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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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27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

Here are 27 of South Africa’s richest people, but how did they achieve this level of wealth? Find out here.

Nicole Crampton



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Learn the secrets of SA’s most successful business people, here is the list of the 27 richest people in South Africa:

In a world with growing entrepreneurship success stories, victory is often measured in terms of money. The feat of achieving a place on this list is, however, years of hard work, determination and persistence. “One has to set high standards… I can never be happy with mediocre performance,” advises Patrice Motsepe.

From the individuals that made the 27 of the richest people in South Africa list, actual entrepreneurs and self-made business people dominate the list; while those who inherited their fortunes have gone on to do even bigger and better things with their wealth. Over the years, some have slipped off the list, while others continue to climb higher and higher each year.

  1. Elisabeth Bradley
  2. Sharon Wapnick
  3. Bridgette Radebe
  4. Irene Charnley
  5. Wendy Ackerman
  6. Paul Harris
  7. Wendy Appelbaum
  8. Mark Shuttleworth
  9. Desmond Sacco
  10. Giovanni Ravazzotti
  11. Markus Jooste
  12. Gus Attridge
  13. Gerrit Thomas Ferreira
  14. Cyril Ramaphosa
  15. Adrian Gore
  16. Raymond Ackerman
  17. Michiel Le Roux
  18. Lauritz Dippenaar
  19. Jannie Mouton
  20. Stephen Saad
  21. Patrice Motsepe
  22. Allan Gray
  23. Koos Bekker
  24. Ivan Glasenberg
  25. Christoffel Wiese
  26. Johann Rupert
  27. Nicky Oppenheimer
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Watch List: 50 Top SA Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

South Africa needs more entrepreneurs to build businesses that can make a positive impact on the economy. These up-and-coming black entrepreneurs are showing how it can be done.

Nicole Crampton



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Early-stage South African entrepreneurial activity is at an all-time high of 11%, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, and entrepreneurial intentions have also increased to 11.7%. With both activity and intentions growing significantly year-on-year, there are more businesses opening up around South Africa than ever before.

The increase in entrepreneurship has seen the rise of more black entrepreneurs across numerous sectors. From beauty brands to legal services and even tech start-ups, these are 50 top black entrepreneurs to watch:

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Watch List: 50 Top SA Small Businesses To Watch

Keep your finger on the pulse of the start-up space by using our comprehensive list of SA small business to watch.

Nicole Crampton



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Entrepreneurship in South Africa is at an all-time high. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), total early-stage entrepreneurial activity has increased by 4.1% to 11% in 2017/2018. This means numerous new, exciting and promising small businesses are launching and growing.

To ensure you know who the innovative trailblazers are in the start-up and small business space, here are 50 of South Africa’s top establishing companies to watch, in no particular order:

  1. Livestock Wealth
  2. The Lazy Makoti
  3. Aerobuddies
  4. Mimi Women
  5. i-Pay
  6. AfriTorch Digital
  7. Akili Labs
  8. Native Décor
  9. Aerobotics
  10. Quality Solutions
  11. EM Guidance
  12. Kahvé Road
  13. HSE Matters
  14. VA Virtual Assistant
  15. Famram Solutions and Famram Foundation
  16. BioTech Africa
  17. Brand LAIKI
  18. Plus Fab
  19. LifeQ
  20. Organico
  21. 10dot
  22. Lenoma Legal
  23. Nkukhu-Box
  24. Benji + Moon
  25. Beonics
  26. Brett Naicker Wines
  27. Khalala
  28. Legal Legends
  29. The Power Woman Project
  30. Aviro Health
  31. AnaStellar Brands
  32. Data Innovator
  33. Fo-Sho
  34. Oolala Collection Club
  35. Recomed
  36. VoiceMap
  37. ClockWork
  38. Empty Trips
  39. Vula Mobile
  40. SwiitchBeauty
  41. Pineapple
  42. The Katy Valentine Collection
  43. OfferZen
  44. KHULA
  45. Incitech
  46. Pimp my Book
  47. ART Technologies and ART Call Management
  48. Prosperiprop
  49. WAXIT
  50. The Sun Exchange
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