Hi, my name is Jacques van Heerden and I was raised in a small, but well-known surfing town in South Africa, Jeffreys Bay.
Through trial and error, I started my first business at the age of 12 designing forum signatures for clients from all over the world — on a measly 356kb internet line I might add. That quickly evolved into a full-service design agency which saw me selling a large stake in the business at the age of 16.
I founded the An1ken Group in 2007 on the premise that anyone can be successful and the next 10 years were a roller coaster of ups and downs, successes, failures, excitement, thrills, and downright adventure - 5 Month honeymoon in South East Asia. As a group, we founded new businesses, funded others, acquired struggling startups to turn them around, and went down the real estate rabbit hole. Whilst we built a great group of companies, investments, and a sizable real estate portfolio, I wasn't as excited about our direction as I once was.
Money wasn't my driving force anymore and I lacked the drive to keep going at 1000 mph. I decided to sell my stake in the design agency, scale down time-intensive operations, close certain businesses that were passion projects, cut back on writing cheques for startups, and let the management company we acquired for our properties do its thing at the helm of the family who started it.
I decided to take a couple of years off to play golf and figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. After two years of doing that, I realized I didn't want to play golf for a living - I love golf and play off a single-figure handicap, but playing every single day, felt like a job.
I decided to jump in to help my wife run We Edit Podcasts, as we were talking about having kids and her taking a step back from day-to-day operations. Fast forward 5 years, she's getting back into the driver's seat of her company, we have two beautiful children, split our time between countries chasing summer and I'm ready to take on my next adventure.
Whilst I know the above reads as well as a redacted document, there is a purpose to that. We live in a crazy world and I do still value privacy. I'm going to aim to publish weekly and write a weekly newsletter as well on entrepreneurship, productivity, mindset, and lifestyle. Let's see where the journey takes us.