Junk Status Downgrade | Opportunity or Threat?

It’s not the first time South Africa has been at junk status credit rating.  Neither is it the first time South Africans have had to suck it up and ‘vasbyt’ through a tough economy.  There are some things that are out of your control as an entrepreneur, and environmental market conditions, is one.  As with anything in life, you can approach this period of time with your eyes open to opportunity or with your eyes closed, trying to avoid the threat.  It all depends on you.

Here are 3 areas that you can focus on to guide you in the months ahead:


  1. Attitude is Everything

As an entrepreneur you are first and foremost, a leader.  You lead your team, you lead your company, and in some cases, as an entrepreneur, you lead industries.  Leadership is all about who you are as a person, and therefore the influence you have, and the following you attract as a leader, comes down to your outlook and attitude towards how you view the world.

When you squeeze a lemon, you don’t get apple juice.  What goes in to your mind, comes out of your mouth during tough times as you are more likely to get squeezed!  Markets get tight, competition gets tough and both your clients and staff will feel the pressure.  Make sure that when you do get squeezed, your reaction is positive.  You can ensure this by filling up your tank daily with books and audio that is designed to motivate and encourage.  Avoid negativity.

Click here to listen to my recent radio interview on this topic on Cliff Central


      2. You have the Power of Choice

Your greatest super power as a human being is that you have the privilege of choice.  I say privilege, because as a human being you can influence your actions and your results, in both your business and personal life.  And you get to make that call. Not your President, or your competitor.  You get to choose how to react to any situation, any which way you please.

So what do you see?  Opportunity, or Threat?

Are you observing what is going on in your market place?  Do you notice who is retreating, and what opportunity may be opening up in their absence?  There will always be a gap to fill when somebody is running for cover.  If you are the one running for cover, be aware of who can fill the gap that you leave wide open.

When a market tightens you can choose to step back into safety, or survival mode, or you can choose to step forward towards opportunity.  When in survival mode, most people cut back on marketing and training – probably the two most pivotal areas of a business in terms of moving forward with a growth mindset.


     3. Be an Aggressive Learner at all times.


As an entrepreneur you need to be an aggressive learner – far more than you would as an employee.  Your survival depends on you staying ahead of the pack, and on continuously growing as both a leader and an entrepreneur.

So often, entrepreneurs are experts at their craft, or leaders in their industries because of the knowledge they have in their specific skill set.  When you get into a position of leading a business however, your skill sets need to expand to include management and leadership of people, setting of strategy and solving problems that the business may face.

Going to work on yourself as a leader now becomes the number 1 priority for you as an entrepreneur.  As I mentioned earlier, your Leadership style will be determined by who you are as a person.  So who are you?  What commitment have you given to constantly be improving yourself?


Don’t get me wrong, these times will test you.  Consumers will disappear and their buying choices get postponed during times of uncertainty.  At the end of the day, you still have a business that you cannot just walk away from.  You can either roll over and succumb to the pressure, or you can step up and lead your team by giving them the one thing that they so desperately need – certainty.

Leaders bring certainty when none exists. Leaders look for opportunity in all markets.

Good luck!



Grant Gavin is a property entrepreneur, public speaker and coach from Durban, South Africa.  He is also the founder of the Durban Entrepreneurs Club.  For more info visit www.grantgavin.com


Grant (right) with Ross Drakes, President of EO JHB, on Cliff Central



  1. Isla Barwise on July 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Hi Grant,

    Thanks for your input.

    Through whom did you train/get coached/helped in your property career?

    Taking a look at the Rich Dad program….gathering a bit of info at present. …..

    • Grant on July 9, 2017 at 6:50 pm

      Hi Isla

      I’ve had quite a few different coaches for different aspects of my business life.

      In property I’ve been coached by Richard Robbins, Wayne Einhorn (both Canadian), my dad (who was a real estate coach), Brian Buffini (USA) and Top 1% Coaching Company (USA).

      The most important aspect of getting a coach is to ensure that your coach has already been successful in the field you are currently needing advice in.

      Are you an agent, or looking to invest?

      Always good to investigate them all. I know people who have been on the Rich Dad program and who now coach and mentor on that program too.


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