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      NEW YORK – Nov. 13, 2018 – Forbes today released the eighth annual “30 Under 30” list, featuring 600 young innovators, entrepreneurs and risk-takers who are putting a new twist on what it means to be a leader for the next generation.  The Forbes class of 2019 30 Under 30 list, includes 30 honorees for each of the 20 categories.


“After nearly a decade, the Forbes 30 Under 30 list has become the most trusted index identifying the next generation of entrepreneurs, visionaries, and game-changers throughout the world,” said Randall Lane, Chief Content Officer, Forbes and creator of the Forbes Under 30 franchise. “Our honorees have already begun implementing fundamental change in their respective industries, and they’ve only just begun."


The 2019 list features a diverse and unique panel of honorees, with more than nineteen percent identifying as immigrants and more than thirty-eight percent identifying as first-generation citizens. Thirty-four percent of these list members live and work on the East Coast and thirty-three percent on the West Coast. More than fifth-five percent of the list are founders or co-founders and the group has collectively raised well over $1 billion in funding.



Each of the 20 categories has a featured call-out. The call-outs on the 2019 “30 Under 30” list include:


Art & Style: Sarah Staudinger, Fashion Designer, STAUD; Consumer Technology: Daria Rebenok, Co-founder, Grabr; Education: Rebecca Kantar, Founder, Imbellus; Energy: Raj Mistry, Co-founder, Lynx Resource Partners; Enterprise Technology: Gregory Rockson, Co-founder & CEO, mPharma; Finance: Nader Al-Naji, CEO, Intangible Labs; Food & Drink: Maya French, Co-founder, Koia; Games: Delane Parnell, Founder, PlayVS; Healthcare: Trevor Martin, Co-founder, Mammoth Bio-sciences; Hollywood & Entertainment: Liza Koshy, comedian and actress; Law & Policy: Nicholas Cortes, Co-founder, Atrium; Manufacturing & Industry: Alex Rodrigues, Co-founder, Embark; Marketing & Advertising: Nadia Masri, Founder, Perksy; Media: Brandon Deyo, Co-founder, Mars Reel; Music: Russ, singer & songwriter; Retail & E commerce: Kory Stevens, Co-founder, Taft; Science: Devaki Raj, Co-founder, CrowdAI; Social Entrepreneurs: Ryan Pandya, Co-founder, Perfect Day; Sports: Blake Griffin, Power Forward for the Detroit Clippers, National Basketball Association; and Venture Capital: Adina Tecklu, Co-Head, Canaan Beta.


All under 30 years old, the honorees were vetted during an extensive three-layer process that leveraged the knowledge and authority of Forbes’ wide-reaching community, skilled reporters and expert judges.  Over the past eight years, Forbes has grown a 30 Under 30 alumni network of more than 5,000 individuals throughout the world. The names within this network exemplify Forbes’ longstanding reputation of spotlighting up-and-coming revolutionaries and trailblazers who are positioned to implement real change across a variety of industries.


More than 15,000 online submissions were received for only 600 slots, making it a 4 percent acceptance rate. Forbes collaborated with expert judges in each category, including Musa Tariq in Marketing, Jeanie Buss and Martellus Bennett in Sports, Tory Burch in Art & Style, Anil Agarwal in Retail & E-commerce, Andy Fang in Consumer Tech, Liz Claman and Jon Steinbergin Media, Allison Schroeder and Fowler Jermaine in Hollywood & Entertainment, Marshmello in Music, Nic Jammet and Lee Schrager in Food & Drink, Jean Case in Social Entrepreneurs, Austin McChord in Enterprise Technology, David Axelrod in Law & Policy and Brian Sheth in Finance to create a distinctive list of 600 youthful visionaries and disruptors, all of whom represent the entrepreneurial spirit of the Forbes Under 30 franchise.


For the complete list, feature stories and exclusive videos, visit:                                                          

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Many of the world’s billionaires had fortunes already laid down for them to build on. Although this makes life a lot easier for the few opportuned individuals, many others who attained this billionaire status built everything from nothing.

In Africa, there are a few billionaires who built multi-billion dollar empires from absolutely nothing and non-wealthy beginnings. These wealthy African entrepreneurs, through their success stories, have given hope to thousands of smart and determined young Africans willing to put in the effort to someday reach the self-made billionaire dollar status.

While not everyone can someday be labeled a billionaire, some eventually will, and many others will become millionaires and multi-millionaires.

The short stories of these 5 successful African entrepreneurs will drive a sense of purpose to many who read this, and perhaps, set you up better motivated to strive for even greater achievements.

1). Mike Adenuga:

This Nigerian billionaire is stipulated by the Forbes billionaire list 2017, to be worth about $6.1 billion U.S dollars. He’s the second wealthiest Nigerian, after Aliko Dangote, and also owns the second largest telecoms operator in Nigeria, with locations in Ghana, and the Benin Republic.

Born on the 29th of April 1953 to Michael Agbolade Adenuga, a school teacher, he received his secondary education in Ibadan, Nigeria. Upon proceeding to the University, he worked as a taxi driver to help fund his education, and eventually graduated from the Northwestern Oklahoma University and the Pace University, New York, with degrees in Business Administration.

When Adenuga returned from America to Nigeria, he took over his mother’s small business and sold laces, coca-cola products, and other commodities. As he grew the business to sustainable heights, his revenues rose, till the venture became a larger enterprise.

In 1990, he got an oil drilling license from the Nigerian government and realized he had struck gold, when in 1991, his company discovered oil in the shallow waters of south western Ondo state, in Nigeria.

Today, the rest is history, as he has investments in Telecommunications, Banking, Oil & Gas, and several other sectors of the Nigerian economy.


2). Folorunsho Alakija:

Mrs. Alakija is the wealthiest Nigerian woman, and also the second wealthiest African woman with a personal net worth of about $1.61 billion U.S dollars, according to the Forbes billionaire list 2017. She has investments in fashion, oil, and the printing industries.

Alakija was born in 1951 to Chief L.A Ogbara in Lagos State, Nigeria. At the age of seven, she relocated to the United Kingdom to engage in a four-year primary school education program. After returning to Nigeria, she traveled yet again to London to study fashion.

When she was finally done with her fashion education, she returned to Nigeria and started working as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises. She later moved on to another company and worked for some years before establishing a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches. Her tailoring business got popular over the years, and subsequently, its in-house brand, Rose of Sharon House of Fashion, became a household name among the Nigerian elites.

In 1993, she applied for an oil prospecting license from the Nigerian government. The license was granted to her company, Famfa Oil, which is situated on a 617,000 acre block, now referred to as OPL 216.

Alakija’s success-story shows one who always takes advantages of opportunities at the right time. From the success of her fashion line, she was able to venture into the oil business, and is today one of the most powerful women in the world. 

3). Patrice Motsepe:

Patrice Motsepe is a South African mining magnate. Born on the 28th of January, 1962, to a school teacher turn businessman, Augustine Motsepe, Patrice grew up learning a lot of his basic entrepreneurial knowledge from his father.

After earning a bachelor of arts from the University of Swaziland and a law degree from the University of Witswatersrand, he became the first black person to rise to the position of partner in the law firm Bowman Gilfillan, in 1994.

At that time, his area of focus was in mining and business law, where he saw an opportunity, and so founded a mining services business to clean gold dust from inside mine shafts.

In 1997, with the price of gold low at the time, he purchased marginal gold mines at a favourable cost, and subsequently started a string of purchases by buying operating mines, which eventually led to his optimal wealth.

As of 2017, according to the Forbes billionaire list, Patrice’s net worth is estimated to be placed at about $1.81 billion U.S dollars.

4). Mohamed Al-Fayed:

Mohamed is a business mogul born and raised in Egypt. Also born to a school teacher, he made his first trial at entrepreneurship by selling home-made lemonade at school. Many years later, he founded a shipping company with his brothers in Egypt, and later moved its operating base to Genoa, Italy, with other offices in London.

In the mid 1960’s, Al-Fayed got in acquaintance with the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid Al Makhtoum, who later entrusted him with a part responsibility in helping to transform Dubai. Given this task, Al-Fayed brought in construction companies like the Costain Group, Taylor Woodrow, and Sunley & Sons to execute the construction project.

He later went on to become a financial advisor to the Sultan of Brunei, Omar Ali Saifuddien III, in 1966.

Mohamed Al-Fayed, according to the Forbes billionaire list 2017, is estimated to be worth about $1.82 billion U.S Dollars, and resides in Geneva, Switzerland.

5). Koos Bekker:

Koos Bekker is the founder and chairman of the African media group, Naspers. The company is located in about 130 countries, and is listed both on the London & South African stock exchange.

Koos was born in South Africa on December 14th, 1952. He got his bachelors degrees from Stellenbosch University in Law and Literature, and Wits University in Law. He later got an MBA from the Columbia Business School, and as a result of a project paper, he and some of his friends founded the first pay-tv service (M-Net, Multi-Choice, and more) outside of the United States. He’s also one of the founding directors of the largest telecommunication company in Africa, MTN.

According to the Forbes billionaire list 2017, Koos Bekker is estimated to be worth about $2.1 billion U.S dollars.

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I used to call myself an ‘Aspiring Entrepreneur’ and by definition, I still am.

I still want to start a business, to create something that solves a problem in the world. But I recently realized that I should not necessarily be embracing this title. It’s not nearly as glamorous as it seems.

Anyone and everyone can be an entrepreneur.

It’s been said a million times that the best way to learn in business is to simply start something. So really, if you want to be an entrepreneur, what’s stopping you? First, let’s explore some common excuses…

I’m a Student

There’s some merit to this. Traditionally, students have been expected to make learning and developing skills their first priority. This hasn’t changed to date, but I believe we are seeing more flexibility in how students go about learning.

You see plenty of students take on projects and side-businesses both small and large during their time at university. This allows them to gain valuable hands-on experience, even if the venture doesn’t turn into the next Facebook.

Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves — Cesar Chavez

I Haven’t Found My Passion

What if you’re still figuring things out and haven’t necessarily found something that you’re passionate enough to go all in on?

The most successful businesses are centered around a problem that someone is passionate about solving, so maybe there’s something to this.

To be fair though, we all have things we’re passionate about, whether we know it or not. Instead of asking yourself, ‘What am I passionate about?’, try asking, ‘What excites me most?’.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” — Oprah Winfrey

I’m Not Ready

This is probably the most dangerous excuse out there. A seemingly infinite amount of people are stuck thinking that they don’t have the technical or business chops to start something.

However, as we mentioned before, the best way to develop this entrepreneurial skillset is by getting hands-on experience. This creates a crossroads that leads to paralysis by analysis and inaction.

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready.” — Hugh Laurie

Back to the Point

So with all this in mind, there really isn’t any great reason why you, me, or anyone else should still be ‘aspiring’ to be an entrepreneur right now.

The barrier for entry isn’t overwhelming by any means. It’s actually quite low. If you really want to be an entrepreneur, start something. If you don’t want to right now, then don’t.

However, by using the commonly adapted title, ‘Aspiring Entrepreneur’, it alludes to the fact that you want to start something right now and aren’t doing it for some defensible reason (as shown earlier, generally, there are none).

At the end of the day, I’m still talking about a fairly trivial word choice right now. However, I believe it holds a bit more weight than that though.

I think this can be applied to a number of things:

First and foremost, if you want to present yourself in a certain way, make sure you’re being honest with yourself.

Second, if you want something, don’t slap an ‘Aspiring’ label on it and call it a work in progress, especially if you’re not actively taking steps to accomplish that goal.

Don’t be one of the many wannabe-entrepreneurs out there.

The harsh reality is that if you want to start a business and you aren’t doing it right now on some scale, then you’re missing out on a valuable experience.

So I advise you to do one of two things:

Begin to take steps to start that business you’ve been pondering or solve that problem you’re passionate about.

Be honest with yourself about if you really want this right now.

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An entrepreneur can be simply defined as a risk-taking-business person. somebody who initiates or finances new commercial enterprises. 

An entrepreneur can decide to be the sole owner of his/her business or have partners or investors.

Most simply understood, an entrepreneur is someone who identifies his/her needs, sets goals and seek for profitable means to attain such goals.

Though this may explain what drives people into entrepreneurial activities; it provides little insight into the specific character traits and attributes that make a person thrive as an entrepreneur.

So before storming into your bosses office to drop your resignation letter to pursue and nurture that idea brewing in the back of your mind; stop for a second to  consider if you have the necessary constitution to make it as an entrepreneur. 

People have their different reasons for joining the entrepreneur wagon;

-There are those people who really have ideas that doesn't match their job description and so they need space away from the office to grow their ideas.

- There are some others who simply detest a white collar job with all its vices.

- Then there are those few who simply just want to be called entrepreneurs.

Whether you really have ideas or hating-on-the-white-collar-job or you are just joining the band wagon, you should know what makes a truly successful entrepreneur.

Here's what 20 company founders and business leaders told Business News Daily about what they think makes a truly successful entrepreneur. 

1. What sets [entrepreneurs] apart is the will, courage and sometimes recklessness to actually do it." – Derek Hutson, CEO of Datical

2. "Entrepreneurship is the persistent progression towards an innovative solution to a key problem. It's the constant hunger for making things better and the idea that you are never satisfied with how things are." – Debbie Roxarzade, founder and CEO of Rachel's Kitchen

3. "At its core, [entrepreneurship] is a mindset – a way of thinking and acting. It is about imagining new ways to solve problems and create value. Fundamentally, entrepreneurship is about ... the ability to recognize [and] methodically analyze [an] opportunity, and ultimately, to capture [its] value." – Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and executive director of the Entrepreneurship Lab at Pace University 

4. "It is important to balance strong vision with a willingness to embrace change. The ability to listen, whether it be to the opinions of customers or employees, is also integral to success. While ... you must have the confidence to make your own choices, it is still incredibly important not to become detached from the people whose needs you are trying to meet. – Tirath Kamdar, founder and CEO of TrueFacet

5. "Being an entrepreneur is like heading out into uncharted territory. It's rarely obvious what to do next, and you have to rely on yourself a lot when you run into problems. There are many days when you feel like things will never work out and you're operating at a loss for endless months. You have to be able to stomach the roller coaster of emotions that comes with striking out on your own." – Amanda Austin, founder and president of  Little Shop of Miniatures 

6. "To be a successful entrepreneur you must have a passion for learning – from customers, employees and even competitors." – James Bedal, CEO of Bare Metal Standard

7. "To me, entrepreneurship means being able to take action and having the courage to commit and persevere through all of the challenges and failures. It is a struggle that an entrepreneur is willing to battle. It is using past experiences and intelligence to make smart decisions. Entrepreneurs are able to transform their vision into a business. I believe this process is at the core of any true entrepreneur." – MJ Pedone, founder and CEO of Indra Public Relations

8. "Being a successful entrepreneur requires a great deal of resourcefulness, because as an entrepreneur, you often run into dead ends throughout the course of your career. You need to be able to bounce back from losses if you want to be successful. There will be much more disappointment than progress when you first start off, and you need to have a short memory in order to put the past behind you quickly. It's imperative to stay optimistic when bad things happen." – Vip Sandhir, founder and CEO of HighGround

9. "Entrepreneurship is the ability to recognize the bigger picture, find where there's an opportunity to make someone's life better, design hypotheses around these opportunities, and continually test your assumptions. It's experimentation: Some experiments will work; many others will fail. It is not big exits, huge net worth or living a life of glamour. It's hard work and persistence to leave the world a better place once your time here is done." – Konrad Billetz, co-founder and co-CEO of Offset Solar

10. "[Entrepreneurs] have to be people-oriented. Your business will die without a good team to back you up. Study management techniques, learn from great leaders, review where you're succeeding and failing so you can help others improve. An entrepreneur has to be able to build a team that cares about their work, and to do that you have to care about how you create your team." – Jonathan Barnett, founder and CEO of Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning 

11. "To be a successful entrepreneur you need perseverance. Most successful business people or entrepreneurs have never given up on their idea. When challenges arise, they have found innovative ways of overcoming them. You must be able to adapt to changing economic conditions, and innovate and embrace technological advances to keep your customers engaged. These things take determination and a strong focus on the end goal." – Stacey Kehoe, founder of Brandlective Communications 

12. "Entrepreneurship is the mindset that allows you to see opportunity everywhere. It could be a business idea, but it could also be seeing the possibilities in the people that can help you grow that business. This ability to see many options in every situation is critically important; there will be unending challenges that will test your hustle." – Preeti Sriratana, co-founder and COO of Sweeten

13. "Successful entrepreneurs ... have the guts to take a calculated risk and the tenacity and persistence to keep going even when there are bumps in the road."  – Eileen Huntington, co-founder and CEO of Huntington Learning Center

14. "Successful entrepreneurs look past [the] 'quick buck' and instead look at the bigger picture to ensure that each action made is going toward the overall goal of the business or concept, whether or not that means getting something in return at that moment." – Allen Dikker, founder and CEO of Potatopia

15. Being an entrepreneur is ingrained in one's identity. [It] is the culmination of a certain set of characteristics: determination, creativity, the capacity to risk, leadership and enthusiasm." – Eric Lupton, president of Life Saver Pool Fence Systems

16. "Entrepreneurship is an unavoidable life calling pursued by those who are fortunate enough to take chances. [They are] optimistic enough to believe in themselves, aware enough to see problems around them, stubborn enough to keep going, and bold enough to act again and again. Entrepreneurship is not something you do because you have an idea. It's about having the creativity to question, the strength to believe and the courage to move." – Jordan Fliegel, co-CEO of DRAFT

17. "An entrepreneur must be able to accept failure. Everyone thinks they can accept failure until they come face to face with failing at a major thing that they have put their everything into. To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be someone who is able to risk failure at the deepest personal levels." – Steven Benson, founder and CEO of Badger Maps

18. "The journey of entrepreneurship is a lifestyle for many of us; we are wired this way and have no choice. We are driven by an innate need to create, build and grow. You must have an underlying positivity that enables you to see beyond the day-to-day challenges and roadblocks, always moving forward. You must also be a master plate juggler, able to switch between thinking, genres and activities moment to moment." – Justine Smith, founder and CEO of Kids Go Co.

19. "Entrepreneurship is seeing an opportunity and gathering the resources to turn a possibility into a reality. It represents the freedom to envision something new and to make it happen. It includes risk, but it also includes the reward of creating a legacy." – Maia Haag, co-founder and president of I See Me! Personalized Books and Gifts

20. "One must possess grit. The stakes tend to be high, the bumps in the road frequent. Remaining focused, regardless of the obstacles, is paramount. That said, being an entrepreneur means being in full control of your destiny. If that's important to you, then all of the challenges associated with striking out on one's own are but a small price to pay." – Mike Malone, founder of Livestock Framing

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The choice to become an entrepreneur is about how you will live your life, not just how you will make a living.

The entrepreneurial lifestyle can offer many perks. It’s exciting, it’s creative, and you can potentially create products or services that can have a positive impact on the world. However, being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy. You’ll encounter plenty of obstacles along the way, and maintaining motivation day in and day out can be tough.

I believe that the incredible benefits of entrepreneurship make the harder parts worthwhile.  That having been said, there are a few things I wish I’d known when I was first starting out. Here, I’ll share what I believe are five things entrepreneurs need to know:

1. It takes hard work.

From the outside looking in, the entrepreneurial lifestyle can look pretty cool: you’re creating, you’re making things happen, you’re designing your own schedule and life. However, it’s not all glamour and jet-setting. Being an entrepreneur takes plenty of hard work and discipline. As an entrepreneur, you’re responsible for forging your own path. This can require a lot of legwork, research, and often includes plenty of ups and downs.

You’ll likely work harder than you ever have in your life, log more hours than you ever would in a day job, and will have a much higher level of accountability. But for entrepreneurs who are passionate about what they do, it’s worth the effort.

2. Self motivation is key.

To be a successful entrepreneur, self motivation is vital. After all, most entrepreneurs are typically not following a traditional business path. You’ll need a lot of mental and emotional “fuel” to maintain the energy and enthusiasm necessary to get your potential projects off the ground.

Setting clear cut goals is a great way to effectively manufacture a healthy source of motivation for yourself.

Take the time to really define your goals and what is motivating you as an entrepreneur. Be specific. For instance, are you motivated because you want to earn enough money so that you can buy a yacht? Or is your goal to create a school for underprivileged kids? There isn’t a right or wrong here, just be honest with yourself about what motivates you.

By defining and setting specific goals, you’ll always have something to keep you inspired. On days when self motivation is hard to come by, they can act like your compass, pointing you in the right direction.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of a mentor.

Full disclosure: when I was starting out as a trader and entrepreneur, I didn’t have a mentor. In retrospect, if I’d had proper guidance, I could have attained the level of success I did far sooner.

Seeking out the guidance of a successful entrepreneur can help you gain clarity on how to take the next steps in your career. They have a larger body of experience, and as such, they can provide sage wisdom that can help you on your path. They’ve probably been through some ups and downs themselves, and can give you advice that can help you avoid pitfalls in your career.

These days, I try to be the mentor I never had to my day trading students. I get to see firsthand how quickly they develop skills with the proper guidance. It’s almost like they get a video game “warp zone” to become successful sooner!

4. Focus on progress, not perfection.

As an entrepreneur, you’re kind of like a pioneer, heading into the wilderness without a clear path in front of you. Don’t expect everything to be smooth sailing. If you strive for perfection, you’re likely to be disappointed over and over. Unfortunately, there will always be roadblocks and wrong turns, and you’ll likely make a mistake (or 10).

While I’m not advocating that you make mistakes on purpose, I do urge you to take them in stride. Instead of getting down on yourself, try to use these errors as your biggest teachers, helping you move forward stronger and more confident than before. If you don’t make the same mistake twice, then that is progress.

5. You need to keep learning.

Yes indeed: entrepreneurs tend to be busy people. But if you really want to be successful, you need to make time to keep learning. As Albert Einstein said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.”

Becoming a lifelong learner will keep you relevant as an entrepreneur. Keep on learning about your field. Read up on your competitors. Keep abreast of world news. Learn all that you can. Not only will it help keep your mind nimble, but you never know where the next great idea might come from.

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You will agree that it takes courage to quit a well-paying Job in an Oil and Gas multinational to pursue what you believe in. This is the tale of Salma Okonkwo whose courage paid off as she is now on to making history in Ghana by building Ghana’s biggest solar farm, called Blue Power Energy, which is slated to open in March 2019 with 100 megawatts of energy. The solar farm is set to be one of the largest in Africa.

According to UNICEF’s research, Northern Ghana is the poorest amongst all regions. There are so few employment opportunities in the region besides farming that most women migrate to Accra looking for work and for more than a decade, this 48-year-old Ghanaian entrepreneur has been quietly building a multi-million dollar oil and gas outfit called UBI Group to solve this challenge.

She hopes to provide employment for youths and also, add to Ghana’s economy by bringing cheap energy to northern Ghana through the solar farm. By doing this, she hopes to encourage more companies to create lasting jobs in the region, rather than sell their products/pitch the company’s latest incentives and then leave.

Growing up in a village in Accra did a lot to influence Salma’s views about life. Problem-solving and creating opportunities for others however little, were part of the training she got growing up and so when she got a job in the oil and gas industry which exposed her to opportunities in the energy sector the company could maximize, she put her entrepreneurship drive to action by pitching an initiative for expansion to the company.

In her own estimation, the firm could grow by opening several retail gas outlets. Her initiative, was however turned down. She fine-tuned the idea and presented it in a different way at different times. Still, it was turned down. Knowing, she wasn’t going to make a headway by persisting that they adopt and implement the idea, she took the bull by the horns. She quit to try it herself and the result? Blue Power Energy.

Her greatest focus is on bringing liquefied petroleum gas to the “hard-to-reach” region of northern Ghana, where many families still rely on burning firewood for energy.

According to Salma, “I want to bring support to my people in the north,” and by doing this, she believes  “There will be more Salma’s all over the place.”

Culled from Forbes

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Personal branding, a service once reserved for politicians and superstars, is nowadays the key to entrepreneurial success. Personal branding is the venture of the future. It is the best investment you can make in yourself

Personal branding is a disciplined process meant to differentiate and elevate the brand owner from the competition. A clever personal brand entails a series of elements such as but not limited to strategy, logo, website, professional photos, social media platforms, social circles – depending on the goals of the entrepreneur.

Owning a personal brand not only ensures the entrepreneur sells more, it also increases legitimacy, transforms the entrepreneur into a respected thought leader, attracts investors and partners and ensures overall upward mobility.

Even though branding is a current buzzword, proper personal branding remains a mystery for most entrepreneurs. To navigate this intricate process, read the following real-life tips for brand building and reputation management.

1. You are not born a brand, you become a brand

From Oprah to Obama and Ellen to Elvis, every grand personal brand was once a mere mortal – just like you. They had a dream and they hustled just like you. Personal branding when done right is interlinked with personal development. Through an intricate process and an array of strategic actions, entrepreneurs just like you became world-wide leaders.

Branding is an ongoing process.

When in doubt, ask for professional help; an entire team is involved in managing a brand.

Do not compare your first week to someone’s 40th year.

2. Do not be a copycat

Good brands get replicated. Great brands cannot be replicated. If you want to own an average brand, go ahead and copy one. However, you will only be able to copy another brand up to 80% and usually the remaining 20% makes the difference. If you aim to be special, you should incorporate your authentic self into the brand – showcase your mission, vision and story. If you cannot do your business at a superior or different level from your competition, you should probably be doing something else!

3. Stable is better than spectacular

In the world of Elon Musk and Richard Branson, the brand of the average entrepreneur may seem quite dull. Remember though that your mission is to receive legitimacy to sell your services not appear in the tabloids.

You do not want to be a one hit wonder. You want to be in business for many years. Focus on building a stable base for your brand that will evolve and develop throughout time.

4. You network really is your net worth

Who you surround yourself with is who you become. You know it, but are you implementing it?

Every business is run by an inner circle of individuals; befriend them! The creme de la creme have specific mannerisms and a characteristic way of doing business. Learn to speak, act and behave that way.

Before you break the rules, you should know the rules. You learn the rules when you are at the right place with the right people.

When your potential customer sees you with accomplished entrepreneurs, you receive instant validation.

Your friends with a bad reputation might be costing you brand equity.

5. Brand building is a life-long game

Building a brand that sells takes time. You are not selling a product in the supermarket, you are selling a perception. Every online and offline interaction potential clients have with your personal brand straightens or decreases its value. The ROI is often slow in the beginning.

Once your brand is established, the world or some part of it will be at your feet!

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You may think owning and running a YouTube channel is the easiest, cheapest and almost effortless job anyone could ever think of. When you think of YouTube, you think of a news reporter, a journalist, a TV host; all in one.

As a YouTuber, you'll be required to travel, buy recording equipments and create publicity; all of which requires finance. Creating contents isn’t as easy as you may think; to drive the right traffic, you need reliable and relatable contents.
With the increased speed and access to the internet, YouTube has become one of the biggest hubs for digital content across the African continent and the world at large. People own a YouTube channel for different reasons - news, comedy, musical, tutorials, reviews, etc.
In case you've not noticed, it pays real big.
Here is a list of the top 10 African YouTube Personalities we recommend that you check out as soon as possible.

Caspar Lee – South Africa