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Why do people become entrepreneurs?

Why do people become entrepreneurs?

Maybe I should rephrase that – why do people not want to work in a corporate environment?

I think there are a number of broad reasons, some of which are historic and some of which are the sign of our times:

  • they entered the family business or followed the family trade
  • they couldn’t get employment in the formal sector, especially if they lacked the relevant level of formal education
  • they are born…

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Lessons from a 45 year old retrenched investment banker turned entrepreneur #11

Lessons from a 45 year old retrenched investment banker turned entrepreneur #11

I watched a very powerful video on TED this afternoon, which is of Ken Robinson making his case that our education system stifles creativity (see the link at the bottom of this article). I have 2 young boys and I found this profoundly moving, even deeply disturbing. His basic premise is that our education system focuses on the brain, and one side of the brain in particular, with its emphasis on…

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An Update on Social Media and Marketing in General

An Update on Social Media and Marketing in General

I have stated in the past that I would use a cross section of social media tools to market my businesses. I am now 4 months into the process and some interesting trends are developing.

I must also admit that I have not concentrated on my social media efforts in the past month and a half, largely as a result of increased workflow (good thing!) and illness (pneumonia, bad thing!). However, I think…

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Lessons from a 45 year old investment banker turned entrepreneur #10

Lessons from a 45 year old investment banker turned entrepreneur #10

Perception, or prejudice?

Stay with me on this one. Many years ago I took my corporate finance team to the world-renowned battlefield tour of Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift run by the late David Rattray. I had been to David’s Fugitives’ Drift Lodge before and had gone on the battlefield tour run by him, together with very senior clients of Nedbank.

For those who are not aware of what this…

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Lessons from a 45 year-old retrenched investment banker turned entrepreneur #9

Lessons from a 45 year-old retrenched investment banker turned entrepreneur #9

What is the difference between a manager and a leader? If you Google that you’ll get some pretty good explanations. The reason I am musing on this is that I was thinking about one of the entrepreneurs I advise and how he inspires and leads his staff through a combination of sheer energy, enthusiasm and a strict approach to who he hires and how he insists on targets being met once people are hired.

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What to include in a Board Pack

What to include in a Board Pack

Introduction

It may sound easy, but structuring your Board meetings begins with a standard, formal Board pack, with a standard, formal agenda. Board meetings are a serious matter, and must be treated as such. They are not ad hocmeetings that rubber stamp the will of the CEO. They are a vital element in the corporate governance framework of a well-run company (see my previous article in this…

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Corporate Governance: Thoughts on Boards of Directors, How They Should Work and other Aspects

Corporate Governance: Thoughts on Boards of Directors, How They Should Work and other Aspects

The mature entrepreneur wants a properly functioning Board. Not only does he want the objective advice of people whose views he values, he also wants objective checks and balances over his conduct as CEO and how he runs his business. Hence the word “mature” – as in responsible and professional, with a healthy dose of humility.

There is no doubt that some of the aspects that make a good…

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The Importance of Mentors

The Importance of Mentors

I have been lucky in life to have had some influential mentors. It seems these people have fortuitously come into my life at exactly the right time. Either I am very lucky, or someone, somewhere, is looking after me.

My parents

Without a doubt these have been the two most influential people in my life. I am sure they have been in yours too, if you are lucky enough to have had them both around for…

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Lessons from a 45 year old retrenched investment banker turned entrepreneur #8

Lessons from a 45 year old retrenched investment banker turned entrepreneur #8

Why I am finding it difficult to remain a Manchester United supporter

No, this is not because I am being a fickle supporter, looking to desert his team during a lean run. It is because I am feeling terribly let down by the team, the players themselves, and that makes me question why I should be loyal to a bunch of disloyal people.

I started supporting Man U at an early age. My father was a…

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The mistakes enrepreneurs make

The mistakes enrepreneurs make

Over the past few months I have enjoyed many, many cups of coffee with entrepreneurs who either want to start a business, or have already started a business and now want to grow it. In both cases they require funding, which they don’t have, and they want to get investors onboard.

There are some common mistakes I am seeing, some of them regularly, and some of them infrequently. I thought I’d list…

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