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This week on the Life Series podcast, SPICE4LIFE interviewed Bruce Wade, CEO of Entrepreneur and Management Solutions, about his views on youth development and his various career changes over the course of his life.
An eloquent, opinionated man, Wade has worked as a navy officer, computer operator, project manager, programmer, process reengineer, trainer, author, and coach. In his free time, he strives to improve himself and expand his knowledge by reading whatever he feels will help him in his work and taking up to several courses at a time. He doesn’t write exams– he doesn’t need the certifications, he says, just the knowledge. He has his life’s motto – “Get it Done” – tattooed on his body.
Wade was born in Chingola in the southwest of Zambia and attended Bryanston High School outside of Johannesburg before embarking on his first adventure – joining the South African Merchant Navy.
“When you’re young you have no cooking clue what you want to do,” he said. “You have no idea what life is about. I joined the merchant navy to sail to exotic places and meet exotic people.”
There, he gained skills including training as a fire fighter, a ship’s doctor, and navigating by the stars.
Eventually, Wade realised that he wanted to more with his life and took an Information Technology aptitude test while on leave. In the mid-80s, the IT field was just beginning to emerge, and Wade scored 100 on the aptitude test.
“The guy just said to me, ‘Whatever you’re doing now, stop, you’ve got to get into IT,’” Wade said. “Because my scores were off the charts. My brain was wired for IT.”
After years in IT, Wade began to apply his analytical and organisational skills to managing companies. He is currently Chief Entrepreneur Officer (and, as he puts it, Chief Buttkicker) of Entrepreneur and Management Solutions. The company offers accounting services, coaching programmes, and marketing solutions to help entrepreneurs and businesses achieve sustainable growth.
Basically, he said, his business is about “bringing new ideas into organisations and changing the organisation to be more sustainable, cutting out the waste, [and] cutting out the habits that weren’t meant to be there.”
Wade is currently working on a new method of marketing that focuses on a narrative, story-telling approach. He hopes that by using classic story-telling techniques – the hero, the villain, “once upon a time” – he can encourage the audience to connect with an ad.
Entrepreneur and Management Solutions is also currently working on an initiative in Sudan, helping refugees learn entrepreneurial skills to help them establish a life in their new country.
Wade defines success by “sleeping well at night”, puts his faith in God and his own practiced perseverance to get him through tough times, and believes in working hard to get where you want to be.
“Every day’s a constant fight,” he said. “The wonderful analogy is that if you go back to the 80s and 90s, it was like rowing a boat on flat water, where today working is like rowing a little kayak uphill in a waterfall with white water.”
Listen to Bruce Wade’s Life Series interview below.
To keep up with Bruce Wade and with Entrepreneur and Management Solutions, follow him on Twitter at @bruce_wade, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thebrucewade, or visit his website at www.brucewade.co.za.