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I run my own business – Stacey Vee from Content Candy

Today I feature someone whose opinion about running your own business I really value! Stacey runs two of her own businesses (one recently launched), a blog AND a CHARITY! All while being a mother of three and wife. Thanks for this invaluable advice Stacey.

1.  Name

Stacey Vee

2.  Business name and website

Copy Candy t/a Content Candy (www.copycandy.co.za). I also run a charity called iPadsforLionhearts (www.ipadsforlionhearts.co.za), a website called DigiKids (www.digikids.co.za) and my own blog Living Lionheart (www.livinglionheart.co.za)

3.  Brief description of business

My main business is called Content Candy, a Johannesburg-based content studio that works with some of South Africa’s biggest agencies and publishing houses to produce branded content for every platform – from print publications, to social channels, to digital media.

4.  Since when have you run your own business

I started freelancing on the side in 2006, and registered my company in 2009. In November 2010 I quit my job in corporate and went into business for myself full-time. As you can see from this timeline, I spent years building up a solid client base before making the leap.

5.  Why is it better than working for a boss?

It’s not. A lot of new business owners start out believing that you’ll have more flexibility, and can spend more time with family, and that no one will be telling you what to do anymore. The truth is that I have less free time than when I worked for a boss, and in fact, I now have about 20 bosses – my clients!

6.  Thing you enjoy most each day

I love my team – just sharing an office space with them is a treat.

7.  Thing you enjoy least each day

Dealing with the unexpected, like rush-jobs, the occasional client emergency, internal or external disputes – I’ve never been one for conflict, but if you’re going to run your own ship there is no escaping I

8.  Advice for people starting their own business

You need to have enough squirreled away to survive for 12 to 18 months while you get your business off the ground. If you can’t make it by then, have a rethink: is it a viable business, and is running a business really your cup of tea? Only a small percentage of first-time business-owners have the personality for it – and there is no shame in admitting you don’t. It’s not a very glamorous job, no matter how hard the media tries to make entrepreneurship look exciting.

9.  Top three things you have learnt from having your own business

  1. Don’t let your job take centre-stage in your household. This is much harder than it sounds.
  2. It’s not enough to be good at what you do (in my case, producing content for agencies and brands), you also need a firm understanding of business basics i.e. PAYE, VAT, profit ratios, contractual agreements.
  3. Cash flow is everything.
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Sunflowers, what beautiful flowers

Please support children with leukemia, by purchasing a bandana this National Bandana Day!

Acumen

“We all have Hopes and Dreams. By purchasing a bandana for R25 you could make a difference and offer those fighting leukemia and other life threatening blood disorders a chance of a future” states Tarryn Corlett, Chief Operating Officer for The Sunflower Fund.

12th October is National Bandana Day. The Sunflower Fund encourages the public to buy a bandana from their nearest Pick n Pay or local Round Table, including Namibia and wear it to their show their support towards the brave fight that these patients face on a daily basis when they lose their hair from their chemotherapy treatments.

Funds raised through National Bandana Day go towards paying for the expensive tissue typing (DNA) tests for new donors to join The South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR).

The Sunflower Fund relies heavily on this fundraiser to continue testing donors to help patients suffering from leukemia and other life threatening blood disorders, who require a bone marrow transplant in order to survive and live a longer and healthier life.

“Please support this campaign and help make a difference as together, we can save more lives and we cannot do this without your support” implores Corlett.

For more information on National Bandana Day and The Sunflower Fund, call the toll free line on 0800 12 10 82 or visit www.sunflowerfund.org.za

Bandana Day 2014

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My FIRST Parkrun

Last week I decided to take part in my first Park run, as I need to be able to run 10km on 2 November – Nike Soweto race. So on Saturday I drove myself to the Bryanston Park run starting point (Cnr Bryanston Dr and River Rd, Bryanston) at 7:45am.  I’d only run 3km before this race so I had no idea what to expect.

I arrived at the start and couldn’t believe the amount of people that had arrived for this 5km fun run, approx. 500. People of ALL backgrounds, elite athletes, mums, kids, dogs, old, young, etc. It just showed me that running is one of those sports that almost ANYBODY can do, it has no boundaries! I wasn’t sure what my time would be, as I normally walk 5km in 55mins, so just wanted to do it faster than that. What’s great about running is it’s a race against yourself, I didn’t want to beat anyone, just myself.

We started the race after the organizers explained all the details and when we started, I was slightly overwhelmed as it was like a STAMPEDE.  But I soon found my rhythm and set out on this (what appeared to be) GIANT task. I’d never done trail running before, only road running, but actually quiet liked the trail. Most of the run is in the spruit and there are loads of cyclists on the way. I managed to reach the half way mark (without walking – this is the one thing I told myself – DON’T walk, EVER) and felt quite ok, meaning I could still breathe.

But about 4kms into the run I really felt weak, I wasn’t sure where the finish was, as I couldn’t see it and I could feel my very unfit heart taking strain. But I thought to myself, Amy, you’ve come all this way, please don’t give up now. I knew if I started walking I wouldn’t be able to start running again, so I just carried on, at a snails pace. I looked back and realized, I wasn’t the last person. At school, when we used to have athletics (compulsory which I HATED), I was ALWAYS last, I wasn’t last this time!

I managed to carry on and the last 10m is a GIANT uphill, I love uphills and decided to SPRINT up this! I had finished my first ever park run in 32 minutes, without stopping and without my heart packing up. To some this might be a small thing, especially to some of my friends and family who are extreme sports achievers, but to ME, this was HUGE. I was overwhelmed by a sense of achievement, I did this and I can do it again!

So as of this Saturday, Park run Bryanston will become something of a routine affair for me. Well done to the organizers, the event is very well run, and it’s FREE! I encourage ANYONE to try it out (loads of walkers attend too), check out more here. And lastly, to make it event more appealing – you get discovery points too!

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My wish for you Erin

Please let me grow as I be,
And try to understand why I want to grow like me,
Not like my mother wants to me to be,
Not like my father hopes I’ll be,
Or like my teacher thinks I should be,
Please understand and help me grow
Just like ME!
Magda Gerber

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The three men I admire the most

On Saturday, 16 Aug 2014, Damien, my dad and Matthew set off on the grueling 230km race – Trans Baviaans at 10am. My mum, Erin and I were being “Joburg jollers” shopping, eating out etc. I wasn’t on edge, as I knew they had this (after months of training and prep) and wasn’t worried about either of them as I had faith that God would take care of them and keep them safe.

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But at 17:30 my mum’s phone rang (it was my dad calling) and I knew in my heart that this wasn’t good news. My dad had fallen 120km into the race on a very fast decent (at least 40km an hour) and had broken his collar bone. My heart sank to my shoes – questions like “how will he get to a hospital”, “how will the others continue without their strongest member”, “he’s so thin and now a broken bone?” all wrong through my mind.

I won’t go into all the details, but THREE hospitals later, a steal plate operation, LOADS of pain meds and finding out that his 3rd rib and scapula are also fractured, he is now home safely in his bed starting a LONG process of recovery. I just give thanks everyday that he was divinely protected and that it was only a break and nothing worse.

The other boys (Damien and Matt) finished the race in just under 15 hours, their goal was 15.5 hours. This after stopping for 15 minutes to see if my dad was ok, having their strongest team member fall out of the race half way and only now being 2 instead of 3 riders. Words could not express how proud I am of these two boys! Damien hasn’t even been cycling for a year and managed to achieve the comrades of cycling! Well done boys, I love you three so much!!

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My heart broke when we woke up at 6am on Sunday and Erin said “where’s Oupa?”

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I run my own business – Celia Els from Little Lumps

I met Celia Els from Little Lumps for the first time when she kindly donated a prize for our Grace Factory social. She makes the most stunning baby clothes, here’s her advice on running her own business.

  1. Name: Celia Els
  2. Company name: Little Lumps http://www.littlelumps.co.za
  3. What does your company do: We manufacture baby clothing and accessories from prem up to 6-12 mths
  4. Since when have you been running your own business: I have always been in manufacturing and after being retrenched I started Little Lumps. This business has been going for 5 years
  5. Why is it better than working for a boss: Just is – suppose I can’t be fired!
  6. Thing you enjoy most each day : Being in charge of creative process
  7. Thing you enjoy least each day: Loneliness and stress if there are no orders
  8. Advice for people starting their own business: Have some knowledge of your market and product or service you are selling
  9. Top three things you have learnt from having your own business:

a) You are totally responsible for everything

b) It takes time to develop anything – be it a brand image, new product or financial stability

c) Owning your own business is like being on a roller coaster – some days you feel on top of the world and are convinced that this business is a success. Other days you reach the depths of despair and wonder what on earth possessed you to start in the first place!