- What kind of business do you run?
I am the owner of GovGowth (Pty) Ltd a company secretarial and corporate governance company.
2. What motivated you to leave corporate and run a business?
I always envisaged starting my own business however the idea of leaving corporate and taking this huge risk was extremely daunting and never a definite decision.
Then an unexpected life event happened, which led to me making the most difficult decision to resign from my corporate position which I loved. The initial idea was to take a sabbatical however after some weeks into my sabbatical, after deep consideration, prayer, and with support of my husband and family, I took the leap of faith and “GovGrowth” was incorporated. Today I am so delighted that I took the chance on myself and my business. The experience and journey of growing my business has not only being fulfilling but I have grown personally and professionally in ways I could never had imagined.
3. Do you take work home with you?
Pre-pandemic, yes I did, however with remote working, flexibility of working hours and the option of going into the office from time to time, I definitely now have a better work-life balance.
4. Do you work around your children?
The covid-19 pandemic and lockdown propelled majority of us to work from home. At first it was a huge adjustment to work with my children around, and like many parents, I had to quickly learn how to navigate this new way of working while still being mom.
Over the years my children have become accustomed to seeing me working and understand that it is part of mom’s identity, but I am conscious of not spending too much on my laptop in their presence, but instead choose to be present by spending quality time and attending all the swimming lessons.
5. Do you want your children to take over your business?
At this stage, my three-year-old’s favourite pretend play is being a doctor or a dentist, while my 5-year-old is more interested in the mechanics of his trains, so there is definitely no indication or interest in working full-time behind a desk.
On a serious note, all I want for my children is for them to pursue a career that they have a real interest in and a career that will align with their unique capabilities and life purpose. If over the years they show a genuine interest in my business, have the desire, experience and their life values align with those of my business, we will have the discussion when the time comes. Whatever the outcome, what will always remain important are my children’s happiness and living a life filled with passion and purpose.
6. Do you believe in “me time” where you take time out of your business and your family or do you take your family with you?
Before I was a mom, I would answer this question with an astounding and immediate YES, but as a mom, it has taken a few years to learn how to release the “mommy-guilt” and remind myself that “me-time” is just as important. We all need to recharge from time-to-time to become better versions of ourselves and to give of ourselves to our little ones who depend on us the most.
At this stage of my life “me-time” is limited but I am trying to make more of an effort, however when I really need to take time out of my business I love experiencing life and new adventures with my family. It is amazing how toddlers can remind us of the beauty of living and play.
7. Do you work normal business hours or do you work at night time?
Having my own business grants me the flexibility with my working hours. At times that does require working at night time, after I have put my little ones to bed, but I also believe that while having your own business requires all the commitment and diligence, it should not be at the cost of sleep-deprivation.
8. What Is the greatest lesson you have learnt while running your business?
Be authentic, believe in yourself, believe in your service/product, believe in the vision of your business, don’t get distracted by other businesses offering the same services/product, live out your unique passion with purpose because that cannot be replicated.
While growing your business don’t forget to celebrate all your small wins. Write down your audacious goals and revisit them a few months later, you will be astonished by your growth and what you have accomplished.
9. What is the one thing you like most about running your business?
Apart from the work-life balance, being purpose driven, making and impact and being part of a client’s journey of growth and change is so rewarding.
Opportunities to give back will always present itself and when it does, a small gesture of kindness will not only benefit an organisation but will hopefully make a difference to those whom the organisation serves.
10. Tell us about a moment on your business, did it make you stronger or wiser?
Starting a business can be extremely over-whelming and lonely especially if you are the only founder. In the very early days of my business I the missed the corporate environment and the brainstorming sessions but I was fortunate to find “Future Females”, a movement for female entrepreneurs to support each other. The sharing of experiences and weekly meetings with other female entrepreneurs made the journey and experience less lonely and propelled me to work harder on my business’ growth.
Being accepted into the Future Females Business School in partnership with UK South Africa Tech Hub could not have prepared me more for my business. The opportunity came at the time when I needed it most and an opportunity for which I will always be grateful.
I will encourage all female entrepreneurs who are starting a business to find an entrepreneur support group and reach out to other founders.
11. What methods of marketing do you use?
I have a website, www.govgrowth.co.za, I have set up my own Google Ads account, testimonials are a great way of “social proof” and I currently attend to my own social media marketing.
12.What would you like to know more about to run your business better?
One of the areas on my “to-do-list” is to take heed of the journey and experiences of entrepreneurs who have been in business for over 15 years.
While growth is wonderful, exciting and to a very small degree overwhelming, understanding how entrepreneurs navigated the challenging years and grew their business, will serve me and my business well.
13. What books have you read that impacted on your life or business?
As a young female in corporate – “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers” by Lois P. Frankel
As a mother to two young children in corporate trying to find the work/life balance – “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” – Sheryl Sandberg’
A need for a new strategy during and after the covid-19 pandemic- Disruption Amplified: Reset. Rewire. Reimagine Everything by Abdullah Verachia
14. What tips or tools make your business better for example the pomodoro timer?
Plan, plan, plan. On the “quiet” days take the opportunity to plan and action the “nagging” administrative tasks. It will not only give you a feeling of accomplishment but will award you more time to focus on your business and delivery to your clients.
Automation. I must confess that I am not the most tech savvy individual, but I have found automation of some areas of my business to be extremely useful such as the free online appointment scheduling tools.
When starting a new business, making a decision to hire or outsource the social media marketing aspect of your business can be a difficult one. While the public need to know about your business and offerings, cashlow can at times be a real concern. It is then best to attempt your own social media post by making use free tools available for all your graphic designing needs. There are a number of platforms available with easy design templates that can be edited.
15. What motto gets you through a hard time?
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucious