It’s important for entrepreneurs to take a break from their breakneck speed lifestyles and take stock of their struggles and their achievements.
This was the message by entrepreneur and women empowerment advocate Farah Fortune. Fortune is the director of her own company, African Star Communications, a corporate and celebrity public relations and events management agency.
Fortune shared her story with fellow entrepreneurs at the launch of the 2015 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Johannesburg on Tuesday, where she was the keynote speaker.
“We entrepreneurs get stressed about paying salaries and bills, and about being good role models. But hardly do we ever look back and see how far we have come, and how much we have achieved and then celebrate that,” she says.
“If you chase your passion, money will follow you”
Working hard bears fruits
Fortune started her company in 2008 with she says, R1 000 in disposable cash, a laptop and a cell phone in 2008 after resigning from a corporate job.
Today the business is doing well and she has just opened an office in Nigeria. Last year she was awarded the 2014 Woman in Leadership Award by the World’s Women Congress in Mumbai, India.
Next on the agenda is a Porsche, which she says she is planning to buy to spoil herself.
“It’s the little I can do for myself after working so hard for many years,” she says.
“Being an entrepreneur teaches you lessons no one else will teach you,” she said, and her biggest business lesson came from her mother.
“My mother taught me a lesson I will never forget. She said: ‘If you chase money, you will keep on chasing money for the rest of your life. But if you chase your passion, money will follow you,'” Fortune said, adding that her business started doing better after that advice.
Her advice to budding entrepreneurs is: “If you want your business to grow, you need to think like a business and look like a business.”
The Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year Awards pays tribute to entrepreneurs for the role they play in job creation and economic development of the country.
Entrepreneurs interested in entering competition can download the forms online. The closing date for entries is 16 June 2015.