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RIËL MALAN

FROM MY BLOG

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We are at the end of 2018, a year that started off in a very dark place where South Africa was dancing on the edge of an economic and social abyss. A cliff that was very deep, and should we have fallen off into that cliff, could have easily seen the “miracle of South Africa” become yet another African statistic with dire consequences for all its citizens in decades to come.

We are at the end of 2018, a year that started off in a very dark place where South Africa was dancing on the edge of an economic and social abyss. A cliff that was very deep, and should we have fallen off into that cliff, could have easily seen the “miracle of South Africa” become yet another African statistic with dire consequences for all its citizens in decades to come.

To an extent, we are all dealing with some of the fallout of 2 presidential terms of mismanagement. Economic growth is elusive. Disposable income of the majority of people in South Africa is still low, and are not meeting the expectations created over the last 20 years since the first free elections. After more than 20 years on, and as a nation, we should have experienced more prosperity by now. These expectations are playing itself out in a big way in the run-up to the 2019 elections.

What is more worrying, is a tangible level of distrust and anger towards business and leaders, and specifically towards entrepreneurs – the very people that we desperately need to turn this ship around. The Steinhoff debacle that unfolded in 2018 did no entrepreneur any perception favours when it came to the public’s perception of capitalism.

But entrepreneurial skills and thinking is where leadership and role-models are more needed than ever before. We need “Builders” to think up and build more things. More businesses, more organisations, more buildings, more products….we need lots and lots more. This is our only salvation. In time, the more we “build”, the better the outlook for the 27% unemployed people, the 38% unemployed youth in this country will be. We need to celebrate the ones who are doing good things already, learn from them and use whatever lessons or inspiration we can derive from studying them, to rebuild our economic and social fabric. We need hope…the hope that some of us knows what to do to fix this.

Shapers, makers, builders and breakers is a direct result to do precisely that. To celebrate great leadership and great entrepreneurship. We are not telling our success stories and definitely not the right success stories.

So in 2019, I will do my part to light as many fires of hope, leadership, fresh thinking, entrepreneurship and just generally as many positive stories as I possibly can gather.

So I want to challenge each and everyone reading this. Do 1 thing that will add to the solution and not the problem.

I’m looking forward to 2019 journey! See you at the end of the year…hopefully, we celebrate Christmas 2019 with the makings of greatly improved sentiment and conditions for all in South Africa.

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Thanks for joining me!

I’ve been pondering a great and lessor known Albert Einstein quote:

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life is based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

This Friday, December 22nd,  I am starting my “mini sabbatical” period of 4 months. For the first time ever, I am consciously removing myself from the operations of the  business that I started 18 years ago, The Unlimited Group (www.unlimited-group.co.za), for a few months.  But doing a sabbatical in my mind, needs to be done with purpose.

And “Shapers, Makers, Builders & Breakers”, is one of the projects that, among other things, I will be keeping myself busy with. It’s a project that I am very excited about. It will allow me to share and pursue all the subjects that I have a passion for…entrepreneurship, innovation, art, startups, leadership, contrarian thinking and many more themes.

But for me, even more exciting than having these conversations, is the thought of making these conversations available to anyone that may be interested and want to elevate their thinking in some way. We do not celebrate leadership and achievement enough in Africa.And with Shapers, Makers, Builders & Breakers, I hope to do my little part in establishing a platform where amazing and accomplished people from all over the world can be celebrated, and where they can share their ideas.

As Einstein’s quote suggests, we have the ability to receive so much positive input from so many great thinkers out there. Especially through the help of technology, and the growing medium of podcasts is an ideal format for this purpose.  Conversations with people like the ones we will be featuring, have the ability to influence our thinking.  It often helps us to measure- and hold ourselves accountable to a higher standard.  There is another famous quote that says “we are the average product of the five people we spend most of our time with.” I firmly believe that what we choose to fill our minds with have a profound effect us and our futures.  I sincerely hope that these conversations will be one of those things that have a positive and elevating effect on anybody who is prepared to invest the time to listen to it.

I will be launching the first episodes during the second part of January. And hope that you will join me?  Please sign up to the various social media platforms, and join me for these conversations in January 2019.

And so the journey begins…

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