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Juan van Wyk

The under-achiever. The dispassionate one. The overweight kid. The gamer. Children fitting this combined description often find their dreams later in life and start to excel after school. This was no less true for Juan van Wyk whose inspiring journey to self-awareness, health and purpose led to him becoming a successful entrepreneur. He emerged from a dark period through dedication and the support of the people with whom he had built lasting, meaningful relationships at school – a powerful message for children who don’t yet have a focused career vision at a young age.

While building a career is seldom easy, Juan overcame particularly challenging circumstances. He underperformed in school, despite the motivation of his teachers. ‘I was the kid always looking for an excuse to get out of class to go buy food or sweets to sneakily eat in class. My Business Studies teacher saw the potential in me and tried to inspire me to use my talents – but I was too caught up in my mind at that time.’ Little did he realise then that his teacher’s words took root.

Due to his marks and financial reasons, he couldn’t study directly after school. Instead, he helped his dad start a CCTV and security company. ‘My dad was a heavy drinker at the time and greatly relied on me to help him regain balance in his life’. This experience strengthened Juan and the company ran for two years until his dad passed away after a short illness – leaving Juan back at square one and forcing him into sudden adulthood.

He quickly found his interest and aptitude in financial wellness through a job opportunity at Old Mutual and later joined a group of organisations that use various technology in assisting clients. He is currently pursuing this trajectory by studying towards a degree in wealth management while consulting on financial matters. His Business Studies teacher is sure to be proud.

Juan – who recently embarked on an inspiring journey of weight loss and mindfulness – launched a company named Coffee Philosophy, which assists in personal and professional transformation. His gaming days have also churned the opportunity to provide media services such as event animations, marketing trailers and video recordings.

He believes that the way you live life and the people you meet contribute to the life you will ultimately live. ‘My time at school introduced me to great people who took my hand through these tough times and helped me succeed in this journey I’m on.’