I had the privilege of a chat with Thomas Dexter Jakes Sr, better known as TD Jakes, when he was in town for the recent Soar Africa forum.
He didn’t come in his capacity as the pastor of mega-church Potter’s House, but as an entrepreneur. An interesting fact is that his business, TD Jakes Enterprises, has lasted longer than his church.
Our conversation evolved around his entrepreneurship journey and insights he’s gained over the decades he has been in business. Here are some of the nuggets he shared.
What has been your biggest takeaway having been in business for more than two decades?
People are your core resource. You cannot achieve anything significant in business without having a team that’s sold on your vision. Also, while in business, don’t despise the small beginnings. You need small beginnings so that you can work out your mistakes while still small and build relationships that will sustain the business when it grows.
How significant is mentorship in the journey of an entrepreneur?
Mentorship is vital and it happens in so many ways. As an entrepreneur, you need to search for and model your business around an entrepreneur you look up to, and you also need to have different mentors in your life who speak into the different aspects of your life.
Technology is becoming a disruptor of so many businesses. What’s your take on this?
Technology is a paradigm shift that you cannot ignore. As technology evolves, you can either scream at the darkness or light a candle. Technology has reduced the cost of capital to set up a business because, as we’ve seen, one does not need lots of capital to market to their audience because of social media.
What advice would you give to someone looking to venture into business?
Anybody wishing to get into business has to realise that there are going to be years of scarcity in business. Everybody needs to understand that entrepreneurship needs to be hard. Struggle is part of success. If your surplus comes before the sacrifice, the business will not last long.
The Business Coach airs on KTN Home on Mondays at 7.30pm. You can watch past episodes on YouTube.
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