Divan Botha Believes the Key to a Healthy Business Starts with a...

Divan Botha Believes the Key to a Healthy Business Starts with a Healthy Entrepreneur


Vital Stats

  • Company: The Whippet
  • Player: Divan Botha
  • Claim to fame: Ex-corporate turned entrepreneur, and presenter on KykNET’s Winslyn that broadcasts every Tuesday evening.
  • Visit: thewhippetcoffee.com 

I believe that a business is only as healthy as the entrepreneur

While we’d love to separate the business from the owner, they’re really inseparable. If you’re not healthy, the business suffers because there’s a lack of inspiration, a lack of focus, you don’t feel like communicating as often as you should and so on.

Related: 5 Habits of Healthy, Happy and Wise Entrepreneurs

Because I do most of my work in the evening, I go to the gym for an hour and a half between 2pm and 4pm for a daily workout. It’s a non-negotiable time slot in my week and everyone knows not to bother me in that time.

I’ve learnt my most productive hours are from 5:30 to 8:30 in the morningThe-Whippet-Coffee-shop

I go to bed relatively early to get enough sleep, and I can get most of my day’s work done in those three hours. I use the time to plan my day, work, prepare and ensure everyone knows what needs to be done. Blocking time is very effective for me so my next work slot is from 4pm to 7pm and on Thursdays I work until 11pm.

Sunday mornings I have a ritual of reading the newspaper until 11am and then for an hour after that I send out emails for the week. I don’t expect others to do the same, but it means I know everything is prepared for the week.

I absolutely live by my to-do list

I use an amazing app called Any.do. If it’s on the list then I know it’s a priority. It’s also my sanity check because when I get caught up in things I can at least see I’m getting the right stuff done.

I very clearly separate my personal and working lists as well as my different functions – TV work, The Whippet, and other ventures and projects.

I’ve learnt the importance of finding opportunities in your own value chain and staying focused on that.

I used to lecture marketing strategy to the Honours group at UJ but I found it took my focus away from my core functions and responsibilities.

I also made a big mistake of venturing into training in a different industry to the one I’m currently working in. It depleted my time and energy. Now, when I’m looking into new projects or ventures I look for natural extensions from my own value chain that others aren’t doing.

Related: Time is Not Your Friend. Easy Hacks for Healthier Living

I always say to people, the ones that got ahead are the ones who prepared more

Preparedness is very important to me and even in school people would ask me: ‘But why did you learn the whole textbook?’

Being really prepared makes me a better entrepreneur, especially when meeting people – I learn about them and their industry and this helps me ask the right questions and have more valuable conversations.

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+.