Mark Sham, entrepreneur, writer and speaker

Mark is an entrepreneur, writer and speaker that is hell-bent on helping people all over the world become better versions of themselves! Mark is the founder and CEO of Suits & Sneakers and The Tryst. Both companies aim to help people hack the system of value creation through informal learning.

As a speaker, Mark Sham travelled all over the world (Pre-covid) helping people and businesses be better prepared for the future. Mark has a few popular talks that have been very popular with individuals, schools, companies and the like. His “Back to the Future” talk focuses on his subjective take on how the world is changing faster than ever as well as what we all need to do, both in our personal and professional lives, in order to thrive in this ever-changing world – especially now. If you plan on keeping your job or being able to provide for your family in the next 5 years, you need to learn how the world is shifting so that you can be prepared for these changes.

Mark developed a HAPPINESS talk during Covid because there was a big need to focus on aspects that make us our happiest selves and he believes it has never been a better time to be alive but we are also living in the most complex version of society. As a result, the skills and mindset that got us all to this point won’t be the same skills and mindset that we will need to thrive in the future.

And lastly, Mark holds an online or in-person workshop called Our Digital Future which focuses on the latest trends happening in the digital world and how to work the system to make your business seen in a very complex, congested world of the online space.

Q&A with Mark

Tell us a bit about yourself and what your job entails on a daily basis.

As a small business owner, I basically have to be a jack of all trades. I go from sorting our flooring and our hybrid eventing space to being in charge of HR and our employees, to creating talks and researching them, to marketing our space, to interviewing people coming in and then going out externally to do talks at businesses or schools. So I have to have to be hands on and swop and change my daily role accordingly.

How did your journey in the industry begin?

I never got a matric, I naturally have an entrepreneurial mind and I have a deep interest in informal learning. The internet provided that all for me. It’s in my nature to understand and research obsessively before I start something. I’ve been in a whole bunch of different businesses in different industries. So, I saw that there was a need for informal learning but in a fun way and so Suits & Sneakers is just that. I want to bring really interesting speakers into our space where our audience is able to take something away with them that they didn’t know before and I want to create a space for people to connect with each other because they are like-minded people.  

What projects are you currently working on?  

My main focus is to get The Tryst (our hybrid eventing and studio space) up and running. I also have a bunch of other projects on the go but they all work hand-in hand. There is a massive need to put small businesses out there as well and so I am working on getting these small businesses into the market and creating awareness for them. Then lastly, I launched our Happiness workshop in 2018 and this has taken off so I’m busy developing this and creating workshops and talks for people.

What do you think FAME Week Africa can offer the Pan-African Market?

I think it’s an amazing place for people to understand what is happening in the world of Arts in South Africa. I don’t think people in this industry get enough awareness and they are very talented so FAME week brings this to life. It’s also important for people in the industry to see what is happening around them.

What do you think the future of the creative industries look like for Africa?

With our different cultures and the world opening up opportunities, I think our local creatives have a chance at really showing their skills and talents.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer someone wanting to get into the industry?

It’s hard work and you sometimes want to give up, but you have to push through. Don’t let the lows make you give up because there are always opportunities and if you put energy out, people will be attracted to that – just keep busy and keep doing things. It will pay off

Read more FAME Behind the Scenes interviews here

FAME Week Africa

FAME Week Africa

FWA Connect bringing the Film, Arts, Media and Entertainment sector together by providing creative industry professionals on the African continent with news, trends and in-depth articles.

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