Entrepreneur you admire
Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. That may seem a surprising answer coming from a tech entrepreneur, but he is the best example of someone with a simple, yet brilliant, vision that he executed to perfection. He achieved success the old fashioned way; with persistence, grit and the under-rated attribute, common sense. There were doubters, who couldn’t see how opening stores in small towns could eventually turn into an empire. The results speak for themselves. Sam Walton amassed more wealth than any other individual in our century.
The Count of Monte Cristo. No other novel blends so perfectly some of life’s most fundamental emotions and topics; love, hatred, jealousy, vengeance, knowledge, and history. Alexandre Dumas weaves a story that gives them new meaning and dimension.
Ike: Countdown to D-Day. It is an amazing account of the moments leading up to the invasion of Normandy. Aside from being a great historical movie, the reason I regard this film so highly is because it provides an unforgettable lesson on what it takes to be a great leader. One personality taking the weight of the world on his shoulders, and pulling off an act of such monumental dimensions to save the day, in a series of events that shows what great leaders are made of.
My favourite artist is Herman Brood. His version of ‘My Way’ is unbeatable.
Favourite TV show
Dragons’ Den. The elevator pitches and subsequent backing by the Dragons is a subject close to my heart. This is followed by a very close runner up, the News at 10!
I prefer stand up comedy to plays and musicals. I’m a big fan of going to watch live comedians of any kind.
Nothing beats a safari in Africa for me. Holiday perfection.
A person you admire
My father. He is one of the few people I know who has suffered his fair share of highs and lows but has managed to succeed through hard work and dedication. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but he’s still kept his integrity, honour and humility through it all. I have learnt so much from him, things that you can teach in a classroom or reading from any book.
Advice for a new startup
It’s important to have a thick skin and fight for everything. If you believe in your business then don’t be disheartened if others don’t. However, don’t be blinkered if something isn’t working.
Be willing to listen to advice and be agile enough to change direction if it makes sense. It doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch, but sometimes you might have to try a few different paths before you discover the right one. Learning from your mistakes and accepting when something isn’t working are vital components of being a successful entrepreneur. And when you do find the right path, then go all in!