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International Kickboxer Gjermund Nesland Believes The Only Thing Standing In Your Way Is You

As a former international kickboxer, national kickboxing team manager in Norway and entrepreneur, Gjermund Nesland has learnt how important discipline and focus are to ultimate success.

Nadine Todd



Gjermund Nesland

One of the biggest mindshifts that determines success is the ability to do the things you never thought you’d do, even if you’re scared to take the leap. There are so many opportunities out there, and the only thing that really limits us is our beliefs.

It’s a myth that talent determines success

There’s this overriding belief that to be great you need to be born with special talents like superior physicality or a high IQ. In my experience, the most important quality to have is willpower — the will to train and do things over and over again.

Practice makes perfect isn’t just a cliché — it’s the bedrock of success.

Never think you can’t reach a goal because of the lack of a gift or ability. The reality is that he or she who puts in the most hours has the best results. Brick by brick you get to the top. You just need to keep pushing.

Through the right attitude, ability and opportunity open up to everyone and anyone. Put in the time, work long enough, have the right attitude and you will succeed. But you also need to have a plan. You can’t blindly put in the time.

Related: 7 Profound Business Lessons From The Founder Of Planet Fitness

Set goals

Track your progress. Once you reach your goal, set a new goal. I still have specific goals I work towards. You need long and short-term goals, with milestones on the road to each. These are a validation of what you’re doing, and incredibly important — they’ll help you get to where you want to go.

I competed for eight years at an international level in kickboxing, and became national team manager of Norway in 2011. Throughout my sporting career, I also held a corporate job and had entrepreneurial endeavours on the side. By 2016 I was a full time entrepreneur.

It sounds like a lot, but in reality I just know myself well


I need to be multi-tasking, doing lots of different things and feeding my different passions. 16 hours spent on the same job is hard. But split over three different things, its energising. I’d spend eight hours at my day job, four hours on kickboxing management and four hours on my entrepreneurial endeavours.

Each time I switched between projects I’d be using a different skill or part of my personality, and that would help me to perform well in each arena and work towards becoming the best version of myself I could be. Even as an entrepreneur I’m involved in multiple things — from our financial company Cessio Capital, to property, to a large indoor playpark.

You also need to be aware of your faults

Even though I do a lot, I’m not very good at time management. I can be inefficient because I’m too focused on the details. Being meticulous and efficient don’t always go hand in hand. I’ve learnt that to combat this I need to be present in each task I do, and when I start a new task, to leave unrelated problems behind.

I’ve found that it helps to have a notebook next to my bed. I write down ideas and the main thing I can work on, and then I put it away and quiet my mind.

Being present also means accepting that if there’s a problem I know I can’t fix or is outside my control, I mustn’t use too much energy worrying about it. It’s a complete waste of mental energy. Instead, I focus on things I can change.

Related: An Entrepreneurial Mindset – Why And How To Develop One

A winning strategy requires purpose, dedication, and joy in what you do

It can’t be about the money. My kickboxers train twice a day for the love of it, that’s it. They all have full time jobs as well. You can’t have that level of commitment if you don’t derive joy from it.

One of my core values is to continuously grow, as a person, and through my skills and knowledge. You need to constantly be expanding who you are, what you know and what you can do.

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


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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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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