Michael Ten Hope, the CEO of Cavico. Picture: SUPPLIED
Michael Ten Hope, the CEO of Cavico. Picture: SUPPLIED

What’s your top tip for doing a deal?

Be straight. Don’t try to be too smart, and always see the other side. Life is full of deals, and reputation helps continuity.

What are you reading at the moment?

James Kerr’s Legacy, which is about what the All Blacks can teach us about the business of life.

Which phrase or word do you most overuse?

I use the term "used-car dealer" a lot. It signifies, for me, an ability to share a tale and to describe something constructively and against the odds. It is sometimes misunderstood and I need to be careful at times.

What was your first job?

I delivered newspapers from a young age and worked out that work equals bucks and, more importantly, fulfilment.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Many years ago there was a cartoon character called Skid Solo. He was a hero and a racing car driver, able to win the day and the race. His car was No 7 and that’s still my lucky number.

What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?

It’s got to be the old Khartoum International Airport in Khartoum, Sudan. After we completed our articles, a mate and I had taken a year off and were driving up through Africa in the 1990s, and we had to lay over there for a night. We ended up literally sleeping between the outside forecourt and the runway for an evening, fighting the chickens and trying to find clean water. We saw nice starscapes in Sudan, though.

What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?

I wish I had kept on investing in my fitness. As the journey of life moves onwards, remember to keep investing in fitness and health. The good news is it’s never too late. I’m just trying to convince my muscles now.

On what occasion do you lie?

I honestly try not to lie. Lying has caught me out too often and even white lies tend to grab at one. I do try to create win/win outcomes though, which isn’t lying but is sometimes like stretching rubber bands.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Hurting people because you can. Or hurting people for personal gain.

Is there such a thing as "enough money", and if so, how much is it?

I definitely think there is a concept of enough money. It’s different for each of us, isn’t it? But it’s crucial to find the number, bank the bucks and, in the interim, live with a semblance of balance. And remember too that the real things that bring fulfilment and happiness have nothing to do with them bucks!

Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.

We have just moved to Cape Town, and we have been walking the mountain a little, as one does. The contour path just blows my mind. It feels like the Drakensberg has come to town. It’s just amazing that our forefathers and today’s town planners had the foresight to protect these special places.