Alan Knott-Craig Jr is the founder of Project Isizwe, a non-profit that facilitates the release of free Wi-Fi networks across Africa. He is the former CEO of Mxit and was the founder and CEO of World of Avatar, an investment house for African mobile apps. Alan has been awarded Young Global Leader from the World Economic Forum and Rising Star Alumni from NMMU.
What Drives Me | Fear mostly. Fear of being poor. Fear of failure. Fear of what my parents will think. Fear of not making my kids proud. There’s nothing wrong with fear, as long as you know it’s there.
The Difference Between good And Great | Hard work.
My Key Talent | I can laugh at myself. I’m not sure what the step-by-step guide is, other than go to a dodgy high school, but if you can figure out how to not take yourself too seriously (and also not take your failures too seriously), then you’ll have a small edge. If you were fortunate enough to attend a school you actually enjoyed, then I guess the path to a thick skin is to keep taking risks. The more risks you take, the less afraid you’ll be of taking risk. And there is no reward in life without risk.
Starting Out It Helped | I married young, and luckily I chose someone with money-earning potential. She was a CA and we were 25, and she paid the bills for the first couple years whilst I struggled with my first business.
I Start My Day | I always wake up at 5am.
Characteristics Of Success | Keep moving. Never stop moving. In other words: Never delay a decision unnecessarily.
Principles I Live By | The world owes you nothing. Be kind, have manners and respect your elders. Harden the fuck up.
Critical Skills I Have Learnt | Learning to be myself rather than copy my mentors or the people I read about in books.
Lessons I Have Learnt | Most success and failure is sheer luck (ie: random). The trick is to be in the game so that when luck strikes you’re there and waiting.
Resources I Use | I mostly read books, especially psychology, history, and fantasy. I try to read at least 3 books a week. My online reading is limited mostly to thebrowser.com, Zite, and the Daily Maverick
My Dreams and Ambitions | The big one is “Take over the world”. Otherwise, I’ll be happy if I can tell my grandkids some cool stories about my life. Come to think of it, I’ll be happy if I have grandkids.
The Best Advice I Have Received | Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.
How to Build Wealth | Read.