The power of creating your own opportunities

“Katso Media is an idea that came about out of helplessness and disappointment” says Dimakatso Lukhele, 27, owner of Katso Media. Here she about how she started her own media company.

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What and where did you study?

I studied Public Relations Management at the Tshwane University of Technology. I also hold a project management certificate from GIBS and one in social media from Red & Yellow School of Marketing And Advertising.

Where was your first job?

I worked at Burson-Marsteller Africa as a PR account executive, earning less than 10k a month. My tasks involved researching for new business proposals and presenting to potential clients and managing the PR aspect of a possible crisis situation.

Why did you quit your job to start Katso Media?

I had been working for a number of companies, managing their client base on my own and mentoring interns for quite some time. Like everyone else, I wanted to grow into a more senior role because I believe no one wants to stay in one place. Surprisingly enough, all these companies could not offer me this kind of an opportunity. Katso Media is an idea that came about out of helplessness and disappointment.

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How hard was that decision?

Starting your own business is not easy. It would be unfair to glamourise entrepreneurship as great because without hard work, the business won’t be able to succeed. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt is that as a business owner, you work twice as much, especially when you’re starting out.

What exactly does your company do?

Katso Media PTY (LTD) is an integrated communications agency that delivers campaigns combining social media and content development, marketing and PR, digital marketing and communication strategies, as well as execution of creative advertising campaigns.  We have worked with clients such as Showbiz Entertainment And Arts Expo, C-Major Productions, Yvonne Chaka Chaka Promotions, GBM Holdings to name but a few.

What kind of challenges did you face in the beginning?

When starting out, one of my biggest challenges was getting clients on board. Firstly, I would often be rejected because I was young, and secondly because I was a woman (or a girl so they said). It was not an easy job having to always prove myself over and over that I am more than capable of handling big business. During this process I had to quickly learn the art of not giving up and ignoring negative feedback from potential clients.

What do you love most about what you do?

The greatest blessing about being my own boss is that things like Monday or being forced to wake up in the morning to work 9-5 don't affect me anymore. The greatest blessing about being my own boss is that I can sleep at 3am pushing work, knowing that I'm building my own empire and not someone else's. Being able to manage my own time fulfils me. I love that at Katso Media, we don’t only focus on making profits but also empowering others (especially women) to do better and improve their lives.

What kind of challenges do you face now?

Leaving a steady salary at the end of each month, retirement benefits and medical aid for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship is terrifying. You think you know how hard it is going to be and then you start a business and realise you really didn’t have a clue what you were getting yourself into.

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What advice would you give a young lady who wants to quit her job and do her own thing?

Follow your dreams

The most powerful moment in my life was when I stopped being afraid and fearful. Life is extremely short and if you want to leave a legacy it is of paramount importance that you go after your dreams. I’m a strong believer of hard work; if you truly believe you have a good idea, don’t let anybody tell you it’s not. Keep with it and work hard to realise your vision.

Take advantage of social media to market your business

There’s no doubt that social media presence is important to a business’s marketing strategy. If you’re not familiar with social media for business, perhaps you can take online courses to understand how to use such platforms to build up your company or contact Katso Media to assist you.

Use your networks

I can tell you now that being a small business owner is stressful; so use your networks to form a reliable support system. It helps to have a peer or mentor who understands what you’re going through and can help you navigate any potential problems you may face.

Join industry groups or attend workshops and events

Consider joining industry groups or attending events related to the kind of business that you have. There are professionals within these groups and events who can provide a great sounding board for new ideas, solutions and genuine advice.

Don’t stop searching

Don’t just use your existing network and resources — always stay on the prowl for new business leads. For small businesses, this is especially important as the stakes are higher. Knowing where to look for leads can make all the difference you may need in your business.

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