Marnus Broodryk has compiled his extensive, front-line knowledge on entrepreneurship into a new book, 90 Rules for Entrepreneurs – the Codex of Hustle. This book, written over the period of a year, collates a decade of his experiences into a tome of tips: the rules to apply, and the rules to break, if aspiring entrepreneurs want to make it through their first year of business, let alone see their name in lights.
As a small-town boy from Harrismith, Marnus moved to Johannesburg shortly after finishing his articles. Two years later he had made his first million. The Beancounter, his first business, was started with a desire to take “the boring out of accounting”, help small businesses flourish, and make money while doing so. The Beancounter was recently sold to JSE-listed financial behemoth, Transaction Capital.
As a part of his path, he has also started, and sold, many other businesses. If there’s one person who has the experience to share, it’s Marnus, so when he speaks, others listen. He has worked with entrepreneurs as the youngest Shark on M-Net’s Shark Tank South Africa, appeared on the prestigious cover of Entrepreneur Magazine and hosts a weekly spot on kykNET’s Winslyn, where he gives advice on entrepreneurship.
The book is a culmination of sorts. “I wanted to write a book filled with all the little lessons that I wish someone had told me when I first started out,” says Marnus,“ so that others won’t have to re-learn for themselves.” As he tells it, entrepreneurship is so fundamentally different to a corporate vocation, that many of the lessons that business schools teach don’t even apply. “How can we expect small business to succeed if nobody is there to stop them making the same mistakes over and over again?”
It’s these lessons – 90 of them – that the book collects. The book also has guest authors, who have contributed their own experience to the bigger purpose. Ryk Neethling talks about the lessons he learned as an Olympian, and how he applied them in his businesses. Gil Oved, co-founder of South Africa’s largest advertising and marketing agency, The Creative Counsel, writes about paradigms and perspective. Romeo Kumalo shares his own 10 mini-rules. The point is to replicate these giants’ successes, rather than repeating their errors.
Entrepreneurial businesses are the bricks that will rebuild our economy. 90 Rules for Entrepreneurs is the kiln that will harden them into the sustainable, profitable, life-changing entities they were always meant to be.
Marnus Broodryk is the founder and CEO of The Beancounter. The Beancounter is an accounting firm that is not just about accounting: SMEs often do not have the capacity or knowledge to perform their own financial functions, an essential aspect of the business, so the team at The Beancounter provides the necessary skills and assistance at an affordable cost.
Marnus Broodryk was born and raised in the small town of Harrismith in the Free State, South Africa. Raised by a single mom, who could barely afford his school fees, his ‘rags to riches’ success story reads like a movie script. He started washing cars and cutting grass to pay for school himself, followed by 18-hour days to get through articles and part-time tertiary education.
A short decade later and Marnus has built one of the most valued and successful accounting firms in South Africa, was the youngest investor ever to be on the international television show Shark Tank and in Marnus’ own words, “This is actually just the beginning of my career.”
Today, this 32 year old entrepreneur is the founder and CEO of The Beancounter. The Beancounter is an accounting firm that is not just about accounting: SMEs often do not have the capacity or knowledge to perform their own financial functions, an essential aspect of business, so the team at The Beancounter provides the necessary skills and assistance at an affordable cost. They use the best cloud technology to enable owners to better understand their businesses and, by giving contextual value to their numbers, The Beancounter helps them to make smarter, more sustainable decisions.
In 8 years, The Beancounter became one of the most sought after accounting firms in the country and a majority share was acquired by the JSE-listed company, Transaction Capital.
Marnus’ new mission is to combine the skills and technology of both companies to create platforms and technology to fund small businesses around the world.
With his granular understanding of the success factors for small business, Marnus is also an investor. He has launched and sold 3 tech companies, a glass company, a construction company, and even a vegan restaurant.
He was also involved in helping other entrepreneurs reach their dreams (many of whom went on to create multi-million Rand businesses) by providing seed capital and mentoring. One such example is Karabelo Civil Services, which started with a R20,000 loan and now employs 200 people and has the biggest road maintenance contract on the N3.
Marnus is arguably one of the most well-known entrepreneurs in South Africa and has become a thought leader and advocate for small business owners. Through his own platforms he regularly shares information and hosts various events to connect established entrepreneurs. The culmination of his experience resulted in a book, 90 Rules for Entrepreneurs: The Codex of Hustle, which Marnus hopes will help others “replicate his success by avoiding his mistakes.” He also speaks frequently at both entrepreneurial and C-Suite events, helping audiences understand the intricacies of success.
Marnus Broodryk has come a long way from the lawn-mowing, car-washing teenager to the confident and extremely successful man that he is today. At 32, still, somewhat, a tender age, the road ahead looks immensely promising.