Connect with us

Lessons Learnt

It’s Passion that Drives Louise Carver

Local music icon, jewellery designer, entrepreneur and serial collaborator, Louise Carver believes passion is the root of success.

Nadine Todd

Published

on

Louise-Carver

Anything that excites me I want to do. I was an ADHD child, so I was always full of energy, and easily distracted.

Over the years I’ve found creative ways to channel that energy, whether it’s through creating music and shows, collaborating on projects with other artists, designing my own jewellery range, or launching my own label.

Fueled by Passion

I have a massive drive. Not for money, but for pursuing passion. There’s real affirmation in creating beautiful things and making people happy.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: The Anatomy of Stevie B

I get the same buzz from watching an audience love a song I’m performing as I do when I see someone wearing a piece of jewellery I’ve designed. I think it’s a basic entrepreneurial trait.

Open to Opportunities

The trick is to be open to opportunities that come your way. For example, I started designing my own range of jewellery because I was approached by a no-name brand manufacturer to become an ambassador for some of their pieces. But they were all pieces I would never wear.

At the time I was signed to Sony in a very structured environment, and I was looking for a creative outlet.

It was the perfect opportunity. Instead of saying no outright, I proposed a collaboration. They had the contacts for rose gold, silver and pearls, and the skills to assemble the pieces. I could design a collection and brand it with my name. It’s been an amazing partnership.

Edgars has chosen 30 designs from my bridal range, and we plan to launch the range at six flagship stores this month. I have also collaborated with two other entrepreneurs and together we have launched the Carver Rush & Star events.

This is a collaboration between myself, Sam Star of Sam Star Shoes and Jacqui Corfield, the owner and co-founder of fashion boutique Hermanna Rush. Derek Kilpin from Great Domaines Wine is our resident wine expert and does international wine tastings.

We wanted to create an evening shopping experience with everything busy women need and love: A place to relax in the company of girlfriends, enjoying a glass of wine, and shop. Together we offer shoes, fashion, jewellery and wine – what more could you want?

Carver Rush & Star events create an experience around what we love, and give women the opportunity to network. There’s power in the right collaborations, where you align your products, skills and databases. Sam is great with numbers, Jacqui has an eye for detail, and I’m good with marketing.

Make Connections

I trust introductions. I believe that if you do good work, good things come back to you. Some of the most exciting projects I’ve been involved in have started with the right introduction, like the head of Tsogo Sun Entertainment introducing me to Kate Emmerson, a life coach and author of the top-selling Clear Your Clutter. And while Kate has a lot to say about the state of my desktop, we’ve found real synergies between her three core focus areas and my music.

Together, we’ve created a corporate show that centres around Kate’s three key themes: De-cluttering your physical, bodily and emotional space.

While Kate isn’t my life coach, I do work with a life coach. I want to understand my patterns better. We all have patterns and I want mine to be conscious, so I can avoid negative patterns and strive for balance.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: The Anatomy of Euphonik

Part of this has been taking control of my music career. I’ll always be thankful for my time at Sony where I built my career, but I reached the point where I needed control over my music and business.

I’ve formed a JV between Next Music and my label, Evergreen Music, which means I can concentrate on albums while Next Music takes care of admin. My latest album, Say it to my face, is the product of this collaboration.

Risk vs. Reward

I was able to start my own business because of a 50/50 investor. Putting 50% of my own money into the venture was important. It’s easy to over-invest in an album.

I learnt this lesson at a young age, as I was signed to my first label at fifteen. The learning curve in the industry is long, so I was fortunate to start young. I now keep investments to the minimum, and match whatever comes in, rand for rand.

I’m also a bit of a hustler. I get as much sponsored as possible. Photo shoots, music videos and any promotional work is sponsored by brands such as Raymond Weil and Yamaha. I wear their products, and they sponsor the PR material. It’s win-win.

 

Nadine Todd is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, the How-To guide for growing businesses. Find her on Google+.

Lessons Learnt

(Podcast) ‘Bizarre Foods’ Andrew Zimmern: ‘I’m Addicted To The Hustle’

How this week’s ‘How Success Happens’ guest overcame personal struggles and built an empire.

Dan Bova

Published

on

andrew-zimmern

I didn’t know what to expect when we scheduled an interview over breakfast with today’s guest Andrew Zimmern. As you may know, the chef, writer, restaurateur and TV personality made a name for himself traveling the world and eating some, well, bizarre foods on his hit travel/food show, Bizarre Foods.

Turns out our breakfast was pretty normal – we didn’t dig into a fresh plate of scrambled brains or anything – but the conversation was anything but typical.

Over the past couple of years, Zimmern has built a true empire around his name with books, TV shows, restaurants (including his new Twin Cities joint Lucky Cricket), and a production company, but as he very candidly told me, the road to success has not been easy. He has gone through a lot of personal pain on his journey, and he says it is a daily endeavour to keep himself moving on the right track.

As Zimmern explained, over the course of his life, he’s had problems with substance abuse, depression – even homelessness – and he was very open about sharing the lessons he’s learned along the way about coping and finding redemption. We also spoke about his dear friend, Anthony Bourdain, and about the struggles of feeling overwhelmed that most of us face.

Related: Gareth Cliff Shares His Tips For Starting Your Very Own Podcast

But don’t get me wrong, he’s really funny, too! There’s nothing “normal” about Andrew Zimmern. Hope you’ll enjoy our conversation, thanks for listening.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Continue Reading

Lessons Learnt

How BrightRock Is Disrupting The Insurance Industry With These 2 Pivotal Strategies

Developments in technology, and clear communication are positioning BrightRock to disrupt their industry and transform the consumer experience.

Monique Verduyn

Published

on

brightrock

Vital Stats

  • Players: Sean Hanlon, Leopold Malan, Schalk Malan, Suzanne Stevens
  • Company: BrightRock
  • Est: 2011
  • Visit: www.brightrock.co.za

BrightRock was started around a dining room table in 2011 by four people with years of industry experience and — importantly — a diverse set of complementary skills.  They wanted to make changes to an industry with an age-old methodology by allowing customers to co-create a solution that precisely meets their individual needs, and adjusts as those needs change. Today, BrightRock is the fastest-growing insurer in the intermediated individual life risk market. It also provides underwriting management services to funeral parlour businesses and, more recently, has entered the group risk insurance market, offering its needs-matched approach to employees.

The founders of BrightRock, established in 2011, knew the life insurance industry all too well, and they found its methodology wanting. “Traditional life insurance lumps all the individual’s needs into one policy,” says CEO Schalk Malan.

“It’s a methodology that has been around for centuries. We started afresh and looked at how we could design life insurance based on individual requirements. Our cover is designed to exactly match each specific financial need. Because there is no waste, it’s more cost efficient and sustainable. And if circumstances change and our customer needs more cover, it’s easy to get it because needs-matched design enables the policy to change in line with changing needs.”

1. Embracing digital technology to provide needs-matched insurance

Suzanne Stevens, marketing executive director at BrightRock, points out that this type of innovation achieves efficiency (cost savings) and effectiveness (higher returns). “By harnessing digital technology, we have made our operations more efficient, and aggressively lowered costs by up to 30% for our customers. Every rand they spend with us works harder for them. That’s the benefit of a solution designed around the customer.”

BrightRock’s founders took a similar approach. ‘We ditched legacy thinking in favour of creating a product that is intuitive and easy to navigate. An enormous amount of time and effort went into writing and designing that system, and creating the optimal customer journey.”

Related: How BrightRock Is Rocking The (Industry) Boat In Only 5 Years Since Launch

Unlike clunky legacy systems, BrightRock’s platform is modularised, and was built according to the agile principle of rapid delivery cycles. The result is a technology stack with longevity, that is also flexible enough to be tweaked when needed.

“The advantage of the technology available today is that you can plug things in and pull them out as required,” says Suzanne. “That’s one of the enablers of a truly disruptive mindset. To step away from accepted norms and find new solutions requires curiosity and creativity, as well as a lot of courage to go up against large incumbents in the market. There is always resistance to new technology, although we are fortunate in this country to have one of the most innovative insurance sectors in the world.”

2. Effective communication is critical

These disruptors have set themselves above the rest through one surprisingly simple tactic —  effective communication. They agree that it simply doesn’t matter how world-changing your product or service is if you don’t communicate it to the right audience at the right time. New companies that fail to communicate their remarkable new development will quickly be pushed aside by other disruptors. Without a clear communication strategy that reaches the audience in the industry you’re trying to disrupt, you’ll set yourself up for failure. A key question to ask when you are developing your communication strategy is simply whether people understand what you do.

“Because the premise for our product was fundamentally different from anything on the market, communication and clear messaging were critical to convincing our clients to put their trust in us,” says Schalk.

“It was especially important to educate insurance advisors so they would understand what we were doing, why we were doing it, and how it was better than the other options available. That was key to disrupting the individual life market.”

Currently, BrightRock employs 380 staff, has experienced 40% year-on-year growth, and has an annualised premium income of more than R1,3 billion. The company has recently entered the group risk environment with a similar offering that addresses many of the same shortcomings of traditional group risk products. “The inefficiencies of the structuring of group products has meant that, to remain competitive, insurers have cut the benefits offered to employees, undermining their sense of financial security. Change is needed, and we believe our needs-matched philosophy positions us to change the group risk market too.”

‘We ditched legacy thinking in favour of creating a product that is intuitive and easy to navigate. An enormous amount of time and effort went into writing and designing that system, and creating the optimal customer journey.”

Unlike clunky legacy systems, the BrightRock’s platform is modularised, and was built according to the agile principle of rapid delivery cycles. The result is a technology stack with longevity, that is also flexible enough to be tweaked when needed.

Related: BrightRock’s 5 Entrepreneurial Tips For Start-ups

This iterative, modular approach typically begins with defining the strategy and programme plan upfront, delivering a core capability fast so it can provide benefits immediately, and then continuously improving with regular, incremental capability improvements to achieve the objectives of the strategy. It’s an approach that fosters closer collaboration between stakeholders, improved transparency, earlier delivery, greater allowance for change and more focus on the business outcomes.

“The advantage of the technology available today is that you can plug things in and pull them out as required,” says Suzanne. “That’s one of the enablers of a truly disruptive mindset. To step away from accepted norms and find new solutions requires curiosity and creativity, as well as a lot of courage to go up against large incumbents in the market. There is always resistance to new technology, although we are fortunate in this country to have one of the most innovative insurance sectors in the world.”

Continue Reading

Lessons Learnt

The 9 Obsessions You Need To Have To Become A Self-Made Millionaire

Here’s how to stay focused on your millionaire goals.

Published

on

Prev1 of 10

elon-musk

The ones who succeed weren’t handed a golden ticket; it wasn’t chance that helped them cultivate their fortune. To reach millionaire status, you must be driven to reach your dreams. You must be obsessed in order to be successful.

These are the nine obsessions that give every self-made millionaire an edge in creating success and wealth.

Prev1 of 10

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending