[This article was originally published on 09 December 2018.]

The holiday season is here – to help you get the most out of your free time, we’ve compiled a list of books, podcasts and articles you can enjoy during your break.

Below is our top entertainment picks for the entrepreneur on holiday:

What to read – books

2020

1. The Other Story – This is the second book by Dr Judy Dlamini, chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand and chairperson of Mbekani Investments. While Dlamini’s first book, ‘Equal but Different’, focused on the rise of women in the corporate sphere, ‘The Other Story’ features interviews with some of the African continent’s biggest achievers. Read the stories of greats such as Gloria Serobe, Zanele Mbeki, Ali Mufuruki, Kevin Lubega, Nhlanhla Dlamini, Dr Peter Matseke, and more.

2. Growing Greatness – 20 Habits That Break Habits – Pepe Marais is an author, entrepreneur and co-founder of one of the leading marketing agencies in South Africa, Joe Public United. His first book, ‘Growing Greatness’, published in 2018, outlined his journey to personal and business mastery.  Two years later, he has released his second book, Growing Greatness – 20 Habits That Break Habits, a self-help book that aims to inspires people from all walks of life. In the book he emphasises that in order to eradicate a limiting belief you have to replace it with a liberating one.

3. Future Next: Reimagining Our World and Conquering Uncertainty – Iraj Abedian and John Sanei explore how our post-pandemic society will move forward. The book provides readers with the mindset and tools they need to operate and succeed in our new future. Sanei is a future-strategist, and his co-writer, Abedian, is and economist and the founder and Chief Executive of Pan-African Capital Holdings.

2019

1. Fuelling Futures: From Influence to Impact By Tshepiso Phosa and Timothy Maurice Webster, this fuel-themed book is part biography (Phosa is from a politically significant family, her parents are Dr. Mathews Phosa and Pinky Phosa), part business book with personal development thrown in for good measure.

2. Betting on a Darkie – Well respected CEO, Mteto Nyati’s, book details his journey from schoolboy in Mthatha to top CEO. Nyati is group CE and executive director of Altron. He also previously served as CEO at MTN.

3. The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen – Mogau Seshoenee is the founder of the home cooking brand, The Lazy Makoti. She published her book, a South African cookbook that celebrates Mzansi’s heritage and culture through African meals, in 2018, but it was this year that her cookbook won an award at the Gourmand International Awards ceremony for Best Cookbooks of the Year, held in Macao, China. Her book The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen placed second in the world. Locally, her cookbook is currently a bestseller and is on its fifth run.

4. Baked In Pain: Your Traumatic Past May Just Be the Fuel You Need to Soar Amanda Dambuza is a respected businesswoman and CEO of Uyandiswa Project Management Services, a company which provides services to some of the biggest corporates in the country. She also currently sits on the boards of some listed companies as well as several private companies. Dambuza was the winner in the Entrepreneur category and the overall winner of  the Veuve Cliquot ELLE Boss awards in 2017.

5. Boardroom Dancing – Nolitha Fakude is an executive director at Sasol Limited, a member of the Risk and SHE Committee and Chairman of Sasol Mining. She is also a well-known advocate and business woman. The Sunday Times describes her book as “a lesson for those committed to transformation in the SA business arena, and for women looking for role models as they climb the corporate ladder”.

What to read – articles

2020

1. COVID-19: “The Key to Survival Now is to Stay Close to Your Customers”- Darlene Menzies

Darlene Menzies is a pioneer in the South African tech space, she is an innovator and serial entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of FinFind. She provides a brilliantly honest and optimistic perspective on what South African entrepreneurs can do to not only survive the pandemic but to come out stronger on the other side. “For the rest, there will be a need to focus on cash flow and implement survival strategies that enable them to survive the anticipated rolling lockdowns, in the hope that in a year from now, business can start to claw its way out of the pandemic hole.”

2. 11 Reasons to Love Your Competitors

If 2020 has shown us anything, is that we need each other more than we think. While this article was published before the pandemic hit, but it was perfectly timed. In a time when most small businesses are struggling, experts are advising entrepreneurs to collaborate with each other, now more than ever. This article by Dr Thommie Burger, founder of JTB Consulting, shows what you stand to benefit by looking at what you stand to benefit from having competitors.

3. Read the Funding Stories of 4 Powerhouse Female Entrepreneurs

To commemorate Women’s Month 2020 SME South Africa in August launched the ‘Breaking the Funding Glass Ceiling’ series to shine the spotlight on the funding challenges women entrepreneurs on the African continent continue to face, as well as celebrate the funding successes that have helped women entrepreneurs to build innovative and impactful businesses.

2019

1. Meet the Woman Who Wants to Ensure No Child is Left Behind in the Tech Revolution – Guided by the mission that no child be left behind, Lindiwe Matlali is a techpreneur and a member of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). She founded Africa Teen Geeks (ATG) in 2014 – a non-profit organisation that provides coding lessons to school children and unemployed youth. The organisation also hosts workshops, hackathons and does community outreach. Find out how she grew her organisation to become one of Africa’s largest computer science NGOs in just four years. They have reached over 48,000 children and recruited over 1,300 volunteers.

2. Make The Mighty Leap from Freelancer To Entrepreneur– Looking to make the change from freelancer to entrepreneur? This article show you how to make the shift and practical steps to consider. Tryphinah Moleke offers the following advice:  “As a freelancer, YOU are the business, if you are sick, you have no income, if you go on holiday, you have no income, you get paid to do the work, YOU DO THE WORK.

“As an entrepreneur, you are getting others to do the work with, and for you. You are the business owner, not the business, you utilise other people’s resources (time, energy, money) to grow the business.”

3. Three Female Entrepreneurs Take On the Diamond Business – Collectively known as the ‘Diamond Collection’, Munirah Desai, Thoko Zwane and Mosibudi Jo Mathole are the proud owners of their own diamond businesses. Read how these three women are playing their part in transforming the diamond mining industry.

4. Glamourising Entrepreneurship in South Africa: The Warning Label is Missing! – Allon Raiz, Founder and CEO  of Raizcorp makes a compelling case for more truth telling in entrepreneurship.

He writes, “It’s simple. I believe that South Africa has developed a culture of glamourising entrepreneurship that is, in a sense, “false advertising”.

“The warning label is missing.

“It is widely accepted that around 96% of new businesses fail within a ten-year period the world over. That is staggering statistic and not one that can be easily glossed over.”

5. How We Use WhatsApp To Run and Grow Our Business – Thought leader and techpreneur, Tshiwela Ncube, shares why Whatsapp is a valuable tool for all entrepreneurs. Read to find out how the platform enables them to be more accessible and to communicate with customers and suppliers.

2018

1. Top 10 Influential South African Business and Entrepreneurship Books you Need to Read –  From the very personal Vusi by Vusi Thembekwayo, to the more practical ‘Do. Fail. Learn. Repeat.’ by Nic Haralambous, founder of NicHarry socks, and everything in between – catch up on some of the best local releases from 2018. Also look out for releases by DJ Zinhle, John Sanei and Jeremy Maggs.

2. What you Can Learn from Steve Harvey about Overcoming your Fears and Doubts – “The dream has to be bigger than the fear,” says Steve Harvey. Find out what American entrepreneur and talk show host, Steve Harvey, says helped him to conquer his fears and doubts whenever he tackles a new project.

3. From Umlazi to Silicon Valley– One Woman’s Inspiring Journey in the Tech Industry – Be inspired by the journey of woman in tech, Phumzile Khumalo, who heads what is still considered the world’s leading technology hub, Silicon Valley in San Francisco, USA. “I believe it is very important for women in tech to be very clear about where they want to go, and be willing to work towards it.”

4.“Your Competitive Advantage is YOU” – Read why Rapelang Rabana says, “Ask yourself, what do you have the potential to offer, that is so unique and compelling, that is so helpful that no computer can replace you, no one can outsource you.” She is a computer scientist, tech entrepreneur, and is now chief digital officer at BCX, a ICT company. She is also the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader for 2017 and was selected as one of Forbes Africa’s ‘30 Under 30’ top African entrepreneurs.

5. Five Things You Should Know About Connie and Shona Ferguson’s Growing TV and Film Empire – Connie Ferguson and her husband, Shona, are the couple behind the local television empire, Ferguson Films, which they launched in 2010.

The couple is responsible for helping to change the face of television production in the country, all because they were tired of having to look for TV jobs.

What to listen to – podcasts

2020

1. VT Podcast – Vusi Thembekwayo, businessman and global speaker, is growing his reach with podcasts being the latest medium he is exploring. The VT Podcast was launched in November and covers topics relevant to entrepreneurs such as how to achieve a winning mindset and innovative thinking.

2. The Curious Cult Show – Nic Haralambous is a long-time entrepreneur and content creator. His show, simply put, is an obsessive look at what makes some of country’s brightest minds tick. Guests range from investor, Vinny Lingham, Pargo founder, Lars Veul, and renowned techpreneur, Rapelang Rabana, and more.

3. She Brigade – If you’re looking for a podcast that is both empowering and motivational, Pelontle Mosimege’s She Brigade podcast is for you. Pelontle talks to inspirational women across South Africa, from corporate professionals to entrepreneurs. She digs deep, asks all the right questions to uncover the journey that has led them to being the women they are today. Famously, at the very end of each episode she asks the question “What would you tell your younger self?” and the answers are incredible. It’s worth a listen.

2019

1. My Money, My Lifestyle – hosted by personal finance bloggers and authors, Maya Fisher-French and Mapalo Makhu, who are both City Press contributors. On their podcast they chat about the stories they are currently working on. Listen to  hear them talk about an array of finance topics, from investing in the stock market and knowing the difference between a credit facility and a personal loan, to women and money.

2. sme.africa podcast – Marnus Broodryk the entrepreneur, author and former SharkTankSA judge is the host of this podcast. He interviews entrepreneurs and CEOs on topics like venture capital, e-commerce and brand building. Recent guests include Pepe Marais, founder of marketing agency, Joe Public; Keet van Zyl, partner and co-founder at Knife Capital and CEO of Europcar South Africa, Dawn Nathan-Jones.

3. The Carmen Murray Show – Carmen Murray is an entrepreneur, innovator and tech fundi. In her podcast she interviews celebrities, news-makers and business experts to discover the stories behind their success. Her guests have included branding expert, Timothy Maurice Webster, trends analyst, Dion Chang, investor and thumbzup founder, Stafford Masie, and CEO of Future Advisory, Herman Singh.

4. Unemployable with Brian Clark – Brian Clark, digital entrepreneur, who provides actionable strategies for freelancers and creative entrepreneurs. Topics covered on his podcast include freelancing, creative entrepreneurship, social media marketing and community management.

5. Marketing School with Neil Patel and Eric Siu – The hosts of this podcast are marketing experts who offer advice to business owners on how to use marketing to grow their businesses, including what tools to use and the top marketing trends. Episodes topics you can expect include: top tips for crushing a speaking opportunities, SEO and practical ways to use data to grow faster.

6. A Drink with James – hosted by Fohr CEO, James Nord, this weekly show covers all aspects of influencer marketing. The topics he explores are the future of influencer marketing, in-feed post frequency, investing in digital products and how to get good engagement.

2018

1. 100% Local Business and Entrepreneurship Podcasts to Help You Up Your Game – Our list of the best South African podcasts in the country. This includes MashStartsup with Mashudu Modau targeted at “Africa’s opportunity seekers, problem solvers, future shapers, world builders and entrepreneurs”.

For those looking for a marketing focused podcast, we have ‘Lessons with Lion: A podcast of survival tips for the concrete jungle’ by Livhuwani Nefolovhodwe, more commonly known as Lebo Lion. She describes her platform as “a marketing and ideas podcast for African Pioneers”.

Other well known podcasts are #DJSbuBreakfast by DJ Sbu and Power Business hosted by economist, Ayabonga Cawe.

2. The Big Small Business Show – hosted by Allon Raiz, CEO of Raizcorp, an internationally known business guru, the show aims to give viewers practical and down-to-earth business advice and is tailor-made for entrepreneurs. Expect insight, tips and advice to help you take the leap into entrepreneurship.

3. The GaryVee Audio Experience – Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur and investor who shares lessons from his own entrepreneurial journey. His podcast is an extension of his existing brand (also includes vlogging) which focuses on entrepreneurship, marketing and social media trends. He has featured the likes of public speaker Tony Robbins, health expert, Dr Oz, and YouTuber, Casey Neistat.

4. Small Business MBA – this is a practical guide to entrepreneurship, hosted by Raizcorp trainer, Yasmeen Alli. Each week she gives us essential advice on a different aspect of your business, and chats to expert guests for their perspectives.

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Who to follow – Linkedin, Twitter & Instagram

2020

1. Pepe Marais (LinkedIn) – Pepe Marais is the founding partner and Group Chief Creative Officer of brand and communication group Joe Public United. He is considered to be one of the country’s foremost creative leaders in the advertising industry. What is clear from his social media presence is that he is also a natural teacher who is invested in people’s growth. Follow his LinkedIn for business wisdom and inspiration. 

2. Beauty on TApp (Instagram) – Beauty on TApp is a great platform for those actively looking start supporting (and buying) local beauty brands. Some of the local brands they stock on their website are Native Child, Uso by African Dermal Science, Black Girl Sunscreen, Kudu Cosmetica, and many more. The platform and ecommerce store was founded by Mathebe Molise.

2019

1. Social Media Accounts That Helped Push the Entrepreneurship Conversation Forward in 2019. A list of social media accounts that are doing their bit to provide information and support to entrepreneurs, as well as champion the local ecosystem. The list includes: branding whizz, Joe Human, social impact entrepreneur, Busi Mkhumbuzi Pooe and Pepe Marais, founder of advertising group Joe Public United, one of the country’s leading advertising agency, among others.

2018

1. SA Entrepreneurs on Twitter you should be Following for your Daily Dose of Motivation. From Khanyi Dhlomo offering motivation to reach your full potential and John Sanei, a disruption expert, to Lynette Ntuli sharing business advice, business news and updates, this is who you should be following on the platform.

2. Linkedin is Quickly Becoming our Go-to Platform for Inspiration – Here’s why.  Find out why we think the platform has become the perfect place for (almost) drama-free discussion, even rivaling Twitter in the entrepreneurship inspiration stakes. Also see our recommendations for who to follow, including Wits Business School, VC Clive Butkow, and entrepreneur, Tebogo Ditshego.

3. Nine SA Entrepreneurs whose Instagram Accounts are #EntrepreneurshipGoals. South African entrepreneurs show off the lighter (and more fun) side of being your own boss on the list is Allegro Dinkwanyane, founder of  Orgella Media, Sylvester Chauke, founder, DNA Brand Architects and Thato Kgatlhanye of Rethaka Foundation, among others.

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Quotes for every occasion

2020

1. On women and funding opportunities

“Unlocking the economic potential of women makes economic and social sense. It increases women’s bargaining power, positively affects economic growth and national incomes, makes for greater job and wealth creation and ultimately benefits the greater economy leading to a more inclusive and prosperous Africa.” – Irene Ochem, founder and chief executive officer of Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF)

2. On business survival in a post-COVID-19 world

“2020 is turning out to be a year of business unusual. The key to survival now is to stay close to customers to understand their changing needs and seize opportunities to resolve these for them. This includes building online trading strategies, as well as developing niche products/services to address gaps in the market.”- Darlene Menzies, founder and CEO of FinFind

3. On healthy competition

“Without competition, it’s easy to lose focus on your core business and you may start to expand into areas that’s not the best for your business. It reminds you every now and then to focus on what’s important. Being competitive forces you and your business to figure out how to be different than your competition. It will help you build a better business.” – Dr Thommie Burger, founder of JTB Consulting

2019

1. Sales advice from the experts

“Be comfortable in announcing your successes. If you show excitement about what you do, your prospect will in most cases, become equally excited.” – Mike Anderson, founder and CEO of the National Small Business Chamber

“Complete mini closes throughout [your] pitch. This can be done by asking questions like: ‘Does this make sense? What do you think so far? Is that important to you?’” – Mark Keating, CEO and founder of SalesGuru, a sales training and development company

2. Quotes to help you get your pricing right

“The most important thing for South African manufacturers to consider when setting their prices is value for money. If you can defend your value, you can defend your price.” – Deryn Graham, Public Relations Manager of Proudly South African

“Sometimes when it comes down to the wire, I will ask myself (a woman and online fashion consumer) – ‘if I was buying this product at another retailer what would I be prepared to purchase it for? What do I personally think it’s worth and is it fairly priced?’” Roxanne Page, Managing director and co-founder of SassyChic

3. Lessons from entrepreneurs on how to pay yourself a salary

“It is important to also remember that you will have to pay tax on any salary that you pay to yourself.” Chris Bruchhausen and Gareth Price, founders of Investmint, a platform that connects South African businesses

“I keep the money in the business as it increases the value of my business, mitigates risk and ensures that there is cash flow, should clients pay late, if I have to carry expenses for a client and for the monthly operating and running of the business.” Jodi Lynn Karpes, solopreneur and founder of Green Queen Communications, a public relations company

4. Experts on the presentation skills you need to win over clients

“My best suggestion to identify your core message is to think of a t-shirt slogan. If you only had ten words for your entire presentation, what would those ten words be? Can you make those ten words interesting, memorable and repeatable?” Aletta Rochat, speaker, trainer, author and public speaking coach.

“Develop the skill to ‘read the room.’ This skill will enable you to change your sales pitch or presentation to align as closely as possible to what the client needs and understands. The more a client can see proof that you know how to adapt to their specific needs, the easier they will find it to sign on the dotted line.” Juanita Vorster, founder and strategist at At That Point, a PR and communications services company

5. Social media pros on what to expect going into the social media marketing industry

“Social media isn’t about posting a [certain] number of times on platforms. You need to figure out what challenges your market is facing – create a methodology to solve this problem.” Lebogang Mokubela, CEO of the Lemok Group

“Listen to what people are saying about your business across social networks. Every interaction is an opportunity to engage. Pay attention to how people engage with your business.” Lindo Myeni, owner of BrandConnecX

2018

1. If You are Losing in Business or Life You Should Read These Quotes 

“Nineteen people may love your work, but the twentieth one will hate it and will tell you so; you cannot allow that to affect you. That may sound trite, but there is huge risk in letting criticism get you down.” – Carrol Boyes, owner and designer at Carrol Boyes

“No one is great at everything. We all have our limitations and shortcomings… What unique skills and abilities do you bring to the table? In what areas are you invaluable? You need to find that area where you can offer real value.” – K.O, South African rapper and entrepreneur

2. Quotes from SA’s Best on their Secrets to Success

“I looked at people as people, not as numbers. When I meet with you, when you come into my business place, I would ask for your name, if you come again, I will welcome you as Mr So and So,” explained Richard Maponya, a Sowetan business icon and founder of Maponya Group

3. Nine Powerful Quotes to Help you Become a Well-Connected Entrepreneur

“Your network is the people who want to help you, and you want to help them, and that’s really powerful.” – Reid Hoffman, American internet entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author

4. 12 Big Lessons from some of SA’s most Inspiring Women

“We have been brought up to believe that wanting to be rich is somehow evil, negative, makes you greedy. We need to change that mindset, the reality is that when you start a business it’s to make money and we need to be unapologetic about it. I am not proposing of course that we start to make money by any means and at any cost. You need to be mindful of the environment that you operate in, you need to be mindful of the society that you operate in.” – Polo Leteka, founder of IDF Managers, which launched in 2008 and invests exclusively in women entrepreneurs.

“Stop shrinking yourself to fit places you’ve outgrown” – Lynette Ntuli is founding director and CEO of Innate Investment Solutions, a property, asset and infrastructure development and solutions firm

5. 8 Quotes to Help You Be a Leader, Not Just a Boss, in 2018

“There is nothing more important than an environment and a culture that we create that says everybody is needed and wanted, where you can feel it, touch it, and where it is palpable, especially with women, because businesses today are very hostile to women as they are hostile to black people in general. That environment where, like farming, we know the farmer doesn’t spend 80% of his time massaging the individual seeds, but they spend 80% of their time preparing the soil, the environment. So the culture in an organisation says every one of our people irrespective of age, race, sexual orientation in the right environment can bare fruit in abundance, they can thrive. There is nothing that is more critical than to prepare that environment and that culture.” – Bonang Mohale is the CEO Of Business Leadership South Africa

“The important thing about strategy is that it’s no good if it’s just in the mind of the leadership, it’s got to be cascaded across the entire business to the lowest possible common denominator. And that’s all very good and well, but I think one of the things that a lot of businesses miss is that once you have the strategy outlined or articulated it needs to be to underpinned with integrated performance management. So you can have a clearly articulated strategy but if you do not share it it’s a problem and if you don’t underpin it with performance management it’s an even bigger problem” – Kevin Hedderwick is the former COO and executive director of lifestyle investment company, Long4Life

6. Travel Queen Johanna Mukoki on Making it to the Top of the Tourism Industry

“I think I realised it at the first board meeting I sat in. It’s important (to be expert in your industry) especially when you’re the only woman there. I had to know my company’s ins and outs, about statistics out there… it’s so that I can be taken seriously.”

7. To the Job Creators – Quotes from Famous SA Entrepreneurs who are Playing their Part #WorldSMEDay

“We have to create jobs. The success of businesses and all of us depends on job creation.”- Patrice Motsepe, founder of investment firm African Rainbow Capital (ARC) and mining magnate

“SweepSouth has created thousands of job opportunities in the last few months for women, the vast majority of whom were unemployed, resulting in more than 100 000 hours of cleaning being completed over this time,”- Aisha Pandor, co-founder and CEO of SweepSouth, an online platform providing on-demand and regular home cleaning services on the African continent

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