The recipe for a successful business or whatever else you want in 2017

I wish I can get stats on this post and know how many people started reading it without finishing it. My bet is, that most won’t finish it. Because my thoughts will make most people uncomfortable. It’s the shit we don’t want to hear, but so desperately need to hear.

Last year on 31 December, I posted the following on Facebook:

Take a screenshot of your bank balance/s and a shirtless selfie today and know whatever you see is the result of the last 365 days. The exciting thing? Today is a new opportunity to seize the next 365 and be the best you can possibly be comes 1 January 2017…

Fast forward 365 days and here we are again. And guess what, most are still exactly where they were. No… most are actually worse off: more in debt, more overweight, less good relationships, unhappy as hell.

Personally, 2016 was a cracker. Many things happened, two completely change the direction of my life: I sold a majority share in my company to JSE listed Transaction Capital and had the opportunity to be part of Shark Tank South Africa.

Shark Tank was an interesting one. The show was a massive success and budding and established entrepreneurs around the continent started to make contact. I received thousands of emails and messages. Most people inspired by the show or my own journey, asked me for advice, how to get there, my biggest lesson, tips, tricks. I always find this fascinating…

We make as if “getting there”– wherever there might be, such a big secret is. As if only a few know this and we are constantly looking for the answer, the magic trick. But is there really one? Or is the answer one that we actually just don’t want to hear?

So what is it? In my opinion. And my experience. And my life. And my own journey. It is so damn simple. You are a result of the things you do. So to get what you want, you decide where you want to be and you hustle your butt off to get there.

Look at your own life right now. Whatever you have produced – whether you like it or not – it all came from YOU. You are 100% the result of whatever you have or don’t have. It is a result of your choices, of your actions, of your thoughts. It is so damn simple yet we refuse to accept it. Why? Because it is too hard to acknowledge that the average mediocre lives we created, were created by ourselves.

We look at outside factors, we blame the world, we blame our families, our bosses, our past, we blame BEE, government, the economy. I really believe it is a natural inclination for us to come up with an excuse instead of stepping up and taking responsibility. We live in a world filled with excuses and sadly, we have subconsciously accepted it.

But let’s take a step back and honestly look at our own lives.

How much time do you spend everyday working on YOU? How much time do you spend everyday working on your dream? In the last 90 days, how many books have you read? What did you eat? How hard did you train? What kind of investment have you made in YOU? Isn’t that a reflection of who you are today? I bet you it is!

In every media interview this year, I’ve said that if you wake up at 05h00 everyday, if you sweat at least once a day and if you put in 10 hours into whatever you want to achieve and you do this CONSISTENTLY for 3 years, it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE not to have what you want.

Success does not require you to look out the window, it only requires that you look in the mirror. The one person you can blame for everything you have or don’t have, is looking right back at you. If you are willing to look at that person in the mirror and say “I’ll make a commitment to you from this moment on, that whatever it takes, Ill do WHATEVER IT TAKES.” It is IMPOSSIBLE that your life will be the same 90 days from now.

I’m here today to tell you that most people say that they want to be successful, but they don’t want it bad enough. They just kind of want it. They don’t want it more than what they want to party. They don’t want it as much as they want to be on their phone. Most of them don’t want success as much as they want to sleep.

You can say you want to be a successful entrepreneur or whatever else. But you wont be successful until the day that you say “I want THAT more than what I want anything else.” and then to act on that.

Today, I dare you to write down your perfect life in a few sentences. Keep that piece of paper with you in 2017 and everyday compare your actions to that of your perfect life. Our seconds become our hours, our hours our days and our days our life. It is impossible to create the perfect life without taking those perfect actions each and every single day.

Well done on reading this far – please share it, if you found it valuable. I get so fed up when people don’t hustle but expect all the great things the hustlers get. The finish line is not crowded but it’s a beautiful place to be. I’m not there yet, but I’m giving my all to get there. Let’s take on 2017 and be the best we can be. I have one last challenge:

Take a screenshot of your bank balance/s and a shirtless selfie today and know whatever you see is the result of the last 365 days. The exciting thing? Today is a new opportunity to seize the next 365 and be the best you can possibly be comes 1 January 2018…

Happy new year! Let’s hustle!


  • Nicolette van Vuuren
    December 30, 2016 at 8:47 am — Reply

    Excellent!! Definately my outlook on my business and life for 2017! Thank you!

  • Fred Millingham
    December 30, 2016 at 8:51 am — Reply

    We a Family business and emplooy about 150 People , we have great plans for 2017 , I will be using your
    Valuable message at our sales meeting next Saturday Thanks Fred

  • Darren
    December 30, 2016 at 8:54 am — Reply

    Wow! I will send my screenshots and pictures in a years time.

  • Gaby Hattingh
    December 30, 2016 at 9:07 am — Reply

    Wow Marnus! Absolutely inspirational and motivational.
    Thank you for your advice and “harsh” words that will shift most of our “arses” into gear for 2017. Being young and ambitious with my whole life ahead of me, any advice / tips on how to “be successful ” is more than welcome and I thank you for taking the time to be selfless and help others. Have a great NYE and a wonderfully successful 2017!

  • Vusi Ravele
    December 30, 2016 at 9:08 am — Reply

    Interesting piece, Marnus. I’ve taken you up on both daily and annual challenges. Especially excited to review my personal progress mid-next year and this time next year. Something I think everyone needs to do! Best of 2017 to you!

  • Craige Williams
    December 30, 2016 at 9:09 am — Reply

    Half the excuses double the execution

  • Chrisna
    December 30, 2016 at 9:25 am — Reply

    WoW! Well said… makes one reflect on the year even more. Motivates one to be more…. 2017 Lets do this! Thank you!

  • Donald Makhasane
    December 30, 2016 at 9:27 am — Reply

    Woow.The mere fact that you said the things you were gonna say will make one stop reading made me so curious and I read until the end. Though i didnt take a screenshot of my bank and a shirtless selfie. However Marnus, thank you so much for this. I have recently changed so many things in my life in making sure that I want my dream more than I want anything else. Guess what, it has only been 60 days and I am seeing results. Thanks for such harsh words. Somebody had to say it like it is

  • Riana Erasmus
    December 30, 2016 at 10:11 am — Reply

    Great- very true.

  • Nicole
    December 30, 2016 at 10:18 am — Reply

    Great article! Super inspiring!

  • Casper
    December 30, 2016 at 10:39 am — Reply

    This was so great, I’ve had so much dreams and ideas for ehat I want in my future and the I never think I have the time to reach that. Ek kan 2017 aanpak en weet dat dit van my afhang en nie van die wêreld nie! Dankie Marnus , inspiration for days!

  • Given Langa
    December 30, 2016 at 10:53 am — Reply

    This is too deep and hits home and very hard too. The truth is Yes our choices and actions are the reasons we are where we are today. Bravo to you and accept the challenge.

  • Willem du Toit
    December 30, 2016 at 11:15 am — Reply

    Thank you, very true words!!

  • Dora
    December 30, 2016 at 12:09 pm — Reply

    Great words thanks !!!

  • Ralph
    December 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    Good luck

  • Brenton
    December 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    Awesome read. Inspirational, but most of true words!

  • Estiaan
    December 30, 2016 at 2:04 pm — Reply
  • Bernice McGill
    December 30, 2016 at 3:30 pm — Reply
    For stats/insight behind a story?

  • Gavin Horn
    December 30, 2016 at 4:08 pm — Reply

    Wow powerful! This has been a big wake up call for me. Having succeeded in business before and failed many times, realising more than ever that it’s all up to me.

  • Monica
    December 30, 2016 at 5:12 pm — Reply

    Preach that truth! Big wake up for many, me included! Thank you.

  • Eugene Blanche
    December 30, 2016 at 7:31 pm — Reply

    I am my own morst enemy!

  • Marnus
    December 30, 2016 at 9:32 pm — Reply

    Well put. The hard truth …. let’s do this.

  • Crispin birch
    December 30, 2016 at 9:47 pm — Reply

    Whatever it takes
    I live by that

  • Louis Fivaz
    December 31, 2016 at 5:52 am — Reply

    Hi Marnus,

    Thanks vir die geleentheid om deel te wees van jou wereld. Jy is reg. Jy is waar jy is asgevolg van jou aksies in die laaste paar maande. Ek glo alles wat jy nou doen en besluit, manifesteer in jou lewe binne ses maande.

    Ons het ‘n goeie afrikaanse boytjie soos jy nodig om leiding te gee. Sterkte met 2017!

  • Chris
    December 31, 2016 at 5:56 am — Reply

    Simple truth and yet powerful – good article!!
    Also one must remember that sometimes one must step backward to leap forward.

    Kom ons neem daai selfies en kyk way moontlik is vir 2017

  • Tian
    December 31, 2016 at 6:52 am — Reply

    Baie awesome en inspirational boodskap Marnus.
    Met my Tech Start-up was die baie “insightful” en sal ‘n groot stap voerentoe wees met my Start-up + My Life-style.

    Gelukkige Nuwe Jaar! New challenges ahead with Great result ready to bud and bloom!!!

  • Lesley
    December 31, 2016 at 7:25 am — Reply

    Years of self-pity stops here. Hel Marnus dit is nou ‘n goeie skoot koue water om my gat in rat te kry. Dankie dat ek saam met jou die 2017 journey kan aanpak

  • Marli Oosthuizen
    December 31, 2016 at 7:49 am — Reply

    100% truth and it is about damn time that a lot of people start realising this!!

    My fiance and I started our own company this year and it is hard work and hours and professional service from the start you need yo put in to get out.

    We learned a lot about business we thought we knew, wasn’t easy, but we are starting to grow now and 2017 looks like a good year if we keep going at it.

    Get off your but and go take what you want in life, hard work and dedication pays off if that is what you put into it..

    Thanks for the article!

  • Vic
    December 31, 2016 at 8:55 am — Reply

    ………….. en ons almal weet dit en doen Niks nie . But a sure wakeup call for me . This is all I need to do ….. yes and respect for hard earnings that I need but I can see now where is my problem … Maak dit groot vir die wat dit sien en nie hoor nie . Beste vir 2017

  • corrie kruger
    December 31, 2016 at 10:14 am — Reply

    i have done all that in my previous business. it starded after a major accidentI my yubby was involved .and i became the breadwinner. i had to make a lot of debt on machinery. managed to pay all and eventually TAMATIE KONFYT RESEP – MIKROGOLF.
    1 kg tomatoes cut in pieces or chopped. Add teaspoon of lemon juice. Add 750 g sugar. Mix and put in mictowave till tomatoes and sugar mix. Stir few times. Then cook for 15 min on high checking every 2 min Enjoylive a ok life.20 years hard word .no life..and a successful comp.lost all family 20 years later my child has cancer .i lost most of his life ..never time for little things…money is important.familytime is priceless…now… i have a long story.. but i start all over again…only thing is…im older .less passion and energy….but this time i need the money for sure..more than ever..but i have to keep a balance and hope i can still have time to spend with my kids .22 and 24 and now living their lives…God is good….make time for your matter how..just do it

  • Elmarie Loggenberg
    December 31, 2016 at 2:51 pm — Reply

    You are what you repeatedly do; good article Marnus!

  • Merle Vogelpath
    December 31, 2016 at 5:22 pm — Reply

    You are such an inspiration Marnus and I thank you for that

  • Yahya Mohammed
    December 31, 2016 at 6:28 pm — Reply

    You absolutely right and I’m sure you know that. Surely is a great read,as I sit here reflecting on the things I have and where I am. Thank you

  • Carien
    January 1, 2017 at 10:09 am — Reply


  • Oliver Nouwens
    January 1, 2017 at 12:49 pm — Reply

    Selfie taken, bank balance screenshot – time for this to happen! To-the-point advice, spelling out success for exactly what it is! Thanks, Marnus!

  • Vikesh
    January 1, 2017 at 1:12 pm — Reply

    I fully agree with your recipe, we’ll said

  • Johan Oelofse
    January 8, 2017 at 8:40 am — Reply

    Dankie Marnus. Gaan beslis jou advies gebruik om my jaar af te skop! Voorspoed vir 2017. Ek hou van jou benoeming “hustle”, en so gaan ek maak. Groete

  • Ntsepe
    January 8, 2017 at 9:39 pm — Reply

    Wow thanks Marnus I’m definitely inspired to hustle more

  • Colwyn
    January 15, 2017 at 11:48 am — Reply

    I love your article. It is hardcore and so true!.Just what I needed to hear to kick my butt into gear. You are so right, you are the reasons for where you find yourself because of actions taken or not taken. (Mostly not taken)

    #hardcore #truth

  • Willem Coetzer
    January 17, 2017 at 4:01 pm — Reply

    Hello Marnus.

    This is very true. Love the article! Thanks for sharing.

    Don’t know if this is the right place to send this and Reckon you get a lot of emails like this.

    Anyway…patented an idea end of last year and changed or added a few things since the first patent registered.

    Struggling to get contacts in of the correct people that I am looking to present the idea to.

    What is the possibility of you hearing what I have and your thoughts around the idea?

    I know you are a busy guy and you probably get a 100 emails like this every day. But, really think that I’m on to something here. Thanks for your time.

    Best Regards
    Willem Coetzer

  • Heidi Mueller
    January 18, 2017 at 7:21 am — Reply

    Absolutely perfectly written and agreed, for me inspiring to read till the end. If you want to be extraordinary you need to do something extra, I reckon.

  • Tommy Boucher
    January 18, 2017 at 7:44 am — Reply

    Fantastic and inspiring frank article Mark. Success is a progressive realisation to predetermined goals.

    If your dreams does not scare you,it is probably not big enough or you already took a decision that it is unattainable.We should set our ultimate goals,yet with a SMART approach

  • Andre Kruger
    January 18, 2017 at 9:44 am — Reply

    Wish I knew this 20 years ago

  • Ludwe Mandondo
    January 26, 2017 at 11:59 am — Reply

    Dude this is Truth on steroids.

    Much Thanks.

  • A Enslin
    February 4, 2017 at 6:41 am — Reply

    Baie dankie vir die insiggewende oorsig van stappe na sukses.
    Alles gaan oor jouself.
    Hoe jy jou vir jou targets in jou lewe stel vir jou stel en jou plan van aksie om dit te bereik! Mag 2017 die mees uitdagendste wees en die mees suksesvolste wat alle toekomstige suksesse in plek sal stel
    Antoinette Enslin

  • Refiloe Makgato
    March 24, 2017 at 9:35 am — Reply

    Hi Marnus, thank you for this thought provoking article. It sure did make me feel uncomfortable. But I love what you said, that success is really simple. You don’t have to bug the next person to give you a job. It’s purely based on your actions. I am pledging to work on myself and to reach those goals which I have made them seem unreachable. The first step is to challenge myself from today. I will ensure that in next 90days I will work on myself and be intentional in everything I do. Ciao for now

    March 29, 2017 at 10:24 pm — Reply

    Thank you Mr Broodryk. I certainly look forward to doing whatever it takes to get to the top.

  • Mandy
    April 7, 2017 at 12:56 pm — Reply

    Thank Marnus after hearing you last night at the Durban Entrepreneurs Club Hustle is my new word.I am going to hustle to get this show on the road

  • Hooben
    April 20, 2017 at 5:53 pm — Reply

    Brilliantly said !!!! Here Here !

  • December 30, 2017 at 8:09 am — Reply

    This came up on my Facebook memories today and I was so thankful for the reminder! 2017 has been a year of great hustle for me in my businesses but my word for 2018 is NURTURE
    I’m concentrating on mentoring my team and looking after my body, emotions and health! Am going to forward this to our bosses group tomorrow!

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