Why Serial Entrepreneur Ettiëne Pretorius Says TV Is Killing Your Chances of...

Why Serial Entrepreneur Ettiëne Pretorius Says TV Is Killing Your Chances of Success


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Ettiëne Pretorius is a real estate developer, serial entrepreneur, author and international speaker. Having made his first million at age 21 through property development, by 27 he had completed developments worth R35 million.

Five years later he’s far more successful, and carries ABSA’s Top Entrepreneur award, and two International Businessman awards. He’s now focusing his attention on educating others on how to feed their brains with the right information and foster attitudes to better approach markets.

Related: 7 Insanely Productive Habits of Successful Young Entrepreneurs 

He’s rubbed shoulders with Richard Branson, Eric Trump (Donald Trump’s son), Steve Wozniak, Jack Welch, and has spoken at South Africa’s Success Summit.

Ettiëne, you don’t watch TV, listen to radio or read newspapers. Why?

The turning point in my life was when I realised your reality is created by perception, and perception is powerful if you know how to use it.

When you’re a child you have no frames of reference influencing the way you think, and the possibilities are infinite. But as you grow up, more and more restrictions come into play. Once your mind is restricted and you stop learning, that’s when you stop winning.

I realised it would be important to re-programme my subconscious.

For me, it’s about feeding my subconscious specific information based on my strong suites. Decisions made unconsciously are 1 000 times faster as they’re gut reactions.

That’s meant not watching TV, listening to the radio or reading newspapers. Instead I listen to audiobooks of inspirational people, which feeds my brain with information I find more useful in business.

How does it make you better at what you do?

Being an entrepreneur is about making solid, strategic decisions. Sometimes you’re able to make those decisions based on the information you have, other times you’ve got to go with your gut.

You’re not going to be able to trust your gut unless you know what’s in your subconscious: Are there self-limiting beliefs? Is there conflict between your needs and your awareness? Are you making decisions based on your passions and life purpose?

Because of the informative and positive material I feed my subconscious, I have confidence in my abilities and my decision-making skills. I stay motivated and inspired by removing the element of uncontrolled and negative news we’re constantly bombarded with.

Surely removing yourself from current affairs would affect your ability to do business?

When your perception creates your reality, it doesn’t matter what’s going on in the broader scheme of things, I’m ultimately responsible for creating my own economy.

If there are 1 700 units being constructed, I need to figure out how to get 10% of that regardless of the bigger picture.

It’s about identifying an opportunity, doing local sub-market analysis, influencing that market, creating a market share, and then creating a new perception.

Related: The Work Habits That Will Make You Successful

Tracy Lee Nicol
Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.