Bill Lynch – Entrepreneur Of The Year

He took the South African Entrepreneur Of The Year award and now Irish-born and bred Bill Lynch has been named the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year.

On speaking about where he gets his drive (about two weeks ago)…

I think it comes from a competitive element, it comes from talking about it, it comes about from making promises, maybe as a young person, as a teenager might say to his or her parents, “I want to do my own thing”. Somebody says, “I want to become a teacher or a doctor”. And another person says, “I want to have my own little business” or maybe later on in life, they are walking somewhere and they’re not happy and they might say, “I think I’ll do my own thing, I can’t put up with this type of bureaucracy or the way I’m being treated, and I will reach out to do my own business”. So it’s like talking about it.

I don’t think it’s a secretive type of thing that is in you that you are an entrepreneur. I think you become one by articulating ambition and above all, getting down to it and doing something, even though it might be modest. Very educated people often might say, “I have to do something that’s a complete breakthrough” like an Einstein or somebody like Edison, somebody that does something that they are great at – like Bill Gates.

But we are actually talking now about a business entrepreneur, somebody who starts up a small business, that grows the business by entrepreneurship. And I think that arises from discourse with your family and your friends and your colleagues in a business environment, and ideas. Every couple of people that sit down, a new idea almost emerging from it, talking about it. As a person thinketh, so they shall be. I say, as they thinketh and articulate and express themselves, so they shall be.

Lynch built up Imperial Holdings into South Africa’s largest transport group and now employs over 36,000 people across the globe. Its taken him 30 years to get the business to this stage, tip of the hat to him from the Irish I think…. Read the May interview here or check out coverage in the New Zealand Herald.

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