Tim Harris: Entrepreneur in Focus


Entrepreneur: TIM HARRIS, Twitter: @timharris22

Founder & CEO of Vere and Founder of The Catholic Leadership Academy

Tim is a man of many talents and provides ethical leadership much needed in South African society. He leaves us with his five tips on what makes for a good and prosperous entrepreneur.


1. Expect things to take a long time: I have found this to be the biggest lesson I have learned. I used to doubt myself, wondering if it was just me, but I’m over that now. Every successful entrepreneur that I have spoken to has affirmed that there are no short cuts. What happens in the background is monumental compared to the apparently simple product or service that reaches the consumer. I find that I have to keep reminding myself of this.

2. Never give up: Even the days and months when you feel like you’re not making progress are valuable. Somehow, if you keep working things come together eventually. You’ll always have the choice to stop. Imagine you don’t. Care about what you are doing (more than you care about the profit you can make). I think this point links in with the one above. Every entrepreneur wants to be successful, but if your measure of success is only monetary, you may not be able to push on when you most need to.

3. Enjoy the small wins: I used to actively avoid doing this. I felt it was irresponsible to enjoy the incremental steps that lead toward a larger goal. The shift came when I realized just how far away that big goal really is. If I don’t celebrate the small wins, my life becomes quite dark, and I start to resent the journey. I have found nothing positive about emotions like these.

4. (Self) Reflect: As far as possible, pay attention to the signals within and around you. I have found that my decisions are a lot more constructive when I give myself time to reflect on the collective feedback I am getting. One of the benefits of being in an entrepreneurial space is that you are in the driving seat. Take the time to make sure that you are actually going in the direction you want.

5. Have Partners. Trust them: It’s unlikely that you can wear all the necessary hats. I certainly am not able to. If possible, involve one or two others in your start up and share the load, and the journey. Once you find the right people, trust them to wear the hats you give them. Ensure that they trust you too, remembering, that like most things, trust can only be earned.

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