BACKSTORY: Renergen CFO Nick Mitchell
We question Renergen chief financial officer Nick Mitchell
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Nelson Mandela — to have given up so much and expect nothing in return, just equal rights for all. Wish I could be more like that.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Be open and honest and the deal will do itself.
What are you reading at the moment? What’s the one book everyone should read before they die?
Apartheid, Guns and Money by Hennie van Vuuren. Everyone should read: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.
The sense of achievement when your kids do well at school or sport.
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
What will be, will be.
What was your first job?
I loaded the closing prices for a unit trust company at night and backed up their pricing systems (Norwich Unit Trusts, which became Fedsure). Amazing job while studying during the day. I had the boardroom and bar to myself at night ... not sure management knew about that.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?
Douala, Cameroon. I didn’t speak or understand any French at that time, though the French would say I still don’t.
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.
A very small secluded beach in the West Coast National Park in Langebaan, on the lagoon. It’s just perfect for a day with the family.
How do you deal with stress? What are your top tips for handling stress?
I don’t get stressed out too often; life is way too short and it all works out in the wash. But when I do, I exercise.
What is your biggest indulgence?
Eating my kids’ chocolates.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
A property on the Vaal Dam in early 2000, it had water frontage and was going for R7,000. I thought it was too good to be true so clearly something was wrong with it. That same property sold last year for well over R700,000.
On what occasion do you lie?
When my kids ask who ate their chocolate.
Which living person do you most admire?
My dad; he has taught me how to conduct myself and take responsibility for my actions.