Our latest feature is Phathiswa Sefatsa Entrepreneur Spotlight – do something that you love. Phathiswa agreed to share her Entrepreneurship journey with me, discussing her coaching business and passions in life.
Read the article until the end, as she shares her life lessons and words of wisdom she has for new entrepreneurs embarking on this exciting journey. We are here to share our stories, our mistakes and successes – to inspire, encourage and guide others.
Tell us more about yourself
I was born in the Eastern Cape (former Transkei), came to Johannesburg when I was 8 years old. Most of my childhood was spent in Soweto. I completed my schooling in St Barnabas college in Bosmont, I got a Standard Bank bursary to go there. We had the most amazing teachers and looking back – my love for teaching and knowledge started there.
I completed my undergrad in BCom Business Finance and Economics at Wits, I wanted to be like Tito Mboweni – signing money. My first corporate job was with National Brands Limited (now called AVI) in marketing, I have been in FMCG since then. The plan was to work for 10years , get as much knowledge as possible – then start my own thing. My passion has always been teaching, I wanted to make as much money as possible, so I can retire early and focus on teaching.
About your business
I am not a life coach, my coaching is specific and I focus on two types of people:
Black females in corporate
There is a need to help young black females in corporate deal with workplace issues – that is specific to them being black and female. I help them understand: (1) How to gain confidence in the workplace and (2) How to deal with the “impostor syndrome”.
I coach entrepreneurs on how to see their bigger picture and strategy for their business. They need to understand how to step out of their business, think about where the business is going and where they ultimately want to take it. I help entrepreneurs to amplify the stuff they are good at, and find other people to help them with the things they are not good at.
When did you first decide to start your own business?
I jump between entrepreneurship and corporate all the time. Paraphrasing a friend here but in entrepreneurship you need to “sort of jump off a cliff and build your plane on your way down”. I have jumped off that cliff so many times.
Your plan changes as you get in to it, so you need flexibility when you get started. Do not get married to your idea, rather date your idea and leave room for changes.
Passion in life
My passion in life is definitely education. I thought I would be standing in front of a classroom and teaching, I am a people’s person through and through. My passion for people is now manifesting in the coaching.
How did you fund your business?
At some point in life, I wanted to start a bakery. Then the funding question came up. I wrote letters to everyone, CEOs of companies – all requesting funding assistance. I did get a response from Pick n’ Pay who gave me free baking equipment. Sometimes all you need to do is ask, and someone will help you out.
My current business does not have major funding requirements.
What are you business challenges?
Currently you meet so many people who are all “coaches” – everyone is a coach. My challenge is differentiating myself as a business and brand from the rest. I currently work with “word-of-mouth”.
When you are in a business, where so many people are sort of doing the same thing, the challenge is how to market yourself, to stand out from the rest.
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Do something you love
My advice for entrepreneurs is – do something that you love. I am a firm believer that money follows passion. If you do what you love, money will follow.
If you do what you love, money will follow
The “WHY” of business can’t be money, you need something more rewarding for you.
How would you spend R1 million
I would get some few kids, good education – by starting a bursary fund. I was the first person from my maternal side of the family to get a matric education and go to university, so I understand the power of education and how it can change lives and reduce poverty.
Everyone needs a coach. Coaching is a safe place to unpack a lot of things, my sister calls me a “career psychologist” – that is what we do.
Get in touch with Phathiswa
Phone: +27 82 883 8470