Donovan Southwood Strydom is the Senior Vice President of Fisher Capital. Donovan has excelled in the gold and silver industry and is respected as a leader in the space. He has an incredible story to share about how he rose to success.
Donovan entered the sales industry at a very young age and quickly excelled in his career. He graduated high school in 2012 at 18 years old and opted for a non-traditional route. Instead of going to college, Donovan immediately entered the workforce in search engine optimization and paid advertisements. This is where his beginnings in sales and working with sales organizations was born. He quickly transitioned into loans and mortgage refinancing, then planted his feet in the gold and silver space. With a natural knack for sales, Donovan became a top-performer scaling his way to becoming Senior Vice President.
Although Donovan has had a major scale to success, he comes from humble beginnings. He immigrated from South Africa at 12 years old with his single mother and two siblings to achieve a better life. Donovan’s mother worked tirelessly as a nurse to provide the best opportunities for her family. Her sacrifice became a driving motivation for Donovan to succeed. He took up the role as the eldest son and head of household and today, Donovan is a leader in the gold and silver industry and has made it his lifeblood to ensure his clients thrive.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I am the Senior Vice President of Fisher Capital and oversee the general operations of the company. I didn’t necessarily come in as a Vice President. I stepped on the sales floor the same way anyone else would, but I immediately put my nose to the ground and put in 12 hour days learning the craft. Since then, I’ve refined my skills and today I am able to give my clients the best possible service. I have mastered the process to truly curate a positive experience. With time, effort, and dedication towards what I do, I was able to turn my role into something that has really spoken for itself.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
I wake up at 5am each morning. I go to the gym regardless of how I feel. I get to work early. Most days, I’m at work until 8 or 9pm. I’ll go home and spend a bit of time just relaxing, then I’ll wake up and I’ll repeat. It’s not necessarily what you do on any given day, it’s the amount of days you string together doing the exact same thing with consistency that counts.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Consistency is key. Eventually, you start to see results. It’s like going to the gym. You don’t go and have a really good gym day and do all of the best things and leave with a perfect physique. You’ve got to go incrementally, consistently, and you do the same thing for a very long time, and eventually you’ll reach the goal that you’re looking to achieve. And that’s essentially like how I live. I’m just extremely focused.
What’s one trend that excites you?
What really excites me is the trend of people becoming more disciplined.You see the inception of polarizing figures like David Goggins and Joe Rogan to name a few – these individuals focus on discipline in all areas of life. It’s becoming extremely prevalent and the younger generation are starting to pick up on it. I remember when I was growing up, it was not necessarily something people prioritized. As it stands now, I see more people becoming diligent, focused, working out, and paying close attention to what they’re consuming. Whether it be what they’re eating, drinking, or the media they consume. I think it is very important and it certainly gives me hope for the future.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
Discipline. Discipline beats motivation any day of the week.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stay the course. A lot of the obstacles that you overcome when you’re younger ultimately crafts you into the person that you are today. I can definitely say that I’m proud of the man that I’ve become. I don’t know if I would change much of it. There are some things I wish I could have done better, but ultimately I’m comfortable with the end result.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on?
I think one thing that not everyone may believe is that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail, keep believing in yourself, and you will inevitably reach success.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
Believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself wholeheartedly and speak that into existence, then it really doesn’t matter how many times you fail. Eventually you’re going to end up achieving your goals because you’ve set the standard so high for yourself.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
Always place discipline over motivation. You can only be motivated so many days out of the week. If you are disciplined, it doesn’t matter how you feel on any given day, you’ll continue to show up and you’ll continue to do the things that are required of you.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
Knowing your client, what your client’s interests are, and focusing any new business dealing in your clients best interest. Truly understanding what your clients believe in, what your clients care about, and understanding those things gives you the ability to relate to them as opposed to trying to sell or push something on somebody that it is not necessarily needed.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
I moved out when I was 18 years old. All of my friends were going to college and I elected to take a different route. I moved into sales and was successful. I hung my hat high on that, but, when you are relying solely on your performance on any given day, and it’s not a guaranteed income, I did suffer from some setbacks. I remember when I was in my early twenties it was hard for me to know when I was going to be getting my next meal, struggling to keep a roof over my head, or making car payments. I continued to push forward and ended up coming out on top from those situations to be where I am now.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
We stand at the precipice of one of the greatest opportunities of our lifetime. Real estate prices are going to drop exponentially. The stock market, securities, and bonds are going to lower considerably in price. There’s no one business idea, but I do know that if anyone is heavy in cash or holds the course for the next couple of months – perhaps the next one or two years – there’s going to be an unprecedented opportunity to solidify and strengthen your portfolio, putting yourself into a position that likely won’t present itself again.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Unlike most people in 2023, I try my best to stay off the majority of applications and keep my phone/ electronics at bay in reference to work. I use standard applications like Google and HubSpot.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?
“Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy The Odds” by David Goggins. You are in charge of your own life. You are responsible for your own situations. Essentially the premise of the book is everything is your fault. When you realize that everything that happens in your life is your fault, then you give yourself the power to create a different future for yourself.
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
I don’t watch a lot of tv, but I do read daily and came across this quote that’s stuck with me: “Strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.” The reason I always think of this quote is I definitely do not want to contribute to creating hard times. I want to be as strong of a man as I can be for all of my friends and family so they have somebody significant that they can rely upon.
- It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.
- Always place discipline over motivation. You can only be motivated so many days out of the week. You’re going to get sick, you’re going to be tired, you’re going to be unhappy. Your girlfriend’s gonna break up with you. If you are disciplined, it doesn’t matter how you feel on any given day, you’ll continue to show up and you’ll continue to do the things that are required of you.
- It’s important to have integrity. It’s important to be a man of your word, a woman of your word, and do the things that you say you’re going to do. The people in your life should be able to rely on you absolutely. That is definitely my number one key to success.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.