March 7, 2019
May 14, 2019


I know it’s tough. I know it feels like it’s never going to end; that the phones aren’t ever going to ring again, and you may have to move back in with your mother-in-law. But it will change. It will pass. It’s even written in the holy books, “and it too came to pass!” 


I’m standing in a supermarket queue and I happened to be standing next to arguably one of the doyennes of our local property industry. I ask how business is, to which her shoulders slump forward over her trolley filled with cat food and purple rinse and she says, “in more than 50 years in the property industry, I have never seen it this bad!”

A client of mine tells me that his construction company probably won’t make it to the end of the year. A neighbour’s house is for sale because he lost a contract to install immobilisers into a top brand of motor vehicles. The list goes on and on, and when you speak to people they all seem to say the same thing; “we are in a holding pattern”. Funny enough, it’s the same holding pattern people spoke about just before the last elections, and the one before that, and before that, and on and on. What is this somnambulistic, catatonic, batten down the hatches mind-set that this country goes through every five years?

“The EFF is going to win big and take over. There is no hope for this country! 

We need to see what happens after the elections and then we will make decisions!

The ANC is going to recall President Buffalo!

The EFF is going to form an alliance and then it’s all over!

The DA is going to take control, lose control, make an alliance, or stay the same!”


Depending on who you talk to, and what their narrow minded, self-interest point of view is, they all have a doomsday prediction. Isn’t it amazing how the people who know nothing about politics become experts just before an election? I think it was Winston Churchill who said something like “the best argument against democracy is having a 20 minute conversation with the average voter”, paraphrased of course.




Nothing new is happening now that hasn’t already happened so many times before. Do you remember everybody running to the supermarkets to buy tinned food and bottled water, preparing for the apocalypse of South Africa? Do you remember the controversy when Mbeki fired Zuma only to have him fire him back? Do you remember the appointing of a finance minister, what was it for 2 days? Do you get my point?

I was reading an article by Adrian Gore in the Sunday Times recently; he commented about how Discovery was started in the early 90’s, shortly before our historic first Democratic general election.  He basically started his company when this country was going through an unofficial civil war. And now, he’s starting a bank just before an election. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But it’s not. Someone once said that you make money when there is blood on the streets. It sounds a bit macabre, but what it actually means is, that when everybody else is running around thinking and talking negatively, when the markets are in a mess, when property is being offloaded at hyper speed – this is the time to buy, to invest, to negotiate, and to courageously get into new markets.

I recently hosted a ‘Disruption’ conference for Momentum and almost all of the speakers, economists and political analysts were saying exactly the same thing. Don’t do anything stupid it’s going to come right, it will pass. It will pass as it has done over the last 100 years in this country. Why? Because we are South Africans. That’s why!




Put your gum guard in, put your boxing gloves on and grind out a result every day. It’s not going to be easy, but who wants easy? Nothing worthwhile was achieved because it was easy!

Remember that he, who sweats more in training, bleeds less in war.  You have to do what you have to do, and remember that tough situations build tough people. You only really grow and get better when you reach the point where you want to quit but you keep going. Strength and resilience isn’t something that you inherit genetically, it is forged in the fire and pressure of getting up every day and grinding out another result. Especially when you don’t feel like it.  Be polite and have manners, always be a professional and have a plan to beat everybody in the room.

Someone else once said that 4am is the hour when legends are either waking up or going to bed. One thing I can tell you – the thing that they are NOT doing, is nothing. They aren’t in a holding pattern waiting for their “apocalypse mind-set” predictions to come true. At times like these, we need to think like an Entrepreneur not like a Corporate Sheep. We need to break new ground, start new things, motivate our teams, create opportunities, and if there is no door – where do you want one?

Fear is truly False Expectations Appearing Real. I don’t think that that this could be more apt at any other time then election time. Winners use fear as Feeling Energised And Ready and they step forward into the dark, they create a door, and when they make up their mind to go through that door, they go through it!

Gum Guard – Gloves – Grind



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  1. Julie says:

    Really enjoyed this perspective and how quickly we forget! With everything going on we South Afrians, carry on and focus on the things we can change.

  2. Dave says:

    Tremendously inspiring and true Gav – thanks for this

  3. Frieda says:

    Absolutely brilliant. Thank you. If everyone just remember that ” Freedom isn’t doing what you want, but what you Should”. What a wonderful life it would be.

  4. Eurika Meyer says:

    True and gives you a better perspective So let’s put on our gloves and gum guards and let’s go

  5. Yolanda says:

    As always a brilliant, honest view. Thank you Gavin

  6. Fern Quantrill says:

    Just what I needed to hear today! Thanks!!

  7. Mark says:

    Great message as always…..I know that I am on the right path. I must admit that negative people can be really draining. Fortunately we can walk away from most of them.

  8. Sariëtte says:

    Your timing with this one couldn’t be more perfect! I am sharing this with everyone at work.

    Thank you Gavin

  9. Jeana says:

    Brilliant! Exactly the encouragement i needed this morning. Today is my last day as an employee. Tomorrow i am an entrepreneur.

  10. kim Sansom says:

    Hey Gavin tks for the renewed inspiration for this fantastic country on a Friday morning.

  11. Emmanuel says:

    Thank you for words of encouragement and inspiration.

  12. Anna says:

    Thanks, it really takes a man with gloves to make it amongst all the negative people and situations!
    Well said, we knew it will come right.

  13. Mandia Amery says:

    Amazing perspective and so so true. You rocked this one Gav…… from the fairest Cape

  14. Madelein Barkhuizen says:

    Thanks for the inspiration Gavin!

  15. Roy Davies says:

    Inspiring as always Gavin, however please just be mindful of what happened in Zimbabwe (any most other African countries). Despite the people there always having a positive “make a plan” approach to the problems, the government eventually broke the economy completely and the Zim Dollar became totally worthless. The people who survive up there “made a plan” and either got out or at least got their money out. I see the same blinkered approach from so many South Africans who think “it can’t happen here”. It can, and it is happening in SA. Africa is a great place to live, provided you have your own financial independence elsewhere.

  16. Cecelia Gerber says:


  17. Donovan Brits says:

    Well said….

  18. Tinus Van Aardt says:

    great artical

  19. Kevin Matthews says:

    Gav, the true appeal to you includes your voice and physical presence. I would love a podcast or vlog from you instead of the “written word”

    Keep them coming till then!

  20. Jacques De Villiers says:

    Nice one as per usual ?

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