Toptal Scholarships

How to create a successful business

Advise from  10 successful entrepreneurs in Ethiopia 

  1. Your vision to change the world

I have always felt deep with in my core human beings are endowed with massive amount of greatness. Yet we live below our potential, financially, physically & mentally.

I am fascinated by why some portion of society is well off & others aren’t. There is an information that few are aware of and many are not. Yet we all desire to be successful in a way we deem what success is. Money is one area of our life that determines how well we function in society. Getting our financial life together is important as it affects all other areas of our life, our health, relationships, business, family life and more are all affected by how well we are doing financially. Unfortunately we don’t learn about money in school and most of us have to learn by trial and error.

when I started Sofia Media promotion plc my goal was to bridge the gap between those who have information on how to create wealth, maintain well being, live a peaceful & happy life, create harmonious relationships & create a well-balanced life and those who for lack of this information are not living up to their potential.

I had the privilege of interviewing 100+ masters who are at the peak of their game in terms how they conduct their life. My 2 radio shows, “The Greatness Show” Hiwot Sinka had thousands of listeners each week who are hungry for such information and want to transform their life.  “The Greatness Show” on YouTube.


  1. How you believe you can accomplish your goals

Now I have a vision to write a book on 10 successful Ethiopian entrepreneurs who will take us through their daily habits, mindset, thought pattern, people skills, money belief, sales strategies, customers handling and more.

My intention with this book is, I see many businesses fail within 3-5 year of starting. Our local entrepreneurs need home grown guidance, insider & practical knowledge, mentor- ship & coaching if they are to succeed. I want to help by making this information available in our local language, Amharic and if possible translate it to English.

The 10 Successful Entrepreneurs will be able to transfer their knowledge and help millions of readers create successful business and impact the countries economy at large. Those reading if they are able to create a successful business will be able to create jobs besides producing goods and rendering services.

This project is close to my heart. At age 20 with a degree in business administration from a prestigious university in Holland, I thought I knew everything about business. I was full of hope and enthusiasms when I lunched my first business in furniture manufacturing. What I didn’t consider was what I learnt in school didn’t give me the full picture of business. I didn’t have an experiential knowledge of business. Moreover, I didn’t have a mentor who have been there and has done it, who can take me through the steps of creating and sustaining a successful business. My business failed in 3 years. I felt ashamed, insecure and was scared to start another business.

Now I was disciplined, proactive, hard worker & had the making of a great entrepreneur but was I was lacking was a proven blueprint from people who have been there. I didn’t have a role model to emulate and a book to read, written from experience of local successful business owners.

So, I want to write this book because it is a book I wish someone had written so I can read it when I was going through the tough times in my business. I know in this moment there is someone feeling & going through what I went through and looking for a way out.

One habit of successful people is that they are lifelong learners. I adopted this habit 10 years ago and it has served me well. I have read more than 200 books on psychology, philosophy, autobiography of great minds, personal growth, entrepreneurship, money, communication, great relationship and more. What most successful people has is they take massive action once they gained knowledge. Knowledge has to be applied. One part of it is making the book available but the other part is supporting readers to apply the information on the book through coaching & mentor-ship.


  1. Support and mentor-ship, you need to accomplish your goals

To get my project off the ground I am going to interview 10 successful and respected entrepreneurs with in Ethiopia. The expenses to interview & publish the book will include

  1. Transport
  2. Recording studio, venue rental
  3. Refreshment
  4. Time spent writing
  5. Editing
  6. Printing
  7. Advertisement
  8. Distribution
  9. Other expenses

Winning the 10,000 dollars will help me with this expense.

  1. I need mentor-ship in
    1. how to develop a powerful & trans-formative book
    2. How to effectively distribute the book so 50,000 people can read it and benefit
    3. How to built a brand around the idea
    4. How to sell it online
    5. How to organize a workshop with the entrepreneurs in the book
    6. How to create and maintain a YouTube channel with content from the book
    7. How to help a few selected entrepreneurs from the society to get mentor-ship from the entrepreneurs in the book
    8. How to make it a profitable project so I can live what I preach

I am happy the Toptal Scholarships award has a mentor-ship component, as I would love to learn from the mentors available to help me see through this project and not just end with this one book but continue with a follow up book and with all the issues I mentioned above.

If I win Toptal Scholarships I will be able to make a mark in the lives of many Ethiopians to create a successful business which can become a global brand. But more so it will make me so happy to see this entrepreneur gain self confidence because they are armed with concrete knowledge, earn sustainable profit, contribute to society & become all round successful human beings who are living up to their potential.

I am grateful for this opportunity.  This project has been on my mind this past year and am excited to get started. I feel like a winner already and has started preparation. From thousands of email the greatness show receives I know my listeners will be so excited to hear about a  book on how to create a successful business in Ethiopia and will be ready to read and benefit from it.


Dr Meheret Debebe explaining what Excellence Persistence & Courage is.

Here is Dr Meheret Debebe one of The Greatness Platform speaker explaining what Excellence Persistence & Courage is. Enjoy

Generating Transformative Change (GTC)

Generating Transformative Change (GTC): Join others who are awakening to new versions of self, relationship, systems, innovation and the spirit of love for life.
Generating Transformative Change (GTC) is a cutting edge programme that aims to develop the individual in the entirety of their being. For the past 10 years, GTC has provided leaders and change agents the necessary skills and capacities to be more effective, creative and impactful.
This nine-month programme is based on decades of research into human and leadership development, and integrates a broad range of theories and practices designed to help participants acquire new skills, and grow inner capacities necessary for effective leadership in complex and demanding contexts.
17 phenomenal participants completed GTC Africa 1 here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. GTC Africa 2 is starting in December 2014.
To know more:
For information on a the Experiential Launch held on 4th October, please email, or call 0911/ 22 15 05.

Inspirational quotes

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
“Why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world–to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.”
—Ayn Rand
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
—Oscar Wilde
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
—Jack Kerouac, On the Road
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
—Theodore Roosevelt
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
—Marianne Williamson
“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.”
—Bessie Anderson Stanley
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
—Margaret Mead
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
—Mahatma Gandhi

GTC Africa

Dear Listeners,

Here is more information on GTC

Launching Generating Transformative Change – Africa (GTC), a programme that aims to enhance the effectiveness/contribution the self and one’s colleagues and teams for superior organizational performance.  The program will start in November 2013 in Addis Ababa and is offered by a company called Pacific Integral that is based in Seattle, USA.

Further details can be found attached, and at the following links as well: 

1.       Program overview:!

2.       November Program details:


GTC Africa Program Overview – 09 2013

GTC Africa

GTC Africa (Generating Transformative Change) is a proven, leading edge, research-based leadership development program, which supports participants in growing and expanding to become effective leaders who facilitate transformation in their professional and personal lives.

Check out more information here