Pop Quiz, Monday with Wendy J. Marais

Maintaining a balance between management and being part of the team. Knowing when to move to the side and when to lead.

Wendy J. Marais

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Wendy J. Marais

Wendy J. Marais
Photo credit: Wendy J. Marais

What is your job role?
CEO and Creative Director of Jazzled and Chairman of the Board of the non-profit Jazzleds Heart. I am also the Author of the book Harmony, number one an anthology of three for teenagers aimed as a self-motivational, anti-bullying and motivational novel.

Tell us about your company?
Jazzled is a website and app that is in the production phase. Our primary focus is unique educational experiences for teens. We have a wide variety of why’s to invoke their curiosity to a learning platform that will attract their senses and combine fun with music, homework, and learning. Our goal is to introduce them to a world with an unequaled balance of education and fun.

What do you love most about your job?
The joy of creating innovative and unique projects for teens. Of watching their faces as you describe a project, they are interested in and taking it one step further for them.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
A desire to make this special time of teens lives even more special. Working with the people who are interested in Jazzled and want to join the Jazzled team.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
The very fact that they believe in my dream and have a desire to work with me towards it that is what inspires me!

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I enjoy the laughter I have with my team and the team building exercises we build without even meaning for them to be an exercise. I like to work with driven and intense people who know when to be serious and know when to let go.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The hours, coming together with a new idea that can be pushed forward with confidence and the whole team on board. Maintaining a balance between management and being part of the team. Knowing when to move to the side and when to lead. Some people are unique and can come up with a very an initiative that is better to let them run with 90 percent as the team lead, to know when to do this is a fine line. Creating an atmosphere in which people at Jazzled want to work in — an atmosphere of innovation and creativity and magic.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
To try not to move as fast as I move and wait for people to understand what my goal is and not become frustrated with the communication span. Jazzled has come forward after a lot of hard work and years of innovation and then stepping back to readjust the flow. New ideas and then taking old ones out or changing them to build the site and app that we are now ready to build.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Funny my immediate thought was to don’t! But the creative end can be very difficult if you don’t come from a technical end. My advice is to either become a sales and marketing guru or learn how to code like a demon. Game building and marketing never stops writing down your dreams. Write down every idea you have in one book, not ten. Keep deeply intricate notes and find people who are like-minded, who live the same lifestyle as you. It helps if you are working all night if your partner or roommate gets it.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:



Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals 

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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