Be a black sheep

Vusi Thembekwayo speaks about the importance of standing out

Vusi Thembekwayo

Kevin Chaplin, of the Amy Biehl Foundation, in conjunction with the South African Ubuntu Foundation's networking breakfast, let us all in for a treat this morning. He had convinced the third best public speaker in the world to address the morning's attendants.

Vusi Thembekwayo has a long list of accolades. But they are not only related to public speaking. Having been an entrepreneur himself, his words of wisdom are significant, in that he understands what it takes to stay motivated in business.

His topic was "Black Sheep". A black sheep stands out from the crowd and is not a white sheep that goes with the flow. His talk addressed two very important issues that entrepreneurs come up against: What makes one entrepreneur better than the rest, and the importance of recognising change and not to let it catch you unaware.

The difference between the best and the rest, Thembekwayo explains, is that the best are not afraid to push the envelope. Where others may feel that they need to slow down, they speed up. Furthermore, they do not rely on predictions and on forecasts, but watch the here and now.

Entrepreneurs who succeed are the ones who pay attention to the details of change and what they can do to fit into that change or use it to their advantage.

He made the very good point that, in addition to these two aspects of success, entrepreneurs who see themselves as successful do not see themselves as successful but as significant. They have a reason for being in the business they are in, and that is to improve people's lives. Significance means that instead of saying 'how' do we do what we do and make money out of it, they say 'why' do we do what we do? And the answer is almost always that they want their brand to be significant in people's lives.


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Issue 23


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