We are business owners and entrepreneurs, involved in the short-term Financial Services sector with our own insurance brokerage for the past 25 years based in Durban, South Africa. We have both come from average income families, attending Government school with no tertiary University education or degrees other than specialising and complying with the Fit and Proper Industry regulations governing our industry.
Being highly driven and passionate, we have immersed ourselves firstly into business in our early 20s, not having any business education as this is not taught in school, however we sought out and applied information available to us to ensure we have gone from strength to strength. In the last 3 years, we have submerged ourselves in massive personal growth development training which has taken us personally and professionally to another level of achievement. We have always been driven and both having very competitive personalities, hence or obsession with overachieving at everything we set our minds to. Our driven, competitive personalities mean that quitting is not an option, as our drive for excellence is the purpose that wakes us up in the mornings.
Starting off 25 years ago by default in the Financial Services Insurance sector and starting our own Insurance Brokerage, the Insurance sector in South Africa has been modelled on what has come out of England and Australia, with a large emphasis over the last 10 years on implementation of regulation, continuous professional development and ensuring sound insurance advice to our clients. We firmly believe that certain changes were necessary for the Financial Services industry in efforts to raise the bar of professionalism, and to weed the garden as such so that the industry has the respect it rightfully deserves. We believe that for positive change to happen, it has to start with us, and thus we have embraced each change as it gets implemented; in efforts to be proactive rather than reactive.
We have always maintained that individualised, personal customer service is key to any successful business model, regardless of the industry. We always maintain that our success in business is based on the value we bring to the marketplace, through our qualified and friendly staff, relationship with our business partners and the quality of the products we offer.
In the South African market, the demand for short-term insurance is high on the priorities list due to the high crime rate coupled with the severity of natural disasters through global warming and climate change. The frequency and severity of claims are placing ever-increasing pressure on our local and reinsurance markets, with terms and conditions being altered annually.
But the biggest challenge we face in business is finding the time to ensure we comply with the ongoing regulatory requirements in efforts to meet the deadlines and cut off periods, as its admin intensive, and try fit in everything else that moves the money needle. Time is one commodity that we simply can’t get back as there are no replays or rewinds in life. We have to uphold customer service delivery, find time to see the client once a year at renewal, enhance our staff and our team’s skills, attend product training, attend to daily underwriting and claims, keep our staff and ourselves motivated and focused and also ensuring the balance of taking time out for ourselves and our family.
We do not believe that basic success fundamentals differ from one industry to another. We have observed over the last 25 years that many entrepreneurs have diversified into multiple income streams in different industries/diverse portfolios (with the focus on additional monthly residual income), which caught our attention as we knew that Robert Kiyosaki was spot on when he quoted that: “the richest people in the world look for and build networks, whilst everyone else looks for work.”
We firmly believe that certain changes were necessary for the Financial Services industry in efforts to raise the bar of professionalism, and to weed the garden as such so that the industry has the respect it rightfully deserves.
Our success in the insurance industry was a 25-year success, and now we were ready to take on the challenge of a second business that we could build from the ground up that we find equally rewarding which also offers a residual income.
Over the last 3 years, we have added to our business portfolio multi-level network marketing, public speaking, personal mentoring and coaching. Dealing with people daily in both businesses has given us both a blessing and a challenge, and this is where we strongly believe that constantly increasing our personal skill and knowledge allows us to overcome any challenge when dealing with a multitude of different personalities as each person has a different WHY in life that motivates them to get up on the morning.
Customer service is key to long-term relationships in any business model. We may not get it right all of the time, but for us, we understand the importance of constantly stretching ourselves mentally so that we fill ourselves with content and knowledge, as well as neverending improvement so that we become the person first before the pay cheque.
Success does not live in your comfort zone. If you want any level of success, you need to be constantly stepping out of your comfort zone where the uncommon eventually becomes common.
Our drive and focus has never been on the money; we are more driven by ensuring we play the game of business to have a result that says WIN: win for your customer, win for your business partners and win for ourselves. In order to make more we have to become more, and when we become more, we contribute more to society.We are proud of the fact that we have just released our first e-book series based on the Top 10 Habits of Successful People, which we would like to share with you:
1) Wake up early:
Be a fighter jet and don’t hit that snooze button. You think you are pinching 10 or 15 minutes of extra sleep but, in fact, you are robbing yourself of 10-15 minutes to get up and dominate the day.
You will be amazed at how much more you can accomplish first thing in the morning when it’s quiet and peaceful.
2) Exercise regularly:
In our fast-paced society, people eat fatty foods, takeaways, smoke, drink alcohol and don’t treat their bodies like their temple, and it shows. Some people don’t do well because they don’t feel well.
Exercise is good for your health and can make you more productive. You don’t have to go to the gym if it’s not your thing – simply taking a walk on the beach or walking the dog will increase your blood flow and make you more alert and feel alive.
3) Soak in new information:
Submerge yourself in good information by reading at least 20 minutes per day, listening to audios (your drive time University on your way to work) and personally develop yourself mentally so that you grow. Pay attention to your circle of influence, as Jim Rohn says, we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with. What music do you listen to and what programs do you watch on TV? This has an effect in our subconscious mind.
4) Practice Mindfulness:
Mindfulness and Meditation or prayer can strengthen your focus and increase productivity.
With life’s demands and multitasking, we get our minds all twisted and knotted so we need to take all the clutter and neatly place it in a filing cabinet. Like we reboot a PC, we need to rest the password in our minds.
5) Follow Inspiration:
What inspires you? What makes you happy doing it? Whether it’s art, theatre, playing educational games, having coffee or just watching people: follow it, pursue it, explore it and you will find success.
6) Sleep 8 Hours:
Sleep is essential to your health, mood, focus, and energy levels. The lack of sleep will limit your ability to function at your optimum so try getting into a pattern of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. There is nothing more disrespectful than when people are yawning or looking sluggish during meetings, because they are not paying attention.
7) Find Multiple Revenue Streams:
Don’t just focus on one salary or limit your options – think bigger, think multiple and triple. There are no limits as to what you can earn. We have to adopt an abundance mentality and open up to the possibilities in order to manifest it into our lives.
8) Pursue Personal Goals:
Having a life without goals is like steering a ship without a rudder: it’s directionless. Like a pilot has a checklist when stepping into the cockpit of an aircraft to get him to his destination, we too need a daily checklist so that we work with purpose. Your daily routine should include affirmations that you want to manifest into your business and your life, a list of 10 things that you are grateful for and, lastly, a goals list made up of short – medium and long-term goals.
You need to see it because what we visualise, we materialise, and that’s called the Law of Attraction.
9) Take a Positive View:
Banish Negativity by limiting time reading the newspaper or watching the news, as its mostly negative information. Every time you experience a negative thought, stop yourself and replace it with a positive action. Thoughts become things, so be careful with what occupies your mind.
We spend most of the time alone, so make sure your thoughts are ones that set you free and not ones that imprison or limit you.
10) Handle Stress:
We all have stress in our lives, but successful people have the ability to handle stress, especially under pressure.
Another point I found informative is how we react to situations, because most people reply without thinking or say the wrong thing in the heat of the moment which adds to the stress because once it’s said, it can’t be taken back. Taking time to respond is the better approach. As the saying goes: a wise tongue keeps a still head.
2019 has already started for us! We say how you end this year will be how you start the next year. We don’t make New Year’s resolutions as it’s just a wish list that is easily broken: instead, we make daily, weekly, monthly goals and affirmations. We know 2019 is going to be one of our most successful years to date as we are calling it into our lives. We have embraced financial regulatory requirements, implementing them in advance of the deadline dates, helping others to achieve their full potential and we are affecting our environment around us rather than letting our environment affect us.
In 2019, we are expanding to take what we have experienced in the last 25 years of business, multiplying our efforts and sharing and mentoring others that they too can achieve any level of success if they make zero excuses. Most people give up before they have even started, and we believe one step leads to another – then before you know it, so many opportunities are offered to you, you just need to decide which one you are going to take first!