I left the corporate world after more than a decade in 2015 to pursue my entrepreneurial aspirations. Today I have five businesses – wellness, guesthouse, financial consulting and training, travel marketing, and now also a spa. I gladly share some tips from my experiences
Always prioritise your health and overall wellbeing. Make exercise part of your daily routine even if it is only 20 minutes. Start your day with breakfast and adopt healthy eating habits. Keep healthy snacks and a bottle of water close by during the day. Go for regular health checks. Maintain a healthy weight. Diarise me time and time to do fun things. When you are actively working towards creating work-life balance, it is possible to achieve it.
Have a bigger vision to build a business that can run independently from you. It will not only allow you time freedom but will give you peace of mind that you can still earn an income should you not be able to work. Learn to delegate or outsource tasks that you are not good at or that take up a lot of time. Spend time to train and develop your staff and create a happy work environment for them; your business and bottom line will be positively impacted. Put money away for retirement! Recent statistics showed that the retirement readiness gap between men and women is in fact widening.
Get yourself a mentor. Learn from people more successful than you. Grow your network. There are plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded people. It is important to build and maintain good relationships. It is not only about what you can receive, but also about what you can give. Do not make important business decisions when you are emotional. There will be days that you feel down, that is fine. Surround yourself with positive and uplifting people and focus on staying positive. Support other women and celebrate the success stories of other women. The sun is big enough to shine on everybody. It is also important to celebrate your successes or milestones. You have worked hard for it. Accept that not everybody will like you and that is perfectly OK.
Do not underestimate or undervalue yourself. Price your products or services based on the value you bring to the table. Become comfortable being out of your comfort zone, that is when you will grow the most. Try new things and learn from your mistakes. Embrace your womanhood. Be authentic. You do not need to act or look like somebody else to be successful. You are a strong woman in your own right. Believe in yourself and your dream. Have faith and never give up.
The statistics show that the number of women entrepreneurs in Africa is growing. Being an entrepreneur certainly has plenty of benefits that appeal to women – flexibility, more time with the family, etc. Entrepreneurship can be tough at the best of times though, and even more so if you do not have a solid support structure, cannot rely on a fixed monthly salary, run a one-woman show, and do not take good care of your overall wellbeing. There is however no reason why women cannot have a well-balanced family life, build a mega empire, and enjoy all the benefits of being an entrepreneur.