Ever since I was a little girl, two things fascinated me: coming up with ideas and helping others with their little projects. Childish as some of these may have been, there was always a great sense of joy and accomplishment whenever we thought of a new game, crafted a new contraption or tweaked and magically transformed an old toy into something entirely new. The entire process consumed me completely, I would get lost, losing all sense of time and place during such playful creation. I remember once transforming a toy farm into an animal hospital with my best friend and we spent days on end improving, creating, transforming and playing until what we considered the perfect animal hospital had been created. There was no need for the technology today’s kids have become so accustomed to and I can honestly say that had you given me a stick and a stone at that age that I would have come up with a brilliant new toy or game.
You might say that these are just the fruits of a child’s imagination, however, the creative process stayed with me and was often a huge cause of contention during my school days. The rigid structure of education did not always suit me, I felt frustrated and constraint, though there were a couple of teachers that would occasionally allow room for inventiveness and encourage thinking outside the box. Looking back, I would say that I must have been a pain in the neck for many teachers as I continually nagged them into awarding us time for projects, play and extracurricular activities. Nevertheless, the drive to create inherent in me even then, bore much fruit and allowed me to experience much joy.
My home was a very loving one and my parents taught us to respect and care for one another and to come to the aid of those who were struggling. Especially at school, I saw many wrestle with their abilities because the school environment did not lend itself to the development of non-traditional skills and ideas. Many kids that were gifted in areas not touched on by traditional education were unable to bring those talents forth and those not equipped with traditional academic gifts ended up quite miserable and frustrated. Instinctively, I took it upon myself to spend time playing with those kids and we had a lot of fun outside the school gates coming up with ideas and making things work.
These experiences stayed with me and left me with a deep desire to think outside the box, push traditional boundaries and help myself as well as others to follow, nourish and develop their creative spirit and ideas.
Throughout college, I pursued a variety of projects, set up little businesses and collaborated with others in the establishment of student-related services, gaining valuable experience and in-depth, hands-on knowledge in teamwork and idea development. It was during that time that I came to the inevitable conclusion that those with bright ideas are in dire need of adequate support structures that will allow them to bring projects to a successful fruition.
My own business was born out of those early adventures and in some ways I have to say that my consulting service just established itself. On more than one occasion, students had asked me for help and advice on their projects and I was thrilled to offer them my limited expertise and truly over the moon whenever I saw them succeed in their efforts. The idea to turn these endeavours into a financially viable service soon presented itself and it wasn’t long before I was offering consultancy services for entrepreneurs.
And then, my love affair with the entrepreneurial spirit captured me completely and swept me off my feet! The more entrepreneurs stepped into my office, the more excited I got about every one of their ideas, the more eager I got to advise, support and encourage those bright minds and I realized that not only did I love ideas, but I also harboured a great love for those who gently nurse new concepts and just need a bit of assistance in realising their genius dreams. More often than not, all they require is some practical, financial advice, the tools to turn their idea into a product or service and a structure within which to do so.
It should come as no surprise that I met my beloved husband Dirk, another fantastic entrepreneur, in the course of my work and this time I fell in love with more than just his business idea! We now have a gorgeous daughter and happily co-create on a daily basis.
Apart from face-to-face consultancy services, the desire soon arose to put some of my wisdom down on paper and my book “Become Your Own Boss” gives you the basics of entrepreneurship and outlines the entire process from the conception of an idea to its incarnation as a fully financially viable business.
My website and blog are designed to be a forum for entrepreneurs and those wishing to turn their ideas into a successful business. On the site, you will find practical advice, tips and support mechanism as well as learn about the journeys undertaken and experiences gained by other creators. It is designed to be a social, interactive and sharing platform as I strongly believe that us small business owners need to collaborate and support each other.