. Each function is a corner. Hire one at a time, keep it balanced.

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The key to success

What’s the difference between countries that prosper and those that flounder? What’s the difference between Mexico and USA? Or North Korea vs South Korea? Or Germany vs Ukraine? Countries are made up of people. If there is no human population then it’s not a country. So it’s the people that are the key. How do…

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Entrepreneurs don’t bail out their partners

It’s natural to help the people you love. Kids, parents, siblings, friends… when you see them taking a hit the instinct is to step in and lend a hand. Don’t do it! That way lies failure. Bailing people out creates relationships of dependency. An unspoken contract is formed whereby the dependent knows that you’re going to save him…

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Live long? Move fast

According to thousands of years of Indian wisdom, every person in the world only has 4000 weeks of life. That’s it. According to Einstein, the faster you move, the slower time goes. Therefore, if you want to stretch out your 4,000 weeks for as long as possible, move as fast as you can. Live long?…

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Success has no time limit

Just because you haven’t made it yet, doesn’t mean you won’t make it. Just because you’re 65 and in second place, doesn’t means you’re not going to win. Success has no time limit. The only limit is how long you’re willing to grind.

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Look for the Green Lantern in the crowd

Being an entrepreneur is all about selling. Selling is about winning the crowd. How you successful sell to a crowd of strangers? To a community that is foreign to your own? Find the Green Lantern. Every community has a super man or woman. An influencer, someone to whom everyone looks for leadership. Marlon Parker* calls this…

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Entrepreneurs hire people that smile

If you want a happy company culture, you need people that smile. Smiling is not a willpower thing. Its a habit thing. You’re either a smiley-person, or you’re not. When you hire, hire people that naturally smile PS: This is a Jack Ma (Alibaba) rule

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Do the right thing

First, avoid doing the wrong thing. If you can’t face your kids reading about what you do on the Internet, you’re doing the wrong thing. If it doesn’t align with your values, you’re doing the wrong thing. If it you can’t tell your colleagues, you’re doing the wrong thing. What is the right thing to…

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Stress is Good

Stress means you’re uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable means you’re learning. Learning means you’re growing. Becoming accustomed to dealing with stress will unleash your potential. It will teach you to think on your feet, to improvise, to be creative. You need to be able to deal with pressure. As an entrepreneur, your life will be full of…

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