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Busy Cardiologist Dr Riaz Motara Works A 4-Day Work Week – Here’s How

Dr Riaz Motara is a successful cardiologist who is also managing a new start-up. He is a very busy man, yet he only works four days a week. Here’s how.

GG van Rooyen




Vital Stats

Dr Riaz Motara is a successful cardiologist with a busy practice in Melrose Arch. And, worried about the shocking state of South Africans’ cardiovascular health (South Africans have the highest blood pressure in the world), he decided last year to also launch a start-up that combines a Bluetooth monitor with a smartphone app to deliver blood-pressure reports to patients’ doctors.

Despite having a practice and a start-up to balance, he works only four days a week and makes time for other things in his life.

I only work four days a week

Not much happens after 12pm on Friday, anyway, so I decided to pack in a bit more from Monday to Thursday, and not work at my practice at all on Friday. This frees me up to have the odd meeting related to my start-up Kardiofit, but also allows me to spend more time with my family and do other things that I want to do.

It’s all about managing your time effectively. By working hard from Monday to Thursday, and then taking the next three days off, I can give my work a lot of time and attention for four days, and then give my family and other pursuits my full attention afterwards.

Related: There’s An App For That

You need to live in the now

People — especially business people and entrepreneurs — can become so focused on the future, that they completely forget about the now. You need to be happy now. The future is never guaranteed, so you need to find that work/life balance today. Yes, it is important to work hard, but you need to keep that balance.

It’s all about managing your time and getting the most out of your day. If you keep working non-stop, you’ll burn out. You need to not only manage your time and productivity, but your health and happiness as well.


We are all faced with so much stress, yet nobody has taught us how to actually deal with it

And when we don’t deal with stress adequately, it makes us ill. You need to find a way of shutting off and letting go. I try to live life free of attachment — I try not to be too attached to the outcome of any event.

That means I am happy either way — whether I fail or succeed. For many people, when they have a great idea, or want to start a business or a career, the first thing that happens is that fear sets in.

What if I fail? If you are able to manage your fears — and would truly be happy regardless of whether you have a positive or negative outcome — that is when you can move forward and really create exciting things.

Related: How Majozi Bros Construction Built Their Business, One Brick At A Time

Fitness is not about going to a spinning class and pushing your body hard for an hour

I’m not a fan of any sport or activity that puts too much stress on the body. You might have a great body now because of it, but what happens forty years from now? When it comes to health and fitness, you need to think long-term.

My entire life has been about striving to provide a service

I believe that if you are able to provide a service, everything else follows from that. The minute you make it about the money, without the service, you are setting yourself up for failure.

If I’m able to be of better service to people that I come into contact with — if I am able to help them grow emotionally, spiritually or financially, or whichever way they want to grow — then that’s what I would like to do.

Remember this

Provide good service and everything else will follow, without long hours and zero family time.

GG van Rooyen is the deputy editor for Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa. Follow him on Twitter.

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25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton



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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.






Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Company Posts

Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect




Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.


“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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