What’s the first thing you do every morning?
I open my eyes and say “Thank you Lord” followed by my morning affirmations & declarations over my life.
Mention one thing on your bucket list?
Own a luxury helicopter
What are you currently obsessed with?
The power of the subconscious mind. I find it fascinating how there’s so much I don’t know about the power of the mind with which all material things can be acquired.
Do you have any irrational fears?
Tiny insects. Not that I like bigger insects, I just feel that the tinier they are, the harder it would be for me to stop them from getting onto me. I don’t want insects touching me.
What’s a topic you could spend hours talking about?
Personal branding. I could go on and on about it because I’ve seen how increasingly important it is, especially in the digital age we’re moving into.
He may be scared of insects (so check, he is definitely still human) but problems… what are those? He thrives while solving them! It is this great pride and pleasure that I invite everyone to take a moment and join us in conversation with Phenyo Mabokela, founder of Bespoke Innovations. This introduction as a matter of fact doesn’t have enough words to describe his success thus far and the admirable tenacity he projects in whatever he does. In between his busy schedule I was so lucky to grab his attention and asked him a few questions…
How did you discover your vision or what led you into this line of business/career?
Funny story. In the years 2016 and 2017 I tried to launch two businesses, one was a clothing brand and the other was an online store where people could design their own apparel and have them delivered to them. In both my attempts I failed to get the businesses off the ground, however, I had been able to convince several people that the products and services were fully operational and even had a couple of willing buyers. It was such a light-bulb moment for me, I discovered that I had the ability to take ideas and bring them to life through visual and verbal communication and that’s the spark that led me into the world of digital branding and marketing.
From that spark I went on to learn more about digital marketing, technology and entrepreneurship. It was through my studies of entrepreneurship and the digital world that I found a passion for helping businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals find unique and cost-effective ways of telling their unique stories to the world through digital media.
Describe the service you provide?
We provide digital branding and marketing solutions to businesses and organizations. In the past I’ve seen that because branding and marketing are quite broad, there were a lot of people who mixed it up with PR and Advertising, and so I’d always simplify what we do in this statement:
“We bring the ideas, beliefs and emotions of your brand to life through combining appealing graphic designs & authentic storytelling in creating the ideal marketing strategy for your business”
What’s your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
I love being able to solve people’s problems. The feeling of completing a successful project and getting good reviews for my work gives me a sense of achievement that money cannot buy. Being an entrepreneur allows me to feed two desires of my life, the first being to make an impact in the lives of others, and the other being to challenge myself to be more than I was yesterday – a life of constant improvement.
How have you managed/dealt with people judging or questioning your potential because of your age?
Wow, this question always catches me because it’s so personal and a passionate topic. The reason I say it’s personal is because it is such a reality for any young person going into business, especially if, like me, your business involves dealing with corporates and seasoned professionals. I tackled the challenge in two ways, one is internal and the other is external.
Internally, I had to get rid of the labels; “student”, “young” and “aspiring” in my own mind. I don’t consider myself a “student” entrepreneur, an “aspiring” entrepreneur, nor a “young” entrepreneur. I am an entrepreneur, period. This ensures that the way I conduct myself, introduce myself and go about my business is also at a level that shows that I deserve my seat at the table.
Externally, I had to make sure that I gave no reason for my age to be considered a factor. This meant that I had to develop the resilience, discipline and consistency of a seasoned individual in all my interactions. There’s nothing that discredits young people more than inconsistency. It is one of the reasons why young people are looked down upon in industry. A “young” person is expected to be inconsistent, ill-disciplined, lacking focus and having little exposure to the world beyond their classroom/peer group. In working my way out of the age box, I had to develop skills, build up my expertise, read more and most importantly I had to make every opportunity count by proving that I could start and finish any project and cope with any curve ball that came in the way without bringing up excuses of why I couldn’t do it. As a “young” person, you have to work thrice as hard to prove that you are not like the rest.
What are you looking forward to in terms of your career?
I am currently on a mission to build Africa’s largest network of digital consultants. This is a mission in progress and as the 2020-2030 decade progresses, I hope to have made significant progress towards it and inspire a lot more others to do even greater.
What’s your all-time favourite quote?
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” – Romans 12:12
Phenyo Mabokela is defiantly a name to watch out for… that’s if he hasn’t grabbed your attention already. I personally cannot wait to have more conversations like this one with Mr Mabokela and from Becoming Online, we are definitely routing for you every step of the way.
blessings on blessings.