By Fati Gorezi
Ntando Makwela was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and has been a dynamic person from birth. He started reading books at the age of three and by 16 years of age he had done what many people only dream of doing – and he continues to stretch himself to be the best he can be. Ntando attributes most of his extraordinary feats to attending seminars and courses, particularly ‘Success Resources’, where his inaugural attendance of a seminar was at ‘Millionaire Mind Intensive’, in September of 2013, at the tender age of 11.He encourages the youth not to wait for authorities or someone else to come to their rescue but to learn, grow and be the best they can be for a better
What motivated you to start a career in entrepreneurship at such a young age?
I was inspired by my parents, who encouraged entrepreneurship as a pathway. I was exposed to business seminars and attended training course since the tender age of 11. I also learned that there were many problems in our society, particularly with the youth in my country. I believe I can use the information and knowledge that I have learned, share it with other young people and motivate and inspire them to know that they can do anything that they put their mind to.
How did you build up an entrepreneurial spirit? Do you believe you were born with it or you developed it?
I believe I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. Since the age of five I’ve developed business ideas and concepts that I am still yet to use. I could never settle with working for someone else. From a young age I knew that entrepreneurship was the answer for me.
What has been the biggest challenge that you have faced?
Writing my book, ‘The Dynamic Kid’. I love writing and I had so much content that the book took twice as long to edit than to produce the first draft (writing the book took me six months and editing almost an entire year) It required a lot of time and dedication to create the final copy.
Who has been the greatest mentor for you?
Apart from my parents, I have had an amazing mentor in Robert Kiyosaki through his books and seminars. I have been attending his seminars since he started coming to South Africa and his wisdom has inspired me to write the ‘Dynamic Kid’ book.
How do you generate new ideas?
My ideas are usually generated through a daydream or a spontaneous thought. I don’t spend a lot of time creating new ideas on a conscious level, I usually refine ideas that have emerged during the most unexpected of times. For example, the bulk of ‘The Dynamic Kid’ came out from daydreaming during class (don’t tell my teachers), and was only refined at home.
What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs who are starting out?Perseverance, focus and dedication are three keys you need on this journey. Most young entrepreneurs have great ideas but want to implement all of them in one go, which is impossible. Set goals, have a plan and action it. A business requires patience because you don’t start and make money immediately, you have to give it time. I spoke at many events for free and at that time I was still growing my brand. Through word of mouth people got to know about my book and motivational talks. So, take time to develop a good system and choose your networks wisely.Things may not necessarily start out the way you imagine them to be. I know it can be mentally and physically exhausting, it’s all part of the process of learning how best to build your business. Remember to reward yourself, as it’s one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated. Believe in your vision, continue to develop yourself by attending training and seminars, get a mentor and a coach. Never quit or give up and you will eventually succeed.
What about your free time?
This is a tough question to answer, because there is no such thing as “free time”. I try to accomplish as much as I can in a 24 hour day based around my priorities on that particular day. Apart from work, work related activities and a few hours of sleep, I do 25 to 40 minutes of high intensity exercise every day and I read for at least 30 minutes a day. Whenever I can, I try to attend business strategy seminars and business networking events as well as major sporting events. When I am on the road, I try to visit or train in as many different training centres as I can. I also have a passion for wildlife and conservation and try to visit my family’s Private Nature Reserve, BRACKENHILLS, in South Africa whenever I can.
What is next for you?
My focus at the moment, and for the next 3 years, is to grow the ESP Fitness brand and our associated portfolio of health and hospitality businesses internationally. At some stage in the future, I would like to share my experiences and help other aspiring entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and avoid the many obstacles that I have encountered.