Tebang Ntsasa, Business Development Manager for Futureproof SA
Successful entrepreneurs possess high-performance behavioral traits that set them apart in the workplace. Traits such as grit, focus, adaptability, discipline, problem-solving and intuition (and a careful balance of these traits) play a key role in their success. Lisa Illingworth, co-founder, and CEO of Futureproof SA believes that these characteristics run beyond the boardroom and into their personal lives too.
“I’m in contact with entrepreneurs at various levels almost daily; the thing that always strikes me is the amount of energy and willpower that each dynamic entrepreneur possesses. In many cases, you realise that despite long workdays, these same behavioral traits have crept into their personal habits and are helping them to excel in sports, arts, their family lives, etc.,” says Lisa.
Lisa notes that this is exactly what Futureproof instills in children around the country. “We coach young learners to develop behavioral competencies that support entrepreneurial thinking and the foundational skillset required to build a business. By applying these learnings in all aspects of their lives, it’s engrained in them and they start developing healthy habits which lead to success”.
Sports coach and author of ‘Chasing Excellence’, Ben Bergeron has worked with world-renowned athletes and believes that it all comes down to grit. He says that talent without grit is merely potential while talent plus grit is unstoppable. In his book, he says: “People successful in life, in business, and in relationships are living into a process that leads to excellence”; “Like everything else, excellence is a habit”.
Seven Steps for Success
The very same techniques used to build and grow businesses can be applied in various aspects of life. “Whether you’re entering a race, taking on a new hobby or wish to further your studies, by applying the same steps that we do in business, we can reach our goals,” says Lisa.
- Vision and clarity
- Identify the need(s)
- Goal setting
- Plan your approach
- Focus – Strive to accomplish goals
- Take responsibility
- Achieve for maximum results
Running to save the world one entrepreneur at a time
Meet Tebang Ntsasa, Business Development Manager for Futureproof SA. Now part of South Africa’s leading entrepreneurial program for kids, Futureproof Tebang put all his energy into running and has used it to make a difference. Futureproof is a national network of seasoned entrepreneurs teaching entrepreneurship to kids as young as age 6.
“Running gave me a second chance to look at the world differently. I grew up in an environment where I was exposed to drugs and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy crime and any other illegal activity you can think of,” he explains.
“On the day I turned, I decided to go for a run. As I was running, I had flashbacks on some of the challenges and events I faced in my life. I remember having a breakdown after the 9th kilometer. I sat down on the road and cried, which helped to let go of all the emotions I was going through”.
Today, Tebang uses running as a fundraising platform that will be used towards teaching in-school entrepreneurship. Tebang is currently working with Street Light Schools (Jeppe Park) to make this dream a reality.
“At FutureProof, we believe that entrepreneurship is a skill that can be learnt practically while also focusing on the academic side of it. In partnership with Street Light Schools, we designed, developed and executed an entrepreneurship programme that challenged the Grade 4 learners to identify the social challenges we face in our communities,” explains Tebang.
“Not only that, but we also focused on building personal leadership and entrepreneurship skills of the learners. In their respective groups, every individual had a role to play. They also learnt what it takes to produce a product, which means someone was responsible for getting the raw materials (stuff) needed to produce their respective products”.
The products that were produced by the leaners include; Artwork/Painting, Recycled Dust Bins, Pen Holders, and Lava Lamps. All the products were produced out of recycled materials to instill social-awareness skills.
“My vision for 2021 is to reach 20 000 in school learners from previously disadvantaged schools, intending to teach them how to think and act entrepreneurially within their respective communities. The end goal is to change in-school entrepreneurship and also to inspire someone to run for a purpose” he concludes.