“If somebody was introducing you as a success story, what key achievements would they highlight?”
Meet Garreth Bloor, founder of venture capital firm, Glenheim. Mr. Bloor has a colourful background, with experience in politics, economics, start-ups and investments. After completing his tertiary education at UCT, he co-founded a unique online auctioning company. The business successfully moved to the United States; however, Garreth remained in Cape Town to pursue working in the government sector on Economic Development. He launched Glenheim in 2016, which provides the setting up, management, connection, and advisory for those who are ready to invest. We sat down for an interview with Garreth to ask him a few questions around goal setting, and this is what he had to say.
Do you set goals?
“I do set goals but I don’t always attach timelines to them,”
he says. He brings goals forward or moves them back depending on changing circumstances. Goals should be realistic, broad-based, and flexible, as opportunities come and go the market is what should be driving your business goals. “You’re chasing a constantly moving target,” he says. There can be dramatic changes in a very short period of time. Garreth has achieved many of his goals, both personal and business-orientated, because he lets conviction drive him. “Be open to changes,” he says, “you have no idea how to predict the outcomes.”
How do you stay focused?
“Constantly rewriting what it is that you want as an outcome is a great motivation to keep going through the difficult times.”
Garreth believes that focusing on the bigger picture can drive you. Keeping your end goal in mind can help you to stay on the path to success, even when obstacles lie in your way. He pointed out that it is easy to get side-tracked by small activities that don’t tie in with the rest of your goals. “Not all work is productive work, and a good work ethic is not always enough if you’re working on things that are taking you away from your focus.” The difficult thing is to differentiate between what will bring you small, short-term rewards, versus what will tie in with your long-term goals. Garreth believes in finding a good balance, which for him, means spending time with the people he cares about. This leaves him feeling refreshed, energised and with an open mind. Sometimes the best time to revisit your goals is when you’re most relaxed, and able to prime. He also adds, “If you’re not excited to get back to the office, you may need to rethink what you really want in a professional career.”
What can one learn from failure?
Many people are too comfortable to take risks when it comes to business. Garreth learned about risk-taking in North America with his first start-up. He pointed out that people are less likely to speak of your failures than is often assumed.
“Even if you fail, there are always more successes in the failure than you care to realise.”
Your successes might not be substantive successes, but they are a recognition of things you did, which by virtue of you doing it whilst other people were not willing to, it stands out, and people see that as a success somewhere.”
Garreth left us with a piece of advice about accountability; sometimes telling the right people what your goals are can help you to better achieve them. Staying true to yourself and those close to you can help you along your journey to success, even when obstacles lie in your way.