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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




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.

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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.

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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+.

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Lessons Learnt

#Wealthiest List: 8 Self-Made Millionaires On How They Built Their Wealth

These inspirational self-made millionaires built businesses with nothing less than hard work and sheer determination.

Catherine Bristow



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1. Nick D’Aloisio Wrote a Million Dollar App At Age 15


At the age of 15, Nick D’Aloisio wrote an app while sitting in his parent’s bedroom in the UK. At the age of 17, D’Aloisio sold his app Summly – a mobile news summarisation app to Yahoo for a staggering USD 30 million.

As one of the youngest millionaires, D’Aloisio is also the world’s youngest entrepreneur to be backed by venture capitalists – having secured seed funding from Sir Li Ka-Shing, Hong Kong’s billionaire, as well as raising USD 1.23 million from celebrity investors, including Yoko Ono and Ashton Kutcher.

“The number one thing I did that I think was wise was to get, through some of my advisers, was a Chairman; basically someone who was a very experienced business person, an industry veteran — Bart Swanson, who had been at Amazon and then Badoo. Then, myself and Bart really started finding people and growing the team.”

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Lessons Learnt

7 Cannabis Industry Millionaires Making It Big In The Marijuana Business

These entrepreneurs have capitalised on a new market set to continue to grow rapidly as more countries legalise marijuana across the world.

Catherine Bristow



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1. Brendan Kennedy


Brendan Kennedy worked on job sites as a carpenter to pay his way through university, with his eyes set firmly on becoming an architect, until the allure of Silicon Valley changed the course of his direction. While working at technology start-ups Kennedy began thinking about the possibilities that medical marijuana provided.

“I was really sceptical of medical cannabis,” he says. “It took a year of having conversations with patients and physicians and hearing the same story, repackaged but essentially the same, over and over and over again, where my scepticism eroded and I became a believer.”

In 2013, Kennedy and his partners applied for a licence from Health Canada and launched Lafitte Ventures, which was later renamed Tilray. Today, the company is a global leader in medical cannabis research, cultivation, processing and distribution.

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Lessons Learnt

Scaleup Learnings From Our Top Clients – What The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Do Right

So, how do our successful clients move through these constraints to scaling up? We see four key drivers of success, and they are: people, strategy, flawless execution and finance.

Louw Barnardt




You’re out of your start-up boots, staff is increasing, your client base is growing, revenue is up and you’ve proven your case to the market. Now it’s time to scale up. The challenges of this vital growth phase are different and it’s a time that demands different mindsets and different actions. In a world littered with small business failures, it helps to be well-prepared for scaling up using a proven methodology. At Outsourced CFO, we get an inside look at the success factors of our clients who are mastering the transition.

On the one hand, scaling up is a really exciting phase; this is what moves you into real job creation and making an impactful contribution to economic growth. On the other hand, it is really hard to scale up successfully. We see three major constraints that limit companies’ transition from start-up to scale-up:


The business has to have the leadership that can take it to the next level. When you start scaling up, especially rapidly, the founders can no longer do everything themselves. The team must grow and include new leadership talent that can take charge and execute so that the founders are working on the business instead of in the business.


The processes, procedures, networks, systems and workflows of the business all need to be scalable. This is imperative when it comes to your infrastructure for the financial management of your business. You’re only ready for growth when your infrastructure can seamlessly keep pace.

Market access

Scaling up demands more innovative marketing and storytelling so that you can more easily connect and engage with the new employees, clients, network partners, investors and mentors that need to come along with you on your scale-up journey.

Businesses that build a market conversation and a compelling brand narrative during their start-up phase are better positioned to have this kind of market access when they need to scale up.


It is critical to have the right people on your team. Our successful entrepreneurs have what it takes to attract, inspire and retain top talent. A strong team of smart, ambitious and purpose-driven people who love the company and want to see it succeed contribute greatly to a world class company culture. They are adept at communicating a compelling vision and establishing core values that people can take on. These entrepreneurs are tuned into the aspirations of their people and focus on developing leaders in their teams who can in turn develop more leaders.


It is planning that ensures that the right things are happening at the right times. At successful scale-ups strategies and action plans are devised to ensure that the most important thing always remains the most important thing.

Strategy includes input from all team members and setting of good priorities for the short, medium and long term. Goals are clear and everyone always knows what they are working towards. The needle is continuously moved because 90-day action plans are implemented each quarter to achieve targets and goals that are over and above people doing their daily jobs.

Flawless execution

Top entrepreneurs are not just focused on what operations need to achieve, but how the business operates. They have the right procedures, processes and tools in place so that everyone can deliver along the line on the company’s brand promise. Frequent, quick successive meetings ensure the rapid flow of effective communication. Problems are solved without drama. There is no chaos in the office environment. Everyone is empowered to execute flawlessly to an array of consistently happy clients.


Everyone knows that growth burns cash. A rapidly scaling business faces the challenge of needing a scalable financial infrastructure to keep the company healthy. Our successful entrepreneurs pay close attention to finance as the heartbeat of the business, ensuring that everything else functions. They look at the tech they are using for financial management and for the ways that their financial systems can be automated so that they can be brought rapidly to scale. The capital to grow is another vital finance issue.

The best way to finance a business is through paying clients on the shortest possible cash flow cycle. However, when you are scaling up and making heavier investments in the resources you need for growth, it is likely that you will need a workable plan for raising capital. Our scale-up clients know the value of accessing innovative financial management that provides high level services to drive their business growth.

Navigating the scale-up journey of a growing private company is one of the hardest but most rewarding of careers to pursue. Having people in your corner who have been through this journey before helps take a lot of pain out of the process. No growth journey looks the same, but there are tried and tested methods that will – if applied diligently – lead to definite success. Happy scaling!

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