Nic Haralambous | Founder of NicSocks.com
Nic Haralambous is the founder of NicSocks.com. He also assists brands, agencies and businesses with eCommerce and mobile strategies and training. Nic was the CEO and co-founder of Motribe before the company was successfully acquired by Africa’s largest social network, Mxit in August, 2012.
He has been chosen as one of the 200 young South Africans to take to lunch by the Mail&Guardian, featured on GQ’s list of top 30 men in media and was also a finalist in the Men’s Health Best Men Awards. Motribe, was named by Forbes as one of the top 20 startups in Africa in 2012.
My Definition Of Success | Success means having complete control of my time. Money buys you the freedom to choose what to do with your time. My definition of success has changed immensely over the years. When you’re a young 20-year-old you want to have all the money in the world because you think that money solves all the problems you could ever have. Then you begin to realize that creating things of value, building things that make a difference in people’s lives and spread across the globe potentially, those things matter more.
The Difference Between Good And Great | I believe that there is a certain meshing of nature and nurture that takes a person from good to great. I think a lot of the genetic make up required to become great is innate. It can’t be taught. Then there’s the part that has to be taught, learned and battled through. You need to fail, succeed, listen, learn, love and hurt in vast amounts to truly become great at something. It doesn’t happen overnight and I think that great people understand the combination required to breed greatness.
A Key Talent | Resilience. For me, a defining feature in my life has been a lot of failure and picking myself up off the floor. The harder I push, the more dramatic the failures become. So when I do hit the floor, it’s resilience that allows me to get back up, forget about the pain and do it all again.
The best advice that I can impart is to relearn about failure. Failure is not about the detrimental effects of not succeeding. Failure needs to be seen as the path to success, not the end of something. South Africans fear failure and often mock those who try and fail. I’d like to see that attitude change. We need to fail more often and reframe failure as a lesson.
The Characteristics Of Success | The habit of learning and being able to learn quickly has held me in good stead over the years. I may not be the smartest person in the room but I can definitely adapt what I’ve learned and react to just about any scenario.
People forget how easy it is now to learn. You literally just need a cellphone with an Internet connection to learn almost anything in the world. That is an amazing thing that should empower anyone to become anything.
Principles I Live By | These have changed for me over the years. I think that everyone needs to do the best that they can do.
Personally, I’ve always tried to be as honest and transparent with people as possible. Almost everyone I’ve met is painfully aware of whether we’re friends or not, or if I respect you or not. I don’t talk behind people’s backs. I say things to their faces and that’s made me friends and enemies over the years. I’m fine with that.
How I Use My Mind | I have a deeply embedded sense that there is a way forward, no matter what. A lot of great ideas have been destroyed because someone, somewhere gave up after the first “no”. “No” isn’t really a word I respond to well. I ignore it and push on through or go around. But I don’t stop.
It’s often a flaw and a hindrance. If someone says no, sometimes there’s a good reason for it and often I relearn that person’s lesson.
Lessons I Have Learnt | Nothing is as important as it seems. You may think that firing that staff member, signing that client, shutting down the business or leaving your corporate job is the absolute be all and end all decision for you. It’s not. There will be another one tomorrow and that one wont really be that important either. If you can look at things with less weight, often the decisions are easier to make.
Dealing With Doubt | I embrace it as thoroughly as I can. After I sold my first successful business to Mxit, I wasn’t part of the company post-exit. This was hard to manage, I left my team, my product and everything I was comfortable with. To combat the self-doubt that comes with being alone, I started my next business (which I knew nothing about) and began to learn new things.
Performing At My Peak | I don’t think you can ensure you’re always performing at your peak. To be an entrepreneur you have to be a little bit broken. I’m a little bit broken and sometimes that means that my performance will vary.
The Meaning Of Life | The meaning of life is a very personable concept I believe. It’s different for everyone, everywhere. The problem is that most people try to derive their meaning from what Hollywood sells them as the ideal existence and that’s flawed. So I think that as long as you’re constantly striving to be something, good or bad, better or worse, that you’re seeking out meaning in life.
Advice On Building Wealth | If you’re goal is to exclusively become rich then I think your goals are a bit misaligned. You need to do a lot of stuff before you become wealthy. Building wealth takes a lot of time, decades most often and if you’re only in it for the money you’re probably going to get bored along the way and not achieve that goal.
I’d suggest you find something interesting, become exceptionally good at it, work at it for a long time and then look up and realize that you’ve probably earned the money you wanted to along the way.
The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | I want people to respect my accomplishments. I don’t really care if they liked me or not, but I want to leave a legacy of respect.
Useful links |