‘Don’t Be Side-Tracked’ – Top Businessman

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Fly-by-night operators in the Namibian business sector are here today, but gone tomorrow, because only businesses with a strong sense of mission normally enjoy long-lasting success, students were told. This is the view of businessman, Sydney Martin, who last Thursday night shared learned lessons as an entrepreneur with students at the Polytechnic of Namibia. Martin was the guest speaker at an awards ceremony under the theme: ‘Youth Economic Empowerment; The Enterprising Spirit, Sharing Experience.’ “Business is about sound business principles and integrity, forming an integral part of a business mission at all times of which one should be enthusiastic and focused and not be side-tracked by other interests,” Martin told young entrepreneurs at the event organized by the Economic Department of the Polytechnic of Namibia. According to Martin, young business people entering the business world need to be apprenticed if they are to succeed. “Choose a mentor whom you admire, trust and whom you may look up to for sound, honest advice and guidance. Look for someone who is an achiever, is of sound character, has a track record of success, is respected and shares your own convictions. And remember, one cannot discover the oceans if you lose sight of the shores,” Martin said. He encouraged young business people to take calculated risks and be innovative in what they take on in the challenging business world. “Plan your work, then work your plan. Never lose sight of the big picture. Conceal your trade secrets and position your business strategically to make the most of positive market and business factors. The key to success is to invest most of your time every day, week and month in what you do best as a business man or woman,” he advised. “Business opportunities want to be discovered, but as young people, we must be innovative and look at unexplored places and sectors in the business world because knowledge is the new battlefield nowadays. Furthermore, be in the forefront with technology and apply the best available systems for business administration and logistics. It is said that wealth flows directly from innovation, not from the optimization of ideas,” Martin, who also encouraged young people to turn their businesses into idea factories, said.