Howard Johnson talks funny business

Howard Johnson stars in his debut stand-up show, Like a Boss.

Howard Johnson gives a comedic twist to his insights into the world of business, in his debut stand-up show, Like a Boss.

Businessman Howard is taking his expertise to the stage for an hour-long tongue-in-cheek schooling on the challenges and possible pitfalls in starting and running a business.

Howard is from Milnerton. He is a qualified teacher, turned entrepreneur, and he is the founding chairperson of EduSA language school association and co-founder of the South African Youth Travel Confederation.

Having started up six businesses and still owning two, Howard hopes to help aspiring entrepreneurs develop their businesses to compete on the global stage.

Growing up in Fairways, Howard’s first job was as a primary school teacher at Hazeldene Primary in Mitchell’s Plain.

After teaching for a year, he taught abroad for a short period before returning home and starting his first business in 1998.

Like a Boss is his first stand-up commentary show or “comedy with a purpose”. Howard gives a humorous account of his 21 years in the business world to highlight all areas of business.

Business is serious stuff, says Howard, but he hopes to bring some “comic relief” to entrepreneurs who otherwise follow a lonely path in their quest to make their business succeed.

Topics up for discussion include government impact on businesses; recruitment; what a tender actually means; and your relationship with the bank.

Howard says he will also speak about job interviews and the “provocative” way some interviewees come dressed.

“I’ve had to go back to check what posts I’ve advertised,” jokes Howard.

He says the biggest fear entrepreneurs face is “not making it”.

“It’s not only about financial loss, it’s about the stigma attached to the person who has failed,” he says. His 20 years of experience, he says, have taught him to recognise when it’s time to cut losses and walk away.

“You cannot flog a dead horse. If your passion is not in the business anymore, if you are not making any money, it’s time to move on.”

He hopes his humorous anecdotes will get his message to a wider audience, and he has solicited the help of comedy icon Soli Philander as the show’s director.

The show is a must-see for anybody who is thinking about starting a business, who has started a business or who has ever had a job, says Howard.

“Business, although serious, is also funny. Take time out, take a step back and see things from a different point of view,” says Howard.

Like a Boss runs from Wednesday to Friday October 16 to 18, at The Roxy Revue Bar at GrandWest. The show starts at 8pm. Tickets cost R150 and can be booked through Webtickets.

Visit www.howardtalk.co.za or email howard@howardtalk.co.za for more information.