Lula Tshongweni was born and raised in the township of Tsakane, in the East Rand, East of Johannesburg, South Africa, where he currently still resides. As a little boy, Lula used to play with his friends on the sand heaps and around large bodies of water commonly seen around the area he lived, not knowing that these were actually tailings dams and heaps, which are by-products of the mining process. Fast forward many years later, and Lula is now the founder of Lutails Engineering, a specialist consulting firm working in the mine tailings industry.

Lula credits his career path to his natural curiosity about his natural surroundings. After completing a qualification in water and civil engineering, and gaining invaluable experience at different companies, Lula was introduced to the world of mine tailings where he discovered his passion lies and decided to take the leap and start his own business in the industry. Lula gives a very honest, candid interview about his journey, including business failures, his biggest business stresses and greatest triumphs, and shares some valuable insights into starting and growing an engineering company.

advice for entrepreneurs

Key takeaways:

  • Be very careful when choosing business partners. Choosing the wrong partner can come at a very high cost. Choose a partner who matches your passion and compliments your strengths and weaknesses
  • Trust your instincts, but always do due diligence when making business decisions Click To Tweet
  • Interpersonal skills are very important in business
  • Entrepreneurship is a long and lonely road…let passion be your companion
  • It’s very important to have a mentor as a new entrepreneur. You need a mentor who has walked the journey before you
  • Try to stay self-funded for as long as you can, but that means you must be willing to make a lot of personal and lifestyle sacrifices in the early stages
  • Persistence and consistency is very important when growing a business Click To Tweet
  • Time and energy are your most valuable resources because you can’t get it back once it’s spent, so use you time and energy wisely and efficiently

Links from the show:

Lutails Engineering

 

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Music credit:

Opening jingle: Original composition produced by Bradley Peters

Theme music: 'Nice to you' by Vibe Tracks