Shark Tank investor: Don't be a d*ck - and other advice for entrepreneurs

Marnus Broodryk
Marnus Broodryk
Mike Turner Photography

Cape Town - In business it is never about the idea or the product - it is about the person running that idea or product - you are your business, according to entrepreneur Marnus Broodryk, among other things known for his participation in the investor series Shark Tank SA.

He was raised by a single mother and started as an entrepreneur already at a young age by washing cars and cutting grass to pay for his school fees. He went on to build a successful accounting firm, the Beancounter.

That is why he believes entrepreneurship can solve many things in SA.

Broodryk was one of the presenters at the recent congress of the SA Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) in Cape Town. He gave is views on what the mind-set of a successful entrepreneur normally is.

For Broodryk there are three aspects present in the mind-set of entrepreneurs who are successful:

Thoughts become things

"We can shape our own reality and shape our own businesses. Your reality changes as your thoughts change," Broodryk told the audience.

"Extraordinary entrepreneurs have extraordinary minds. They are not negative, not always complaining, and not wanting-to-leave-the-country type of people," he said.

"Their passion and positive mind-set enable them to make great businesses, no matter where they came from."

Change

The business world is changing. People don’t like change and, therefore, resist it.

"But we need to change and change fast. As entrepreneurs we have to have 20/20 foresight, understand where industries are moving and go with it," said Broodryk.

"Maybe one day people will look at malls and shopping centres and say 'remember the days we used to go to malls to buy stuff?' or 'how crazy was it when we drove our own cars'."

He cautioned against still thinking "old school is cool", being arrogant because of successes and wanting to do what you want and not what customers want.

"We need to be OK with change. We need to change and need to change now," he emphasised.

Don’t be a d*ck

Broodryk said it is not true that the nice guy always loses.

"Don't be a d*ck. My experience is that the greatest entrepreneurs and greatest people are always the most humble," he said.

"We have an opportunity to fix this SA economy. Business leaders can fix this country. We can only do it by embracing change and being great people for ourselves and the people around us. That is my philosophy. And it is about the journey too. Enjoy it."

Broodryk was joined on stage by Anthony Kairuz, an entrepreneur an motivational speaker who has made an incredible comeback after having been paralysed in an accident.

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Mind's eye vs eyesight

For Kairuz communication is an important tool.

"Many people feel stuck in life. I may have broken my neck, but I chose for it not to break me. We all have the gift of choice. Just be brave enough to make the right choices. Choose to be your greatest asset," said Kairuz.

"I talk about mind’s eye versus eyesight: mind’s eye is seeing your visualisation becoming a reality."

He started his own business because he did not have medical insurance and had to find a way to pay his medical bills after the accident.

"I don’t tolerate negativity in a boardroom," concluded Kairuz.

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