I am Lucille Gumbi, a divorced mother of two. Born in Durban, South Africa.
I have always carried with me an entrepreneurial spirit in the jobs I have had. I worked my way up from a call centre agent to a Stakeholder Relations Manager through hard work, long hours, dedication and a hunger for success and money. I always wanted more, that is what drove me to being the top performer for consecutive years and to go onto doing a great job as a Stakeholder Relations Manager. As a mother I always questioned the role I am playing in my children’s lives, the example I am setting for them. I got to learn from a great man, my dad. He came from selling coal to being the successful businessman he is today. I wanted to leave a legacy, I wanted my children to learn from me but seeing me excel as a business women. I began a side hustle off the back of my passion for food. I succeeded in turning that venture into a small business which could comfortably support my family. I worked tirelessly but made sure I remained a present mom. My business has evolved over the years and in present day we are a Marketing, Activations, Events Management and Talent Management Agency. This evolution was sparked by my passion for creative innovation and the experience I have gained by working in the arts and entertainment industry over the years. I wanted a new challenge which would lead to a more sustainable legacy for my family.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
My biggest hurdles in building my business has been access to opportunity and capital. Coming up against companies which have been around for over 20 years, previously advantaged and male dominated is not easy. In this market you need significant capital outlay to deliver at the level of your competition and that was not easy as well. However I decided to take baby steps and service small clients and orders and build up to the bigger corporates and million rand plus orders. Today we can play on the same level as any medium sized agency. I did not rush my growth process and that has really allowed me to grow at a pace which is comfortable and profitable.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I am currently reading, John Maxwell - How Successful people win .
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My family has always been very supportive of my goals and vision. I come from a family of entrepreneurs whether be it their main hustle or side hustle. So they understood me and supported me all the way. I would definitely not hold onto dreams which are clearly unattainable and if a current direction of my business is not working I would let it go sooner and try something which will make more financial sense and will still ensure growth within my business. I will definitely never again underestimate my potential and that of those around me.