My personal mantra is to have a commitment to excellence in everything I do and to leave a legacy that my children can be proud of. The CEO of Momentum gave me some great advice; he told me to never get involved in the politics of an organisation.
Keep your head down, work hard, and someone will notice you and what you’re capable of. You don’t need to pull others down to succeed. I’ve run my own race with commitment and excellence, and I’m comfortable with every decision I’ve made along the way.
The worst advice I ever received was in my early 20s, when I was told to have patience and build my career
I wasn’t willing to wait ten years for a promotion, or for something to happen to me. I needed to go out and make it happen. Some things take time and patience and strong foundations, but there’s no reason why you can’t go out and upskill yourself to fast-track your career trajectory. I was GM at Momentum when I was 26, and it was because I went out and taught myself the skills I needed to fill that role.
I don’t believe in ever cutting corners, but I do believe that we are all capable of putting in the work that leads to real growth. Generally, successful people are doing things that other people don’t want to do. They’re waking up at 5am, going to the gym, putting in the time to read.
If you know you’re doing the hard things and not the nice things, you’re probably on the right track. Where you put effort in is where you’ll see the rewards.
I’ve found that a critical component of success is the ability to be disciplined
If you’re disciplined, you not only follow through on any promises or commitments you’ve made, but you give yourself the time and space for self-development. This might not come naturally, but commit to going the extra mile. I’m non-negotiable about my own development; I always have been.
Successful people have clear areas that are non-negotiable
Time is one of them. If you read up on how Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and their peers view their time, you’ll see that they never, ever waste it. It’s a finite resource and they treat it as such. They don’t squander valuable seconds and minutes on tasks that are not worth their time.
They’re also brutal about facing challenges head on and finding solutions
This has made a big impact on me. I emulate this in my own work environment and personal life. Challenges won’t just go away. You need to address them so that you can move on. It’s an integral part of being solutions- orientated as well.
I don’t believe that work/life balance exists, but I do believe in giving 100% to whatever you are doing in that moment: Work, family — whatever it is. Be completely present and focused. The quality of the time you put in is far more important than how much time you give something.
There will also be areas of your life that require more attention at different times. Once you accept this, you can be more present in each task.
Success is a marathon. There’s no end point; no milestone you reach where you can say, ‘now I’ve made it.’ It’s a journey, so enjoy the process. My journey is defined by me. I’m fully responsible for it. There may be external factors influencing my life, but ultimately how I deal with them is what moves me forward on my journey.
Related: Work Smarter Says Matsi Modise
The highest level of integrity is to succeed without taking shortcuts
Do it the right way. Don’t choose options that make it easier in the short term — think long-term; learn more, look longer and further into the future.
Be good to people; be human. There’s no other way than doing it the right way. Don’t compromise your business ethics. It’s never worth it.