A moment too soon or a moment too late, you lose in business. Furthermore, if you wait for everything to fall in place, your wait might end up with nothing.
The underlying message is that timing in business is crucial.
Industrialization really took off in the 20th century – it was also the same time in history when the population explosion occurred, with more than 4.4 billion people born during that time.
If you look back at some of the most successful entrepreneurs, it seems as if they knew it was the perfect time to launch their business, but maybe some of them stumbled upon their circumstances unknowingly. Maybe their success owed a lot to luck.
In the world of investments and forex trading, timing is everything. It can be the difference between making a profit or a loss.
Patrice Motsepe, one of the most revered African entrepreneurs, timed his approach perfectly. It led to him becoming a billionaire in a relatively short period of time. He went into mining at a time when gold prices were high and South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment policies were in their first phase of implementation; corporate companies were actively looking to partner with capable black entrepreneurs and professionals.
In Nigeria, it was the right time to jump into business as the government was privatizing state-owned companies in the 2000s. It might still be the right time.
Some of the world’s most famous tech titans, such as Michael Dell, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, founded their companies between 1975 and 1984. The 70s and 80s proved to be best time for computer companies and Dell Technologies, Apple and Microsoft are giants today. Between 2002 and 2009, most of the successful social media companies, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, were born. The key for entrepreneurs is seeing the writing on the wall and knowing how to take advantage of it.
The dot-com bubble in the late 90s was the opportune time to start a technology company as money was readily available. However, that time has returned. Tech ventures have a tremendous amount of money ready to be deployed as long as conditions are met; the validity of the business and which market you raise the money from is important.
The tech capitals of Africa are Nairobi, in Kenya, and Cape Town, in South Africa. The tech capitals of the world are Silicon Valley in the United States, Tel Aviv in Israel, and Seoul in South Korea. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t succeed if you are not from these places.
Africa is a virgin territory in a few sectors. The time is now to go full force into infrastructure development, energy generation and beneficiating raw material produced on the continent. Most of our technological products and services are from countries outside Africa.
Europe and China have a tendency of tailor-making Silicon Valley technology to fit their local users. In China, they have WhatsApp rival WeChat, eBay rival Alibaba, and, before they merged, Didi Chuxing rivalled Uber.
Timing is multi-faceted; it can be when to go into business, when to expand, or when to close a deal at a particular time with favorable conditions.
But, how do you determine when the time is right? You can’t merely be excited by the vision of what could be.
It helps to be well-informed about the sector you are in; study the previous trends, patterns and circles which tend to repeat themselves; and engage as many people as you can in that field.
Just remember, if you wait too long, you might miss the opportunity. When Gates founded Microsoft, he was not necessarily sitting down and realizing the timing was right. He just moved as he saw a niche in the market.
My advice is to wake up and get back to the grind. If you need to, fail a few times until you get it right. As Abraham Lincoln once observed, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Written by Paul Mashegoane
Cryptocurrency for Africans
George Gordon is on a quest to revolutionize the financial system. The director of Africa Master Blockchain Company talks digital currencies, blind risks and board games.
What is this new African cryptocurrency you are offering?
Where the majority of current digital currencies are based on speculative models, AfriUnion Coin (AUC) and the AfriNational Tokens (ANT)are designed for a transactional purpose allowing international payments, remittances, foreign direct investment as well as day-to-day transactions at local retail stores and other outlets. While the option for speculative trade is available with AUC, the focus is not around that.
Each African country will have a specially-designed ANT which will allow users to pay for goods and services and bills easily through completely digital means without requiring any bank account. AUC and ANT will be fully interchangeable to one another and there will be no fees for the user.
It’s the natural next step for digital finance from mobile banking which most Africans are accustomed to. The ability to freely have the power to send and receive money locally and internationally will allow the freedom of choice and spending power many Africans don’t have currently.
What is your own investment philosophy?
I am a gambler! I believe in taking risks and putting things on the line. That being said, blind risk or whimsical guesses don’t get you very far. Always acquire enough information to understand to a reasonable level what the thing you are planning on investing is or how it works and then trust your instinct and gut feel.
What advice would you give entrepreneurs wanting to invest in blockchain?
First, do some research in terms of what the blockchain technology is being applied for or created in terms of its application to an industry or project. Thereafter, check the white paper for the design of the platform as well as its functionality and applicability to what it is trying to achieve. If it aligns with your personal investment rules, then go for it,however, remember that blockchain is continuously evolving and thus you need to explore outside the usual and standard.
First cash-less, now card-less. What is the future of online banking?
If we are looking into what is currently science fiction, I would say the future is digital contact lenses that will be able to connect you to all your social media accounts, internet, news as well as make payments by just looking at QR codes or specialized barcodes to approve and accept payments.
Now, realistically we are not far off from such innovation and technology, but for the time being, I think the next step is scanning of QR codes at retailers and having the transaction automated from your wallet to the retailers digitally.
What is your most prized investment and why?
My mind. I believe that the work I have put into developing my mind, and continue to do so every day, is the number one investment that I have ever done. It allows me to look at things in a unique perspective as well as provides me with the tools to push boundaries and create new opportunities.
Money, success, fame? Which is most important to you?
I would have to say success… because it is most likely going to bring the other two as well, right? But success in the form of starting something and letting it grow and succeed and knowing that something new exists because of your efforts.
What do you spend your money on mostly?
Board games. I love board games and believe it’s a fantastic way to expand your mind as well as have fun with friends.
King Price CEO On Why He Invested On Insurance
King Price Insurance’s CEO Gideon Galloway, who built an insurance company in South Africa worth over $226 million in six years, talks investments, industry trends and how self-driving cars will change the entire car insurance landscape.
Offering The American Dream
Gar Lippincott and Daniel Ryan of Atlantic American Partners were in South Africa recently looking for high-net-worth individuals wanting to invest in the US.
It’s a warm spring day in September, and Gar Lippincott and Daniel Ryan have just arrived in South Africa. It is Lippincott’s first time in the country, and he is jet-lagged.
A little over two months ago, he was booked to fly here from the United States (US) but was turned back at immigration.
“At Atlanta airport, the lady looked at Daniel’s visa and let him through and she looked at my visa and she said ‘I am afraid you can’t get on the plane because you have to have a blank page on your passport’. I said ‘I have three blank pages’ and she said ‘no, it’s supposed to be the one that says visa on it’. She said it’s the rules in South Africa so I had to sadly go back home… now when I was coming, I was told that’s not an issue anymore so I am happy they have made traveling into the country easier,” says Lippincott.
With a brand-new passport, he’s here with Ryan looking for people who want to invest in the US in exchange for a green card.
Lippincott, the Managing Partner of Atlantic American Partners, says he has always been keen on South Africa for its growth opportunities and prospects.
“From what I understand, the things that are causing short-term decline in the economy in South Africa are set up to provide long-term growth and hopefully people will understand this,” he says. Ryan, the company’s Managing Director of Emerging Markets – Africa, agrees: “I lived in Malawi for 12 years and South Africa is still considered the shining one throughout the continent. Even with all the problems, everyone still wants to come here because of the opportunities.”
According to an AfrAsia Bank report, South Africa comes second to Mauritius in boasting the highest number of high-net-worth individuals.
These are the kind of people Ryan and Lippincott target through their work at Atlantic American Partners. The company has real estate investors and professional private equity fund managers that manage money for banks, insurance companies, and pension funds. In addition, they help people get US green cards and ultimately US citizenship through the US government’s EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program.
“Basically we look for people who want to move to the United States and we help them do so legally by investing and the nice thing is, with our program, they are also able to get a nice return on investment,” he says.
According to Lippincott, for a $500,000 investment that creates 10 jobs for American workers, you could get a green card in about two years and be a US citizen in about six or seven years. “Twenty seven countries have an investor visa program but with most of them, it’s essentially a fee you pay, or you need to be actively engaged in the day-to-day operation of a business. For example, you invest $1.5 million in Australia, but you need to hire employees and generate a certain amount of revenue. One of the biggest advantages with our program is you actually invest the $500,000 into a fund. We act as a trustee of that money and within five to seven years, they get that money back with a bit of return on investment and you are a permanent citizen in the US.”
Atlantic American Partners invests the money in real estate developments like hotels, apartments and student accommodation.
“What’s nice about the program is it doesn’t only cover the investor; it covers the spouse and children under 21. Our biggest family was a Hungarian family with seven children so they got nine green cards for $500,000,” says Lippincott.
The company says it has had positive response in South Africa. “Two months ago, we were here and we had scheduled six presentations for 100 people and we ended up speaking to 450 people. Most were business people, people worried about the economy, people worried about the political future of South Africa and people concerned about the education future of their children,” says Ryan.
According to Lippincott, despite the news of the clampdown on immigration, the US economy is booming and will perish without immigration. In the era of Donald Trump and his anti-immigrant views, that’s heartening news indeed.
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