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Ignius K's story on... entrepreneurship in traditional domains

At the onset of his career, Ignus was fortunate to bear witness to partners at the firm who were, as he describes, ‘not just normal accountants’ but entrepreneurs investing in different businesses, becoming business partners with some of their clients. Ignus knew that THIS was the approach he wanted to follow as he embarked on his career. Today Ignus runs a not-so-ordinary financial services firm that is full of unique takes on how to build and service the financial function for business owners.

In the role of an accountant, working with businesses, some successful, some less so, one is exposed to a lot of learning opportunities.

“The line between a successful business and one that fails is very fine. I have seen those lucky breaks. And I have also seen many great businesses fail because of things that were not necessarily in their control.”

Ignus emphasises the importance of nurturing business networks as a means to safeguard us from the falls. Then we can always pick ourselves up and start again. Taking the time (years!) to structure and build a happy, profitable, well oiled business is no small challenge. Ignus is proof though that it is worth the difficult decisions, the risk taking, and the time and effort required to get your business to this point because now he no longer struggles with the many challenges his competitors do:

“Employee issues, clients in arrears, I don't have those issues, I have changed my whole business model to combat these challenges. Sometimes they look at me as if I cannot possibly be running a professional practice, yet I am!”.

Ignus enjoys spending time with his clients and has a human centred approach to how he conducts business. In the financial space, all too often this human approach is lacking. Creative by nature, he is always open to how he can approach business differently, and one can feel that you are in the company of an entrepreneur. His clients therefore turn to him for solutions and insights outside of the traditional accounting lines, it is clear his clients trust him with more than their books, they also trust him with their business. Losing a client is something Ignus takes personally because his clients are more than just clients to him, he becomes invested in them. We believe this is perhaps why Ignus holds a loyal client base and why he gives so much of himself to them and their businesses.

Ignus points out how as Creative Entrepreneurs we are often so focused on solving our customers' problems we often neglect to solve our OWN business challenges.

“We need to see the parts of our business that will become outdated in time, constantly solving for tomorrow's challenges in new and innovative ways. Identifying where the market is going and how to adjust, not necessarily having all the answers, but also finding those that do have solutions.”

This mindset helps our business (not just our market offering) remain operable and relevant, ahead of the herd. Ignus continues to build a finance practice that can continue as a self-sustainable business. One that keeps up with the times, leaving old accounting practices behind. A true creative entrepreneur in a very traditional domain, he has our respect for getting it right!

“It is important to challenge yourself otherwise you become complacent and your business cannot grow. I put myself under pressure on purpose. There is a saying about accountants never retiring but rather fading away - I don't want to be one of those.”

“Being an entrepreneur means you pay yourself last. It is hard work and not for everyone.” Ignus goes on to explain that when you are good at what you do and have built a good business, it does become a little easier. The hard and good work you produce pays back tenfold through long standing clients that keep a healthy business alive. Ignus is a realist and sees a business as a vehicle that enables us to explore and live our passions in life, reminding us that you, the entrepreneur behind the business, are just as worthy as the clients your business serves. “Worry less. We tend to take on our clients' issues personally, most of those worries come to nothing, and most times we are worrying more than the client themselves.”

His advice to those considering the entrepreneurial route:

“You need to know if what you think you want is REALLY what you want. You need to understand what business is about, spend some time with entrepreneurs to understand what you are getting into. It is not something you just decide to do, nor a decision to take lightly. And when you decide, you need to really commit, have a vision for yourself and refrain from doubt. Then do whatever you need to do to get there, no excuses, you can always make a plan.”

Thank you Ignus for showing us how even the most traditional sectors have room for creative entrepreneurship. Inspiring.

“Solving niche challenges Founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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