5 entrepreneurs share what they do everyday that drives their success

Some of the world’s most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs credit their success to the good habits that they have cultivated over the years – everything from waking up early in the morning and reading to exercise and meditation.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, for example, is an avid reader who in an interview with Fast Company said reading has helped him become a better entrepreneur and that he typically buys 10 books a month.

Oprah Winfrey, American media proprietor and Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey are well-known early risers – both starting their day before six am.

Entrepreneurs are also not without their bad habits from overlooking their mental and physical wellbeing, neglecting important relationships and poor time management.

SME South Africa speaks to 5 entrepreneurs in different industries to find out the habits that have contributed to their success and those that are holding them back from achieving greater success.

Monalisa Sam, founder of
Tungwa  Retail Holdings.

Name: Monalisa Sam
Position: A retail expert and founder of Tungwa Retail Holdings

What bad habits are you guilty of? 

Procrastination, I imagine this is a common habit for most entrepreneurs.

Has it affected you achieving your business goals? 

It drastically restricts the time required to meet the goal in time and whilst adrenalin can drive one to meet goals, it is not always healthy and effective to leave things to the last minute.

What good habits do you practice? 

Maintaining ongoing relationships with potential clients as well as associates outside of my industry.

How has this helped you succeed in your industry?

Maintaining presence and relevance with potential clients through relationships is invaluable for the growth of your business. You may present to a client and find that the timing wasn’t right at the time of your presentation but disappearing completely only kills the opportunity for consideration at another point in time.

Similarly, as an entrepreneur it is critical that you continue learning and extend yourself outside of your business sector from a knowledge perspective to enhance your business growth and create new partnerships in what may be viewed as “unknown” territory.  As the saying goes: “We don’t know what we don’t know”.

Daniel Levy, CEO of Popimedia

Name: Daniel Levy
Position: CEO of Popimedia, a social media innovation, and adtech company

What good habits do you practice? 

Never letting go of the numbers. I plot my weeks, months and year. This allows me to drive the business in the direction it needs to go whilst mitigating risks that come our way.

How has this helped you succeed in your industry?

To understand the numbers allows you to unpack the size of the pond and how big a fish we are in the pond. This is key to focusing our efforts. Our approach has allowed us to grow the business significantly year on year.

What bad habits are you guilty of? 

I’m not a good delegator.

Has it affected you achieving your business goals? 

A lack of delegation results in a loss of opportunity. My time is better spent driving the business in new directions, rather than being bogged down in internal admin.

Mogau Seshoene founder of The
Lazy Makoti.

Name: Mogau Seshoene

Position: Founder of The Lazy Makoti cooking project.

What bad habits are you guilty of? 

The desire to do everything myself. I need to remember that no one can master everything and that sometimes it’s better to leave some aspects of the business to someone better qualified while I concentrate on things I do master. It’s particularly hard when the business is small and you are still bootstrapping and you feel like it’s your baby.

How has it affected you achieving your business goals? 

Overextending yourself leads to fatigue and depression. As a founding entrepreneur you are usually the business’ greatest and most important asset, so you need to take better care of yourself.  Trying to micro-manage every single thing is simply counter productive.

What good habits do you practice? 

Always be open. Give your best at all times, you really never know who is watching and what door they could open.

How has this helped you succeed in your industry?

The industry I am in, like most industries, are fluid and ever changing. I am always ready and looking for the next opportunity. Today a chef is not limited to the kitchen at a hotel but can go into editorial, TV, food styling, blogging etc. [There are] so many avenues to take if you simply just open your mind up.

Shireen Sayed, founder of
Aspire Project Management.

Name: Shireen Sayed
Position: Founder and project manager at Aspire
Project Management
 – an engineering company.

What good habits do you practice? 

Whatever I do, I do to my best ability.

How has your good habit has helped you succeed in your industry?

Clients want to know that they will get the best out of you. This fosters trust.

What bad habits are you guilty of? 

Expecting others to operate at the same capacity as myself, that is having the same work ethic. Everyone has their own pace and work ethic.

Has it affected you achieving your business goals? 

It has not prevented me from achieving my goals but has at some point hindered my business. It just means that I have to step in and try and fix situations.

Tebogo Ditshego, CEO of
Ditshego Investment Group and
Ditshego Media.

Name: Tebogo Ditshego
Positions: Group CEO of Ditshego Investment Group – private equity firm and Ditshego Media – public relations agency

What bad habits are you guilty of? 

Not getting enough rest.

Has it affected you achieving your business goals? 

At a time one is unable to put their best foot forward. It is important to switch off and rest so that you can deliver optimal performance. I’ll be working on improving that this year

What good habits do you practice? 

Being focused on keeping customers happy.

How has this helped you succeed in your industry?

I have been able to increase my customer base and keep my existing customers coming back. I have come to realise that this is the most powerful marketing tool and it has lead us to earning the respect and trust of our clients.

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