EO South Africa--Cape Town
CEO of Arctic Circle Brand Institute
EO member since 2011
1. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
RG: Growing up in a conservative South African home, the ‘usual’ suspects were always seen as heroes; i.e., policemen, firemen. Helping others appealed to me. I wanted to do something like that and give back in some way. In the advertising and branding industry, we get to help people build lasting brands!
2. When did you detour to entrepreneurship?
RG: In primary school, I realized raising two kids were challenging for my dad, so I managed three jobs— newspaper delivery boy, petrol attendant and retail store clerk. This taught me how to survive, and it put myself through school, college and my first real job. After three months in the industry, I decided to try my luck with starting my own business. I guess being an entrepreneur was always in my blood.
3. What’s the biggest misconception about running your own business?
RG: That you make the most money and play golf on weekends. Leadership is a 24/7 job, and everything you do is loaded with a need for a positive outcome to the majority, not minority. You come last.
4. What has been your biggest business mistake or missed opportunity?
RG: Choosing money over relationships. Also, thinking there are ways to make quick and easy money.
5. How do you want the business world to remember you?
RG: As a guy who remained ‘real’ and worked hard as a leader to provide for others first.
6. What one word best describes your entrepreneurial journey so far?
7. If you weren’t an entrepreneur, what would you be doing?
RG: I’d be renting out jet skis on a tropical island.
8. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
RG: Contrary to my day-to-day activity, I’m an introvert who has managed the art of dealing with people as an extrovert to ultimately reach goals set for myself and others.
9. What’s the first thing on your bucket list?
RG: Visit and plant our company flag on the Arctic Circle’s highest point.
10. What’s the last thing you’ll ever do?
RG: Shark-cage diving.