Justin Clarke is the co-founder of One Africa Media (OAM), Africa’s largest online classifieds group. OAM owns some of Africa’s most prestigious and lucrative online properties, including PrivateProperty.co.za, South Africa’s leading property website; Jobberman.com, West Africa’s leading job website; Cheki.com,West and East Africa’s largest online auto marketplace; and SafariNow, South Africa’s leading travel and accommodation booking website.
My Definition Of Success | When I started off on the journey of entrepreneurship I was really motivated by the opportunity of creating a system that would generate cash while I was asleep. I watched my father and others working themselves to death and decided I did not want to go down that road. Now, I have realized that it is really about being at the table playing the game that really matters. So it was about money, now it’s about playing monopoly but in real life ….
I Am Driven By | Adrenalin mostly! Nothing better than a shot of adrenalin to get you firing on all cylinders.
The Difference Between Good And Great | The mind is an incredible organ, and no doubt it is those with passion and complete belief that win. The world is full of very clever people but it is the obsessed ones, the outliers that stand out.
A Key Talent | A successful business revolves around people, not only the people who make up the team that drive the company but the suppliers, customers and partners. I think that the one skill that I lean heavily on is my ability to interact with people. People like to be part of something, so show them the picture and let them share in the vision. Trust people with responsibility and let them grow, even let them make a few mistakes, and they will trust you when you do need to lead. Show the highest level of integrity in everything you do, because not only will others follow the example but also you will need people to be able to take you on your word.
Principles I Live By | I had a snow skiing accident in 2009, from which I was very lucky to survive. I am however completely paralyzed from the chest down. So what happened? I had a combination of speed and height after going off a jump, and the landing did not happen like it should have. So the lesson from this is speed is fine on its own, but don’t get too much distance between the ground and your feet. I believe humility is a great value that you should remember. Don’t get your feet too far off the ground as you start building success, because when you fall, and you will, stuff will break and no one will be there to help. So humility is important, together with the other characteristics mentioned above, integrity, belief and passion.
Lessons I Have Learnt | Life is long, don’t be scared of failure, and don’t be put of by other people’s fears. If you are not falling you are not trying hard enough, and if you are going to fail, fail fast, fail forwards. Yesterday is gone so learn from it but don’t get stuck on it. Tomorrow is a new day that you can attack with all the skills you have learned from yesterday.
Dealing With Doubt | There always will be times when doubt and fear will keep you awake at night, and I have had more than my fair share. But you have to think of the fundamental problem that your product or service solves, or the value that you bring to the transaction, and keep trying to put one foot in front of the other until the fog lifts….and it always does as you move forward out of the cloud.
Performing At My Peak |Building a business takes an unfair proportion of your time. You have to make sure you keep the blade sharp, and that involves getting balance in your life. You will get better results stopping to sharpen the axe, than hammering away with a blunt edge. Keep adding new data and ideas into the mix from reading, travelling and taking time out. And don’t forget the rest of the ecosystem also needs to be in good shape, so exercise regularly. Actually I can’t promise that I have got this one right!
The Best Advice I’ve Received | READ.
Advice On Building Wealth | Don’t procrastinate, don’t over plan, don’t over think – move quickly and decisively. You will make mistakes so don’t beat yourself up when they happen. Be focused but always be ready to pivot on the idea where there is no path forward. And don’t ever give up.
On Inspiring Others | A sapling never grows strong under the shade of a big tree. Always try and replace yourself with someone better, encourage them to buy into the vision, and then give them space to grow.