August 2016 Lovingly Challenging

August 2016 may just have topped the charts in terms of being both challenging and exciting. Being Women’s month (yes we are lucky enough to get one day a year and may stretch it to a month), I was “lucky” enough to have some public acknowledgement shown my way.

I use “lucky” because in reality I was, as there are so many other amazing women, doing more than I have ever done, not receiving the recognition they deserve.

Anyway, I digress, August was lovely in terms of being able to share my stories across various platforms from radio to speaking engagements to social media PR.

Thank you to 5FM, MixFM, Google, Women in Tech ZA, GirlCodeBlog, Microsoft BizSpark, She Leads Africa for the public affection and love. It was such a treat to have this positive distraction as I went through those challenges.

I have to confess though, I do like radio. Allowing me to tell my story and not really realising how many are out there listening, is pretty cool. Who knows, perhaps one day I too will have my own show. What will we talk about? Oh, loads and loads.

Most impressionable quote at the DWEN Summit

I’ve always believed that in order to do lots of good in the world, one has to do well. At the DWEN Summit I attended in Cape Town last week, this belief was flipped around by Ashish Thakkar who believed that if you “do well you will do good“. I love this philosophy so much more.

I then researched this phrase and it’s been around for ages and used in various ways.

As I am going through a challenging period at work, I haven’t been thinking about the good I do or the happiness and laughter that I usually am all about doing and sharing.

So … to share some inspiration – Ashish Thakkar’s book is available on Amazon and shares the true story of a booming Africa often not seen by media’s hunger to sell stories of negativity instead of hope and growth.

To spread happiness, unless you’re easily offended, watch some of Amy Schumer’s stand up https://youtu.be/uOAJiihzsAU or if you looking for something less “offensive” watch some of James Corden’s karaoke carpool, here is one of my favorites or Ellen always manages to make me laugh and cry. Subscribe to her YouTube channel and be inspired everyday https://www.youtube.com/user/TheEllenShow.

As Ellen wouldsay “be kind to one another”. Thank you Ellen, I needed to hear that from you today.

Bringing happiness into the lives of others since 1978.
Mwah,
Shana Derman

#PauseAndLove
www.LoveButton.org

 

Birthday month 2016

On the last day of birthday month, my true self gave to me, one Starbucks coffeeeee. On the last day of birthday month, my truelove gave to me, one hour just for meeeee. On the last day of birthday month my true self gave to be, one hour to reflect, one Starbucks to get set and one blog post updaaate!

To say the past month has been a whirlwind is an understatement. It has literally flown by. I have to be grateful for the month that was though. It all started off with a Mariah Concert. Someone I’ve been a fan of when she started, then kind of lost interest in. However, the concert was amazing, she sang mostly the old classics, giving me memories of why I adore her having a night out with my husband was just fabulous!

Two weeks later, my son, husband and myself flew off to Mauritius, Club Med for a week of holiday, where I also celebrated my actual birthday, how spectacular.

Although it started off rocky with my son falling on his head, the team at Club Med responded so quickly and thankfully he was okay and the holiday turned around. It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life. The holiday had the best and worst experience to date but I am grateful for experiencing it as it makes me more mindful to be present.

I curled my toes in the sand, I played sand castles with my son, was treated to a birthday massage a a gorgeous spa overlooking the ocean, danced under the stars, danced with my son and husband and had many many lovely glasses of wine and delicious food.

The month, which I have dubbed, “birthday month” is a month in which I indulge without guilt. I think without realising, I have. There were many trips to the hairdresser (which I never do), at least two pedicures (also infrequently get to do) and a shop for a new bathing suit wardrobe now has me owning a wet suit costume and it fits!

Right now, I am sipping my soya caramel macchiato at Starbucks, reflecting on the month and entering a new one tomorrow. This week is a killer, in terms of work and timelines, but you know what, it’s not bad, it’s progress.

So, as I say farewell to my birthday month, and as I reflect on being 38 years old, a mom, a wife and an entrepreneur I look to the future, to tomorrow and begin to the feel the hope, the love, the possibility that comes from hard work, endurance and passion.

I love my life, what I do, who I am and who is in my life.

I would like to have more uninterrupted sleep, but hey, my son will only be little for a short while and one of my best memories of Mauritius was napping with my son, and him holding me close. Love that kid, love my hubby and love this stage I feel is one of the most important to take me where I know I am going to go.

#DreamBig with Microsoft BizSparkSA and PowerFM

What a fun week this has been! Taking what I do and live everyday to identify great technology ideas. This week I was a judge (alongside some amazing people) in the #DreamBig BizSpark SA competition powered by Microsoft and PowerFM. The Powerfm studios are full of energy and some really cool people. Being in-studio was also quite fun, although I admit that being a judge is not easy. So many criteria to consider, especially in terms of each entrant.

We are being featured on the dynamic and lovely Iman Rappetti’s Power Talk show (at 11.30am) and the judges are:

  • Andile Khumalo – Powerhouse and host of Power Business show
  • Warren Larken – Microsoft BizSpark SA PR Lead and champion for startups
  • Moosh Ntanzi – Entrepreneur and current BizSpark member

The finalists have now been selected and tomorrow the big winner is announced. View the prize here.

We judged according to criteria such as application quality, online presence, business idea and innovation of execution. We also looked at the entrepreneur and their team or skill set. There were some novel ideas and in the end, we are down to 4 finalists who have been entered into the big draw tomorrow.

Who will win? Tune in to Powerfm on 98.7fm today to hear who the 4th finalist is and  tomorrow to hear all the excitement for one lucky startup who will win R75000 worth of business support and other prizes.

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Startup Tip

Make entering competitions a strategy to refine your business plan, get professional feedback and free media exposure. You may win cash and / or business support but if not, you’ve improved your idea and business strategy.

– Shana Kay

What a year of travel

Who would of thought this year would be filled with so much travel. For the year, I’ve traveled locally and internationally:

  • Johannesburg to Cape Town
  • Johannesburg to London
  • Johannesburg to Washington DC
  • Johannesburg to Orlando, US
  • Orlando to Toronto

My next business adventure takes me all the way to Dublin, for the Web Summit in November 2015,  but before that, IntelliCred is exhibiting at the SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town at the end of August 2015.

If you’re in Cape Town, some and see our invention at the Inventors Garage at the Innovation Summit, being held at the Greenpoint Stadium and if you’re going to be at the Web Summit, let’s connect. I’d love to share our story and show our product.

What a wonderful travel year it has been :).