Michiel Nel: Mastering the Work and Life Balance

 Michiel Nel: Mastering the Work and Life Balance
Michiel Nel

Michiel Nel

Executive | Strategy into action | Innovative | Growth | Business process optimisation | Financial services

Find me on: Linkedin_icon

Michiel Nel, the commercial director at Fio learning and development, is widely recognized as an analytical individual. He admits that this trait is both a strength and a weakness. “It [being analytical] is fantastic in business, it’s not so great in relationships.” However, those acquainted with him find this statement to be at odds with his generally “soft-spoken” demeanor.

“I would like to be remembered as a loyal, committed person that is always all-in. I think it is important that people know what they can get from you, and that you have that consistency, and that you are available when required.” 

Michiel advocates for a balance between delving into details and moving forward. While he recognizes the pivotal role of established business structures in optimizing performance, he also emphasizes the necessity for entrepreneurial freedom. He supports this balance by stating, “There are certain business structures that are critical for any business to perform optimally. Those structures developed over time – you don’t have to reinvent the wheel with a lot of those. I do think, though, that from an entrepreneurial point of view you don’t want to be tied down by too many of the structures. So I suppose it’s a question of finding the balance.”

To Michiel, entrepreneurship was always the “holy grail” of the business world. “To me that’s the ultimate of what you can achieve as a business person and that’s to start something new, create something that hasn’t been done before. So, I’ve had the opportunity to do that in my personal capacity, but also within a corporate environment.”

After dabbling in small ventures with limited success, Michiel only realized his entrepreneurial nature later in life. “The first time I got involved in a side-line business I was 21 and I was still studying…but at that stage I was doing quite a few different things and I never saw myself really as typical entrepreneur because I wasn’t really making a lot of money – and I don’t think that’s necessarily the criteria. So, when I looked back over the years and saw the different things that I did, whether I had a full time job or not, I realized that I displayed some [entrepreneurial qualities] that I didn’t necessarily know were there at the time.”

Acknowledging the potential hindrance of his analytical mindset, Michiel shares the most valuable business advice he received: “I think the best advice that I ever got was just to start.” He emphasizes the importance of taking action over perfect planning, stating,

“The plan is never going to be perfect. And once you start, you are already creating momentum.”

When discussing the execution of strategies, Michiel stresses the need for hands-on involvement in the early stages of entrepreneurship. “You can have the best strategy, but you have to be able to execute. You have to be able to get into what makes the business go. And the trick for many entrepreneurs is making sure that at some point you do let go, and let somebody else take over.” He believes that understanding the grassroots of a business is essential, though he also advocates for knowing when to delegate to experts. Striking a balance, he says, “There has to be a balance between knowing when to get involved in the dirty stuff, and when to pull yourself and let the experts take over.”

He emphasizes that success is not solely measured by size or financial metrics. Instead, he encourages entrepreneurs to define their business goals and stick to them, which will lead entrepreneurs to carving out a life that works for them. In his words, “I don’t believe you have to be big to be successful. I don’t believe you have to make the most money to be successful. I think it’s a question of saying, ‘this is what I want to do with my business,’ and then really just sticking to your guns; that is what you do.”

Teagan Cloete

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *