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On the 1st of February 2013 I started a business with Ruan Oosthuizen who has become one of my best friends. I had no idea how to run a business or what the business would eventually mature into, but a year and 1 month later I can say that I’ve learnt a few things. This is by no means a boasting session but rather my thoughts on the knowledge I’ve gained over the period of a year. Heaven knows, I still have a lot more to learn.

Jacques Du Bruyn

1. Care about tomorrow but don’t worry about it

I’ve always been a bit of a worrier, the reason why I didn’t start a business earlier. As I’ve grown up a little bit (still have a lot of growing up to do) I’ve learnt that worrying renders nothing but sleepless nights, and sleepless nights produce poor performance tomorrow. I’ve learnt to care about tomorrow, after all tomorrow is important, but there’s no use in worrying. Most of what you worry about never happens anyway.

2. Not everyone is going to like you

I’ve always cared a heck of a lot about what people think about me. I’m a people pleaser and hate knowing that I’ve let people down. The fact of the matter is you can’t please everyone. Not everyone is going to like you in this life. Life’s far too short to allow the fear of how people may or may not perceive you to hinder your journey. It’s obviously helpful to behave in a way that’s likeable, because hey if most people don’t like you, then there’s a problem. Be OK with not being liked by everyone. Don’t be malicious, but chase your dream knowing that for whatever reasons, you’re not going to be everyone’s favourite person. Chasing your dream sometimes means making unpopular decisions.

3. You are good enough

According to my academic performance at school I was average. I think I was always 1 or 2 percent above or below the grade average. In fact I scored a whopping 54% for Higher Grade maths in my final matric exam. Average! However here I am today writing a blog post about having started a business that’s doing rather well for only having been around for a year. I have learned that when you find your niche, you discover that you’re not just an average Joe. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’ll never amount to more than your academic achievements at school. You’re as good as the ‘hero’ in your office that everyone raves about.

4. Follow your gut

I’ve learnt that if it doesn’t sit well then there’s nothing you can do to make it do so. Listen to your gut, it’s one of the few things we have in this life that’s often accurate. Heaven knows that we’re often faced with tough decisions, your gut knows more than you think.

5. Work smart not hard

I think I’ve only pulled 2 or 3 15+ hour days in the past year. I’ve learned that working too many hours only burns you out and makes you less productive. You need sleep. Rather work smart, you’ll be better off for it. Spend time with family and friends, you need it. We live in a world where “I’m busy” qualifies you and earns you respect. I’d rather say “I’m healthy and successful”. It means cutting down on the things that slow you down and doing the things that make you more productive.

6. Give

Give more than you get. That’s the rule in every area of life.

7. Your attitude matters more than your skill

I’ve learnt that knowing stuff is good, but having a great attitude matters more. There’s nothing worse than trying to work with someone who’s as grumpy as hell. It’s tiring. I know this is cheesy but be the person you want to work with. Your attitude matters and sets the atmosphere in your business.

8. Take a step back

I tend to react emotionally sometimes – when you’re in the bottle, you can’t see the label. If you feel that a client or fellow employee or even family member has said something in a way that irritates you then rather take a step back. Don’t respond immediately. Go and have a coffee, then respond. There’s a difference between reacting and responding.

9. Give people the benefit of the doubt

I’ve often made assumptions that turned out to be incorrect. People aren’t as bad as you think they are. Yes, every now and again you come across some people who you’d rather not have around. First empower people to be their best, then re-evaluate.

10. Partner with people

I honestly don’t think we were made to go at it alone. We all have only so much we’re good at, we all need partners who possess the strengths we lack. The same holds true whether it’s a marriage partner, running partner, gym partner or business partner. I count myself blessed to have a partner like Ruan Oosthuizen. I’m quite aware of the fact that it’s unique to have a business partner that you can trust with your life and who is ultimately one of your best friends. Even if you’ve been previously burnt, open yourself up to trust others. Remember, people aren’t all bad.

 

 

One of my favourite things to do is venture into the middle of Joburg. This time round I took a walk up Main Street from Ghandi Square to the Magistrates Court. I then took a 50 story trip to the top of the Carlton Center. The photos below are the city through my eyes.

Standard Bank Building

Standard Bank Building

Rand Club

Rand Club

Braamfontein

Braamfontein and Northcliff Hill

The City and Magaliesburg

The City and Magaliesburg

City Press Building

City Press Building

Coca-Cola Building

Coca-Cola Building

Ellis Park Stadium

Ellis Park Stadium

Ghandi Square

Ghandi Square

Magaliesburg in the distance

Magaliesburg in the distance

Building in Joburg

Building in Joburg

Market Square- The Joburg Library and City Hall can be seen

Market Square- The Joburg Library and City Hall can be seen

Markhams Building

Markhams Building

Nelson Mandela bridge with Northcliff Hill

Nelson Mandela bridge with Northcliff Hill

Ponte Tower with City

Ponte Tower with City

Soccer City

Soccer City

Joburg buildings

Joburg buildings

Hillbrow tower with city

Hillbrow tower with city

Hillbrow Tower with the Magaliesburg in the distance

Hillbrow Tower with the Magaliesburg in the distance

Turfontien Race track

Turfontien Race track

Thanks to Between 10 and 5 blog for this. I can’t wait to get exploringImage

I’ve always loved second hand book stores. The smell of the books, the legacy that each of the books has left is tangible. Recently I discovered a treasure in johannesburg! The Collectors Treasury, an eight story building with over 1 million items on hand.

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This is no ordinary second hand book store, it’s the biggest in the southern hemisphere and has been running in it’s current address (244 Commissioner Street) for over 20 years now. When you arrive at a very unassuming building you’ll be greeted by a staircase that leads up to the first floor. The very first staircase is completely covered in books, a preview of what’s to come.

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Ask the owners for any book and they’ll gladly show you to the correct corner within the labyrinth of items.

My wife lost among the LP’s

There’s a very small lift, that can only fit three people max because it’s also stacked with books to the roof. Ask to be taken to the 6th floor and there you will find 500 000 LP’s.

Some of the oldest books I’ve ever seen. One of them from 1658 worth R40 000

I highly recommend visiting this treasure chest, but make sure you clear some time out of your day because you’re bound to spend more time there than what you had planned.

 

 

I’ve been wanting to do a Joburg walkabout for a while now. I finally booked some time out of a Saturday and did it! My friend Jay and I parked close to the Africa Museum and covered about 6km on foot. We climbed staircases, jumped down ledges and walked through alleys.

These are a few of my pics.

For anyone who’s interested we’re launching #PicJozi, a Jozi walkabout initiative where pro (DSLR) and amateur (instagramers) photographers can walk around Jozi in a group and take photos at leisure. It’s a great networking opportunity as well as discovering the city on foot with a bunch of like minded Jozi Lovers. Follow @PicJozi

As I venture deeper into Johannesburg’s CBD I’m discovering some really great places to eat and just hang out. In the last post I mentioned Velo Cafe in Braamfontein, a quaint little art/cafe on Juta street. If you carry on over Nelson Mandela bridge from there and turn left into Market street and cary on for about 8km you’ll reach the Maboneng Precinct. Canteen is in the Maboneng Precinct in ‘Arts on Main’.

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Canteen has a very simplistic unassuming appearance. Above it is a bar/dance floor with an olden day car roosting on the roof. They have a grand menu of cordials which are served in ‘Peanut butter’ type glass jars. Definitely worth a go.

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The menu has few enough dishes to choose from so that you don’t sit around all day trying to decide. I recommend the Beer battered Hake and Chips with curry sauce!

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Go and give it a bash.

Canteen  (Arts on Main) sits between the olive trees and art galleries. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday during the day, and in the evenings from Thursday to Saturday. Call (011) 334 5947 or email: canteen.245@iafrica.com.

This is the first of many posts to come that will detail some of the great places that I’ve discovered in down town Johannesburg. I’ve only recently started venturing deeper into the city and have fallen in love with Johannesburg all over again. It’s the city of my birth and the place I’ve lived my whole life. I’m finding Johannesburg ever more interesting as I uncover some of the best kept secrets.

Yesterday before the Springbok rugby game at Ellis Park I decided to go down town to the Neighbourgoods Market. Here’s the thing, most people who go to the Neighbourgoods Market don’t venture further than the market itself or Kitcheners (one of the oldest pubs in Johannesburg).

If you’re adventurous and wonder just a block up Juta street you’ll find Velo. It’s a quaint little coffee shop come art gallery run and owned by two high school friends, Nick and Stefania. What I loved most about it was the simplicity although I could tell that a lot of thought had been put into the way Velo looked and operated. It’s all about culture, coffee and friends.

What makes it unique is the art that’s for sale, collector’s edition menus and of coarse the evident passion that Stefania and Nick have for Velo.

I highly recommend visiting Velo, and when you’re there most definitely have a double shot cappuccino and Green Machine sandwich.

You can find them at 85 Juta Street Braamfontein. Visit their Facebook and Twitter page as well.

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You may or may not have heard of the Maboneng precinct in down town Johannesburg. I visited the popular ‘Arts on Main’ this past weekend and was extremely surprised by what I saw. In the years gone by the only reason I’d ever go to down town Johannesburg was to watch a Rugby match at Ellis Park. I’d grown up with the perception that if I go down town I would most certainly die.

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Recently myself and Misty have been venturing into town out of curiosity. We started off of the Neighbourgoods Market and then Guild Hall Pub on Market street and now Maboneng. Maboneng offers a market, bioscope, theatre,  coffee chops, restaurants, hotel, art studios and apartments. But who would have known? I highly recommend visiting their website here and going for a visit. There’s something special about down town Johannesburg.

I’m really angry that I only discovered it now. I’m also frustrated that I’ve had the incorrect perception about down town Johannesburg for all these years.

I’m ready to discover more…

I was recently spoilt with a 2 night stay at the 5 star Buffalo Ridge Bush Lodge in Madikwe. All of this thanks to an extremely generous prize that I won at Cerebra (my place of work).

7 and a half hours are spent on game drives everyday. You’re woken up at 5:30am for a 6am game drive that lasts 4 and half hours. Then it’s lunch, nap time and then another 3 hour game drive from 4-7pm.

The food alone is enough to make you think you’re in heaven, you never stop eating.

I promised everyone that I’d post a few pictures:

My wife and I were fortunate enough to spend 2 nights at the 5 star Buffalo Ridge Bush Lodge in Madikwe this weekend (25th-27th May). Madikwe lies on the border of South Africa and Botswana, about 25KM from Gaborone.

On Saturday there were reports of gunfire in the park. Everyone jumped to the conclusion that poachers had made their way in. The conclusion was sadly true. Two black rhino, a mother and calf, had been poached.

You only ever hear about these stories. When you’re shown just how horrific and heartless it is face-to-face your urgency for the cause increases drastically. I cannot begin to say just how much it affects you when you look upon a defaced rhino calf and mother lying next to one another. All this because of a rumor (scientifically disproved) about a rhino horn’s ‘healing powers’.

I took the below images.

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This is what a rhino is supposed to look like (also taken by myself on the same day ironically)

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So what is the plan? I don’t want to be another slacktivist merely blogging about something that needs to change. It’s going to take a lot of money to fight the big money invested into rhino poaching. Stop Rhino Poaching has some great ideas on how to fight it in your own capacity as well. Here are three things that I’m going to start doing:

  1. As much as possible debunk the myth that rhino horn has healing properties
  2. Volunteer a little bit of my time to helping rangers track poachers during holidays (even if it’s carrying their supplies)
  3. Give a little bit of money to the cause when I can

Here’s to saving a species.