AFRICANGLOBE – South Africa-born Lebo Gunguluza is an entrepreneur, media mogul and motivational speaker with a net worth of 300 million rand ($19 million) who discourages young entrepreneurs from the lure of fast money — a trap he calls “hustling.”
Growing up in poverty in the Port Elizabeth township of Magxaki, Gunguluza promised to make his first million by age of 25. He failed to reach his target on time, but wasn’t discouraged.
At age 27, he became one of South Africa’s youngest Black self-made millionaires, without any government funding, according to his website, Gunguluza.com.
Gunguluza started his career promoting African-language stations at SABC radio. He quit his job at an advertising agency and started his own business. Now he owns Gunguluza Enterprises and Media (GEM) which focuses on hospitality and media. He launched an online TV channel this year and is on his way to becoming a rand billionaire.
“It is important to diversify especially with the world becoming a digital village,” Gunguluza said.
It hasn’t been easy.
Gunguluza said he believes in the potential of young entrepreneurs but worries about them falling into the trap and inconsistencies of hustling. He heads up a mentorship program –the Izani 12-12-12 Enterprise.
Launched on Dec. 12, 2012, the 12-12-12 made a commitment to recruit 12 entrepreneurs in 12 months to start 12 enterprises. The program had its third anniversary on Dec. 12, 2015.
In the first year of the 12-12-12 program, only four of the startups survived. The second year, only two survived.
“Entrepreneurship is not easy,” says Gunguluza. “There are just some people born to have it and others that are just pure employees.
“Sometimes it’s all about the drive, the vision, the commitment. Some times they lose the hunger …and became more like my employees.”
Gunguluza is also a judge of “Mzansi Magic Dragons Den,” the South African equivalent of the U.S. TV show, “Shark Tank,” where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to millionaires willing to invest cash. “Dragon’s Den” gives young entrepreneurs an opportunity to be funded and mentored.
“For me its very important to create entrepreneurs that are disciplined,” Gunguluza said in a previous interview. “Most entrepreneurs think entrepreneurship is about hustling. I don’t like the concept of hustling. You want quick cash. You don’t have a long-term view, you don’t build processes, disciplines.
“I say, ‘Build a sustainable clientele’. I try to discourage one-man shows.”
Rather than going for quick cash, it’s important to build a sustainable business with discipline so the business can outlive you, Gunguluza said.
Here are three business rules according to Gunguluza.
1. Cash is king. Invest it wisely.
2. Customer is king. Listen and meet their needs.
3. Compliance is king. It helps you get paid quicker.