Mouton’s model – The great comeback

By Alec Hogg

Jannie Mouton’s honesty in his book provides great lessons for the recently unemployed

Spent a couple of productive hours over the weekend with Jannie Mouton’s autobiography “And then they fired me.” Jannie a co-founder and managing partner of then leading stockbroking firm Senekal Mouton Kitshoff , was jacked out the door after 13 years. If you take away a couple years on the farm, my spell at Moneyweb was also for 13 years.

Jannie Mouton (68) keeps his favourite books in his office for easy reference.

We’re both from small towns – he Carnarvon, me Newcastle. And Jannie was at the top of his tree at almost 50 when the axe came. I’d just turned 53. Plenty to identify with.

There are no guarantees that studying stories like Mr Mouton’s will lead to replicating their success. But there’s no doubt his book offers great advice on making a comeback. There’s plenty of practical advice, too. For instance, after being fired, Jannie started reading seriously for the first time. He discovered Warren Buffett, Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie; summarized investment books and got into some deep thinking works (including Atlas Shrugged and The Artist’s Way).

Then he exposed his emotions by investing in a brutally honest SWOT analysis and Personal Mission Statement – the first line of which reads: Be free and not work for others. You’ve got to love it. And the fact that just four months after his darkest day, Jannie was back in the game with the takeover of a small listed personnel agency that he turned into the mighty PSG Group.

He writes of shock, struggling with shame, and the recovery process. Of working hard and continuously re-shaping ideas before arriving at the final destination. Looking back, Jannie says it boiled down to having a sounding board (his late wife Dana); self-analysis (SWOT); shaping a dream; a plan of action; retaining a positive attitude; then making decisions and communicating them.

Jannie picMoney isn’t everything. But in the 17 years since that fateful day in August 1995, Mouton’s efforts have made him a billionaire a couple times over. More than that, he has overcome personal tragedy and still carries a ready smile. He’s also blessed with quality, loyal friends and a lifestyle most of only dream of. Like his hero Buffett, bounces into work every day to join with a small, creative team at his head office far from the Big Smoke.

Thanks again Jannie. Your straight-shooting approach, integrity and solid moral values have been an inspiration to many. Your book and the way it shares how you used a potentially career-ending setback as a platform to create the amazing PSG carries some wonderful lessons for everyone, especially the recently unemployed. Myself obviously included.Spent a couple of productive hours over the weekend with Jannie Mouton’s autobiography “And then they fired me.” Jannie a co-founder and managing partner of then leading stockbroking firm Senekal Mouton Kitshoff , was jacked out the door after 13 years. If you take away a couple years on the farm, my spell at Moneyweb was also for 13 years. We’re both from small towns – he Carnarvon, me Newcastle. And Jannie was at the top of his tree at almost 50 when the axe came. I’d just turned 53. Plenty to identify with.

There are no guarantees that studying stories like Mr Mouton’s will lead to replicating their success. But there’s no doubt his book offers great advice on making a comeback. There’s plenty of practical advice, too. For instance, after being fired, Jannie started reading seriously for the first time. He discovered Warren Buffett, Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie; summarized investment books and got into some deep thinking works (including Atlas Shrugged and The Artist’s Way). His favourite Napoleon Hill quote: “Knowledge paves the way to riches when you know which road to take.”

Then he exposed his emotions by investing in a brutally honest SWOT analysis and Personal Mission Statement – the first line of which reads: Be free and not work for others. You’ve got to love it. And the fact that just four months after his darkest day, Jannie was back in the game with the takeover of a small listed personnel agency that he turned into the mighty PSG Group.

He writes of shock, struggling with shame, and the recovery process. Of working hard and continuously re-shaping ideas before arriving at the final destination. Looking back, Jannie says it boiled down to having a sounding board (his late wife Dana); self-analysis (SWOT); shaping a dream; a plan of action; retaining a positive attitude; then making decisions and communicating them.

Money isn’t everything. But in the 17 years since that fateful day in August 1995, Mouton’s efforts have made him a billionaire a couple times over. More than that, he has overcome personal tragedy and still carries a ready smile. He’s also blessed with quality, loyal friends and a lifestyle most of only dream of. Like his hero Buffett, bounces into work every day to join with a small, creative team at his head office far from the Big Smoke.

Thanks again Jannie. Your straight-shooting approach, integrity and solid moral values have been an inspiration to many. Your book and the way it shares how you used a potentially career-ending setback as a platform to create the amazing PSG carries some wonderful lessons for everyone, especially the recently unemployed. Myself obviously included.