If you’re in African tech circles, you’ve probably heard the name Daniel Guasco before.
Daniel is one of South Africa’s top tech entrepreneurs, and was previously a Co-CEO of Groupon Africa, which was rumoured to have done over R500 million in revenue at its peak (Dan will neither confirm nor deny this). Daniel is also the Co-CEO of Team Africa Ventures, an early-stage investment fund that has got 17 portfolio companies in Africa. His current focus is Click2Sure, a SaaS platform that enables businesses offering insurance, omnichannel distribution, reduction in administration costs, and better decisions with real-time reporting and insights.
With such an impressive record, we can confidently say that Daniel knows a thing or two about business. Mike Scott, Nona CEO, got to pick his brain on the importance of perseverance in business on the How to Be Moderately Successful podcast.
The role of persistence in business
Persistence as a trait
One of the many hats that Daniel wears is that of a sophisticated investor. As someone who backs founders, he’s developed a great instinct for choosing the right people to invest in. “What are the traits that you look for that are absolute must-haves in founders of businesses that you want to invest in?” Mike asks.
Daniel takes a good look at their general attitude towards life. “It requires huge courage, huge persistence and huge belief in whatever it is that you’re trying to do that ultimately is what gets you to the other side,” says Daniel. “I think there’s also got to be an element of internal retrospection, you know, an ability to critique oneself and to change paths, to adapt and be open to that sort of feedback.”
In Daniel’s vast experience, there are founders who get stuck in their way of thinking and aren’t open to input, which turns out to be a hindrance to progress.
Persistence in your daily life
Optimising your daily routine for success is an important practice for most founders, and many have had to adjust theirs to fit within the parameters of the pandemic. Daniel’s working day currently consists mainly of Zoom meetings, so he likes to keep active to stay focussed.
“Obviously keeping healthy and staying fit and all that is quite important. I’ve got quite a regimented six day a week cycle with that. So I suppose that’s generally how I like to start my day and that’s a five o’clock start where I try to get the day going where I can.”
Regular exercise is a known mood-booster, and during a time where mental health is more at risk, keeping active is super important. At the end of the day, Daniel says he reflects on the goals he has achieved for the day, and the goals he has yet to achieve. Having a goal-oriented strategy is very important, as it helps you to keep track of the tasks you need to achieve to keep moving forward.
Persistence for a founder is critical. It keeps you going after the third video meeting in a row, after you’ve been told ‘no’ a hundred times, and is what allows you to keep overcoming any obstacles in your way.