Sibusiso Khoza, also known as Bra Sbu, an Awethu Business Coach, shared his insights on coaching based on his extensive experiences with entrepreneurship. Born and bred in Soweto, Bra Sbu is an accomplished academic with three degrees including an MBA, and a post-graduate degree in psychology.
All these achievements might make Khoza proud, but his humility that rises gently from deep within him, much as his shy giggle did when asked to reflect on his personal story of entrepreneurship.
He attributes his entrepreneurial spirit to his mother, who throughout his life engaged in various entrepreneurial endeavours. However, his wealth of experience is derived from his practical professional career. In the corporate sphere, he worked in a range of management positions, all of which he believes contribute to his entrepreneurial acumen.
“If you can, go and find someone who is willing to allow you play with their money, so that by the time you use your own money, you’ve learnt your lessons. If you can, find a job. Start by working for someone else first. If you can’t, try and find someone who will assist with coaching and mentoring”.
In his own capacity, Bra Sbu’s first entrepreneurial venture was working as a meter taxi driver from 7pm to midnight, while he worked a full-time job during the day. This is a testament to his stamina and discipline. Subsequent to this, Bra Sbu established both a marketing consultancy firm and a real estate agency.
When asked why he turned to coaching given the success of his businesses, he says his MBA inspired him to extend his studies and test the theories of entrepreneurial marketing. He explains that “Entrepreneurial marketing research is telling you that entrepreneurs approach their marketing not using the so called four P’s. Because their resources are constrained, they must be very innovative in their approach” and this out-of-the-box thinking fascinates him.
Bra Sbu has a personal approach to coaching that brings out his empathetic nature. His coaching style is based on respect for the context of all his mentees. He smiles and says,
“I approach coaching from the human behavioural side. One could approach it from a purely economic or management perspective, but I think all human beings have got some sort of baggage that they carry from the past. As a result, it affects them in terms of their conceptual framework, how they approach life and solve problems they encounter.”
Sibusiso Khoza believes the real reward of coaching at Awethu comes from the different personal narratives that he experiences on a daily basis. He hopes that one day he can tell the stories of entrepreneurs he encounters, as a ‘Historian of Entrepreneurship’.
When asked who his entrepreneurial icons are, he answers without hesitation,”The recycling guys that walk the streets. The ones that wake up at 4am in Johannesburg. You’ll see them with their trolley’s and plastic bags moving about. They don’t talk theory. They know that if I don’t earn today, there is no food on the table. I love them.”
With such a plethora of experiences and a refined perspective of the world, Sibusiso Khoza approaches his mentoring as an example of the testament of Mahatma Gandhi - “Man is truly known by the humility of his heart”.
Hear what Bra Sbu has to say about being a business coach: Watch the snapshot.
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