Joe Public co-founder Pepe Marias (supplied)
Joe Public co-founder Pepe Marais (supplied)
  • Joe Public co-founder Pepe Marais said scheduling helped grow his agency into one of South Africa’s biggest. 
  • He plans a strategy to achieve his vision every year. He then breaks down his goals for every month, and then, for every week. 
  • In 2018, Joe Public boasted a R700 million turnover, with profits in excess of R218 million.
  • Visit Business Insider South Africa for more stories. 

Nothing drives the manifestation of dreams more than habits, Joe Public United co-founder and group chief creative officer Pepe Marais believes.

“And scheduling is a way in which I have managed to replace most of my bad habits with great habits,” Marais told Business Insider South Africa. “Scheduling drives habits, which in turns drives the performance needed to deliver.” 

Joe Public United, one of Africa’s most successful independent advertising agencies, boasted a turnover of R700 million in 2018, with gross profits in excess of R218 million.

Also read: Here's how South African execs rebuilt their company after it went spectacularly bankrupt in 2009

It counts Shell, Nestle and Mercedes-Benz among its clients. 

Marais says he makes sure that his habits are aligned with his purpose, his values and ultimately his greater business and life visions.

Ever year, he draws up an annual strategy to achieve his greater vision. 

From there he breaks it down into steps, which he applies to various months and creates a top line calendar.

“I then schedule my weeks accordingly, aligning each action with my values,” Marais said. “I have learned that it is far better to schedule fewer things that will make more of a difference.”

He uses an ABC system to ensure that the most important tasks are completed first.

“A being most important, B is where you delegate, and C waits in line until all the A's and B’s are completed.” 

Marais said he learnt the importance of scheduling when his life “crashed” in 2006. That year, Joe Public United lost a client responsible for 40% of their business which forced the company to retrench half their staff. 

Read: Here's how South African execs rebuilt their company after it went spectacularly bankrupt in 2009

“I learned through this experience that the only way to change behaviours that are so deeply ingrained is to create a system of change,” he said. 

“That’s when I started to live a more ‘scheduled’ life. Planning will turn your preaching into practice.” 

This article has been updated to reflect Marais' correct title of group chief creative for Joe Public United. 

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