Company/ Name of Business:
What do you do [profession]?.
I am a Publisher
What does your business do?
B2B Publishing of self help content relating to three core areas, Labour & HR, Tax & Accounting and Workplace Safety
What was the first job you ever had?.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was 5 I wanted to be a mermaid, but when I was 8 I decided I wanted to be a successful business woman. I didn’t care in what field. I just wanted to be successful.
What inspired you to start your business or pursue the career you followed? …
I was miserable when I was employed. I felt like I was betraying the kid who wanted to own her own business. It wasn’t right for me to ignore the fact that I’d spend every night drafting strategies and plans for a business that’ll help people directly or indirectly. So after a number of failed attempts (I got scared & stopped trying) I finally closed my eyes and went off the cliff. Not know if I’d fall splat on a rock or whether I’d fly as the wind carries me forward. But this time I felt that little girl wanting to be successful deserved a real fighting chance. Not a half hearted attempt.
How did you get started with your company or profession?
I quit my job for the second time in 6 months. I sat at home and while I freelanced my services to make ends meet, I began laying the groundwork for the publishing company. I researched for 4 months before I launched. It was all worth it.
Is this your first business? If not, what were the others, and what happened to them?
It’s probably the 10th concept I’ve wanted to launch as a business. But technically it’s the 4th one I’ve launched and began trading with.
How did you finance your business and what was the process like? ……
Most requirements were already at my disposal. Place to work from, communications set up and travel expenses covered. I had savings from my previous jobs plus I was freelancing on the side. So I paid for other necessities until I could launch it.
How many employees do you have? Full- or part-time? OR How many people do you manage in your position?.
I have 5 employees, mainly 3 editors & 2 research and sales guys. In addition I work with industry experts who assist by fact checking all content. I have 6 experts who I work with.
What is an average workday like for you?.
An average day doesn’t exist with me. The only constant aspect of my day is a sip from a cup of my ol’ faithful mug of coffee. Take out my laptop and begin work. After that, anything can happen!
What are the most crucial things you have done to grow your business?
I follow this quote like a mantra. “Networking is a contact sport”. Going out there and talking to people and letting them know who you are and what you do is the most crucial thing anyone can do for their business. And not to look people down and think they won’t be interested. You have no idea where your most loyal clients will come from. I had to trust that.
What plans do you have for expansion?
I have many plans. Begin in my home town. Saturate the market quickly and effectively and move on into the less populated towns. In this regard I’ll follow the distribution tactics of Coca Cola. I won’t stop marketing the business until every business in the country knows and has used the product at least once in their business lifespan.
Best advice I ever received is?
Don’t stop. You’re born a leader, an entrepreneur and you’re meant to be a successful business woman. Don’t let fear steal that from you. You have no idea how many people are depending on you to start your business. You’ll provide jobs and sustainability.
What’s the worst business advice you’ve ever received?
You’re not old enough to start a business. Wait until you’re 30.
What one piece of advice would you offer entrepreneurs starting out today? ………….
Pray. Ask for Guidance, Peace and Favour. Do not for a second think you can do this without Him. Starting a business is easy. Staying in business is quite another story. If all else fails trust that this is the right thing and don’t give up. Even if you fall or make mistakes. Don’t stop. We learn from our mistakes.
Favorite part of your job?
Seeing a happy customer. Means it’s all worth it.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
Believing in myself. Sometimes when faced with a difficult situation, its hard to remember why I got myself into this. Keep thinking, its easier to let go and settle in a nest of fear.
In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I remember that people out there need me to be successful. Their lives won’t change for the better unless I keep going. I remember that being in business isn’t about me. It’s about everyone else.
If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I would have started this business when I was 18. 10 years down the line I’d be much wiser with a lot of bruises from all the crash and burns I would have done. But hopefully I’d still be here. Loving what I’m doing.
Tell us about one person that you admire?
John D. Rockefeller. He was a faithful man. Faithful to giving and faithful to what he believed in.
If you could have dinner with any three people, who would you choose?
Just dinner? Just three? Hmm. Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Flaherty and Mellody Hobson Lucas
Tell us 1 company that you admire?
One person who most influenced your life?.
One? My father. I watched him work hard, barely sleeping to make sure we lived a comfortable life. His dedication to his family was unmatched.
Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
From Zimbabwe it’s probably the president and a few of his ministers. I’ve spent quality family time with 3 top CEOs. One owns the mobile network, other owns a bank and the third owns a chain of hospitals.
What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to be where you are today?
Family and friends. Family told me I’m too young to do this. Friends wanted to leech off the little success I did have. I realized there’s a time and season for them both. So I cut them out for a time. I had to do this for my own sanity sake.
What is one of your favorite quotes?
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and fervent in prayer – Romans 12.12
One person I would like to meet is?
Mellody Hobson Lucas
What was your best business decision?.
Starting and deciding not to stop until it’s nothing but ashes on the ground. Until then, the business has hope to survive.
What was your worst business decision?
Not delegating. Solving other people’s problems instead of letting them figure it out. Mistakes are costly but learning from mistakes is priceless.
What is your vision for your company?.
Leader in the Business Publishing field. To be the go to resource for up to date information to solve business problems..
One teacher I remember, and why?
Mr Mtisi. My high school math teacher. For believing I was a genius at math. And reminding me that fear of accepting how brilliant I am will cost me.
One most valuable work lesson, thus far………….
Not everyone is your friend. Not everyone wants to help. They just want to be around when you make a little so that they can capitalize on the moment.
One thing I look for the most in a new recruit………
If you could write a book about anything, what would it be?
Rise of the Phoenix. Defeating fear and achieving desires in Africa.
One thought from a book I am currently reading…………
Business as War by Kenneth Allard “Become a leader of character, because slow and steady wins the race”
One tip for time management………….
Time is a priceless asset. Don’t waste it especially when it’s someone else’s time.
One signal that tells me there is a problem…………
I can’t sleep. Something is wrong!!
One technique for handling anger………….
Take a deep breath. Think logical. If things are heated. Remain still and quiet. Wait an hour. Can’t stay angry for that long!
One way that I use for resolving conflicts ………
Forgive the past and come up with a plan of action to move on. Don’t harbour the past.
One favorite activity when traveling………
Taking pictures. Me and my camera are ONE!
One dream I would like to chase, later in life is?.
Travel more. See the world. Capture it. Create a library of books I’ve bought from around the world and images I’ve taken.
How do you de-stress?
Wine and Sushi.
Can you state the outlook of your industry in a line?.
He who controls the information controls the future.
The most underrated activity in business is?.
Planning. Has to be.
In 5 years I hope to be?.
What do you consider to be the 2 main keys of your success?.
Faithfulness and Fearless
What philanthropic activities are you involved in as a way to give back to the less fortunate?
Donate financially to and OVC organization operating out of skwatta camps in Johannesburg. Providing mentorship once every fortnight to young girls from these same areas.
Name 1 thing you are an expert in……
What is the most pivotal moment in your entire life and what did you learn from this moment…
If you had only one year to live, what would you work towards………
Set up the business. Hand it over to my family to oversee. Let the profits go to my nieces and nephews, and to the OVC organizations.
What would you like people to say about you after you die?.
She loved me completely.
What do you enjoy most about your life right now?.
Being able to control my own time.
What do you dislike most?
Fighting with clients to pay me on time. Urgghhh!!!
What activities are you passionate about?
Photography. Travel. Site seeing.
What makes a good home life?.
Fine dining. Regular friends and family.
Name 1 lesson you would teach your children……
God First. Then Love. Then Faithfulness.
What was your biggest failure, and what did u learn from it………….
Believing people can change. Some things are just inherent and can’t be changed without brutal force. I crashed and burned because I believe love would bring change.
What book has had the biggest impact on you?.
Name 1 regret you have:……
Not believing in myself sooner.
Are you a collector of anything?
Have any hidden talents?
Which is your most favorite place in this earth? ….
Cape Town, South Africa. But will soon be Cluj-Napoca in Romania
What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
What is your idea of fun? If given a choice to skip work for a day, how would you spend the entire day?
I’d go out of town, perhaps to a coastal city, check into a luxury hotel on the beach front. Go to the restaurant and order sushi. Then I’d spend the day walking around with no destination. Just walk and watch the clouds roll by. Then as the evening sets in, I’ll sit on the beach and listen to the waves crashing. If I can’t do the beach I’ll go dancing until my legs give way!
What is your taste in music?
Classical. Alternative rock.
Who would you consider to be your hero?
What is your favorite daily ritual?.
If given a complete freedom to start afresh, what profession would you choose and why?.
Publishing. And I’d take up photography during my weekends.