Best Advice on Failure, Coding, Risks, Passion to “Just Do It”
#BestAdvice 1: Embrace failure
“My advice is start early, fail often, but fail and learn fast. Too many young people are told to wait for the right time, and they never start because life just brings more baggage and responsibility as they grow older. I tried six other ideas, before DryBath, that bombed; but DryBath wouldn’t have made so much progress if I hadn’t started with those six failures. Develop a culture of learning through trial and error, because that’s all it truly takes to get started.”
#BestAdvice 2: Just do it
“I make a to-do list and I don’t stop until I’ve ticked everything off it. A lot of people talk a good game, but just don’t do it. Anyone can come up with an idea, but it’s about who can get it done. Write your lists down and don’t stop until everything is ticked – whether they all work or not – don’t stop. The next day, do the next list. Hit your targets and you do that by getting shit done. Do your to-do list.”
#BestAdvice 3: Learn to code
I think that being able to code is going to be the skill of the future. Literally, I can always find enough lawyers and accountants, but if there is one thing we can never get enough of, it’s talented developers. Everything is going online, everything is connected and all of that is driven by software. Being able to code will be like being able to read and write in the future.
#BestAdvice 4: Do something you’re passionate about
“There’s a ton of opportunities in Africa to make a difference to people’s lives. For us, it was how to send money back to your loved ones. Figuring out how to do that with the puzzle-pieces you have is the fun (and tiring) part. Clichéd or not, ‘pick something you feel passionate about and the rest will take care of itself’ is a mantra that I feel holds true. Also… try to snag a wife whilst you’re still in a rock band – odds are you’ll be punching well above your weight.”
#BestAdvice 5: Take risks
“If I have one piece of advice to give, it would be that I would not be anywhere today without having taken a number of risks: in terms of my time, my passion and my reputation. In today’s world – where people are risk-averse – not many people realise that we remember lives that involve risk and adversity. In the past there was a recognition that it’s impossible to make anything happen without putting yourself in danger; that kind of pioneering spirit is what brought us many of the world’s great inventions and ideas. Today, people are more concerned about whether they have insurance. Seeing opportunity and taking it is what has driven my career, and what has put me where I am today. You can’t do that without taking a chance and backing yourself.”
#BestAdvice 6: Make every day count
“Make each day count in a positive way. Each day can present a different challenge, but a positive attitude can go a long way in helping you to overcome any adversity and achieve great success. Do the best you can with every opportunity that you are given. To be exceptional, you have to put in great effort and have a plan. Luck is not sustainable – hard work, passion and commitment are requisites for success in most endeavours.”
#BestAdvice 7: Don’t always listen to the pros.
“They are not always right. Take what they are doing and see what they are doing right and adapt it. That’s what Sir Richard Branson said. Take what someone successful is doing, mimic that but make your own path. If you try to do what they do, you will lose yourself. The pros were not pros when they started. They became pros by going against the grain and finding their own way. The best advice I have picked up on over the years has not been from the pros or the purists, but from the readers.”
#BestAdvice 8: Do it, but do it differently
“It seems that in today’s world, there is little demand for excellence. Truth is, our nation is steeped in mediocrity. At work, at home, as we go about our daily lives. This is so apparent that we get so shocked and surprised when people do amazing work. When we are so mediocre, it’s surprise that we end up with mediocre leaders, mediocre services, mediocre work, mediocre standards and a mediocre nation. We forget that being brilliant is really not for the lucky few! There are far too many people doing a lot of talking and not enough doing. My advice is simple: less yada yada, more do do! And while you do that – stand out, be different, don’t be the norm, aim for the highest standard amidst the mediocre, push yourself further and put in the hours! That way, you’ll stand out as one who acts. Stand against Bland!”
#BestAdvice 9: Hire the right people
My advice is if you can do it on your own, then do it. Then you can hire the skills and bring them into the business when you need them. Do that before you look for partners. Partnerships are like marriages, you’ve got to ensure you have partners whose value systems are consistent with yours so when tough times come around you’re not going to have issues about how you’re conduct yourselves. Ask questions like: What are their long–term goals? What are their lifestyles like? What car does he drive? How many credit cards does he own? These things will tell you a lot about the guy and how he’ll react in stressful situations. For me it’s important to have a partner who takes a long-term view, is aggressive in wanting to grow the business but conservative in terms of how he lives his own life. I am fortunate enough to have great partners, but it doesn’t happen for everybody.