In light of August being Women’s Month, I thought it would be the perfect time to promote some hard working mums. You could find the service provider you were looking for or be inspired to take that leap you’ve been dreaming of.
Q&A WITH MARIETJIE
1. Tell me a little about yourself without including details of your family and work (it’s tough I know 😂)
I’m 47, born and raised in the South of Johannesburg. Have been married for 25 years and am still happy (yeah, you don’t see that often these days)! I have three divine kids who were all unplanned by me (God planned them perfectly though!). I’m a total extrovert and typical A+ personality type. I sell stuff to people all the time, anything and everything 😊 Born saleswoman!
2. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have three blessings. Danielle (24), Gabrielle (18) and João (17).
3. What is your side hustle? And when did you start?
Not so much a side hustle as my “have to make this work because I like being my own boss” hustle. I am an Office Automation Reseller (for Xerox), and I started my business in September 2017. I actually sell anything that’s not nailed down. My official business is Office Automation, but I also sell products for the Automotive Industry.
4. What did you do before starting your own business AND what made you leave?
I started working for Xerox as a secretary in 1990, worked my way up the ranks to Sales Manager and left them in 2013 as the hours that I worked were just too draining. I wanted a 9-5 job. I explored the market and sold various software products until the end of 2016. In Feb 2017 I went back to Xerox, however, the position was Pretoria based and after 8 months of leaving home at 05:30 and getting home at 7pm, I decided to do my own thing and signed on as an Approved Reseller at Xerox.
5. How do you allocate your time between work and family?
At times it’s not easy, my eldest moved out in Feb this year (she helped a lot with the fetching and carrying as I call it, picking up the younger ones from school, doing shopping etc). Since she’s moved, hubby drops off the kids at school and I schedule my day so that I have appointments up to 13h00 and then again after 14h30, that way I can collect my younger kids from school, hear about their day, and then continue on with mine. Luckily they’re fairly disciplined insofar as homework and chores are concerned, so they pretty much look after themselves. Hubby gets home around 16h45, and he then assists them with homework if needed, before we sit down to dinner.
We all cook, we all clean, we all do laundry, and I normally switch off my laptop at 5 and we have dinner together as a family. Once done, each one ventures off to their bedrooms to continue their homework or spend time on SM or chatting to friends. Bedtime is around 9 (because mama says so, and I need to rest), so after they’ve been kissed and tucked in, I will boot up the lappy again and continue working. This is usually done while chatting to hubby, painting my nails and having wine…. I am an excellent multitasker 😊.
6. What have been the hardships of running your own business?
Finding clients…. Oh man I hate cold calling! I joined a Professional Networking Group (which helped enormously), and I rely on clients, family and friends for other referrals. I truly did not expect it to be this tough!
7. What have been the highlights?
Signing my first great deal, and having the client tell me that she’s never dealt with someone as professional and diligent as myself. Great compliment, considering this lady runs her own very successful business.
8. What advice do you have for other women who are on the cusp of taking the leap into entrepreneurship?
Do it! I should have done this 10 years ago. Make sure you have a mentor, someone you can leverage off of or bounce ideas off. Join Networking Groups, keep your Linked-In profile up and current and take special care with your Social Media Pages, ie. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (they will not only reflect your business, but yourself as well). Also, get in touch with a Life Coach and a Business Coach, so that you can ensure that both sides of your psyche is taken care of. Set office hours and stick to them (except if there are business emergencies).
9. How can we get in touch with you?
My business enquiry e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org, or you go to my website: www.c63consulting.co.za and I also respond to comments and enquiries on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Just look for C63 Consulting. (My Logo is Lilac, with C63 very visible). Lilac is such a pretty colour 😊. I am authorized to supply Xerox products across the country.