‘I financed my business out of my own pocket’ – Tebogo Ditshego

'I financed my business out of my own pocket' - Tebogo Ditshego

'I financed my business out of my own pocket' - Tebogo DitshegoCompany Profile

Name of company: Ditshego Media

Years in existence: 3

Position: CEO and founder

Can you tell us a little bit about your background – personal, educational and professional?

I have eight years experience in public relations. In early 2014 I was listed one of Forbes Magazine’s top 30 African Entrepreneurs under the age of 30.

Career highlight is managing the media relations for the new “Mandela” banknotes communications campaign for the South African Reserve Bank and writing speeches for the President of the American Chamber of Commerce of South Africa (AMCHAM).

In 2014 I was invited to participate in US President Barack Obama’ Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and in 2014 I was also named one of the top 200 Young South Africans by the Mail and Guardian.

Can you tell us a little bit about your company and what you do?

Ditshego Media is a full service public relations agency. The services offered include: media relations, corporate communications, social media management and advertisement placing.

“As much as I had the skills to do the work, I didn’t have enough experience in running a business”

How did your journey begin and how have you achieved success so far?

My journey started in high school when my teacher Mrs Steel told me I have a gift for public speaking. I went on to win several speech competitions and did well in creative writing so I decided to study public relations.

I completed the diploma and went on to complete an honours degree in Communications and Media Studies at the University of Johannesburg. I worked in the industry for a few years to obtain the necessary skills and went on to start my company Ditshego Media.

What were some of the obstacles you face and how did you overcome them?

Some of the obstacles I encountered included finding clients at an early stage. As much as I had the skills to do the work, I didn’t have enough experience in running a business. So we went many months without income and this became a major challenge because financial stability is key in running a business.

“Psychologically they [young entrepreneurs] need to be prepared to fail and have doors closed in their faces”

What is your overall vision for your business?

To become a world-class public relations agency which provides tailor-made communications solutions that meet the unique needs of our clients.

How did you finance your business?

I financed the business out of my own pocket.

What are some of your favourite motivational books and motivational gurus that have inspired you in growing your business?

The books which have prepared me to run my business include: Warren Buffett: The Snowball and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder; The Intelligent Entrepreneur by Bill Murphy; The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

What three pieces of advice would you offer young entrepreneurs starting out today?

In terms of advice I would give to entrepreneurs, is that they should invest in their education, get experience in their industry and read books which can assist them with sales, deal making, growing and leading their business.

Psychologically they need to be prepared to fail and have doors closed in their faces. But remain persistent. Patience is very important when running a business.

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Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo is the editor of SME South Africa. She enjoys keeping up with the country’s exciting and fast developing entrepreneurship ecosystem. You can find her at @lelele3