Founder, Author and lawyer, Sipiwe Sikwila shares her inspirations and aspirations in business and in her personal life. Read on for inside info on this powerhouse of a woman.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business?
About Me: When I’m not working my 9 to 5 as a corporate finance lawyer, my creativity screams out for an outlet. I have satisfied this creative streak through various small businesses such as decorating spaces, styling celebratory events and writing. I enjoy writing and have published law-related articles, editorial pieces on female experiences in an African context and, children’s books.
When I am not working or writing, I enjoy travelling the world, sightseeing, sampling different cuisines, and learning about other cultures. Sunflowers brighten any day, no matter what, so these are my favourite flowers! I have a soft spot for charities that help and support vulnerable children and do my best to contribute my time and resources to help organisations affiliated with this cause.
About my business:
SomethingMeBooks is a self-publishing house founded in 2020 that prides itself on publishing quality books for children and adults alike.
We are working on insightful and thought-provoking books to add to your bookshelf collection for our adult audience. For the little readers, we provide storybooks, activity resources and games that enable children to flourish in their learning and grow into responsible adults. For the aspiring author in you who seeks to influence with their written voice, we assist with unleashing the inner writer in you through our free resources. We believe in collaboration, empowerment and freely sharing experiences.
SomethingMeBooks was born out of a need for the free expression and publication of ideas. There are challenges, limitations, and uncertainties in searching and negotiating with third parties who can bring the required exposure to authors’ works. We exist to share information and knowledge on our platform despite hurdles.
Our company name reflects the quest to express oneself in a manner that strongly resonates with one’s passion and talent, in our case, representing the creative written side of storytellers.
We believe there are countless stories inside every one of us yearning to be told, read, and shared. As a business, we seek to empower you through stories, creativity and collaboration.
Hopinol Skopinol™ is the brand for all children’s resources produced by SomethingMeBooks. Through Hopinol Skopinol™, we aspire to be a trusted source for educational and fun bite-sized activities for little learners, thereby enhancing concentration whilst making learning and day to day tasks super fun for children.
Spending time with my adorable nieces and nephews always reminds me of how precious a time early childhood development is. Children are amazing sponges for information, and as such, through Hopinol Skopinol™ we seek to make available books that feed children’s imaginations and arm them with real-life skills.
Hopinol Skopinol™ printable activity pages are available on our Etsy store called Hopinol Skopinol.
What are you most proud of? I am proud of many things in my life, and there is a lot I have to be thankful for.
If I have to pick something related to my accomplishments, it would be my entrepreneurial spirit, my ability to think of a venture and work towards achieving the end goal despite presented obstacles.
What does power mean to you? Do you consider yourself an ‘influencer’? Power has many different meanings, all of which resonate depending on the context within which power is discussed. Power entails the ability to influence outcomes both intentionally and unintentionally. Power is the ability to accomplish things, whether this is done through one’s authority through collaboration or by influencing people.
I would consider myself an influencer due to the work I do as an author. When a child or adult reads a book I have written, this can contribute to shaping their thinking and behaviour. My aim though, is to influence positively as we all know, power no matter how big or small it may be, comes with a certain degree of responsibility. As such, I hope to influence in a manner that transforms people for the better.
Based on your own experience, what advice would you give someone that’s looking at starting their own business/new business owners? Many ideas start as a result of a passion one has. Because of this, such ventures have been coined “passion projects”. While it is good to pursue a passion project, as the passion continues to drive and push momentum forward, it is equally important that your passion is accompanied by knowledge of the industry you are venturing into. Such knowledge will ensure that your actions going forward are well thought through and calculated.
I cannot overemphasise the importance of research, research, research. It is incredible the kind of information out there in the world, and through researching, you will discover that your idea has many layers to it, and it’s up to you to select which of those layers will apply to your business venture.
Determining the costs involved in starting your business will also be critical. Money will have to be spent to build any infrastructure, develop systems, and produce the product or service you intend to offer to the world. As a trained lawyer, it would be remiss of me not to mention that knowing the legalities involved with your business is very important. You need to fully understand the rules associated with starting and running your business and make sure that you follow these.
There will be many distractions along the way, and many opportunities will be presented for you to throw in the towel; however, stay focused and stay determined. Remember to seek support when needed and speak out about your business to those that are trusted to you. By doing so, many solutions to some of the challenges you face will be resolved in this way. Last but not least, be flexible and be patient. It’s true when they say Rome was not built in a day.
Who are your role models? My Parents. There are so many life lessons that I have learnt from them that I would not be the person that I am today had it not been for their love, guidance, and support from the very beginning of my life.
When I grow up I want to be… … less intolerant to gluten…
On a more serious note, I would love to publish more books and grow my collection of children’s games.
What are your aspirations for the future? The aim is to merge my two passions and to write on a full-time basis. This would entail combining my love for writing and travelling around the world. Through expanded travel, I hope to get varied inspiration for my future book releases.
I hope that the books published by SomethingMeBooks will continue to positively contribute towards the global knowledge hub and to create continuous dialogue and awareness of topical issues.
Anything else you’d like to add? As SomethingMeBooks and Hopinol Skopinol™, we look forward to sharing our stories with you and trust that you will enjoy our products as much as we enjoy putting them together for you.