The entrepreneurial journey is one that is different for everybody. For most it starts with a question, how can we solve a particular problem? The search for solutions drives the entrepreneur and consequently, for Fred Robertson, of Brimstone Investment, that question was how he could create wealth and opportunities for impoverished black people in apartheid South Africa and as we watch his full episode with Peace Hyde, here are 15 things we learnt from the show.
- You can’t do a good deal with a bad person
As with everything in life, it is important to be someone of integrity and in business this is especially apt as Robertson outlines in his journey to the top.
- It’s not just about the bad days but also about how many more good days you have
The only constant in business is that bad days will eventually come your way no matter how well you plan. Robertson recommends not sweating those days but instead; focus on the other things you got right and use that energy to fuel your passion.
- Your shareholders are key
The most important aspect of a publicly traded business is the shareholder. Keep them happy and you will be happy. Fail to deliver and you jeopardize your entire operation.
- Be ruthless with your resolve to fix a problem
According to Robertson, whenever the company hit rock bottom, he was aggressive in finding solutions that meant that the company stayed afloat and lived to fight another day.
- Always look the problem in the face
When problems arise, that is no time to shy away but rather face the problem head on. The entrepreneurial journey is a battle and there can only be one winner, make sure it is you.
- Make sure that the lesson is bigger than the loss that you have made
The only way to win is to learn from your mistakes and according to Robertson, the bigger the lesson, the stronger you are at dealing with future mistakes.
- Always be ethical and fair to your share holders
A good morale fiber is key to building trust and credibility in business.
- There is no short term route to making a fortune
Unfortunately, with all the technological advances, there is still yet to be an invention that provides overnight success for an entrepreneur. The only method for success is the old school tried and tested model- Hard work!
- Most successful businesses are built on a lot of hardships and tears
Never be scared to take the road less travelled for at the end may lie your breakthrough. Robertson suggests that the building block for success is sweat and tears. How much tears have you shed so far?
- It is not how many times you fall it is how many times you pick yourself up after you fall
Whether you think you can or whether you think you cannot, you are right on both counts. The battle is only over when you decide it is.
- An overnight success is never overnight
Apparently it takes on average about 10,000 hours of practice by the age of 15 to reach the championship level in any sport. Most overnight successes are built on years of hard work.
- You’ve got to have a dream and believe in it
Your dream is your road map of where you want to go. The bigger your dream, the bigger your goals and if you do not believe in your own dream, no one else will.
- There is no right way of doing the wrong stuff
Right is right and wrong is wrong. Decide on which path you want to commit to.
- It is important to always keep your roots
Robertson’s roots are tied to the Cape Flats of South Africa where he built his Black Economic Empowerment giant Brimstone. Sometimes your greatest supporters are from home.
Persistence always beats resistance. Stay the course no matter how impossible or hard it gets.
In case you missed the full episode, catch all the action below.