Johnny Nel is a sales and marketing specialist with a 9-year background in entrepreneurship, direct response marketing, sales, and sales management.
Johnny was born in South Africa to his father, who is an entrepreneur and musician, and his mother, a corporate businesswoman. Johnny was exposed to entrepreneurship from a rather young age. His parents started to teach him the fundamentals of business from 4 years of age, by allowing him to buy and sell animals for profit. His interest in entrepreneurship, business, and music grew with time as his parents’ example inspired him.
Eventually, Johnny decided to leave school at the unconventional age of 14. He then got the opportunity to audition for an institute called COPA (Campus of Performing Arts) in Pretoria, South Africa. He may have been too young to attend college at that age, but it was a relentless pursuit. His tenacity opened the door at COPA who accepted his application regardless of his young age. Although this was not on his parents’ agenda, they welcomed his decision and gave him their full support. Not only did he become a college student at age 15, but he also started his career as an entrepreneur.
Whilst being a full-time student, on weekends, he was working and performing in the music industry, also managing different businesses that helped him gain a larger advantageous perception of entrepreneurship, sales, and marketing.
Johnny’s life revolved around the exploration of entrepreneurship. Being a hardworking entrepreneur, businessman, and musician, it is great to know that Johnny also enjoys fitness and makes it a priority to exercise regularly.
Now at age 24, Nel defines Mentorship as very important. “It’s vital for your development as an entrepreneur and as an artist,” he says. He also recognizes the importance of submitting to accountability. He sees the benefit of being mentored by someone who helps develop his potential. “It’s not to break you down, but it’s to build you in various ways, to help you set great goals that you can tick off as you achieve them.” Having the support of his parents, Life, and Business coaches, motivates Johnny to keep pushing for greatness.
“Learn from your mistakes. Don’t run away from your problems. Accept what you face, push through, and grow. See your potential shining through,” Johnny answered when asked about the greatest lesson he learned before turning 18.
Johnny’s blueprint for life is found in none other than God, who is the ultimate source of his existence. When it comes to decision making, Johnny relies on God’s wisdom and timing. “God is proactive. God does not sit still. He has always been there for me. My decisions are always based on what I believe God tells me and how He guides me. I can only move forward if I stick with God,” he says with a thankful heart. “If something doesn’t draw me closer to God, I know it’s not from Him.”
Transparency and vulnerability play an important role in Johnny’s day-to-day connections with whomever he engages with. He encourages other young entrepreneurs to be strong and bold in their craft. “There may be people that want to break you down, but you shouldn’t focus your attention on that. Rather focus on helping others, this should be the main driving factor.” Being competitive is good, but Johnny advises that one should never aim to shove other people down to climb the ladder. “See competition as something you can learn from. Perhaps a goal you can attain.”
Having lacked exposure as an entrepreneur for quite some time in his life, Johnny encourages entrepreneurs with the hidden talent to network, network, network. Building relationships got me to where I am today. As an Entrepreneur, Johnny advises young entrepreneurs to never stop learning. “At the end of the day, you’ll meet the people you need to meet. It’s hard work and it’s all about the process.”
For Johnny, his processing starts with God, whom he acknowledges to be is everywhere. I’ve accepted that things can get tough sometimes, which is why I make sure that I surround myself with key people. My pack are people I esteem higher than myself.” Whether you’re in a fortunate state or not, Johnny emphasizes the importance of having a plan, setting short-term and long-term goals, and making sure you reach those goals. “You will and need to be challenged. But remember that the trials that build your character. The storm may be tough, but God is in there with you. Be intentional about moving forward,” he says. Johnny makes it his habit to go back to the drawing board when necessary.
“Stay away from being prideful. Pride is a prison. Be humble on whichever platform you’re on. Don’t block yourself from learning from someone younger than you, who may be more advanced in your field.” – Johnny Nel