BACKSTORY: Jawitz Properties CEO Herschel Jawitz
We question Herschel Jawitz, CEO of Jawitz Properties.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Muhammad Ali transcended his generation in every way. There is no substitute for passion and sticking to your beliefs, especially when they are tested. These are great lessons personally and professionally. It is so important to have a mission in life.
What book are you reading at the moment? What’s the one book everyone should read before they die?
Shoe Dog, the Story of Nike by Phil Knight. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela — the lessons are for everyone.
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
What was your first job?
My first job was working in the US for American General Finance selling personal loans.
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.
Baviaanskloof in the Eastern Cape is a magical place.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I shave my legs — it’s a triathlete thing!
On what occasion do you lie?
When my wife asks me what I’ve spent on triathlon gear and bicycles.
What is the one investment you wish you had made earlier?
In myself — I started my Comrades and Ironman passion in my 40s. I wish I had started earlier.
Is there such a thing as enough money and, if so, how much is it?
Moving from success to significance is a great concept. I think it is what you do with your money that defines your success, not only how much you have made.
When and where were you happiest?
When my son was born. It was a surreal moment that turned my life upside down in the best way imaginable.
What is your biggest indulgence?
A beautifully tailored suit and Paul Smith socks.
How do you deal with stress? What are your top tips in handling stress?
Exercise is my go-to for stress. Stress often comes from procrastination, especially when it comes to tough decisions that you know have to be made. Making the decision takes away a lot of the stress.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Jason Bourne from the Bourne Identity series. I have seen the movies so many times I can quote lines.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
The best deal is when everyone leaves the party with a balloon. There needs to be a bit of give and take on all sides.
What is your most treasured possession?
A kiddush cup (a Jewish wine goblet) given to me by my gran when I was born. It represents my family and Jewish heritage. My Cannondale mountain bike is a close second.