Be ambitious and follow your dreams, do not listen to people who have never lived and experienced what you’re aiming for and keep on maturing according to your ambitions.

 

Stéphanie was born and raised in Paris, France by Congolese parents.

When she was seven, she was stealing her mother’s Dutch Wax Block fabrics making clothes for dolls and selling them to her friends.

She was also teaching dancing moves at 9 during school breaks making her classmate paid for it.

Early on in her life, she demonstrated an entrepreneurial mindset emphasised by her managerial behaviour being the big sister of 5 other brothers and sisters.

Always being full of energy, her parents always kept her busy, and she was trained in Classical dance, gymnastics, ballet, modern & street jazz dances and triathlon where she won a few regional medals on the way.

From 16 year-olds, she worked every summer to save money for my first property working for Art dealer selling antiques and art and being paid on commission only, MacDonald’s (not for long – lol), a variety of fashion luxury stores or being a telephone customer service agent for mobile companies and banks.

Her parents wanted her to have a stable profession, so I went to business school where I earned a Degree in Business Management. After graduation, she went on to work with some of the most successful beauty and fashion groups: L’Oréal and LVMH worked on a few brands and spent my internships working in Australia, China, Germany and Spain.

However, it was not long before she realised that working for others was not for her; though Stephanie loved her job, she felt she wasn’t making a difference and was just a new talented and replaceable executive in the company.

She wanted to create something from scratch and be her own boss like my father did before her.

So, today, she is a London-based international entrepreneur with interests in fashion, leisure, production, publication, toys & hobbies and property.

So, business lady by day and writer by night, she has always read and written songs, poems, or stories sometimes short, sometimes long, sometimes comical, occasionally sarcastic and sometimes dark & suicidal, depending on her mood, the music she has in her mind, the people she met and the amount of alcohol drunk on the day.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

Well, this is not the first company I founded. I have always had an entrepreneurial soul due to my family background. Younger, I had a fashion company called Celest Couture in France, a few years ago, I founded a tour guide business in England which I have since sold.

I was inspired by one of my former bosses who invested in Luxury fashion companies. So, I started investing in small companies and created the structure afterwards, as we know it today Sté Tumba Capital. Our asset is that we have diversified our risks investing from real estate to high tech/ app start-ups.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I am responsible for managing and overseeing my investments and my team as they progress on various campaigns and tasks. And, when you work on a variety of businesses, there is no such a thing as a “typical day” per se. However, I have a routine that allows me to be more productive.

I wake up at 6am every business day, I run up to 15 minutes, meditate/visualise, write a gratitude list, play the piano, have a coffee, read (always something positive and/or inspirational), and finally I write a “positive” to do list for the day wishing that everything goes as I want.

Then, I switch on both my personal and business mobiles and start going through my emails. My assistant will and I will then collaboratively plan the day, and make sure that the most urgent tasks gets done first.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Our common goal is to create, build, and offer a good (100 dates and a wedding) or service (matchmaking or styling advice) to our future customers. Ideally, the once-created idea will bring life to a business with a viable business model that is agile and able to adapt to a changing society.

1) It is essential to believe in yourself and give yourself the means to succeed!
As an entrepreneur or anyone who needs his or her own abilities to carry out a project, YOU are your best tool! Knowing your areas of excellence and points that require more effort is essential to reduce the risks for your project.

2) Share your idea, Exchanging on your idea is like taking a breath of fresh air; it will allow you to take a step back. This can bring out points on which you are not yet developed and which deserve to be dug.

3) Test and iterate again and again. The priming phase of the idea is essential but often remains sloppy. Let’s not forget that we do not create goods and services for US but for CUSTOMERS! This will allow you to significantly reduce risk, save time, move forward calmly and find your early adopters

What’s one trend that excites you?

Virtual Reality is the trend that excites me most! Virtual reality gaming is where a person can experience being in a three-dimensional environment and interact with that environment during a game. I’ve tried HTC Vive through a variety of sporty video games and I have to admit I was hooked… Playing tennis with a “virtual” opponent has never been so fun! I can’t wait to a VR version of our game Who’s Bluffing?

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Multitasking is a myth as far as I am concerned, in my position, it’s just impossible! I am more productive to work on one single task at a time to keep the same level of intensity and concentration throughout the day. In between task, I take a little break from 2 to 5 minutes to switch off from the last task and to switch on the new one.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be ambitious and follow your dreams, do not listen to people who have never lived and experienced what you’re aiming for and keep on maturing according to your ambitions.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

In the next 10 to 15 years, I believe that people will be sick of Instagram, the uber-ultra-feminism movement, Facebook, virtual reality, over sexy images all through our advertisement boards, plastic surgery and this whole superficial world. They will be more in search of authenticity and will long for a comeback of all the traditional values. We will experience a brand new “hippie movement”.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I check, and check, and check, and check information given, documentation and important letters. I believe that (1) each task or work must be as close as possible to perfection and (2) even the best person in his field doesn’t know it all so when in doubt, it’s always best to check .

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

When I buy a company, equity, or shares, I always do my own due diligence not only through Google but also through friends, connections, social media and so on…

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

My first company, Celest Couture was a fail. We didn’t anticipate some the additional costs, the possible losses, and more importantly the huge corporate tax that we needed to pay. We paid everything down, but whilst failure is often viewed as an ending, for me it was just a beginning. We needed to start over from scratch and do it differently which we did with what is now Celest Lifestyle.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I don’t have a business idea to share per se, however, I have a lead to give. Today, Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users. The most successful instagramers are travellers and lifestyle bloggers. Whilst the latters do travel, most of their followers don’t at least not in these glamorous places. So, I would advise to look more into Virtual Reality games or concept that make these people travel around the world without leaving their living room.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The best $100 I recently spent was on Scribd annual subscription. I love reading but with my time schedule it can be quite difficult! Well, when there is a will, there ALWAYS a way… I subscribed to Scribd and I am now reading an average of two books a week. Love it!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Siri, Alexia, and iCal Diary. For me, the 3 of them come as a package. They work spendidly well togerther. I don’t need to adk my assistant to put meetings or trips in my diary anymore, Siri is able to do it automatically. I can ask Alexia to book me a uber and also put it in my diary. New Technology is magnificent.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Dale Carnegie with “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Not only this book is a fantastic self-help book but also it helps you develop your social and negotiation skills in all kids of settings. It’s just amazing. I read it along with The Magic of Thinking Big at least twice a year.

What is your favorite quote?

One of my favourite quotes is one of Thomas A. Knight, “If you try, you might fail,
But if you don’t try, you’ll never succeed.”

Key learnings:

  • Be prepare for the unexpected
  • Passion! Don’t only love what you do, do what you love!
  • It’s not the lack of {whatever you want to put here] that really stops you from realising your dreams. It’s more often the lack of resourcefulness. When there is a will, there ALWAYS a way.
  • Do it and Screw it! Or Do it and Smash it!

Connect:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DameBusiness

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephtumba/

Instagram: @StephTumba

Twitter: DameBusiness

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