CEOs of Joburg Life, Howler and G&G Productions share entrepreneur tips
JOHANNESBURG – In celebration of Youth Day, leading executives shared their top tips for business success with matriculants and young entrepreneurs:
Deelan Moodaley, the chief executive of Joburg Life:
- Never give up. Even if you fail, try again. Learn from your mistakes, because it is your mistakes that make you more than your successes.
- Believe in yourself. When the chips are down, you are the only one who can pick them up. If you don't believe in you, no one will.
- Define who your customer is and know your market. Many people will work on knowing their business without realising that the customer is their business, so make sure to study them. Study what is working and what is not working within your marketplace. Learn from the success and failures of others.
- Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you don't take that step, you will never know, so be bold and make that step. Some of the world's best ideas are in the graveyard because the people who had these great ideas never took that step.
- Don’t cut corners. A quick buck will always be the quickest way to damage your reputation. Look to better what you did yesterday, today. Always give of your best.
Greg Walsh, the chief executive of G&G Productions:
- Beware the clutter. In uncertain times, “news” can be extremely unhelpful. Using credible news sources to keep abreast of accurate information to inform your decision-making is useful. But blatantly ignore the flood of ill-informed opinions on social media.
- This too shall pass. It’s okay to take your foot off the gas for a few days and try to look down on what is happening to you and around you, with a clear mind. History has taught us that nothing bad lasts forever, and sometimes you need a little good fortune to keep driving forward and upward. These challenging times will pass.
- Be brave. Having acknowledged that hard times don’t last forever, be ready to be brave – only when the time is right. Taking huge risks when things are in a mess may bring you short-term gain, but will likely end in tears for you. Keep strategising, keep focused, and keep that bird’s eye view. Prepare to strike with great ideas when it makes sense to do so.
- Don’t follow, lead. We hear the words “unprecedented” and “pivoting” all-day long. The queues of “sheep” who’ve pivoted great businesses which were in a moment of crises into hand sanitiser and mask retailers is exhaustive. Because everyone is doing it is exactly the reason that you should not be. Stay true to your company and personal purpose, use challenging times to think, adapt and push some necessary reset buttons but keep focused on why you exist and what you’re good at.
- Back yourself, 100 percent. Go with your gut, but not too quickly. Don’t mistake panic-driven ideas for gut instinct. Accept all ideas you have, but allow them time to settle before acting on them. If after a few weeks you have one or more ideas that keep recurring and make complete sense to you, back yourself 100 percent, act decisively and implement them.
Shai Evian, the chief executive of Howler:
- Communication is vital. Communication with your key stakeholders has never been more important. Be honest and vulnerable. Put your ego aside. You might need to make some hard decisions and the more transparency you have along the way will make it easier.
- There is never a better time than now. Your business has most likely changed or been disrupted. If you were ever looking to make a major change or try something new. This is your time! Don’t wait. Clients, employees and customers are more open to new ideas and to trying new products and ideas.
- Stay optimistic. If you remain optimistic, the opportunities will find you. Your energy is infectious, and everyone around will be affected by how you are feeling.
- Define your values. If you have not defined your business values, do this now. These values should help you guide all the hard decisions you may need to make in the future. Your values are the core of what you/your business represent and should be a guiding star.
- Think long-term and people first. When making tough decisions, don’t only think about how they will affect you in the short term, but more importantly the long term. Often, we are worried only about what is directly in front of us. Your people are your most important asset.