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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+.

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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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