- Player: Paul Brown
- Company: DigiCash
- Established: 2011
- Contact: +27 (0)21 552 2005
- Visit: digicash.co.za
“A great place for great people to do great work.” That’s what Marilyn Carlson, former CEO of American hotel and travel group Carlson Companies, believed high-performing companies should strive to create.
It’s an approach championed by Paul Brown, CEO of DigiCash, a Cape Town-based payment solutions company that processes more than R800 million in payments and collections every month.
A-players like to play with A-players
Employee commitment must be endemic to the culture of your business, says Brown. That is why he aims to employ people who are prepared to give 100% to the business. As an entrepreneur who has been involved in several businesses over more than two decades, he knows what he’s talking about.
Brown says that in his experience, there are three types of employees. “First, there are those who take what they can get, but aren’t fundamentally interested in the work, and are therefore not truly engaged. Then there are those who do a reasonable job.
“Given the right direction and support, they can most often be turned into higher value employees. But the type of people I get out of bed for every morning are the A-players — the ones who add immense value to the business.”
But A-players are hard to find and in high demand, even in a down market. Fortunately, A-players, says Brown, are happiest when they are working with other A-players. The advantage of that is when you have an environment peopled largely by those who have the talent, skills and drive to make a company successful, you begin to attract like-minded individuals.
Great people want to work with great people.
“The challenge is to ensure that you create the right type of workplace for them,” adds Brown. “A-players become discouraged and unhappy when they feel as if they don’t get the needed support, or if they don’t agree with the culture of the company. Maintaining high employee quality and high work performance standards requires that you create an environment that truly fosters growth and improvement.”
How do you find people who will add real value to your company?
“We use a recruitment company that understands what we are looking for and with whom we’ve built a good relationship. Every CV is studied carefully to find out what a prospective employee is actually looking for.
“Say, for instance, that someone jumps regularly from job to job,” says Brown. “You have to consider why that is. Has the person been unsatisfied in previous jobs because he or she did not find it fulfilling, or were they always on the lookout for a more senior position that pays more? Someone just looking to move up the ranks is better suited to a corporate environment.
“If you want to change the world, employ someone who shares that view and will find it fulfilling. The aim for any business should be to try and offer employees both great career prospects and meaningful work, but that’s obviously not always possible for every business. It could take a while for a new operation to get up and running, so everyone needs to be on the same page.”
Poor performers are bad for business
He cautions, however, that he makes mistakes sometimes. “If I hire someone I believe is an A-player and they are not, it’s up to me to try to remedy the situation and assess their true potential. It’s my sincere belief that most people have the potential to be successful in life. I will make every effort to up their performance through training and counselling. You can’t start off by blaming an employee if the level of work isn’t what you expected. You need to study the situation carefully. Be open to the fact that the issue might be systemic.”
The reality, however, is that there are those who simply won’t be a good fit.
“If you’ve tried everything you can think of to help the employee and nothing has worked, you can’t be seduced into thinking you can ‘fix’ them. You might even really like them, but sometimes letting an employee go is the only option. It’s always a last resort, but sometimes it needs to be done. It’s important to create a cohesive environment where everyone is on the same page.”
Most employees have the potential to be A-players, but culture fit is incredibly important. Employees obviously need the right support, but they also need a fundamental interest in what the company is doing. People become great when they enjoy what they do.
The Law Of Attracting Your Success
Once you discover your who, you automatically discover your why, which in turn allows you to lead with your heart rather than your head. Discover that energy source, and the world is your oyster.
From the teachings of Buddha to the concept of karma, the Law of Attraction has been expressed in many ways by both ancient and contemporary thinkers. In its most simplistic interpretation, the Law of Attraction states that ‘like attracts like’.
Your ability to Magnetiize exists whether you are aware of it or not, whether you are positive or negative. You make daily decisions to choose whether you want to attract success or failure (however you define them), whether you want to live a more conscious, elegant and curious life or whether you want to keep your head down and stick to the old rules.
We are constantly Magnetiizing in every aspect of our lives, whether we’re running a business, interacting with friends or simply walking into a room. Changing how you do it can be a scary prospect, but it will move you from a stagnant space to one in which you can develop with meaning.
When you are in a space of positive magnetism, the momentum builds and your access to energy is incredible — it feels like electricity running through your body, with your ideas in focus and creativity flowing.
Magnetiize in 3 Steps
To Magnetiize is to take control of your own future and, in so doing, transform from a state of panic to a state of calm; from chasing ambition to seeking meaning.
- The first step is a process I call Micro Inspection: How to confront the obstacles in your mind and start making decisions that are led by your heart.
- Then comes Mega Exploration: Examining the qualities of future-forward and conscious businesses.
- Finally, you need to bring it all together into your own reality, with the Macro Perspective: Understanding new technology and trends, and embracing the future.
This holistic approach allows you to Magnetiize into your life the right type of people, appropriate access to opportunities, and the money and power you need for sustainable success. To truly achieve, you must combine Micro Inspection, Mega Exploration and Macro Perspective.
When you learn how to Magnetiize, you attract a tribe of people who you can work (and socialise) with in harmony. Your tribe should consist of elders, advisers and friends who complement your skills and personality and bring out the best version of you — the best ‘I’ behind your ‘I’. You’ll find that the tribe changes, for the better, the type of decisions you make and the discussions you have.
And as a result, your ability to Magnetiize will rub off on those around you, encouraging them also to step out of their comfort zone and to participate in shaping the future.
Magnetize is circulated through all good book sellers and at www.johnsanei.com
Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage
Have a plan in place for your money, no matter how much you earn.
Seven-figure pay cheques are enough to buy a lifetime of financial security, right? Well, not exactly. Despite making millions, seemingly wealthy celebrities often have a tough time keeping their heads above the financial waters.
Johnny Depp spending $3 million to fire Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes out of a cannon, or Nicholas Cage shelling out $150,000 for a pet octopus, are both prime examples of how lavish lifestyles can quickly lead to debt. The two A-listers are part of a long list of actors, musicians, athletes, etc. – including Floyd Mayweather, 50 Cent and Curt Schilling – who have all experienced financial troubles.
While there’s nothing wrong with celebrities enjoying their earnings, a little budgeting can go a long way. Just take a look at Tori Spelling. After failing to pay a balance of more than $35,000, the actress was taken to court by American Express. Another example is 80s movie star Corey Haim. He became so desperate for cash after filing for bankruptcy he tried to sell his own tooth on eBay for $150, which didn’t get any buyers.
Avoid falling into any of these situations by keeping a close eye on your spending. Regardless of how much you make, the following few budgeting tips promise to help you practice safe and responsible money management.
Put a plan in place
Nearly everyone lose sleep over their finances. Get a good night’s rest by figuring out where your money should be going long before it’s in your bank account. Spending without a plan, even if it’s only splurging on a one-time event, can have unintended consequences.
One example of this is former NFL star Vince Young – after dropping $300,000 on his own birthday party he was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Another example is Mike Tyson, who went into debt after overspending on Bengal tigers, 110 cars and a $2-million bathtub.
That doesn’t mean you can never treat yourself, but make sure you’re not spending money faster than you can earn it. Set up a series of “fun funds” each month to splurge on nonessentials. Depending on what else you have going on that month, each fund should be adjusted accordingly.
If, for example, you’re heading out to a friend’s wedding, there may be a little less left over for eating out. Stay up to date on your spending by downloading a budgeting app. The easier it is to see where you are for that month, the better chance you have of staying under budget.
Carry around some cash
Credit cards are becoming the most common payment method among consumers. The average American currently carries around three credit cards at any given time. While they may be more convenient, credit cards can easily lure consumers into a false sense of security.
After all, a simple swipe or tap is often all it takes to complete a purchase. However, it’s important to take time to research any costly items thoroughly and ensure you won’t regret them like Nicholas Cage. He learned this lesson the hard way when he blew $276,000 on a dinosaur skull that he was forced to return after it was discovered to be an illegal import.
Curb some of your impulse spending during a night out by bringing enough cash for the occasion. In addition to avoiding spending money you don’t have, you’ll also sidestep costly ATM fees at establishments that only accept cash.
Whether it means stopping by your bank on the first of every month or getting cash back at the grocery store, do whatever it takes to have a little bit of cash on hand. As you cut back on credit card purchases, your chances of falling into debt should begin to dwindle.
Lean on an expert
When it comes to your finances, take a lesson from the likes of Oprah, Tyga and Hugh Jackman, who invest in financial and life coaches. Many celebrities, including Oprah, attribute their success to their coaches helping put them on the right path. Even celebrities are human and can find it difficult to stick to budgeting goals.
Personalised features of a comprehensive coaching programme, such as daily check-in texts and bi-weekly budget reviews, promise to provide you with the encouragement needed to remain accountable even as the going gets tough.
Better yet, a financial coach can take your individual goals into account. Say you decide to start a family or need to make a cross-country move. Instead of wondering what that might mean for your budget, you can work with a financial coach to modify your spending habits and investments long before a change comes to fruition.
Budgeting goes beyond class. No matter how much you make, responsible money management has shown itself to be a necessity. Avoid following in the footsteps of celebrities who face serious financial trouble by keeping a close eye on where your money is going.
As we’ve seen all too often, failing to do so can mean losing millions. Simple steps – including creating a spending plan, occasionally relying on cash and reaching out to an expert – can help you achieve financial security sooner rather than later.
And if you plan carefully enough, you might just end up with the funds you need for that pet octopus.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
The 5-Hour Rule Used By Bill Gates, Jack Ma And Elon Musk
The most successful people on the planet are also the people likeliest to devote an hour a day to reading and learning.
You just walked in the door from an exhausting day at work. You’re hungry and spent, just wanting to catch your breath for a minute. You grab something to eat and then veg out in front of the TV. Next thing you know, you’ve just binge-watched five episodes of “Jessica Jones.”
While that’s OK occasionally – we all need ways to decompress and shut down – this isn’t a healthy habit. That’s why the most successful people in the world spend their free time learning.
It’s not exactly breaking news. During his five-year study of more than 200 self-made millionaires, Thomas Corley found that they don’t watch TV. Instead, an impressive 86 percent claimed they read – but not just for fun. What’s more, 63 percent indicated they listened to audiobooks during their morning commute.
Productivity expert Choncé Maddox writes, “It’s no secret that successful people read. The average millionaire is said to read two or more books per month.”
As such, she suggests everyone “read blogs, news sites, fiction and non-fiction during downtime so you can soak in more knowledge.” If you’re frequently on the go, listen to audiobooks or podcasts.
Maybe you’re thinking: Who has the time to sit down and actually read? Between work and family, it’s almost impossible to find free time. As an entrepreneur and a father, I can relate – but only to an extent. After all, if Barack Obama could fit in time to read while in the White House, what excuse do you have? He even credits books to surviving his presidency.
President Obama is far from the only leader to credit his success to reading. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and Jack Ma are all voracious readers. As Gates told The New York Times, reading “is one of the chief ways that I learn, and has been since I was a kid.”
Breaking down the five-hour rule
The five-hour rule was coined by Michael Simmons, founder of Empact. The concept is wonderfully simple: No matter how busy successful people are, they always “set aside at least an hour a day (or five hours a week) over their entire career for activities that can be classified as deliberate practice or learning.”
Simmons traces this phenomenon back to Ben Franklin. “Throughout Ben Franklin’s adult life, he consistently invested roughly an hour a day in deliberate learning. I call this Franklin’s five-hour rule: One hour a day on every weekday,” Simmons wrote.
For Franklin, his learning time consisted of waking up early to read and write. He established personal goals and tracked his results. In the spirit of today’s book clubs, he created a club for “like-minded aspiring artisans and tradesmen who hoped to improve themselves while they improved their community.” He also experimented with his new information and asked reflective questions every morning and evening.
The three buckets of the five-hour rule
Today’s successful leaders have embraced Franklin’s five-hour rule by breaking the rule into three buckets.
Self-made millionaires including Mark Cuban and Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, read between one and three hours daily. Elon Musk learned how to build rockets, which lead to SpaceX, by reading.
Besides expanding your knowledge, Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, says that “reading can give you a good head start; this is often what your peers cannot obtain. Compared to others, readers are more likely to know other industries’ strategies and tactics.”
Even if you can’t commit to an hour or more of reading every day, start with 20 to 30 minutes. I always have a book with me so when I’m waiting for a meeting to start or in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, I can read instead of waste time on my smartphone. You could also try audiobooks during your daily commute or when exercising.
So how do they find the time to read daily? They adhere to the five-hour rule.
Other times, the five-hour rule includes reflecting and thinking. This could be just staring at the wall or jotting down your thoughts. Jack Dorsey and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner are well-known thinkers, while entrepreneur Sara Blakely is a longtime journaler.
Focusing on the past gives you a chance to learn from mistakes you’ve made, as well as assess what you did correctly. As a result, you’ll be better suited to achieve your goals and improve your life. The University of Texas also found that mental rest and reflection improves learning.
Need help getting started? Schedule reflection time in your planner. I’ve found blocking out 15 to 20 minutes after lunch is ideal because I’m coming out of that post-lunch slump. But start small: Allocate five or 10 minutes per day, and then work your way up so you’re not overwhelmed.
Know the questions you want to ask. Stick with just two or three questions focused on that specific day. For example, if you attended a conference, ask, “What were the key takeaways?” and “How can I apply this to my business?”
The third and final bucket is rapid experimentation. Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison became leading inventors and thinkers because of their experiments. We have Gmail because Google allowed employees to experiment with new ideas.
The reason experiments are so useful is because you have facts, not assumptions. Experiments show you what’s working. You can learn from your mistakes and obtain feedback from others. Best of all, experimentation isn’t that time-consuming. Most of the time, you’re testing through the same activities you’d perform without testing.
Jack Ma even recommends applying the knowledge you’ve learned to a real-life scenario. For example, after reading a book about collaboration and teamwork, you could take on new volunteer work to put that knowledge to use.
When you make learning a habit, you’ll be more successful and productive in life. By investing in a reading habit, you can ensure you’re growing yourself – and your company – every day.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
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