Entrepreneur Chats to Bruce Whitfield

Entrepreneur Chats to Bruce Whitfield

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I’m blown away by…

The can-do spirit of great South African entrepreneurs. There was a time when the founders of the FirstRand Group could not afford a photocopier.

Nowadays they’re worth between R3 billion and R6 billion… each. Real wealth is created in South Africa through risk-taking and entrepreneurial brilliance.

There are great stories of courage and fortitude. I love how Sally Williams started in her garage and how Awethu Project CEO Yusuf Randera-Rees gave up investment banking to build a great incubator and is helping awesome young South Africans build businesses for the future. We can all learn from their stories.

What most people don’t know about me is…

I’m actually quite a nice bloke. But if I catch you ducking, diving, cheating, skiving or behaving in a way that undermines our future — I’m going to have to tell others about it.

My pet peeve in business is…

Short-term thinking for immediate gains without thinking about the long-term consequences of today’s poor decisions.

The biggest mistake I’ve made in business is…

Not taking enough risk. There are so many great opportunities. Risk taking is a blend of art and science.

 

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The best decision I’ve made in business is…

Taking advice from my wise older brother to specialise. Traditionally, journalism involves sitting about and waiting for others to make news.

I spend my life focused on producing ‘money’ content. I tell stories about business, money and investing across multiple platforms. I seek out the stories, rather than wait for them to come my way. In doing so, I have created a one-person money-media business.  As a sole operator it’s high risk. But it’s efficient and you have no-one to blame but yourself if it all goes wrong.

The problem with doing what I do…

Is that I occasionally have to publically tear into someone who I once thought was awesome. I get to meet great people doing amazaing things.

The downside of the job is that one day I may need to tell the story about how it went to their head, they took the drugs, lovers and got the criminal record.

We have amazing entrepreneurs and business leaders — some are great role models and I wish I could emulate a fraction of their passion, drive and success. They are human though, which makes them fallible.

My mantra is…

Don’t mess it up. At least, try really, really hard not to. And if you do, fix it.

I struggle with…

Breathing while taking two stairs at a time.

My most strongly held belief is…

Do the right thing.

5 Ways to Be More Positive This Year.