Lessons Learnt on the Road to Success



I started my first business at 19 and have run 5 companies within the space of two years. I have not yet achieved my desired goals, I failed many times and I wasted weeks and months on businesses that failed.  But, I have gained knowledge that has taught me more than any amount of money that the business could have made me.


Some of the points below may seem very cliché, but generally there is a reason for that. But, I am not going to beat around the bush.


#1 Desire


“Entrepreneurs are the crazy people who work 100 hours a week so they don’t have to work 40 hours for someone else”


Starting any business is not going to be easy, it is undoubtedly the most difficult route that you could chose when it comes to finding your desired vocation.

In order to be successful in your own business you’re going to need to believe in the business and you need to love it. We hear successful entrepreneurs say “find something that you love and pursue it”, but they never go deeper into that meaning. The reason that you need to love it is because its going to be damn difficult! You need to be prepared to have sleepless nights, be prepared to be denied, messed around, treated badly, have no money and stress your damn butt off!


The first few years of business is what separates the “men” and the “boys”. It is the part of the journey that is going to be the toughest! The first few years is going to test you to you limits financially and emotionally. Its learning from that test and gaining that valuable cognition from the success and failures, that will ultimately make you successful. The point is that you need to want this enough to work through the difficulties.


“ Nothing in life that is great is easy. If it were easy, it would no longer be great”


#2 Adversity is necessary


Failure in business is not only inevitable, but it is necessary.

You need to embrace adversity when staring your business. If you are not failing, you are probably not learning or progressing. Adversity in business matures you, tests you, prompts more innovative thinking and (with the correct mindset) motivates you.


“The Victories only Truly Count When they Require Intense Effort. Push Yourself and Celebrate The Ones That Made You Work For It”


Having the “I never fail, I either succeed or I learn” type of mindset is absolutely crucial in business. Adversity will force you to think more, to work harder and create a better business and more importantly, a better YOU.


#4 Motivation and inspiration


An important aspect in business is remaining inspired and motivated.

With all the setbacks that you will face it is important to keep that initial enthusiasm.

Keep yourself motivated with your eyes on the goal. Ensure that you have a crystal clear vision for your companies and yourself. Let that vision excite you and pump passion through your veins! Not only will it keep you inspired but seeing your goals physically will impact your subconscious thoughts. Your subconscious mind is the most powerful part of your brain,  but it can not be controlled, only influenced. Ensure that your mind knows exactly where you are going.


Nobody but you can keep yourself motivated. Someone else can motivate you but 99% of the time you lose that momentum and get back into your old habits. The only way is to make your habits keep you inspired and on top of your game.


#5 Discipline and Consistency


“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of”



Business is eventually going to force you to be more disciplined and consistent. No business is going to be successful without consistent hard work! In a startup there are no weekends, no days off.  Your business is your baby and its going to demand your attention. The only way to run a successful business and keeping your sanity is to use your hours wisely.



#6 The Journey Is The Destination


In life and in business there is no destination. Its about the journey and that’s something most people don’t understand. No matter what is happening in your business or life it is all part of the journey. So even if things may suck right now, all it actually is, is a part of the process! Business and life is meant to be difficult, if it wasn’t difficult there would be no challenges or growth and life would be boring.

So love the challenge, love the growth, love the process and love the success.

Devon Marais 

GreenCo Africa (Pty) Ltd

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