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.

#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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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 :).

Happy birthday to me

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I haven’t posted in a while. New “mom-preneur” is still ironing out the kinks. Amazing how life has changed.

I love, absolutely love birthdays, I even celebrate “birthday month” and feel zero guilt for buying that one thing I’ve wanted all year. Funny story, ever since I’ve become a mom, I want for nothing.

Well, not nothing, but very little :).

Being a mom, my birthday suddenly has taken a different feel, a new form. I went shopping the other day with the intention of getting myself a gift (which I do every year). I walked out with a bag full of …………… baby stuff.

It’s amazing, I’ve become completely (almost) selfless.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was spoilt on Mother’s Day. My son (7 months old, bless his cotton socks) “bought” a lovely card and perfume for his dear mother. And hubby dearest, donned my engagement ring with the most stunning eternity ring to complete the circle of love. I never realised how much I love diamonds :).

But on the morning of my birthday, my hubby departed for a business event in Durban, leaving me with a baby who won’t sleep at night, because “he was too excited for mommy’s birthday”.

Yay.

I am not complaining, hubby has three gold stars already, a pair of awesome Hunter boots and some nifty SuperGa kicks. Shoes and bling in one month, yup, he has done well :).

Now that I think about it, I have also gone for a Thai massaaa courtesy of “ye olde ball and chain”, so …………. it’s been a pretty good birthday month, I have been super spoilt and can’t complain.

(“I feel okay that I don’t want to buy myself anything for this birthday”, she says with a stupid grin on her face, “I am grateful and feel privileged”. #Humblestare). Birthdays aren’t about the presents anyway, it’s about the people we spend it with (okay and some presents).

Oh and one more thing, feeling like hiding from the world this morning, I made the “good” mistake of checking Facebook. My wall was flooded with birthday wishes from those I would never have expected to take a few seconds to think of me. So to all who have sent messages, thank you. You truly have lifted my day.

Happy birthday to me. It’s already a good day.

July, a month of ….. wow, weird, wonderful, www.

The month of July started off rocky, I had to give my car back because my business is not generating revenue, the company then charged me for an entire car from funds I don’t have and I could not see how to move forward with …… Everything.

I then decided to take a step back and look at various options. I also turned to my board of advisors to see if I could get some help.

Since then, I’ve found some avenues of ways to raise funding for my business and have some interested investors on the horizon.

Being pregnant through this entire re-startup process has been a challenge, but one I know will pay off.

The bad stuff:
– having no cash to do anything when the car dealership cocked up
– losing my cool for the fact that I went over and beyond the call of duty to ensure things like that did not happen
– not having my case worked on for 7 months, when my name change gas been in process for
almost 4 years with Home Affairs

There have been good stuff in between though, and I’ve tried my best to focus in these.

The good stuff:
– having the mistake fixed within 2 days of it being made
– getting a loan car to drive while my next one arrives (at no cost)
– healthy baby scan
– finding a possible way to get my case looked at by Home Affairs
– dinner with my Fems from CT and visits with old friends
– good meetings with investors
– moving forward

Tomorrow is Friday, I have a huge pitch on Monday and Friday next week and this is my focus for the next few last days of July. My intention is to focus, move forward and take care of myself and the bowling ball I swallowed. Hey go, let’s go!

October, a month of “new”

I started a new part-time job this week in the Tech space and loving it. It’s great to be surrounded by a team who absolutely love what they do, which is a refreshing change. In addition to this, I will be in Cape Town next month and looking forward to it particularly because I get to spend some time with my mentor and friend.

In other news, my gratitude challenge is still going strong. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. I think I am hitting that point ;).

60 days of gratitude – day 32:

  • Starting a new job, which allows flexibility to do the job at hand in my way.
  • Discovering “dairy-free-iced-coffee” at Fego’s (“you complete me”).
  • Feeling like I will make a difference to this new organisation.

In addition to my general gratitude, I am going to try for at least 1 work, 1 play and 1 self thing to be grateful for. I need to “fin-the-fun” in work and life and I believe that this may be one of the ways to accomplish this.

  • Work-itude: getting into understanding the new environment
  • Fun-i-tude: laughing at myself for dancing in front of my dog this morning and loving it when he wags his tail super fast!
  • Self-i-tude: taking time out to actually have a decent lunch

I know it’s hard to smile when things are tough, to not complain when it is completely validated and to suppress emotions directed at a deserving party. Suppression is not the key, why not use the chain of screaming instead? When someone screams at you, simply scream at someone else.

Just kidding :).

Go for a walk, breathe or hit a punching bag, but let the frustration out.

About finding ones identity …

Hello, my name is Shana Kay. When I am not involved in developing products or growing my own companies, I am a Management Consultant, helping businesses plug their gaps in order to grow theirs. Scary to see the number 16 in years of experience, but it is true. I’ve been in the ICT industry for 16 years filling roles such as:

  • Tech Support
  • Webmaster
  • Examiner
  • E-Business Manager
  • CEO of Software Company
  • Business Analysts
  • Digital Strategist
  • Etc.

The thing I love about being in the tech space, is that I can reference other industries, build product for other industries, creative industries such as media and publishing. Walking on a beach with my mentor one day, I said “I don’t know what my “thing” is because I can do many things”. She answered “this is your thing, the fact that you can, not many people can do that”.

So after years of searching, I finally found my groove and it’s thanks to my last “job”. I can identify areas needing improvement or systems required for automating outdated processes. Remaining calm ( perhaps not when everyone else is calm) when everyone else is freaking out. Spotting opportunities online to increase revenue and audience. Comparing fad with required enhancement.

This is my thing. These are my things.

So, second business, second product, 1 success, 1 fail. So what, we try again. Second business, second product, hey ho, let’s go!

Weekend review: Spring day arrives

He spoke about the programmes our government has in place for learners (which we are aware of), encouraging business to do more and encouraging us to ask for more to be done. You had to be there to understand the power of this very (heavy) good speech.
Left feeling: inspired by the local talent we have in this country and by what we can achieve if we put our minds to it.

It’s spring, it has arrived in style in Johannesburg. Inspired by my ex-mentor, I started 30 days of gratitude at the end of August, today is day 5. My gratitude list is as follows:

  • lovely weekend getting to know a new friend
  • attending a Spring Ball with my partner
    • seeing performances by Brandon October, Lauren (Idols) and Loyiso and an amazing choir and
  • hearing an amazing (although controversial) speech delivered by EOH head.

He spoke about the programmes our government has in place for learners (which we are aware of), encouraging business to do more and encouraging us to ask for more to be done. You had to be there to understand the power of this very (heavy) good speech.

Left feeling: inspired by the local talent we have in this country and by what we can achieve if we put our minds to it.

Looking forward to this new month of September, I hope it brings re-birth, all around.

Chat soon.

Why it pays to be no. 2 in your industry and other great articles making the news!

Love these articles – and we could learn from them too. Top articles catching my eye this week: