What makes YOU happy?

11 years ago on 1 December 2007, I was travelling from Harrismith to Joburg in a rented bakkie with my mom next to me. It was the start of my new life. I just finished my articles and wanted to begin the hustle in the city of gold. If you had asked me then, what would make me happy, I would have told you “Money, money and more money!”

Harrismith wasn’t the only thing I was leaving behind. I said farewell to a life with many tears and struggles. A life where mom and dad got divorced, lost everything, where we slept on mattresses on the floor. There were nights when we had nothing to eat, when my mom would cry herself to sleep and where I would try to reassure her that “I’m not hungry, anyway.” I too cried so many times because of money. Or, rather obviously, the lack of it.

11 years ago, in my mind, money meant one thing: happiness. So I chased it.

A decade later and I’ve had an incredible journey as an entrepreneur. I’ve created successful businesses, been on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine, a shark on on M-net’s Shark Tank SA and, this year, the author of the most sold business book in the country, “90 Rules for Entrepreneurs”.

In December 2016, I sold our business (The Beancounter) to JSE listed Transaction Capital and committed to giving my undivided attention to the group for 5 years. It was my first time in a big corporate structure and, even though all my energy went into 2 new projects, we still grew revenue 40% in the last 12 months in the core business. With the incredible minds, capital and entrepreneurs at Transaction Capital, I have no doubt that we would have created the next billion-rand company in the SME space.

But this post is to announce something quite unexpected: we are no longer a Transaction Capital company – I have decided to buy back the initial business. The deal was finalized in the beginning of November through a cash buy-back and we have parted ways as friends. The way the exit was handled is a testament to the company and their leadership, and my decision to enter into it in the first place. I also remain a shareholder in my personal capacity.

The last chapter of my business career is a chapter with many lessons and decisions, none of which I regret – neither the initial selling nor the buying back.

In this post, I don’t want to focus on the transaction itself, but I want to share my biggest learning from it, as well as what we plan to do next:

The 22-year-old Marnus may have been disappointed, because he would eventually learn that money is not everything. Yes, there is more to life than struggling to make ends meet and worrying about paying bills but there are also many things that money cannot buy.

And everyone is different. Some people are incredibly happy in corporate jobs, while others can’t stand it working for someone else. Some want to spend time with their families, others want to create the next big thing. Some entrepreneurs can’t operate without colleagues next to them. Others can’t imagine a world where they need to ask permission.

Everyone is different.

Working in the corporate world… just wasn’t for me. And it wasn’t for my team. We want to be free, we want to spend time on the things that matter to us. We want to go home, knowing that we are happy, and that we’ve made a difference in our own unique way.

(I’m not saying you can’t get that in corporate world – but the rules are different and those rules don’t make sense for us.)

If there’s one thing I want you, the reader, to take from this, is that you have to know what kind of a person you are, so you can make the right decision, and not waste time chasing things that aren’t important to you. Or, even worse, things that stop you from doing what you need to be doing.

So where to from here?

There were essentially 3 parts to the puzzle, and we have taken back two of them:

1) The Beancounter – an accounting firm that provides outsourced accounting services to SME’s at a fixed monthly fee.

2) sme.africa – a platform and community that is helping established business owners with tools and information to grow and manage their businesses.

Our commitment is to help the entrepreneur, the business owner and the franchisee by becoming their trusted professional ‘friend’ and we want to create an amazing platform for our employees to learn, grow and become the best versions of themselves.

I have ditched my suit and fancy shoes for t-shirts and sneakers and I will be on the ground working with my teams to help as many business owners as possible. I’m not always able to answer every email or message but, through sme.africa, I believe we can shoulder some of the weight of every business owner who becomes part of our platform.

I will also continue to use my online channels to share information and knowledge and we have a couple of great projects lined up for 2019.

Today is the start of my new life. I just finished my corporate career and want to use the rest of my life to connect, experience and help others to succeed. In a world that’s becoming so hard, I’m making it my mission to be nicer, to give more credit, to always see the good in people and to make business a happy place where we help others succeed.

If you see me anywhere, please come and say hello and let’s celebrate being happy, not money – money will follow.

Remember: money makes a difference but only YOU can decide what will ultimately make you content and satisfied.

A huge thank you goes to my incredible team, all our clients, supporters and everyone at Transaction Capital for an amazing journey thus far!

Much love from a happy and content Marnus

If you don’t look after your clients, someone else will…

Every day on my way to work for the past two years I’ve bought a copy of Business Day from a guy named Rodger.

Rodger knew me well, and every morning he’d spot me and run to me with my Business Day. There were some days that I didn’t have cash, but I’d make it up to him the next day or the next week –often paying him more. I must have been one of his best clients.

In August, Rodger suddenly wasn’t there anymore. I couldn’t get my daily BD fix on my way to work. It was a schlepp having to stop at forecourt stores trying to find one with stock.

Tired of the trouble, I tried the BD online app on my iPad. It was amazing.

Now I could read my paper first thing in the morning without the hassle of stopping at the shops or dealing with paper.

Then… Rodger returned…

As ever, he ran to my car with my copy of BD only to hear me explain that I already had a copy. This continued daily for a week. He eventually understood my explanation about the app. I still drive past him each morning greeted by a sad look when we make eye contact. I’m sure he lost one of his most loyal customers. I feel bad for him, but, my online subscription is providing a much better experience.

All of this made me realise how much we need to look after our customers. Not occasionally, but EVERY SINGLE DAY. Our customers require a product or service and if we are not there to provide it – even once – they may find another option and never return.

Each day my commute to work reminds me that a customer is a privilege, not a right.

Marnus partners with Legacy Education Alliance

Legacy Education Alliance has partnered with Marnus Broodryk to create a practical workshop for the aspiring & established entrepreneur. Based on Marnus’ bestselling book, 90 Rules for Entrepreneurs, this workshop provides students with comprehensive insight and knowledge to craft the perfect business plan and get to know what it takes to build a successful business.

To launch this program, Marnus will be hosting the first workshop himself and we are offering it AT NO COST to 6 lucky individuals.

To get more information or to stand a change to attend the first workshop, visit www.leasupport.com/cent

Updated: The 6 individuals who will join Marnus for the first workshop are:

  1. Eliphus Seaneho
  2. Emmanuel Mokgohloa
  3. Gary Odendaal
  4. Patience Mdwayi
  5. Richard Von Moltke
  6. Maggie Matsie


Your complimentary ticket to the Secrets of Scale…

I’ve managed to secure 25 complimentary tickets to the Secrets of Scale event series hosted in Johannesburg.

The Secrets of Scale series of events are designed to help entrepreneurs understand the dynamics and challenges of scaling a business and will empower attendees with the skills, insights and principles necessary to enable a business to scale their impact on their chosen market and ultimately scale on a world stage.

It includes several masters of scale include:

• Allon Raiz (CEO, RaizCorp)
• Rich Mulholland (Missing Link)
• Howard Mann (Brickyard Builders USA)
• Keet Van Zyl (Knife Capital)
• Clive Butkow (Kalon Venture Partners)
• Benji Coetzee (Empty Trips)
• Vinny Lingham (CEO, Civic & Shark Tank Investor)
• Marnus Broodryk (CEO, Transaction Capital SME & Shark Tank Investor)
• Jason Goldberg (Founder Edge Growth & 10X-E Investments)
• Tom Asacker (International Best Selling Author, The Business of Belief)
• Erik Kruger (Performance Coach & Founder Better Man)
• Howard Sackstein (CEO, Saicom)


I’ll be a panelist on the Secrets of Scale on 4 June with Vinny Lingham, Jason Goldberg and Vuyo Tofile and will be sharing insights into how to scale your business.

To redeem your complimentary ticket simply follow these instructions:

1. Visit www.qkt.io/secretsofscale
2. Select a date
2. Just above the “Order now!” button, click on the “Use a promotion code” link
3. Copy and paste this word in: MARNUS
4. Now you will see that a ticket costs nothing instead of R125

I’ll see you there!

The One-Page Dynamic Business Plan

This rule is an extract from my best selling book, 90 Rules for Entrepreneurs – click here to buy your copy

The logic behind a business plan is great. It’s a plotted journey, with marked goals and targets. It gives you something to work on, and work towards. And you’ll definitely need one if you’re looking for financing. But very seldom does it actually become a real working document for the small business owner; business plans are too long-winded and rigid and don’t allow for the fast changes and flexibility you’re going to need when you start up. So, gut instinct is how most survive, and the plan goes into the middle drawer.

Read More4

Bitcoin, Nesquik and investing in the JSE

“What’s your take on Bitcoin?”

Without a doubt, the most asked question in my inbox. To date, I haven’t responded to any of those messages. I’m not someone to give advice on investments – I think it’s an irresponsible thing to do. For many reasons but mostly because you don’t have all the facts – about the investor or the investment.

Read More14

Opportunity for Web App Development Company

Last night, I posted this on my social media:








And received more than a 100 responses in an hour. Insert monkey-covering-face emoticon.

So, I decided to rather do a post on what exactly we need and what the next step should be.

Read More0