The Digital Age: An Exclusive Interview with Tony De Gouveia

In this exclusive interview, Tony De Gouveia traces his life journey from its genesis in Johannesburg, characterized by the four traits that underpin disruptive entrepreneurship and servant leadership through the challenges and triumphs he has experienced building a networked marketing empire that spans the globe.

Q: Tony, could you tell us about your early days and what led you to the world of entrepreneurship?

A: I was born in 1969 in Johannesburg, South Africa, to a working-class family. From my earliest memories, there was always something going on in our family business, and by default, at 22 years old, I assumed the management of it. However, after years of work in retail, I wanted to get out of it, and network marketing interested me. Drawing me toward it in the first place was the opportunity to work around the world while having time freedom. It was similar to plunging into a new world, but I was ready for the challenge.

Q: Transitioning to network marketing must have had its set of challenges. How did you navigate through them?

A: The first three years were very hard. I could sell, but to create a team that would last was just beyond my reach. Very soon, I realized that network marketing has nothing to do with sales per se but with something that would create a community and team to believe in you and your collective mission. The biggest lesson I learned was to change from being a solo superstar to empowering others and following the servant leadership model.

Q: The term "servant leadership" often appears in your story of success. How have you defined this term, and why do you think it is so important in your company's business strategy?

A: Servant leadership is putting another person's needs above your own and leading, guiding, supporting, and empowering people so they can reach their full potential. This develops the kind of positive and productive work environment that creates organizational sustainability. It's serving from the middle, understanding what each team member needs, and helping the team hit its common goals.

Q: The Ultimate Business (TUB) is very much a part of your success. What more can you share about the philosophy and how it truly mirrors your values?

A: Well, TUB stands for my vision of an ideal business model. Actually, it is something that connects me with freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to develop personally and professionally. It is an investment in oneself and in a community that brings value that transcends the usual metrics of success. TUB personifies my belief in servant leadership and my commitment to empowering others.

Q: Looking back, what were some pivotal moments in your journey that helped shape your leadership style and business success?

A: The turning point was around 2017, after years of learning and adapting. I had started seeing tangible changes from applying lessons of servant leadership to where my team has grown to more than 130,000 members, thereby proving the hypothesis that success will come as you focus on building strong leaders in your team rather than trying to be a lone superstar.

Q: With such a significant following and impact, how do you see your role evolving in the future?

A: Being able to go out and continue to inspire and mentor future leaders while sharing the principles of servant leadership and TUB's way. We want to be able to go far and wide with our reach through social media, over and above our website. To me, success now would be enabling others to reach their dreams and make a difference in the world by leading community-centered work.

Q: Lastly, what do you want to say to all the budding entrepreneurs and leaders out there?

A: Enjoy the journey. Good servant leadership starts with being able to develop your style. Always remember that true success results from enabling others to be successful. Be patient, persistent, and, most of all, lead with conscience and empathy.


This powerhouse story from Tony De Gouveia testifies to the transformative power of servant leadership and the possibilities opened for worldwide business success. De Gouveia's message to this emerging generation of entrepreneurs is to build their businesses with what they are passionate about, to be able to empathize, and to make a difference in whatever they do. Connect with Tony De Gouveia to learn more about his journey and The Ultimate Business via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and his website.

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