March, 2016 No Comments Career, Cover Stories, Family

It’s my 36th birthday today and I am excited to launch the new look for my website. As promised the first post on the revamped look will be to answer some questions that end up in my mailbox. I have picked 4 that I believe will be most useful for everyone so hear goes!

image1. “How do I become a shareholder/director at Zoona? How much would I need to put on the table?” VK, Johannesburg, South Africa

Hi VK, Zoona is not a publicly traded company which means it’s not listed on any stock exchange and therefore our shares aren’t open for sale to the public (yet). That said, we do have an Employee Stock Option Plan so one way you could become a shareholder would be to become an employee of Zoona. As part of our remuneration packages, our team all receive Zoona stock options that vest over 4 years. This means that they have the option to buy shares into the company at a highly discounted rate (if they want to) over a four year period (one can buy a quarter of their allocation every year over 4 years) as long as they remain an employee of Zoona.

We are always looking for top talent to join our team so if you are an A-Player looking to work in an exciting yet challenging environment where you can create real impact then hop over to our careers page to see what openings are a potential match for you and apply: Zoona Careers Page.

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With my sons Mwenda (left) and Mwai (right)

2. “I was reading your profile and noticed you have done so many things and all whilst married with kids and having what seems to be a demanding career! From writing an e-book to doing a master’s degree etc. How do you get to do so much and do you feel like you sacrifice family time for career? What advice can you give me?” BT, Cape Town, South Africa

Hi BT

If there’s anything I have learnt from being a mother for the last 14 years it is that kids will learn more from what you do than what you say so I just try to live my best life possible. And I think one can only do that if you know yourself and what makes you thrive. For example, I realised 9 years ago that being a stay at home mum although fulfilling for a lot of women, was not for me when I tried it for 8 months. In those months I was an irritable mum and a nagging and needy wife! I quickly realised that I was not thriving at all and decided to get back into the workforce and save my family! So because I am clear about what makes me thrive, I am pretty selfish with my time. I invest it mostly in time with family and close friends; doing work that I find meaningful; and activities that I love like travel, learning and exercise (I skip and like to take walks in nature). That way I am a happier mum and wife and a more productive worker. So for me, all these are critical parts of my life and I therefore don’t feel that I am sacrificing anything by living my best life.

I also try and be as present as possible wherever I am – e.g. if I am at work, I am at work and focus on that and if I am at home, I am at home and try not to carry work home or be thinking about work. I think thats made easier with a great support system which I cherish and invest in. I just believe life is too fragile to be spent doing work you hate and with people and activities that you actually don’t like. So my advice for you would be – ‘This is not a dress rehearsal, discover what it is that makes you thrive and live your life by your terms and without regrets and the people who love you, will support you’. For more tips check out an article I wrote 5 years ago called Balancing the act.

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With Brett (left) and Brad (right) Magrath, the founders of Zoona

3. “How did you start Zoona? I want to become an entrepreneur and make money too but how do I know what kind of business to start which will be successful?” LB, London, United Kingdom

Hi LB, first of all I am a shareholder at Zoona but I didn’t start the company 😊. Zoona was founded by 2 Zambian born brothers, Brad and Brett Magrath in 2009 when they saw that there was a need to help people, especially the unbanked, to send and receive money when they needed to most. I joined Zoona 3 years later in 2012.

Secondly wanting to become an entrepreneur purely for the sake of making money is probably not a great idea as it is hard work, can get lonely and if you are not doing it for something bigger and more meaningful to you, the possibility of quitting when the going gets tough is very high. Based on that if you are really determined to start a business then try and do something that you love and that people need at the same time as then you are more likely to stick through the hard times and you can be assured of getting some customers.

Lastly, being an entrepreneur is not always about starting a business. You can join an existing start up business that has a mission that inspires you and work with the founders to grow the business and if you add enough value (whether through cash or sweat/effort), you could then request to become a partner or shareholder.

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With my husband Sandras

4. “As you turn 36, what 5 things can you say that you are most grateful for?” MC, Kitwe, Zambia

Love the question MC! I am most grateful for:

  1. My family, that love me unconditionally despite my many flaws. They keep me grounded on very strong foundation
  2. My friends, that are always there for me through thick and thin. I am truly blessed with some amazing friendships.
  3. Work that I love and and I find so meaningful and from which I have learn and grow so much as a person.
  4. Health and vitality for myself, my family and friends
  5. Divine grace and perfect timing.

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