Uncovering the Business of Mentoring with Nomndeni Mdakhi

Nomndeni Mdakhi – Mentor to over 40 000 women tells us how she started her business (part 2 )

If you were to give the 20-year-old Nomndeni advice, what would it be?

Take your time. Everything unfolds in its own time. Relax. The reward is the journey.

What does raising the standard mean to you? How would you define excellence?

Excellence is not one-dimensional. More than anything it is about holding people accountable to a certain standard of brilliance in how we show up for ourselves, communities, leadership roles. Accountability has to be a critical attribute in our homes and businesses.

What’s your next big move?

I am at such a crossroads. I have reverted to taking the advice I would have given to my 20-year-old self. I am taking everything one step at a time. Planning better and allowing the process to guide me. As I learn new things, the vision moulds. I will share as soon as I am ready.

What advice would you give to people who are looking to make their next big move?

Take your time in the planning process, but not too much time. I think understanding what your next three steps look like is a trait we undermine in this continent. It does not always mean that things will turn out as you planned but it helps you make better-informed decisions.

You are a mother, how do you manage to raise children and a career at the same time?

I don’t think anyone does. We always want to be better at it. Be more attentive. Spend more time with the kids. Connect better with them. Always know what they are thinking. At times we ask for the impossible but I have learned to do as much as I understand at any given point.

Nomdeni - Standard Bank - Threads

If you could leave your children one lesson from your experience, what would it be?

If you had to spend your time on anything. It would be self-discovery. It is the gateway to your happiness and wealth.

You are also a mentor to many young women, what do you think it takes to mentor someone successfully?

It’s hard to say as I have an unconventional mentorship relationship with over 40 000 people. But I believe is a critical attribute in a mentorship relationship. Everyone wants to feel like they are normal and have what it takes to succeed. When they no longer see their mentors as demi-Gods, their perceptions of themselves start to shift and potential is unlocked.

What should people look for when recruiting a mentor?

Value alignment. I know a lot of people who could guide me. I actually speak to a lot but the relationships that have stood the test of time were those where the values were aligned.

Nomdeni - Standard Bank - Threads

Do you personally have a mentor (have you ever had?) and how has this helped you?

I don’t have formal mentorship relationships. Sheena Adams who is now Editor in Chief at Destiny Magazine once said I am great at harnessing relationships. I have amazing mentors in friends and sometimes clients. Everyone who has ever helped me, believed in me because they had experienced my work ethics, values and ambition first hand. I go to these people for different things. I have also learned that a lot of them don’t want to hold my hand, it’s always a nudge in the right direction, that’s all.

Threads Team

We believe in change. We believe in leaving a lasting impact. That's why threads mission is to empower the next of South African fashion entrepreneurs by providing them with the tools, resources, and networks to run a sustainable business operation and thrive internationally.