Having a great concept is one small step towards business success. Why not learn from the people who have succeeded, people who have often defied the odds to get to the very top?
Here are inspirational business quotations to help you achieve your goals in 2021.
“Building solid relationships is the foundation of a successful business.”
~ Romeo Kumalo, co-founder and CEO of LLH Capital
Media and telecommunications guru Romeo Kumalo is a former executive at Vodacom International. The Harvard Business School alumni is also co-founder of investment company, LLH Capital, and director of Kalon Venture Partners, a venture capital fund that focuses on financing tech start-ups in South Africa.
“It’s important to have the best work ethic, that you’re applying yourself as much as possible and that you’re not as dependent on what others can do for you but that you’re focused on what you can do.”
~ Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO of Naspers
Soweto-born Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa started her career at an investment bank in New York. On her return to South Africa, she was appointed head of project finance at the Development Bank of Southern Africa. The business powerhouse went on to become CEO of the Shanduka Group before co-founding the Sigma Capital Group.
Mahanyele-Dabengwa was named Business Woman of the Year in 2019 at the All Africa Business Leaders Awards. In the same year, she became the first black, and first female, chief executive of Naspers.
“What truly defines success in challenging markets is the ability to recreate oneself from one failure to another.”
~ Rohan Garg, founder of Belvie Beverages in Niger
Aged 23, Rohan Garg left India to start a bottled water company in Niger. Now, seven years later, Belvie Beverages has snatched up a 40% share of the Nigerian market.
Garg, who learnt the tricks of the retail trade at Walmart in the US, has aspirations of Belvie Beverages becoming the largest bottled water and carbonated beverages brand in West Africa.
“The first thing that you need (to start a business), more than money is intellectual capital.”
~ Lufefe Nomjana, founder of Espinaca Innovations and Spinach King
With R40 seed capital and plenty of self-belief, entrepreneur Lufefe Nomjana transformed a tiny spinach bread-making enterprise into a full-on business. Today, the UCT Graduate School of Business alumni is the proud owner of Spinach King, a Khayelitsha eatery specialising in healthy, gluten-free meals made from locally-grown organic ingredients.
“Hard work is not enough, you need to be smart, savvy and have tons of perseverance.”
~ Vinny Lingham, co-founder and CEO of Civic
Local entrepreneur and tech superstar Vinny Lingham has built so many start-ups it’s hard to keep track. The co-founder and CEO of Civic, a blockchain-based encryption company, is the formidable force behind IncuBeta, Yola and Gyft, a mobile gift-card company that was recently acquired for a cool US$54 million.
Lingham’s latest venture is SiliconCape, an NGO with the sole objective of transforming Cape Town into an African tech hub.
“You can let a setback derail you or you can use it as an opportunity to learn and carry the business forward.”
~ Nicholas Bell, founder and CEO of Decision Inc.
In 2008, 22-year-old Bell started building simple IT solutions for SAB. After picking up a few more clients, he launched what would eventually become Decision Inc, a global technology and digital transformation company with offices in London, Sydney, Cape Town and Johannesburg.
“Follow your passion – that is key. Passion keeps you going even before you start converting to revenue. You must be passion-driven, rather than money-driven.”
~ Inga Gubeka, founder of Indalo Décor and Inga Atelier.
Born in Ngqeleni in the Eastern Cape, Inga Gubeka is a sizzling-hot South African fashion leader best known for his leather and wood accessories. He uses a fusion of technology, functionality and design to create beautiful things. Gubeka is the creative genius and driving force behind luxury retail brand Inga Atelier.
“Think big and windows of opportunities will appear.”
~ Siya Beyile, founder of the Threaded Man
Siya Beyile is another young Eastern Cape man who has soared to fame and fortune. The 27-year-old fashionista and founder of The Threaded Man and Siya Beyile Holdings was selected by Forbes magazine as one of “Africa’s 30 Under 30s” tipped to make a global impact by 2026.
“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.”
~ Howard Schultz, former CEO and chairman emeritus of Starbucks
The billionaire and CEO of Fortune 500 company Starbucks transformed a Seattle coffee shop into a globally adored coffee chain. The Brooklyn-born son of a truck driver turned adversity into triumph with persuasion, passion and decades of hard work.
“It’s important to have self-belief. Passion for success is the most important driving force to achieving your goals. Do what you do for love and not for money.”
~ Jen Su, author, brand influencer and TV and radio presenter
South African-American Jen Su has been hugely successful in six countries across three continents… and she “ain’t done yet”. The popular TV and radio personality is now focussing her energy on building brands, both locally and abroad.
“If you want to be successful, you need to be utterly obsessed. You need to reply to customer queries after 5pm on a Friday.”
~ Vusi Thembekwayo, CEO of MyGrowthFund Venture Partners.
Business mogul, investor and self-proclaimed disruptor Vusi Thembekwayo is a self-made multi-millionaire. He has founded a slew of successful companies across an array of business sectors. In 2013, Thembekwayo became the first African speaker to be invited to speak at the World Bank.
“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”
~ Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox
At 37, the co-founder and CEO of the file hosting site Dropbox is a billionaire. In addition to starting one of the best tech businesses in Silicon Valley, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate honed his formidable business acumen at Accolade, Hubspot and Bit9.
“You always have to be available for the business, anytime, all the time.”
~ Mogau Seshoene, founder and CEO of cooking start-up, The Lazy Makoti
Mogau Seshoene left a promising career in finance to follow her dream of teaching locals the finer art of preparing traditional South African fare. She opened The Lazy Makoti in 2016 and has not looked back. In addition to cookery classes, the company has developed a range of food-related township-produced products.
“There is nothing more important than an environment and a culture that says everybody is needed and wanted. The farmer doesn’t spend 80% of his time massaging the individual seeds; he spends 80% of his time preparing the soil; the environment.”
~ Bonang Mohale, former CEO of Business Leadership South Africa
Respected South African business leader Bonang Mohale is recognised as a committed nation builder. He’s scooped up countless awards and served as an executive member of some of the largest companies in South Africa – Shell, Sanlam, Otis, South African Airways and Bidvest. In 2020, Mohale was appointed as the Chancellor of Free State University.
“Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future.”
~ Larry Page, co-founder of Google, and former CEO of Alphabet.
Unassuming, quietly spoken but all-powerful, Larry Page co-founded search engine giant, Google, at just 25 years of age. The Stanford graduate and self-proclaimed computer geek was inspired by a dream to start working on the idea of ranking web pages by their inbound links. The rest, as they say, is history.
Page, who has an estimated net worth of $69.4 billion, is currently the 13th richest person in the world!
“Failure in any business journey is not the end. In fact, failure is great, when you own it. It allows you to take accountability and start all over again with new and improved ideas.”
~ Monalisa Sam, founder of Tungwa Retail Holdings.
Entrepreneur, visionary and results-driven business executive Monalisa Sam is a rising star in the retail business development sector. Labelled a ‘Mogul in the Making’, Sam founded South African retail and investor company, Tungwa Retail Holdings, and is currently the executive head of retail design and property management at Vodacom.
“Find what you love doing and exert all your effort in pursuing it. Do as much as you can on your own, and always ask for help when you need it.”
~ Ludwick Marishane, Founder of Headboy Industries
Ludwick Marishane is the founder of Headboy Industries, best known for its dry bath gel. Smart, innovative and hardworking, Marishane isn’t short of recognition. At 20, he was listed as one of “12 Brightest Minds and Best Student Entrepreneurs” by Google. A few years later, Time Magazine tipped him as one of “30 People Under 30 Changing The World”.
“Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.”
~ Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter
Co-founder and CEO of Twitter and mobile payments company Square, Dorsey kickstarted his tech career by developing software for taxi companies. The laidback Missouri native, who has an estimated net-worth of more than US$3 billion, is apparently considering an entirely new career – running for New York City Mayor.
If these inspirational business quotations have motivated you to become an entrepreneur, consider setting up your office at The Workspace. We offer affordable, fully serviced offices and coworking, and all our members have access to meeting rooms, boardrooms and a range of business services. For more information or to book a tour of one of our branches, call us on 0861 250 259 or contact us online.