We all know the saying that “behind any successful man is a woman” well I say, “behind every successful woman is a WOMAN!”
Most woman these days have a lot on their plate. Juggling so many balls at once, all while trying to look good at the same time! Such as being a good girlfriend and wife, to men who quite honestly would lose their heads if they weren’t attached to their bodies! Some of us are lucky enough (depending on who you ask) to have children of our own, which brings a whole new set of responsibilities such as; a carrier, care giver, doctor, nanny, cook, teacher and mediator, just to list a few. Being a mom is a full-time job on its own. But in this day in age of “equal rights” and our current socio-economic climate, the number of stay at home moms aren’t what they used to be.
What does that mean? Well that a lot of us woman have had to add another ball to the juggling act, and that ball is called “The Working Mom” Woman have had to go through a lot to have that ball added to the mix and believe me we are not prepared to give that up anytime soon.
Now that we have had the taste of being part of the work force for a few decades, we have also decided to take even bigger steps in the fight for equality and true purpose, and that is leaving the “comfort” of our jobs, taking the risk and starting our own businesses. I can only imagine what type of shame that would have brought on families pre-1980. But in all honesty even in this day in age woman wanting to start their own business’s to be their own boss aren’t supported as much as you would think. I mean who is going to look after the kids? Make dinner? Clean the house? Do the laundry? Well let me tell you it’s still going to be us, bring it on! There is no limit to the amount of balls we can juggle (excuse the pun)
How do I know this?
Well number 1:
I am a mother and an entrepreneur in the making who quit the comfort of a guaranteed salary every month to do what I love the way I want to, when I want to and with who I want to, regardless of the self-doubt, late nights and financial stress that comes along with this journey.
I have some amazing inspirational working moms and Woman Business Owners who go through the same struggles I do each day and #CRUSH IT!
I was lucky enough to attend a few Networking events last year and was able to listen to some inspirational speakers. And do you know who most of those speakers where? FEMALE BUSINESS OWNERS and Woman in some extremely influential positions. I made sure to take as many notes as my hand would allow.
And I would love to share what I learnt from each one with you all today:
NSBC Awards (National Small Business Council)
If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, you should get familiar with the NHBC they are passionate about the growth and success of small businesses in South Africa. They have various networking events, and expos throughout the year.
Sitting at the awards last November I was so inspired by not only the Business owners but more specifically the Woman in business (can we say girl power!)
There were several female winners but the one that stood out the most to me was;
2017 National Woman in Business Champion: Phillipa Geard – RecruitMyMom
The sought-after 2017 National Woman in Business Champion is Phillipa Geard from online recruitment platform RecruitMyMom. This innovative business assists skilled Moms who are looking for meaningful, part-time and flexible employment opportunities. RecruitMyMom has played a vital role within the recruitment industry, having created a trusted platform that connects employers to this specific group of job-seekers. She found a need that can add value to the lives of skilled moms and she delivered.
Jacaranda Business Breakfast
This breakfast seemed to have mostly woman speakers, which I loved of course.
First off, we had Dr Mahkosi Khoza, many only know her as the now former ANC member who was one of the first people to stand up in parliament against her own party President, Jacob Zuma and told him to step down as president. Can you imagine the courage she must have had to do that?
Her life story is one or tragedy and triumph, born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, Makhosi had to flee the townships with the outbreak of the IFP-UDF violence in Pietermaritzburg in the mid-80s from which her passion for justice, human rights and equality grew. She is a courage’s woman who stands up for what she believes in regardless of the backlash and numerous death threats she has faced. She lost her husband at the age of 28 and was still able to take care of her children, continue her studies and position herself alongside some powerful people.
She is inspirational in the fact that through aversity, tragedy and struggle’s she has not given up, it has only made her stronger and more determined to continue doing what is right while keeping her moral compass intact. All whilst having a smile on her face and being kind to those around her. Now that is what I call inspirational.
Then we had Bassie Khumalo with yet another truly inspiring life story.
Basetsana Julia “Bassie” Kumalo is a South African television personality, (most know her from Top Billing), but her story started long before that.
Kumalo was born in Soweto, South Africa. Her father a bus driver and mother a school teacher who had strong work ethics and family values. She and her two sisters and brother spent their early years helping to keep the family afloat, making sandwiches to sell at soccer matches every weekend. As well as selling hard boiled in in her neighborhood on weekends. She says that this is where her love for entrepreneurship as well are a strong work ethic which she learnt from her parents.
She is also beauty pageant titleholder, businesswoman, and philanthropist. Her career began in 1990 when she was crowned Miss Soweto and Miss Black South Africa at the age of 16, where her grand prize was a white leather couch! She was crowned Miss South Africa in 1994 (the first black miss South Africa) and in the same year became the first runner-up in Miss World. Not only did the world notice Bassie but someone else who saw the true potential she held, and that was our former president Mr. Nelson Mandela.
He commissioned her to travel with him all over the world where she had the immense privilege of introducing at numerous events. I bet you when she was walking the streets selling hard boiled eggs the last thing she ever thought she would do is travel with Nelson Mandela!
She is a fierce business woman with several businesses including various clothing, eyewear and cosmetics ranges to boast a few. She is the epitome of what it looks like to work hard dream big and show up as she likes to say.
She left me full of inspiration and ready to take on the world, the biggest points I took away from her I will share with you in closing, in the hopes that it will also inspire you to follow your dreams, start that business you have had in your mind for so long, don’t give up on the business you have already started and put in the hard work, not only when its’s easy but when you are exhausted and tired of the juggling. The reward is worth it in the end.
- People – treat them with respect and dignity, always.
- Love this country, invest in the country and give back to you community.
- Woman are powerful, and woman SHOULD BE IN POWER.
- Educate yourself.
- Have a goal.
- Write things down.
- Purpose – “Purpose takes president over winning”.
- Love what you do.
- Failure is NOT an option.
- Believe in yourself (even when no one else does)
- Everyone started somewhere.
- Explore the unknown.
- Raise your hand and show up.