Still haven’t set your 2019 Goals? Read this…

This year I have chosen to try something a little bit different. Instead of writing down resolutions, I have decided to set goals for the year.

What’s the difference?

Resolutions are a decision to do or not do something. It could be giving up alcohol for the first month of the year, or resolving to go back to the gym after a few months of slacking.

Goals, on the other hand, are an aim to achieve a specific result. This could be to run a marathon or take an online course.

So why pick goals over resolutions?

Well, resolutions really don’t seem to last that long into the year and they are usually founded in some displeasure with your current state of being/ living.

Now don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with setting out resolutions. More often than not people seem to struggle to keep them or even remember them by mid- January.

Goals are more proactive, its a determination to achieve something.

Stop making New Year Resolutions. Set Goals Instead. Read this article to find out why. Click To Tweet

So, Motherland Mogul, how do you set our goals for the year? First things first…

Write it down!

There are a couple of ways you can do this, journaling or if you are more of a visual person you can create a vision board.

If you write your goals down somewhere you can see them everyday it helps you stick to them, a constant reminder isn’t to make you feel bad but more to remind you what you are working towards.

A vision board is not only fun to make but can enable you to see your goals as an actual reality making it much easier for you to stick to them.

Think of the short term and long term

Set out goals that you want to achieve by the end of the year, by a certain month/ date.

This means you can work on consistent goals as well as focus on the short term. This means you are not only waiting for the end of the year to see results but throughout the year you will have bursts of success that will continue to motivate you to achieve your more long term goals.

So what falls into each category?

Short term goals could include taking an online course in a certain month, running a marathon, reading a set number of books per month.

These goals require you to train/ learn/ work to achieve them within a certain time frame, so get to work!!

Long term goals such as the 52-week saving challenge, launching your own business, changing jobs or even volunteering on a monthly basis.

These are goals that require consistency and usually take longer to achieve. The rewards may take a long time to reap but just imagine how it will feel to finally achieve a goal you have been working long and hard on.

Categorize your goals

Not all goals are the same, sometimes you have to realize what part of your life you want to improve or change.

Personal and professional goals are the obvious categories that we can turn to but do not forget other aspects of your life that can give you joy.

You can set out goals to travel to a new country (or a few), to complete a crafts project, grow herb garden or practicing daily gratitude. This helps you focus on your creative side and develop healthy self-care habits.

Put in the work

 Each goal you set out is going to require a lot of work and determination by your part. what is important in realizing your goals is identifying what you have to do to achieve them.

Let’s take the marathon for example. You can’t wake up on a Saturday morning and just run the marathon, you need to train in order to run the race.

This would require you going for more parks runs and working out to build the strength and endurance needed.

So you set a mini-goal, for example following a training program that guides you over a period of time. These mini goals help you determine what you need to do on your part to achieve your goals and provide small successes on their own.

Be realistic

You don’t want to run yourself into the ground trying to achieve your goals. They are not meant to tear you down or make you feel worse about yourself. Focus on goals that help build a better version of you, whether professionally or personally.

Don’t set out goals too ambitious or far fetched, but also do not forgot to throw caution to the wind. It is not time to sit back but rather to step up for yourself in the aspects that matter. If you really struggle to hold yourself accountable, why not find a goal buddy? This person will remind you of your goals throughout the year and check how long it is taking you to achieve them. They may also provide you with great advice and be a support system when things seem hard.

Reap the rewards

I do not know about you but sometimes I need an incentive to work on something.

And considering there is no one to hand out badge saying “Well done”, it’s up to you to set out your rewards. So let’s say you have finally managed to start your open your own business, why not throw a small soiree to thank those who helped you achieve your goal or even just to launch your business.

Again, such rewards make the achievement of a goal so worth it, so why not reward yourself for all the hard work you have put in.


 Got some advice that can help others succeed in 2019? Click here to share.

Kene Rapu: Find something that makes your brand different from everyone else

Kene Rapu is the founder and CEO of ‘Kene Rapu’, the No.1 Nigerian footwear brand championing local production, established in 2011.

Her brand has played a significant role in changing the face of ‘Made in Nigeria’ footwear. Kene is a fully qualified lawyer with an LLB law degree from the University of Bristol, UK and a Masters Degree in Fashion Entrepreneurship from the London College of Fashion, UK.

In 2016 she was selected by the Tony Elumelu Foundation as one of 1000 African Entrepreneurs who’s idea could “change Africa”, in 2017 as one of 100 ‘Most Influential’ women in Nigeria by Leading Ladies Africa and most recently listed in the prestigious Forbes Africa ’30 under 30’ class of 2018, in the business category.

All Kene Rapu slippers are proudly made in Nigeria for the global community.


Dream big but start small, grow as organically as possible - @KeneRapu Click To Tweet

What vision did you have when you started out, is it different from what you are experiencing now?

Our vision was to be the No.1 Nigerian footwear brand championing local production, and it has
remained the same.

We are excited about the progress we have made so far, and are looking forward to getting the nations wearing KR.

What is it like making it to Forbes 30 under 30 lists?

The journey so far makes me more excited for the road ahead. I’m passionate about what I do, and it is humbling and encouraging to know that something I started 7 years ago, has morphed into a business that is recognized globally.

How has this exposure impacted your brand?

Having a world renown brand highlight your business as one of 30 emerging brands in Africa, is definitely gratifying for a business owner, increases consumer trust and opens you up to a new network of professionals and investors.

How can an entrepreneur build a solid brand?

 

In whatever area you want to go into, do your market research. Find a unique selling point, find something that makes your brand different from everyone else in that market.

Know your customer, define him or her, have a clear vision of where you want your brand to go; stay focused and remember why you started.

Having come this far starting out in 2011, what important lesson can aspiring entrepreneurs take from your journey?

Dream big but start small, grow as organically as possible.

Understand that there is no such thing as an overnight success. Hard work pays. Consistency and integrity are important. Provide value; a quality product will market itself.

How do you deal with gender biases you encounter as a woman running an enterprise?

As a female in business, sometimes there are unnecessary issues you have to deal with, that
should not be the case. However, challenges make you stronger, whether gender-related or
otherwise; deal with them head on and move on.

When you jump past hurdles, it is a testament that indeed you are a survivor. I also believe surrounding yourself with the right company is helpful. I have female friends in the business, and we spend time discussing how to resolve our common challenges. Having strong ladies in your corner certainly makes the journey easier.

What message do you have for women who need the courage to follow their passion?

Go for it. The road is not easy, in fact, it is difficult, but it is certainly gratifying when you begin to break through. Seize the moment and start now.


 If you’d like to get featured on our Facebook page, click here to share your story with us.

Babalwa Fatyi: Serving my Purpose with my many hats on

Meet Babalwa Fatyi the South African Environmental Scientist who is a wife, mother, poet, author. She is also the managing director for Myezo Environmental Management Services Consulting company, Myezo growth and development institute, and co-owner of the ZenQ fashion line.

In recognition of her outstanding contribution towards the development of the economy, Babalwa has been awarded various accolades.

She won the Standard Bank 2016 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015, and in 2016, she won the Most Influential Woman in Business and Government Award. 


 

What factors have helped you achieve as much as you have?

The biggest factor that has contributed towards my success is not contradicting who I am. I aim to produce outputs that are authentic. My outputs should be aligned with my inner being and bring me peace.

To ensure this, I’ve made sure that I understand my purpose and that I align my goals with that purpose. That way when I’m faced with challenges, I am strengthened by focusing on my purpose which God revealed to me. Therefore, when I feel out of tune with what I need to do, I talk to friends and to God. They remind me of purpose and keep me on track.

Secondly, I am driven by serving others. I see my gifts and talents as a means to achieve greatness.

You wear many hats, tell us your secret ingredient for achieving it all.

The things that I do revolve around my core and serve my purpose. My responsibility revolves around showing gratitude and taking care of the environment that has been entrusted unto us. Poetry allows me to respect and feed my soul, by nourishing it.

My ZenQ clothing line in an expression of my artistic creativity through clothes. I believe clothes can reflect the essence of who we are. They can show how we feel as well as how we wish to be viewed.

A dress designed by Babalwa from ZenQ clothing line.

All these different things are just a tangible expression of who I am. My gifts and talents, which are given to me, to fulfill my role as an environmental ambassador and a steward. So I do not wear many hats but I wear one hat: I wear me.

What led you publishing your poetry book “Greetings from My Core”?

Poetry to me is an expression of who I am and a conduit through which I could find my voice and reach out to others and request them to engage with me on some of the matters that affect our society.

Through poetry, I could share my authenticity, experiences and love my surroundings, including its beautiful diverse people I encounter, who inspire me or bring life to those experiences.

This enables me to be more conscious and is also an opportunity for me to give reverence to God.

Babalwa with African Fashion Pioneer Vanya Magaliso

What can you tell us about your company – Myezo Environmental Management Services consulting? 

At Myezo, we seek to serve the environment, communities, and developers through guidance on how to best take care of the land we have. We help developers with regulations and assessing the impact of developments on both the land and the communities.

Through our work, we learn’t that our solutions must be tested by our clients who are our partners. As respect, empathy and listening to others are key in what we do, we must incorporate all the diverse views we face.

How has Myezo developed in terms of creating jobs?

Our greatest strength is our heart for youth and solidarity to the challenges our country face in terms of unemployment and poverty alleviation. We aim to bring to life the National Development Plan goals by playing a role within our areas of influence and capacity.

Through providing a platform, we’ve helped youth penetrate into the job market and therefore provided them with the needed resources to improve their lives and their families.

The youth were not only exposed to scientific knowledge but also to self-awareness, project management, and organizational skills among others.

Captured with the colleques.

What does the Myezo Growth and Development Institute do?

At this institute, we do coaching and mentoring through our collaborations with some universities. We contribute to ensuring that there are no wide gaps between what is taught at schools and what industries expect from graduates.

Our other collaborations with other organizations include projects such as the Princess D Menstrual Cup. Through this, we hope to put girls back to school and not miss out on learning due to natural biological processes.

This is aligned with our environmental stewardship role as this cup reduces the sanitary pads that go to the landfill or medical waste disposal sites.

Finally, together with the Tsogang Re Direng Youth Foundation, we empower girls with career selection decisions and also help connect them to skills development opportunities. These include skills such as events management of vintage recycling where they learn practical environment-friendly skills that generate income.

What do you do to relax?

I’m a very outdoor kind of person. So for fun, I take walks at the nature reserves around my neighborhood. This helps me find peace and tranquility in just giving my self-time to be alone at times and just recharge.

I also believe in being spiritually fed and therefore fellowship with other believers. Other than this, I spend time with my husband, family, friends. Listening to the sound of my kid’s laughter and running around brings joy to my life.

FACEBOOK LIVE WITH TAFADZWA BETE SASA: DEVELOPING AN ACTION PLAN FOR YOUR 2018 GOALS (May 3)

Its quarter past 2018 – let’s talk about the goals you set at the beginning of this year!

Have you slayed any of them?

If you have, a big SLA kudos to you! If you haven’t, don’t panic – you still have enough time to smash them and end the year strong like a bawse!

In the spirit of Q2, join us on Thursday, 3rd May, as we host a Facebook Live Chat with Tafadzwa Bete Sasa, who will be sharing practical tips on developing an action plan for your 2018 goals.

If you’ve read the I wanted to get more things done and be a goalgetter feature or watched her webinar on creating routines to maximize productivity, then you know Tafadzwa is not a stranger to our SLA community.

Smash your 2018 goals with actionable tips from @taffybete on May 3rd at 12pm WAT. Visit http://bit.ly/TaffyBete to sign up! Click To Tweet

Tafadzwa has several accolades under her name and has also been named a Global Shaper by the Lusaka Hub – an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

She has also designed numerous trainings that focus on various efficiency skills, which include creating routines & schedules for productivity, as well as creating & nurturing tribes for productivity, including this goal getters guide to creating a schedule for your productivity.

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • The process: steps to smashing a goal
  • The price: what you should sacrifice to achieve your goals.
  • The people: ways to overcome negativity from naysayers
  • Strategies to overcome discouragement and setbacks when the going gets tough

Facebook Live Details:

Date: Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

Time: 12pm Lagos // 1pm Lusaka // 2pm Nairobi

Watch here:

She Leads Africa Facebook Live with Tafadzwa Bete – Sasa, Managing Consultant of GoalGetter Consultancy who is practical steps to developing an action plan for your 2018 goals. Join the She Leads Africa community by visiting SheLeadsAfrica.org/join!

Posted by She Leads Africa on Thursday, May 3, 2018

About Tafadzwa

Tafadzwa Bete Sasa is a productivity trainer, consultant and speaker specialising in personal efficiency and team performance.

She is also the managing consultant of GoalGetter Consultancy and the creator of the organisation’s flagship product – the GoalGetter Planner, a customized daily organizer that helps users translate their dreams and resolutions into SMART goals and develop action plans to achieve these goals.

Outside of her professional work, Tafadzwa is involved in community service as a member of Junior Chamber International (JCI)  where she is currently serving as the JCI Zambia Executive Vice President.
Tafadzwa has been recognised for her outstanding service and leadership as a Global Shaper and as one of Africa’s most outstanding emerging women leaders by the Moremi Initiative. In all her roles though, Tafadzwa is all about building the capacity for people to get things done.

 

Six Soft Skills to Help You Ace Your Next Interview

Imagine two people being interviewed for the position of customer support team manager.

Both candidates have what it takes to deliver on a professional level, however one is more apt in relating with people based on his past behavior and the assessment of the interviewer. That is to say, he possesses excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Who do you think will get the job?

Assess your ability and prepare ahead before going for the interview Click To Tweet

A LinkedIn survey revealed that hiring managers look for candidates who in addition to skills and experience have the potential in performing the role. By potential, they mean the candidate’s own perspective and soft skill set that enables him to do the job effectively.

They ranked the following six soft skills in order of their importance.

Adaptability

In today’s world, the business environment is continuously changing and so are highly effective organizations because any organization who does not or cannot adapt to the constant changes in the environment will either be left behind or fizzle out.

As such, effective organizations seek candidates who can easily adapt to changes so they can remain competitive. According to the survey report, the most popular question hiring managers ask in this regard is:

‘Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something you had never done before. How did you react? What did you learn?’

Culture Add

Hiring managers have been advised to seek candidates who are not only like them (culture fit) but also bring a different perspective to the table.

Collaboration

Candidates who can work well with and in teams are what hiring managers are looking for according to the survey. No one can achieve much working alone. Do you get along well with others?The survey says one question to expect from this area is:

’Tell me about a time when you were communicating with someone and they did not understand you. What did you do?’

Leadership

Not only are leaders born, leaders can be made. Hone your ability to inspire, motivate and unleash the potential in others.

One popular question according to the survey report hiring managers ask pertaining to leadership is:

‘Tell me about the last time something significant didn’t go according to plan at work. What was your role? What was the outcome?’

Growth Potential

It is the ability of a candidate not only to perform on the current job but also in future and more prominent roles within the organization.

Hiring managers have been told to look out for candidates who are goal oriented and self-motivated. Such candidates are said to have the ability for growth potential.

Prioritization

Candidates who can demonstrate that they know what task comes first and what task should be put to a later date have gotten their prioritization and time management skills right. This will help you meet deadlines and also increase your productivity.

Besides the aforementioned soft skills, some hiring managers clearly spell out the soft skills they expect candidates to have for the role they are applying for.

Assess your ability in terms of those skills and prepare ahead before going for the interview.


Do you have some special skills you use for your business and career?

Share it with us here.

Sandy Dorsey: 10 Things Every Aspiring Speech Language Pathologist Should Know

Sandy Dorsey, MA, CCC-SLP has spent over 15 years as a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). An SLP is a highly trained professional who evaluates and treats, children and adults, who have speech (coordinating sound to talk) and language (understanding others and/or expressing thoughts and feelings) disorders, as well as difficulties swallowing.

Sandy’s journey as an SLP started out as a simple case of curiosity. As a young girl, her uncle Henry developed Alzheimer’s disease, and for the life of her, she couldn’t figure out why he struggled with communication.

She took that curiosity to the next level  later on in life and entered Howard University to major in Speech-Language Pathology. During this time, she became the President of the National Student Speech and Hearing Association; her active involvement with the American Speech Language and Hearing Association led her to being offered a full scholarship to the University of Tennessee.

Sandy later went on to become the founder of All About Speech LLC; a professional Speech-Pathology practice that focuses on the individual’s strengths and has helped countless individuals ranging from young children to seniors with a wide range of speech-language and swallowing disorders.

Sandy approaches each client with the belief that no two cases are the same and believes in taking a holistic approach to accurately assess and personalize each therapy plan. Patience, persistence and her upbeat personality helps her clients succeed in meeting their goals. This past July, Sandy’s commitment for helping others prompted her to start a non-profit organization, Smiles for Speech Inc. ; which provides speech, language and educational resources, as well as oral care items for children in impoverished communities. It’s safe to say her life and work are intricately entwined.

Sandy has found that to be a successful Speech Language Pathologist, one should know the following:


What you learn at school may feel very different on the job

If you are a new grad, it is normal to feel that you don’t know everything at your first job. Graduate externships are a great first step in learning, the expectation to be independent changes everything. It is not until you are officially working that you feel the weight and responsibilities that come with your managing your time effectively with a big caseload and report deadlines.

This is why the clinical fellowship year (CFY) is so important. To be a certified SLP, you must have 9 months of supervised work after graduate school and pass the Praxis in order to be licensed and certified. So, don’t panic, learn as much as you can from your supervisor and remember you know a lot more than you think you do!

 

Gather as much information as you can on each child/client you work with

Approach the client in a holistic way. At Sandy’s first job working with teenagers in Harlem, New York, in the late 90’s, many children had parents that had a limited education and/or working multiple jobs with very little time, which made them unable to offer their child the academic support they need at home to really excel in school.

Therefore at times before therapy can begin and to truly be effective, in the morning you may have to provide breakfast for the children if they came to school hungry. So, make a brief assessment of any conditions that may affect their therapy session.

Some things may not change for example, the discomfort of not wearing a clean shirt or shoes that fit properly. But talking about these challenges and discoveries is often very much needed to  begin to break the barrier to success.

 

Adopt a positive attitude

When it comes to this career path, you will need loads of patience, compassion, and self-motivation to succeed. You have to be able to offer support and nurture your clients, while firmly encouraging them to move forward to achieve their goals.

You will also need a positive attitude in order to encourage and motivate individuals not to give up. It is not easy to be vulnerable and children can be easily frustrated. Therefore it is up to you to make it fun and push enough for progress, but know the limits that may lead to the individual giving up.

Everyone wants to feel successful, so being that cheerleader ready to celebrate every small gain, especially when the progress may be slow, is key!

 

Always be prepared with the materials needed and have a backup plan 

When you are first starting out as a new therapist, you may not have materials available to you, depending on the setting. For this reason, you need to build up your go-to materials to keep on hand, based on the population you are serving. Also, always bring more than you think you may need in your therapy session, in case you have to change something on the spot.

You may think a new activity will work, but you don’t know until you try. Being prepared is always best! Working with children and adults alike, you want to be ready for any surprises or glitches.

With experience, you will learn how to quickly adapt and modify as you go, but starting off, it is much better to have a supply of your own materials that you are already comfortable working with. Teachers pay teachers is a great resource for getting materials that you can print and that are more DIY, so you don’t need to buy everything which can tend to get pricey.

 

Be an advocate

With so many professionals involved in the care of your client, remember you are the expert in this field. You must be an advocate for your clients and speak up for what you think is right. Especially when you work with communication and clients that may not be able to speak for themselves.

If you feel that an individual needs extra support outside of your scope of practice, be sure to refer them. We are the eyes and ears for our clients, especially with children in early intervention.

Be creative, flexible and dynamic

You will need creativity when dealing with clients, continually seek ways to help your clients learn and grow. With children, try to discover their learning style and celebrate their individuality.

Sometimes these methods might be unconventional, but may work for that child. Always look for ways to get deeper insight into your clients’ needs that can be motivating for them to push forward.

Things can change daily when it comes to serving students as well as adults. Be so prepared to be flexible and adapt to any schedule or MOOD. Things can change from day to day so you gotta roll with the punches! Sometimes literally!

Establish great relationships / mentors

As in any profession, mentors are key. Starting with undergraduate school, focus on building relationships with everyone you can. That is your professors, clinical supervisors and colleagues. It is an extremely small profession, so you want to know as many people as possible.

 

Stay relevant by taking courses and being adept with new trends and techniques

In other to excel in any profession you need to stay relevant. Staying relevant means being adept with all trends and techniques in your field of work. Current trends for SLP’s are:

Telepractice – this involves receiving speech therapy services online through skype and other means. It allows children in areas in remote areas or with a limited number of to SLPs to get gain access to speech services.

Transgender communication – an elective service to focus on voice, verbal and nonverbal communication skills that applies to the way the individual identifies his/herself.

APPs – there are many great apps SLPs are more frequently in treatment, while some use as reinforcement at the end of the session.       

                                                     

Give your best always and keep your communication lines open

It is extremely important to keep a healthy relationship with everyone you work with and don’t burn any bridges. Speech Language Pathology is a small profession and word travels fast.

 

Don’t assume that people know what you do, demystify the process

One of the challenges you will face as an SLP is that people may not know who you are and what exactly you do. With few people entering the profession, it is no surprise that people would not know exactly what you do.

Teachers and families may hear from their children that all they do in speech therapy is play. In our field, play is therapy. Yes, we try to make therapy as fun as possible, so people may seem to think we are having too much fun!

But that should not discourage you from doing what you gotta do. As busy as you may be, take some time to educate people when they ask. In most settings, you may need to do an in service, distribute information about who you are and what you do.


Are you a professional or aspiring speech language pathologist?  Or do you work in a rarely known industry? Do you have some key lessons to share?

Let us know here.

 

Siphesihle Losi: I’m a fan of exceptional service

siphesihle losi

 Siphesihle Losi  is  the 25 year old owner of ILosi Events Management. She was born in Grahamstown, a small town in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, and as a child took part in ballet and contemporary dancing, which she still enjoys today. Sipesihle volunteered on campus radio when she was in High School, studied Travel & Tourism and has worked for one of the biggest events companies in Cape Town. At only 25, she is a rising powerhouse.


I’ve always known that I have the leadership skills needed to achieve the best results in whatever I do Click To Tweet

Tell us about yourself Siphesihle; where you grew up, your schooling, what you do etc.

My name is Siphesihle Losi and I am 25 years of age. I was born and raised in a small town called Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, where I studied at local public schools and later attended Rhodes University.

During my childhood, I took part in contemporary dancing and ballet. I later did a little bit of radio at Rhodes University radio station on a voluntary basis, until 2008 when I finished matric. I then moved to Cape Town to study Travel & Tourism at Boston City Campus. I also did Fashion Design at Design Academy of Fashion.

 

What first Inspired you to create your own business?

siphesihle losiWhat inspired me to create ILosi Events Management is the fact that I’m a fan of exceptional service; and I’ve always known that I have the leadership skills needed to achieve the best results in whatever I do.

I’ve played leading roles in my community and school, and have always received compliments for my great work ethic and good communication skills from friends, colleagues and superiors.

However, I only started my company in 2013, after I resigned from one of Cape Town’s biggest event organising companies (at the time). I suddenly realised that I had a huge following of students and community people who often called to ask if I could link them up with events/promotional work.

To be honest,  I was a bit annoyed because I was jobless at the time. But one of  my friends asked me why don’t I start my own company, and I laughed at him because I didn’t have any capital, but he slowly persuaded me into starting my own business and… here we are!

 

What do you enjoy about being an event organiser?

I mostly enjoy the unpredictable aspect of the work I do, because something as simple as unexpected weather changes can call for split-second improvisation on my part to make everything work.

I also enjoy the challenges that event organising comes with, because I feel that it strengthens me to grow and become a better person and businesswoman. It’s fun to meet with different clients, companies, staff and going to different venues, the travelling, the food and amazing chefs- just everything!

 

Take us through a typical day in your life as an Events Manager and overall Motherland Mogul…

siphesihle losiA typical day in my life begins with me waking up at 5am in the morning to prepare for my morning run. I always have my cell phone on hand to check emails and the social media pages before 7am, I then relax with a refreshing bath to kick-start the day. I’ll also have lots of water and some oats before filling my mind with work.

At work, no two days are the same, as I might be sewing dresses/aprons for the staff or getting some administration work done on one day, and attending to a 6am call time the next. Whenever I have an early call time I know that I’ll have to be up at 03:30am in order to get the job done right. All my clients know me as an early bird, keeping to a particular schedule helps to keep me organised and punctual.

 

What achievements are you most proud as a business owner?

What I’m most proud of thus far is the clientele I have, besides working on South Africa’s biggest events, my clients are good people to work with, and I have the opportunity to work alongside companies that have been in business for more than ten years. To me that’s something that I pat myself on the back for.

I also have the most amazing team in Johannesburg, Durban and North West, these are the people who saw the vision and mission I had as a young entrepreneur and decided to be a part of it and grow with me.

I am most proud of the fact that I’ve made a name for myself and I’m now able to inspire other young people who admire my hustle, as I continue to push through even the hardest times.

 siphesihle losi

What obstacles have you overcome as an entrepreneur?

I tend to take things personally and I am an impatient person. So I’ve had to learn not to take everything so personally, and have learnt to resolve issues with a calm approach. Most of the obstacles I’ve had, I overcame by asking for advice, seeking information especially from people that are in the same industry as I am, and what I’ve realised is that I don’t know everything and sometimes it is okay to seek assistance.

 

What are your future plans for ILosi Events Management?

The future for ILosi Events Management is to build an empire. I most definitely want to expand my services with the team I have, so I have been looking at décor designs. I would also like to have a permanent team and hopefully host our own events in the future.

How do you balance work and personal life?

I keep work very professional, my clients stay as clients and even though my friends happen to be business owners they are in different industries. I take great pride in building the best relationships with my clients and friends.

Things flow easily for me when I separate the two, but sometimes my friends suffer when I am a bit stressed out with work and I am not as bubbly as I normally am, but I try to keep things balanced.

 

What do you do for fun, and what are your interests outside of managing events?

I love running, contemporary dancing and I recently started playing tennis. I am now based in Johannesburg, so I don’t meditate by the beach or surf anymore, but I also enjoy that too.

 

What three tips would you give someone wanting to go into events management?

*Expect to work long hours and have little sleep.

*You need to enjoy constantly being in a crowd.

*Don’t expect to have a social or personal life because your work will become your life.


Do you have any insights on how to run a successful events management company?

Let us know here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons on Pitching: from JamJar Founding Partner Frances Quarcoopome

About Seedstars Pitch competition

Seedstars World promotes, connects and invests up to $1.5 million in emerging market startups, through its exclusive startup competition, held in in 60 countries. Seedstars is one of the largest pitch competitions in the world, they hold a series of local start up competitions, a regional one and then global.

 

The motivation to pitch

I had been following Seedstars for over 3 years, and had been thinking about pitching, however I didn’t quite have the idea yet. I just knew that if JamJar was going to expand into Africa we needed something scalable and relevant. Within the last 3 years of working in the events industry, our experience has highlighted challenges that our customers face, particularly international customers who are unsure about the African market.

I decided there was a solution for this: A platform which makes it easier for clients to find, book and plan events in Africa, through our network of venues and suppliers. This is what I pitched and although it was my first time pitching ever, I came second place.

The whole experience of pitching was thrilling and also interesting, in terms of venturing into the tech space. The one thing I noticed was also the fact that in Accra, I was the only woman pitching. Now, some people say this would have been an advantage, but considering that all the other contestants and the judges were male, I wasn’t too sure. I did however see this as a great opportunity to stand out further by delivering a stellar pitch.

 

Lessons learnt as the only woman pitching

  1. Don’t be intimidated, You know what you are capable of and no matter what, do what you have to
  2. Put your gender aside, let your capabilities shine through
  3. Never see it as a problem, rather an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

 

Lessons for a successful Pitch

  1. Be clear about what your product is and what you are trying to achieve
  2. Practice your pitch, but most of all, your answers to the tough questions
  3. Get a mentor, someone who has pitched before that can guide you and give you valuable insights
  4. Sometimes it’s not about whether your product is good, but what the pitch competition is trying to achieve. You may have the perfect pitch, but if your solution doesn’t align with the goals of the fund, it may not work out. If you can find this out before hand, do so.
  5. The key here is to keep going, believe in what you are trying to create, and the problem you are solving.

The biggest lesson I learnt is that, there is still a long way to go for people and companies to acknowledge the tech innovations in the creative industries, particularly fashion, events, photography, design etc.

Many investors continue to focus on Fintech, agriculture, health and education, and although these may be the big industries, it’s also time to value the creative and service industries and provide them with the support they need.

 

About JamJar

JamJar was created in 2013 out of frustration with the way corporate and creative events were organised in Ghana. Many events felt poorly organised and were identical. As a result JamJars’ founding partner, Frances Quarcoopome, found the need to put her skills to work and provide the industry with a creative alternative.

JamJar continues to be recognised for its innovative and forward thinking design concepts and exceptional event planning services.

Their vision is to be the top African creative agency, fueled with passion, innovation and the desire to make every client happy.

http://www.jamajrgh.com/

instagram.com/jamjar


 Do You have any tips on how to deliver a successful pitch? 

Let us know here.

How to Approach and Connect with your Dream Mentor

A few days ago, I was reading a piece by one of my favorite bloggers and it started like this: “There will come a moment when all that matters to you is that you experience growth, not comfort. When that time comes, it will shake your world up. It will cause you to expand into areas of thought that you never thought possible”. As I read those first sentences, the words jumped out at me, and me stand up.

Those first few sentences resonated strongly with me because it took me back to how I felt at the beginning of this year.  I have noticed many of us desire growth, but we never really actively work towards it. On the other hand, some of us actually start to work towards it, but we never grow all the way because we lack a few things. One of the things that I discovered going into this year, is that I had been lacking having a mentor, specifically for my career path.

The truth is many of us have people we look up to from a distance. We admire them, we even observe what they do and try to emulate them. Very often, I would hear people refer to such individuals as their mentors. Can we really regard them as mentors if there is no interaction with them at all?

Can you imagine if these same people you refer to as your mentors actually had conversations with you on a monthly basis or quarterly basis? Imagine you being able to reach out to them whenever you needed advice, insight or help navigating a difficult stage in your life, job, business, academics or ministry. When these kind of interactions begin to happen, that’s where active mentoring takes place.

A mentor is someone who takes the initiative to join you on your life’s journey and willingly helps you become all that you were born to be, so that you are able to do all that you were born to do. A mentor can also be described as someone who gives you a vital push at a certain stage in your life and without whom you may not have done so well.

Sounds like a real life superhero right? Believe the hype! A great mentor is an invaluable asset to anyone who wants to grow. But how does one approach and connect with a mentor especially when the person is far away or sometimes has no idea that you need them? I will share three steps I have learned to use this year.

Step 1: Identify your Mentor

Approaching the right mentor to come along on your journey is extremely critical. In very rare cases, will your mentor approach you offering ‘mentoring’ services. Usually, it’s the person who wants to be mentored who will need to take the initiative.

In this step, it is also very important that you have a good grasp on who you are, where you want to go, and most importantly, why you need a mentor. You can’t invite someone to help you on your journey if you have no idea where you want to go.

After you have answered these questions, you can now begin to look for someone you would want to have by your side on your journey – as a student, wife, parent, entrepreneur, working professional, creative etc.

Great mentors have a variety of characteristics but here are a few that you can be on the lookout for. A great mentor is someone:

  1. Who has achieved what you hope to achieve, and could potentially provide you a platform to get started.
  2. Who could give you advice or insight and help you see the bigger picture.
  3. Who has values you would want to emulate.
  4. That can help you navigate difficult terrain.

After identifying this person, get your hands on any material about the person, do your research so that you are able to establish if the person is a good match.

 

Step 2: Making the First Connection


You will need to reach out. This is usually where most of us get stuck because we don’t know what to say. You can reach out physically if the person is close by, but if the person is in another city or country, you will need to reach out virtually. Email is a great way to make a first connection, but when email fails, try social media. In addition, if you know someone who already knows your mentor, you can ask the person to make an introduction on your behalf.

When it comes to what you have to say, keep it simple. Start by telling the person a little about who you are. Next, tell the person where you are right now and where you are hoping to go. This is a great time to share your story. Follow up with why you need a mentor and end by telling the person why you want him/her to mentor you. Be honest. Be real. Mentors see through ‘fakeness’ and flattery.

 

Step 3: The Pursuit

This can be one of the hardest aspects of establishing an active mentoring relationship. But when you know how valuable a mentor can be to your success, you’ll take this last step seriously. The pursuit involves following up, especially when the mentor is far away, in a different city, country or time zone. You will need to be deliberate and intentional about communicating, asking questions, and giving your mentor feedback on what is happening with you, so they are able to give you the input you need for your next step.

Be serious about the mentoring relationship. Even when you aren’t having that physical interaction in person, endeavor to keep learning from them. If they have books, blogs, or other material- read them. If they are active on social media – participate with them on those platforms. If they are members of a particular organization, volunteer at that organization. Observe what they do, and always keep a book of questions.

Finally, this year I’ve learnt and seen first-hand how valuable having an active mentor is for one’s growth. Mentors are growth catalysts that many of us are not exploring. My dad said something few months ago, that I can’t forget: “When people don’t know what they can become, what they have become blinds them.”.

That’s what I love about mentors- they make sure we see much more than we possibly could by ourselves. So take the plunge today, find a mentor who is willing to come along on your journey. Happy Growing!


Do you have an inspiring mentorship story to share?

Let us know here.

 

Starting A PR Career And Finding The Right Fit

PR career

Graduating with a degree in Communications or Public Relations (PR) will indeed feel like a great accomplishment when you have your degree in hand. Many students, graduates or young professionals will agree that when it comes to a PR career, it really can be a tug of war scenario where you get pulled in different directions, until you finally find what works for you. There’s the option to work in agency or in-house, but without real knowledge of how it all works, how do you go about making the right decision?

If you are an aspiring PR girl, or in the early stages of your career, but still haven’t found your silver lining, here are some pearls of wisdom to help navigate your PR career.

 

 

Don’t Take Anything Personally 

Before you even begin the job hunting process write this down somewhere: “don’t take anything personally.” As with any creative role, you’ll be asked to come up with a whole bunch of out of the box ideas and work well in a team. This will often be epic campaigns, newsworthy story ideas, client management and working well under tight deadlines.

With this, can come a great deal of internal conflict. You have to learn to manage yourself well when your ideas aren’t received well, or a journalist belittles the relevance of your hard work on a press release.

In theory you might be thinking nothing can shake you, but until you are in this situation, you will find true meaning to these words. If you learn to brush it off quickly before it gets to you, you will develop a thick skin that will give you that Olivia Pope “gladiator status.”

 

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Seek Environments That Will Foster Your Growth

There was a post on LinkedIn  that every young professional and hiring manager/trainer should read:

If we want our juniors lawyers to be great then we need to see things for what they are. In terms of the somewhat unpredictable boss buffet, I was extremely lucky, I started out my legal career with the best possible boss a junior lawyer could have.

I was always supported, never scapegoated or scared to ask questions or admit mistakes. I was given responsibility, lots of client contact and lots of coffee. I was allowed to be me and do things my way (to a reasonable degree and supervised, of course!) The poor man had to put up with me working Beastie Boys references into my first ever firm presentation (admittedly this was for the firm only not for clients). I’ll stir fry you in my wok!

I once remember a client calling me and, after a brief discussion, demanding to be put through to my former boss. My boss took the call and said loudly (so that I could hear him) that everything I’d told the client was correct and he couldn’t have said it better himself.

We all know some lawyers who aren’t good at managing people. But this isn’t good enough because junior lawyers can’t grow into something great unless the senior lawyers around them are willing to support and mentor them, especially in their early years. Eyes on them because their eyes are very likely on you. -Eleni P (Lawyer)

Linking it all back to PR, this reflection from Eleni should serve as a reminder that when you place yourself in the right environment, you will flourish. But if you find yourself hard pressed for options, and in spaces that don’t allow you to grow, never stop searching; whether its through mentors, old college professors or anyone who knows and understands how the PR industry works.

The Learning Never Stops

Just because you have your shiny degree doesn’t make you an automatic PR expert. You have to keep pushing the boundaries and challenging even the very information that was fed down your throat by lecturers, stay hungry and don’t become complacent.

Lerato Chiyangwa, an Account Executive for Djembe Communications and contributing writer for various platforms says: never stop asking questions. If you want to show how valuable you are, consistency and practice are key.

 

 

Have a go- to person

Never underestimate the ability of having a go- to person who knows and understands the industry well. This might be a hard one because everyone is so time poor, so it might take a while to find someone who is willing to invest in you and serve as a guide from time to time.

In the meantime, reading articles such as this one is a great place to start.  From here you start to unpack different elements of your career journey, take what works for you, leave what doesn’t and keep fighting the good fight.

 

 

These are just a few tips to be mindful of when stepping out into the real world and figuring things out for yourself early on in your PR career. Remember, there will be bitter failures along the way, but also success. Take the good with the bad. If PR is what sets your heart on fire every morning, you will find the right fit.


Do you have career tips for an aspiring PR student?

Let us know here.