19 Jun

Message from the COO

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From a young age I had an interest in helping people and animals. I was always first to volunteer to go clean the old neighbours garden or rescue sea life from an oil spill. In my early teenage years I wanted to be a professional volunteer, be the person who can help the helpless.

 

But then the realities of life set in and I realised that I actually needed to become a productive part of adult life. And that to be a professional volunteer you need to have a skillset to offer that usually entails a few years at university. Furthering my studies was not an option at that time. Beyond the monetary restraints, I hadn’t put that much effort into my scholarly activities and ended my school career with a Grade 10.

 

I entered the working world with a string of jobs that were as diverse as the population of London and as fulfilling as a MacDonalds burger. Thankfully my passion for helping others had in no way diminished so I found myself involved in politics. My efforts to help others as a professional volunteer had caved in so I thought I would give politics a try. Surely the system that creates the rules would be able to help the down trodden? Right?

 

I didn’t join the largest political party. Nor the second largest. But we did for a brief period hold the Deputy Mayors position in the City of Cape Town. And I learnt a lot about life and what makes people tick. And also how bad the political system is at giving people a hand up instead of a hand out. My time in active politics will forever be a highlight. The party did well at polls for the two elections I was involved. I learnt the importance of a unified team under a good leader. And also that I need to come from a position of strength if I ever wish to make a real difference.

 

People often ask me why I want to make a difference. Why do I want to help people? I really can’t answer that question! I believe that I am just wired that way, it’s one of my main motivators.

 

After sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in a 40ft catamaran I was at a loose end. An opportunity arose for me to join a media company’s fledgling event team. The event production business was an area where I felt comfortable from the outset. I spent the next few years creating concepts for new events and growing those we had. Taking an event from concept to execution is a phenomenal feeling and this kept my total attention until sometime after 30th birthday. By this time I was recently appointed director of the events division with nothing but immense potential before me. But now that I was 30 I started to reflect on my life. What I had done. Where was going. And what it all meant.

 

That yearning to work with people and help them to reach their full potential was re-awoken within me. I had at this stage been involved in politics and business for close on 12 years. I had sat around tables with the mightiest of politicians and business people. I had a fairly decent understanding of how to get ahead as a business person. And the time had come for me to undertake my next adventure. When I spoke to my then MD about me resigning I almost cried – which is very unusual for me! But I had made my mind up.

 

Joining Caban Investments as Chief Operating Officer is more than just another job for me. As a shareholder I am physically invested in the company. But its more than just that. Caban represents to me that opportunity to help others in a real way. I firmly believe that if we empower and develop our entrepreneurs we will slowly but surely release the vice grip that poverty and unemployment have on our country. The products, such as LifeStraw, that Caban are involved in are an extension of that very real will to make a difference.

 

My passion for the media industry coupled with my desire to assists entrepreneurs has led to the creation of Dylan James Media, in partnership with Caban, which will acquire interest in upcoming media houses and empower, mentor and develop entrepreneurs in the media industry. Dylan James Media is an extension of Caban’s  vision to make a real contribution to fellow entrepreneurs by pooling our respective skills together at risk, thereby growing our own business and that of aspiring entrepreneurs. We have already acquired a stake in the annual Entrepreneur Expo in Cape Town, which we will be expanding and taking to cities soon, as well as the Best Advice Convention which is currently based in Gauteng.

 

19 days into both my role as COO of Caban Investments and as CEO of Dylan James Media I have already seen massive change in people’s lives. I invite you to join us in our endeavours!

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