Leon-Ben Lamprecht does not do things in half measures. So, when this Matie left a full-time job as a journalist to pursue a more flexible career as an independent financial advisor, success was sure to follow.
But then he also had the pedigree to back it up … Leon-Ben obtained a BCom (Law) at Stellenbosch University (SU), a postgraduate diploma in Financial Planning and Services at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) and is in the process of completing a master’s degree in Journalism, also at SU. In addition, he had four years of experience working as a financial advisor for Sanlam behind him when he took the plunge to become an independent advisor.
He says of the decision to take the leap of faith. “For years I worked as a full-time journalist for among others Die Burger and Weg! When our second child was born, I became a bit disillusioned with writing for a living and we were also struggling to make ends meet at the time. That’s when I decided to make the shift. I enjoy being my own boss as a financial advisor, and it pays better. Now I only write for the fun of it and mostly what I want.
“Being an advisor also gives me the flexibility to take my kids to sporting events and to pursue things I like such as writing, playing the guitar and starting a braai at 16h00 in the week if I feel like it. Although the journey wasn’t always easy, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. But then I was never really one to second guess the decisions I make or to wallow in regret.”
A man of many talents
One of the “fun” writing projects that he engaged in was a children’s book Wie skrik vir Wortel Wolf? that was published by Tafelberg Publishers in September this year. In the book, three well-known fairy tales – The three little pigs, Red Riding Hood and The boy who cried Wolf – are turned on its head.
“The book came about as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown when my two older children ran out of books to read, and the public library was off limits. So I decided to make up this story which I later wrote and sent to Tafelberg. Luckily they thought it worth publishing.”
A rhyming book that he wrote, Barend, die Barbaar, was also released this year.
When he reminisces about Stellenbosch University, it is about the wonderful times he had at Dagbreek men’s residence.
“It was fantastic. I met so many people with different points of view and experienced so many things. I mean, I even went fencing once. Where would I have ever had the chance to do that under normal circumstances? Those who are lucky enough to have experienced something like that on campus and are in a position to (experience it), seize it, and be thankful for it.”
Leon-Ben, who now calls Wellington home (he grew up in the Garden Route town of Hartenbos), says his wife, family and hometown have always played a big part in his life.
“When I changed my career, I could always turn to my father for advice. I always blush when my mother advertises my writing but at the same time I find it so endearing. I wish everyone can spend their formative years in the countryside – it is where you learn the value of community.”
His advice for young students trying to negotiate university life: “Test everything; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all forms of evil.” (Thessalonians 5: 21-22).