"As soon as we finish our computer science degrees, we should start our own businesses."
"Absolutely, yes, we will".
Heinz was listening to his two closest university buddies discuss what they would do once they had that golden piece of paper.
"Um guys", said Heinz cautiously, but firmly, "I will never start my own business."
Heinz had grown up in a family of entrepreneurs. He knew the hard reality of what it meant to be self-employed. Long hours, lots of risk, debt. Struggles to pay school fees. Eating out, even for burgers? Once a year if a kind visitor treated the family.
Never say never. After a two year stint as an employee, Heinz started his own business. His two buddies are still working in jobs at great companies. Funny how that works sometimes.
Heinz had a huge advantage. All through childhood, he saw the example of his father, the Entrepreneur. Around the dinner table, Hans Rudolf Kabutz would relate stories. About the bad encyclopedia salesman, the student who was terrible at math but who became rich, the guy who manufactured thin plastic bags. Each story had a lesson for running your own business. How to sell, how to set prices, how to structure your business, how to avoid going broke, etc.
As a teenager, he accompanied his father on three business trips, driving all over South Africa. On these long sojourns, they spoke about life and business. He saw first-hand how one should approach and close sales. He learned how to dress in a customer-oriented way and speak their language.
He has been self-employed since 1998 and has thrived in good times and bad, battling with anti-business legislation, exchange controls, capital controls, poor infrastructure and remote locations. For the last 12 years he has lived on the Island of Crete, establishing a premier Java conference called JCrete. Prior to this, he lived in Cape Town, South Africa.
A cult figure, readers of his Java Specialists' Newsletter frequently approach him with the question: "How did you do it?" What they mean is - how did he create an almost fanatical following in 145+ countries with tens of thousands of Java experts reading his writings? What is his secret? The answer is to live entrepreneurially.
"Entrepreneurially" is for those who want to change their perspective on life, to attain true freedom and take control of their own destiny.
Heinz Kabutz is the author of The Java Specialists’ Newsletter, a publication enjoyed by tens of thousands of Java experts in over 145 countries. His book “Dynamic Proxies (in German)” was #1 Bestseller on Amazon.de in Fachbücher für Informatik for about five minutes until Amazon fixed their algorithm. Thanks to a supportive mother, he has now sold 5 copies.
Heinz’s Java Specialists’ newsletter is filled with amusing anecdotes of life on the Island of Crete. He is a popular speaker at all the best Java conferences around the world, and also at some of the worst. He teaches Java courses in classrooms around the world, where his prime objective is to make absolutely sure that none of his students fall asleep. He is not always successful.