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Lessons Learnt

Why You Need To Think Like Businessman Edward Chin – CEO Of Actualize Hub

Key learnings from this interview was to always be hungry for success and learning. Always be out there meeting the right people in your industry. Adapt to what you have learnt and move forward.

Dirk Coetsee

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‘Stay hungry, stay foolish’

Steve Jobs

Edward Chin looked up to his father from a young age and wanted to be a businessman like him. His father was a creative entrepreneur being active in the oil and gas industry and made a large sum of profit at a very young age. He turned those profits into another business opportunity by lending capital to other entrepreneurs. Being a serial entrepreneur he then started a cardboard manufacturing factory which he actually designed himself.

Edward was amazed by how much effort went into entrepreneurship and was inspired by it. Edward highlights the willingness to fail, learn from it and try again as a key factor in entrepreneurship as very few entrepreneurs are an overnight success.

The CEO of Actualize hub completed a business degree but emphasises that the real learning happens once you venture into business. Actualize hub was founded to solve the problems that Edward faced as a start-up entrepreneur. Actualize hub helps tech start-ups to build minimum viable products and help them to scale their businesses through utilising the network that Edward has already built.

I picked Edwards brain on what are the three key elements to tech start-up success in Malaysia as he has vast experience navigating through all the tech options, start-up events and funding options available:

  1. Idea needs to be solving a real pain point in our world. Do not create a solution where no problem exists.
  2. Find co-founders, people that believe in your idea as no-one has done it by themselves.
  3. Choose the right technology to solve the problem you that are solving, as some start-ups over spend on very expensive technologies that were not actually the right fit for the particular problem at the time.

Related: Taking It To The Malaysian Market – Karl van Zyl Of Antipodean Café

Ongoing debates revolving around both the exciting problem solving capabilities of tech and the threat that technology poses to the job market appear in online publications and are verbalised in many other ways, generally speaking. Edward reminds us that your whole company revolves around people and to build a culture where people are mentored and coached towards actualising a future vision. Invest in their training, health and work /life balance. Happy people give better service and provide better work. Therefore do not over focus on tech and underestimate the value of your people.

The Malaysian tech scene is still growing and is relatively young therefore there are still a lot of opportunities to solve major problems through tech. He advises entrepreneurs that are new to the tech scene to only find funding after taking their product to the market to ensure that ‘product/market fit’ exists.

Edward elaborated on learning as a great tool available to entrepreneurs. He attends a lot of events and listen to a lot of speakers whom recommends books to read. In spite of time constraints Edward emphasises to make the time to read the books that aligns to your vision quite quickly so that you’re learning curve and period of adaptation is rapid. Set Visionary goals he says and strive for that goal year in and year out. Learning can change your mind-set and perceptions to your advantage.

Most entrepreneurs watch ted talks, read books etc. but do not always act on it. The CEO of Actualise hub advises to have written goals and immediately act on them after writing them down. Always learn, always meet the right people in the industry. You might not have time to read all the books recommended to you but prioritise those that are in alignment with where you want to go as an entrepreneur.

Key learnings from this interview was to always be hungry for success and learning. Always be out there meeting the right people in your industry. Adapt to what you have learnt and move forward.

Dirk Coetsee is an international Peak Performance Business and Master NLP coach. He is an entrepreneur and founder of DCGlobal business and life coaching. DCglobals’ purpose is to multiply the performance and growth of businesses and individuals. Contact Dirk directly at: dirk@dirkcoetseeglobal.com

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

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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.

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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

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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