GQ (South Africa)
Building a dynasty
Sashin Govender is one of Africa’s youngest dollar millionaires, a business mogul, motivational speaker, mentor and founder of The Millionaire Student. Here he talks self-development, mentorship and winning in life
THE DURBANBORN ENTREPRENEUR DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS A PROBLEMSOLVER, and this was his approach when he created his rst business selling chocolate fudge in high school: ‘I solved a problem by creating a solution that would generate an income.’ Today he runs multiple seven- gure businesses in over 40 countries and six continents. At 19, he made his rst six gures in US dollars; at 21, he made seven; and at 24, he made eight. ere’s a lot to learn from Sashin, and we’re here to get the winning formula.
GQ: Mentorship means various things to different people, what does it mean to you and when were you introduced to the concept?
Sashin Govender: A mentor is someone that you need to match, model and mirror. I discovered my virtual mentors – who have now become good friends of mine – through Youtube. I watched and learnt from individuals who
mastered the art of living – Warren Bu ett, Richard Branson, Marc Accetta, Bill Gates, Tony Robbins, my parents. I studied and researched them daily, and then began to articulate and emulate them.
GQ: When you entered the world of business at 18, did you have any idea what you were stepping into?
SG: Yes, I did. I always knew there would be three phases in business: prosperity, adversity and plateau. I just didn’t know the order, and I never realised how o en I would have to go through each phase. I will tell you, though, that business is a rollercoaster ride; it’s full of ups and downs, challenges and continuously questioning yourself. But I never entertained negativity, because I was more xated on personal development for the past 17 years, so it prepared me for the adversity. Eighty percent of life is psychological, 20% is mechanics. It’s all in the mind.
GQ: What does it mean to be one of the youngest dollar millionaires in Africa?
SG: It’s an incredible feeling, but I’d rather be celebrated for the success stories I’ve created and how many lives I’ve impacted instead of my net worth, because, when you help enough people get what they want from life you get what you deserve. Service to many leads to greatness.
I want to help people so they can truly do better than me and achieve success at their pinnacle.
at’s where my ful llment comes from. I don’t have a money goal; when you chase the money you sink, when you chase the vision, the purpose and the light at the end of the tunnel, you swim. GQ: What do you think holds people back from
rising above the rest?
SG: People don’t back their ability; they don’t conquer each day knowing and believing they’re changemakers. ey don’t believe they’re designed to win, so they idolise others instead.
ey degrade themselves, which decreases their self worth and con dence level.
GQ: Let’s discuss chess in relation to your life and its role in your journey to success.
SG: Chess is probably the most strategic game that allows you to think ahead of yourself, it allows you to be a visionary. e pawn is the least valued piece at the beginning of the game, but once it gets to the end of the board, it turns into a queen. If you work on yourself, invest in your interior and not just your exterior, you can eventually become the most highly valued piece.
I don’t live in the past or the present; I live in the future. My entire life is like a game of chess. You can play it like an amateur and think three moves in advance, or you can play it like a grand master where you’re thinking 15 moves in advance. Mentally, I’m a grand master, I’ve been playing this game from the age of six, and I’m focused on being a grand master in my life and helping others accomplish it, too.
GQ: What’s a common issue you come across regarding money and wealth?
SG: People o en spend money as fast as they earn it because they believe they need to impress others. ey change their lifestyles to be on par with wealthier individuals.
Cash is king, and money in the bank will always outweigh liabilities. But when you live beyond your means, your lifestyle will no longer become sustainable, which will eventually lead to bankruptcy and back to where you started.
I’d rather be celebrated for the success stories I’ve created and how many lives I’ve impacted instead of my net worth