Alan Knott-Craig Junior’s new book out now – The values that are essential [Extract]

Developing values such as loyalty, respect, humility and perseverance will stand you in good stead as an entrepreneur In this second extract from his new book,tech entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Junior unpacks some of these values in more detail.

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

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

Here’s the second extract — taken from the second chapter titled “Values”. See the first extract here.

Be loyal

What is loyalty? It is having your partner’s back. Always. It is going into battle knowing that the person on your right and the person on your left are with you. You can move forward without the fear of being stabbed from behind.

Loyalty is important not in its everyday presence—it is important in its absence. Loyalty is important on that one dark day when your back is against the wall and you need a friend.

If life were a walk in a rose garden, loyalty would not be an issue. “Every man for himself” is a winning motto when things are easy. Life is not a rose garden. Be loyal.

Be respectful

Treat everyone with equal respect. It doesn’t matter if he or she is a cleaner, a CEO, a homeless person, or a billionaire; everyone has a story you can learn from. Everyone is entitled to a greeting and a smile. Pay special respect to your elders.

Take responsibility

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. — Mark Twain

Own your problems. Own your destiny. Own your actions. Never blame others or make excuses or look for shortcuts. It’s your life; take responsibility for it.


“Every artist was first an amateur.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once you’ve chosen your path, never give up. Keep grinding away, overcome all obstacles, and leave the pack in your dust. Persevere.

Do the right thing

“When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion. — Abraham Lincoln

Before you can do the right thing, you must avoid doing the wrong thing.

If you can’t face your kids reading about what you do, you’re doing the wrong thing. If it doesn’t align with your values, you’re doing the wrong thing.

If you can’t tell your friends about it, you’re doing the wrong thing.

What is the right thing? It’s easy. Just ask yourself, “Will this action help other people?” If so, do it. If not, don’t do it.

Doing the right thing is often easy, but sometimes it’s really hard. Sometimes it means a bit of pain in the short run. Sometimes you need to cut ties with a friend who’s holding you back. Sometimes you have to return the sweets your child shoplifted. Sometimes you have to be hard.

As cheesy as values sound, this is where they help. If you’ve spent time defining the ethical framework of your life, then navigating the right decisions is easier. Figure out what type of person you want to be, and from there, you’ll know the right thing to do.

Do the right thing, and you’ll win.


Trust is the glue of life. Without trust, everything falls apart. The surest way to lose trust is to break your promises. Instead, keep your promises. The easiest way to keep promises is to underpromise. That way you can overdeliver.

When you know you’re going to break a promise, man up. Tell the truth. Take it on the chin. People will forgive
overexuberance, but people will never forgive lies.

The simplest way to keep your promises is to underpromise.

Be humble

“Arrogance is like salt. Too much ruins the pizza. Too little and you lose the flavour. — Sam Moleshiaa

Not only does arrogance blind you to learning lessons, but it makes enemies. No one likes arrogance. Remind yourself how lucky you have been. Also be sure to reflect upon how small you are in the big scheme of things. Be humble.

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.



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