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Alan Knott-Craig Junior’s book – Seven attributes of a hero [Extract]

Entrepreneurs are society’s new heroes. In this third extract from his new book, tech entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Junior unpacks some of the attributes that make an entrepreneurs a hero.

With permission from Knott-Craig — the founder of Project Isizwe and former Mxit head — Ventureburn is serialising parts of the entrepreneur’s new self-published book 13 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur which is now available via his website http://bigalmanack.com.

Ventureburn is also giving away five copies of the new book. See below for details.

Here’s the third extract — taken from the third chapter titled “Seven attributes of a hero”. See the first extract here and the second one here.

1. Be Hungry

Are you hungry? No matter how much talent you have, if you’re not hungry to get ahead, you will go nowhere.

Distinguish between good ambition (“I’m going to do all it takes to get ahead in life, within the bounds of morality and ethics”) and evil ambition (“I’m going to do all it takes to get ahead in life, regardless of how I get there”).

Alan Knott-Craig Junior says entrepreneurs should develop a sense of empathy, be open to feedback, keep learning and love what they do

Good ambition values teamwork and integrity. Bad ambition ends in jail.

2. Love What You Do

Love what you’re doing! Wake up before the alarm clock goes off. Be excited to get to the office. Believe in the fundamental importance of your work and that it is done for the betterment of the world.

If you don’t love what you do, change your job. If you can’t change your job, change your attitude.

3. Have Integrity

You must never doubt your own integrity — ever. Look at yourself in the mirror every day and ask whether you mind what your family might read about you and what you do in the newspapers.

4. Keep Learning

There is no substitute for sheer know-how. Don’t stop learning. Surround yourself with clever people, read books, find mentors, and never stop growing your brain.

5. Be Open to Feedback

Without constructive criticism, analysis, and debate, it is impossible to reach the best solution to any problem. People who are willing to speak up when they disagree will help you in life. People who speak for the sake of speaking should be shot.

6. Have Empathy

Emotional intelligence refers to your ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Walk a mile in the other person’s shoes, and you’ll probably be the same as the other person. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

7. Be Quiet

If you have nothing to say, don’t say anything.

Ventureburn made five copies of the new book available. The first five readers that responded to our call have been sent copies. They are: Luke Keyser, Andy Skinstad, Jason Luboyera all from Cape Town, Mbangiso Mabaso from Johannesburg and Mamkhele Msongelwa from Pretoria. Ventureburn thanks all those that wrote in.