Pictured, from left to right: Kirsten Roos, The Manager; Minky Mothabela, The Entrepreneur; and Samantha Thomas, The Technician.
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Starting a business is no easy feat. In fact, when statistics show that 70 – 80% of South African businesses fail in the first five years[1], there is no wonder that many entrepreneurs find themselves in a continuous state of mental and emotional stress due to the coveted notion of ‘hustling’.

Hustle culture has been glorified – and widely accepted as the norm – amongst the entrepreneur community globally. In part, this can be attributed to the standard being set by prominent business leaders worldwide who accentuate their constant personal sacrifices to achieve their business success.

“When I see entrepreneurs attributing hustle culture to their business’s success, my thoughts are two-fold: Firstly, am I doing something wrong working an 8-hour workday; and secondly, what budding entrepreneurs are reading the exact same articles and convincing themselves they need to experience burnout to achieve success?”, says Kirsten Roos, Managing Partner at strategic communications agency, Pulse Communications.

Slow productivity, as a concept and culture, encourages the ‘do less, achieve more’ approach to workload – you’re achieving the same, valuable results but you’re doing it at a pace that promotes quality over quantity, sustainably.  

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Staggering statistics show that 77% of people have experienced burnout at their job and 42% have left their jobs because they felt burned out[2]. For entrepreneurs, burnout can, perhaps, be attributed to their desire to scale their businesses as quickly as possible and sometimes before their service and product offering is polished. Many are looking to achieve return on investment in a short space of time and at great sacrifice to every other aspect of their being.

How are entrepreneurs able to grow their businesses at a pace of peace and permanence? By ensuring that they surround themselves with the right personalities and skillsets to achieve optimal results.

In his book The E-myth revisited, Michael E. Gerber defines the three personalities of each business owner and points out that a lot of entrepreneurs fail due to lack of balance between these personalities. In some cases, an individual is able to tap into each of the three personalities; and in other cases, each is represented by one individual.

The Entrepreneur

“This personality trait, in my opinion, is what inspires an individual to take the leap and start their own business in the first place”, says Roos.  

The Entrepreneur is the visionary, the dreamer, the innovator, the energiser; they also typically serve as the ‘face’ of the business, driving sales, building networks and considering the ‘Next Big Thing’.

The Manager

Every business needs a Manager: Someone who can take the Entrepreneur’s ideas and turn them into a tangible and actionable plan. Without an individual, or personality, handling the operations of a business, there is no way to measure and evaluate its past, present and future success.

The Technician

Idea conceptualisation, through to structure, processes and planning may play a pivotal role in each business, however, without the results the business would not succeed. The Technician is the doer of the business: They apply their experience and skills to create and achieve optimal results, ensuring repeat business and longevity.

Business success can be wholly attributed to balance: You need a good balance of the three personalities to thrive, but you also need a work-life balance.

“Great ideas are not born out of chaos, they are nurtured from peace”, concludes Roos.

Born out of a passion for purpose-led communications, Pulse Communications aims to reinvigorate brands through impactful story-telling, meaningful relationships and an expert grasp of the media landscape.

Specialised in content creation, public relations, influencer engagement, campaign management and execution; Pulse Communications has the understanding and experience that communications needs are unique to each individual business, offering tailored strategic communications services that drive messaging to support a brand’s objectives.

All work produced by Pulse Communications is done so with intent, and integrity at the core, with the ambition to achieve effective and top-quality results.


[2] https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/burnout-survey.html