A Successful Entrepreneur & His Success Story
Successful Entrepreneur Pieter Geldenhuys is a Citizen of the World. He completed his MBA
in the United States. Pieter worked in Israel and the UK, and has vacationed in places like New Zealand. When he
returned home to Cape Town at 32, he had no idea he was about to start on his most epic journey yet.
How Successful Entrepreneurs Grow a Business,
Pieter is the son of two successful entrepreneurs. His parents owned a travel agency that
flew South Africans all across the world. Through elementary school, Pieter came home to a dining table strewn with
itineraries. His mother often worked well into midnight, on the phone with hotels in Asia and Europe, while his
father crunched the numbers. The business flourished for over 30 years.
Close a Business,
When his father decided to sell the company three decades later, it came as no surprise.
The travel agency had reached its prime. Selling was a business decision that would maximize gains and minimize
losses. Pieter’s father taught him then what most successful entrepreneur only learn later on – businesses are
assets. Selling a business requires planning and investment. And selling a business can be the smartest decision an
entrepreneur can ever make.
Build a Business,
When Pieter realized that he was ready to build something of his own, he knew it could
only be one of three things. He would write a book, go into management consulting training, or dive back into
tourism. He knew very little about the first two but lived through the third. The very same year, he started taking
backpackers on wine tours. He did this for 18 months, had the best time of his life, but didn’t make any money. His
father taught him that successful businesses should not be afraid of change. He launched the first iteration of his
travel company soon after.
Successful entrepreneurs will tell you that starting a business is ugly. You never have
exactly what you need. You never know exactly what you need to know. Successful entrepreneurs know that sometimes
you need the guts to build a parachute after you’ve jumped out of the plane. Pieter started his travel company
taking tourists across vineyards, but he quickly found that this model was not sustainable. His first iteration
involved flying South Africans to exotic places like London. Business was excellent.
And Pivot a Business
When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, it put international travel on hold almost
instantaneously, but Pieter pivoted just as quickly. Shoshin Walks was born to capitalize on the market of people
who traveled for self-discovery. As the rest of the world closed its borders, Pieter opened Cape Town to its very
own people. The response was unparalleled.
At the onset, Pieter fueled his company on passion. He put in long hours just like his
mother and did as much work as humanly possible. He hired Margaret because he needed an extra hand. Margaret
insisted that what he actually needed was structure.
She reorganized the company in a span of a few weeks. The Company quickly grew from 4
teammates to 12. Margaret oversaw the day-to-day operations, which allowed Pieter to focus on growing the company.
The additional staff allowed them to take on more clients. Hiring the right people was integral to Shoshin Walks’
growth. Creating the right environment was the secret to maximizing its full potential.
How Successful Entrepreneurs say Yes
Shoshin is the Japanese word for a beginner’s mindset. Pieter Geldenhuys has done a lot of
things in a lot of places, but he knows that he still has a lot to learn. The most important thing entrepreneurship
has taught him is that “all progress starts with a yes”. Today, he actively seeks input from others. He invests in
coaches, who ask the right questions, and experts, who know the best course of action. He makes it a rule to ask,
because sometimes the world gives you exactly what you ask for, just because you do. Most importantly, he runs
towards opportunities without hesitation. He does not let his own insecurities stand in his way.