Charl Norman is a young South African dominating the internet business and bringing in a lot of cash through his internet businesses
Charl Norman Age: 23 An entrepreneur and Web Native, Charl Norman is just out of twenty and has already done his first deal, having sold a stake in his start up BlueWorld to Nasper's 24.com. A web entrepreneur behind some of the top local social networks in South Africa, Charl also owns a network of successful blogs, writes for tech and auto publications, lectures at UCT Grad School and does the occasional public speaking event.
Does he ever sleep and how does he manage to get all this done? MONEYWEBlife gives you the inside scoop to his life.
Charl Norman working day:
I normally get into the office just before eight in the morning. I have a habit of rather working till late instead of coming in really early. I work a lot more productively at night with no distractions and no cell phones ringing every few minutes. I typically start my day by opening Google Reader to catch up on my feeds, open Twhirl (for Twitter) to see any new developments in our local community (Muti is also good for this) and log onto my GMail account to start the battle against my over flowing inbox. The rest of my day is typically - in between meetings at 24.com, writing blogs and monitoring the various projects BWCOM are involved in. My day to day responsibilities at BWCOM include project management, search and social media marketing, product development and dealing with staff issues.
Charl Norman gadgets: My best gadget at the moment is my 16GB iPhone, which I imported from the states. Each day I discover new functionality, tricks and applications to use with my iPhone which enhances my experience of it. The iPhone definitely lives up to all the hype - I have a 16gb media player in my pocket at all times which I use to watch the latest series or sitcoms during flights and I can blog and tweet on the go through WIFI in a decent sized browser window. I don't have to visit a toned down version of any web app by having to go to their mobi site.
Charl Norman My best apps: As mentioned earlier I use Twitter through Twhirl on a daily basis - this allows me to share thoughts and links with other web professionals in our community and also drive awareness around projects I'm involved in. Twitter also enables you to have access to the most influential internet minds which is very appealing to a young web entrepreneur.Brandseye is another one of my new favourite applications which I use to track mentions of my name on the web (online reputation management). I feed the Brandseye RSS of my name into my reader which I can quickly check up on online mentions of my name each day.Another cool app is Buxfer.com I import my bank statements into Buxfer.com to manage my personal finances and pull reports on my spending habits using this app.
Charl Norman online media: I mostly use Google services like Reader, Trends, Analytics, Webmaster services, GDocs and Adwords. These tools allow me to keep tabs on my various online businesses. I would encourage any web professional to make use of all the tools in the Google apps suite. I also use the bookmarking tool del.icio.us through their Firefox add-on to accurately store all the cool content I find on the web
Charl Norman best content: The tech blogs I read are Mashable, TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb. I also own a tech blog called BandwidthBlog.com which has become the hub for local tech startup news. We break the news of popular startups and companies on Bandwidth blog and reached the front page of Digg.com with one of our articles.
Charl Norman philosophy: Because I started quite early with web publishing I have blurred the lines between work and play. My hobby became my work and I find myself working crazy hours on my projects. What I have learnt in the last few months is that its crucial to maintain a balance between your work and personal life and set aside time to relax and not be on the internet (I'm on the net at least 16 hours a day). If you don't maintain a healthy balance it will effect you personally, as well as the people around you.
Labels: Africa Can be Built by Entrepreneurs, African Millionaire of the Week, How We Did It: Lessons from Africa's Successful Entrepreneurs