Lorna Mlonzi is the CEO and founder of Sky Internet SA, an ISP start-up with a township focus. It is one of the biggest telecommunications companies in South Africa and provides wireless connectivity to households and businesses in informal settlements and underprivileged communities.
In episode #6 of the Future Females Show, hosted by Media Personality & Transformational Coach, Susana Kennedy, and Co-Founder & CEO of Future Females, Lauren Dallas, Lorna shares her journey from township living to having lunch with Richard Branson.
Lorna, please tell us a little about yourself…
I’m originally from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, but I’ve been living in Cape Town for more than 15 years so I think it makes me a Capetonian. 🙂
I’m just an ordinary person who saw a gap in the townships that I come from and having studied ICT (Information Communication Technology), I realised there is actually nobody right now who is trying to improve telecommunications infrastructure within townships. A lot of the time we look at affordability but there’s actually a lot of money within townships, you just have to know how to tap into that space and understand how to work your business within that market. It’s not easy, but one thing I can say is that starting a business is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my entire life.
Was your motivation the fact that you found a gap in the market, or was it the mystic in you that said “I need to help these people”?
A bit of both. Nobody is going to come for the township unless we, as a township, realise that we need to start doing something. It’s just wanting to create an impact and a change.
What made you decide that this really bold and different path (telecommunications) was for you?
It’s unexplainable. It was within me to want to go out there and push and keep on being consistent. I told myself: “I fail now, I learn, I wake up and I keep doing what I do.”
Where do you think you got that mindset from – your CAN-do attitude?
Definitely from books. I listen to audiobooks because you know, coming from a township you don’t have time to read, you have to be constantly at work to make money. So I substitute a song and rather listen to an audiobook. Also, being spiritual and understanding that we live in an abundant world. Money is everywhere, it’s all around us. It’s about understanding that it’s out there, you just have to tap into it. There’s the world, and then there’s the system. It’s about deciding whether you’re going to follow the system that everyone has been doing, or try to do things differently. I live by affirmations and nothing has helped me more. I don’t think anything that I’ve achieved has got anything to do with me, it’s just the spiritual aspect and understanding that I am a limitless being having a human experience right now.
How did you meet Richard Branson, and how was the experience?
It was through the co-working space that we work in – with my business partner. We were invited to have lunch and, as always, I was in between a roof, trying to get the internet to work and so I got there a little bit late. The only seat that was available was the one next to Richard Branson’s… It was the Universe.
One of the books I’d like to recommend to any female entrepreneur who is currently going through entrepreneurship (because you can actually go through entrepreneurship), is The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn. Other writers who inspire me are Neville Goddard and Charles Haanel. A degree can get you paid, but it’s the sacral chakra (the second chakra) that’s going to make you a millionaire.
You are very calm. Is there a daily practice that you do to get into this amazing state of mind?
Another book by Florence Scovel Shinn, Your Word Is Your Wand, is all about understanding that whatever you say with your mouth, even negatively joking about yourself, takes effect. Also, understanding the law of causation – the fact that you’re getting the effect that was caused by a thought. What you put out is what you get in. We’re constantly stressing about where we’re going to get the next dollar. What is God’s job in your life if you’re going to worry about where everything is going to come from? Keep doing what you’re doing and focus on the business, and on improving things. Don’t worry about HOW – we always want to dictate how things need to come to us, but unfortunately that’s not how it works.
If you could give yourself your best piece of advice 10 years ago, what would it be?
I’m 29 and going through my Saturn Return right now so I think I’m literally at the right time in my life. Everything that occurred in my life needed to happen to build the characteristics and the character that I am today. I had to be in a township, I had to go through all of that, I had to come from no money for me to understand that, even money itself is an idea. Once you have the idea you already have the money.
With the full power of the Universe behind you, where do you want to take this business that you’re currently running?
The big vision is to have one African telecommunications brand where you can go with your mobile from Cape Town right up to Cairo without having to do anything. It’s running a business where everyone can tap into it and bring expertise so we can all grow.
What is the thing that you are most proud of?
Healing from trauma and not having to have a therapist or going to one therapy session. It’s just having that can-do spirit – waking up every day and telling yourself it’s a new day and anything can happen. God works in mysterious ways. He knows that He needs to do what He needs to do. You just have to wake up and keep doing what you are doing and trust in the process.
Watch the show episode below!
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