Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

So you think you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Sure, it’s great to be a leader and to make your own decisions. But do you have what it takes? There are many things for an aspiring entrepreneur to consider.

YE3BR41KSE (1)Creating a business takes a considerable financial investment, a lot of time and many, many hours of hard work. Your starting point is therefore to ask yourself if this is really something you can see yourself doing for the next years. As mentioned on entrepreneur.com, there is a big difference between wanting to be able to make a living doing something, and the actual chance it’s going to work out.

Follow the leader

Are you a leader or a follower? Are you comfortable directing a team of employees? It is very likely that you will be hiring staff at some point, even for a starting business. Keep in mind that leadership skills are a part of making it as an entrepreneur. Good leaders make good entrepreneurs.

Money matters

How do you manage your money? There are really only two options: either you make it through the initial stage and get to build on your investment, or you don’t, which will be the end of your business. An entrepreneur knows how to handle uncertainty, and knows finance through and through.

Do what you enjoy

Seek out your talents and let your interests decide where you will go with your business. It’s all about distinguishing yourself out there, and what better way to do so than by doing something that you love and know everything about?

Business time

Your business plan is your bible. A solid business plan takes into account and analyzes as many different situations as possible. This is where your keen insight and experience with corporate and finance come into play. Formulate your goals and most of all, how and when you are going to achieve them.

Know your customers

 Yes, the start-up of a new business is a hectic time. But the fact that your business is small scaled has its advantages. It allows you to get to know your customers, for example. In the corporate world, most customers are just some file on a computer. Work on a personal experience for your clients, they will be sure to appreciate it.

It’s all about creating a competitive advantage: something that makes you preferable over your many competitors.

Invest not only in your business, but in yourself

Keen entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for ways to improve themselves.  This means you should keep cultivating yourself, your talents, and your interests. In other words: go to conferences, take courses and read books on relevant topics.

The best advice to anyone that is an aspiring entrepreneur is arguably: ‘Know thyself.’ It takes certain skills to be an entrepreneur. Being honest to yourself about whether you possess these assets is the very first step on an exciting road to building up a business, or choosing a career path that better suits you.

 By Laura Macek, Journalism and Content Intern at Who’s Who

Keith Henning + Jody Paulsen: A match made in fashion heaven

Keith Henning and Jody Paulsen – collectively known as AKJP, have been on the lips of many South Africans of late. Known for their bold colour selection and graphic prints, the two designers collaborate on fashion label AKJP to bring the fashion-savvy South African a brand that offers unisex clothing and accessories with an emphasis on comfort and quality.

Keith Henning, an Industrial and Furniture graduate, founded the label in 2012 and named it after his grandfather. In the same year, Keith debuted at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Cape Town, and following his success, decided to open the first Adriaan Kuiters retail outlet on Kloof Street – one of Cape Town’s fashion hubs.

Soon after Jody Paulsen jumped on board, and the two artists have since showcased their artistic ability at a number of high-end fashion runways – the latest being South African Menswear Week.

(www.innocentin.com)
(innocentin.com)

We found out more from Keith and Jody about their lives in the fashion industry.

WW: How did you come to work together?

Jody: Keith and I decided to work together after the success of our first collaboration. We did not really think about it too much, we just continued working together because it felt right.

Keith: When we met, Jody was like my muse. He is super fun and exciting. His obsession with fashion keeps me alive and inspired. I love working with him.

WW: How would you describe your style?

Keith: Black, white and minimal.
Jody: I usually wear jeans, track pants or baggy shorts with sneakers and a jumper or T-shirt. Something I can move around in in my studio. I like anything that feels like pyjamas.

WW: You recently showed your AW16 collection on the SA Menswear Week runway. How was the experience?

Jody: It was a bit tricky doing all the womenswear in a week but it all worked out in the end. The team at SAMW did their best and I’m sure that the event will evolve over time.

WW: How did you go about choosing the materials you worked with?

Keith: We always like to use good quality fabric as it produces the best outcome and longevity. We love silk! On this collection, we created our own fabrics like the jacquard and the appliqué garments. The textiles were designed through collages we handmade in studio. We translated our collages into a digital format to produce printed fabrics and jacquard woven at a local fabric mill. The appliquéd pieces where cut and hand-stitched in the studio.

WW: Why use Georgina Gratrix’s art as a reference in your work?

Jody: I think that Georgina has a very iconic look about her and I have always loved her work. Referencing her work was not a very calculated decision – it just happened because I have been exposed to her work throughout our friendship. Georgina has a captivating and effortlessly original spirit. She embodies the mood I was to create with this
collection.

(stylemestrauss.com)
(stylemestrauss.com)

Read more about Keith Henning and Jody Paulsen in our Notables feature.