Mentor 1 - Leon Doyer

Photographer: Ludwig Sevenster

MBOMBELA - The Lowveld Big Change mentorship programme has started. Last year Ms Phephsile Maseko was chosen as the candidate to undergo a weekly mentorship session with leading business people in the Lowveld in a variety of fields. This is aimed at helping her grow her start-up business, and while she has the privilege of spending time with each mentor over the next 26 weeks, their wisdom is also made accessible to the wider public in the sharing of the 10 most important lessons they have learnt, and live by.

This week, Mr Leon Doyer of Wiekus du Toit Attorneys shares the lessons he has learnt to achieve success in business and in his personal life. "A human is a complex being, created to live in balance with himself, his Creator as well as the community and environment. "I have, through personal experience, developed a method to 'check in' with myself and honestly assess how I am doing from time to time."

Doyer says finding balance on the following basic terrains is necessary:

1. Work/learning
Am I happy with the work I am doing? Am I giving a bit more than what is expected, not to please someone who is watching me, but because I prefer excellence? Am I continuously learning?

2. Physical health
I have often found that when I neglect my physical well-being, I feel most lethargic, un-energised and without motivation. Don't apologise for the time in a day you use to exercise - they are minutes wisely spent.

3. Social support structure
Are my friends feeding me negative or positive energy? Do I feel loved and appreciated after having spent time with them? Am I growing the circle of people I know and am I open to new friendships?

4. Love and family life
From bitter personal experience, I can assure you that neglecting this terrain in your life, will lead to all the other terrains derailing. Take time to spend with your romantic love and your family. Talk to them "consciously", making sure you know what is happening in their lives.

5. Spiritual connection
I am a Christian and I firmly believe that the answer to all those things niggling us, can be solved by spending time in prayer and meditation and by consciously making an effort to hear God's word on issues in our lives.
• Once you've gone through the list, give yourself a score out of 10 and make a resolution to implement one on each terrain. Create a system to measure whether you've done what you undertook.

"You can attempt to become a business tycoon, and you may succeed, without keeping your life in balance," Doyer says. "However, I believe that you will then miss the opportunity to lead a more fulfilled life."

Business principles Doyer has learnt:

1. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you made and will make and the stupid decisions you took - they are a learning curve.
2. Treasure your reputation - once lost it is incredibly difficult to get back.
3. Let your verbal commitment be as strong as a written contract - people will respect you for that.
4. If nothing seems to go your way, breathe deeply and relax - you never know what the tide will bring your way. It is inevitable that opportunities will present themselves.
5. Remember that people and relationships are always more important than money.

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