Starting up your own business is a daunting concept. It involves taking a risk, leaving your comfort zone and pushing yourself to achieve things on your own steam. Boitumelo has some sound advice for anyone looking to take this path, and Capitec will be there for your every step of the way. This article forms part of a series of masterclasses, powered by Capitec.
When Boitumelo Rametsi aka Boitumelo Spotted started her own make-up brand, B Glam SA, it was for the sole purpose of covering the spots that had developed on her face as a result of vitiligo, a condition where the skin develops light patches. Little did she know she was starting a journey towards healing, accepting herself and becoming the notable entrepreneur she is today – a model, a qualified brand strategist, “an influential person; a public figure; I’m a creative and a mom. I am in the digital media space, and it’s an amazing space to be in”.
Today, a big part of Boitumelo’s personal brand, known as Spotted Beauty, is the encouragement of self-love and acceptance. As a body-positive model, she encourages people to accept themselves in their given size, shape and shade.
Courage has played a huge role in Boitumelo’s journey; not only did she have to overcome a condition that previously brought her grief when it started spreading to her face in varsity, she also had to let go of the safety net of a regular “nine to five” in order to fully embark on her journey of entrepreneurship, turning her into a game changer. “I felt that it was not fulfilling my greatest desire or what my purpose is,” she says of her nine to five, which she quit after realising her dream needed her undivided attention.
“Since I have my ear to the ground and I was young at the time, I felt like my voice wasn’t really taken as seriously as it ought to be,” says Boitumelo. “And, I think after a couple of years, I decided to leave because of that very reason. And in that, I had to test my own beliefs as a person, because I believe that every single human being born on earth is born with skills to live a successful life without having to work for anybody else. And what that requires is for you to spend a lot of time with yourself.”
A lot has been said about entrepreneurship, but almost everyone has a different definition of it, depending on their location, age and other factors.
“In today’s landscape, I would say an entrepreneur is somebody who follows their passion thoroughly, ensuring that they are going to make that vision come to life,” Boitumelo says. “And I say this because taking the road less travelled in this day and age, really, a person chooses to let go of society’s standards; chooses to let go of the structures and what is believed to be a successful entrepreneur or businesswoman.”
Collaboration and self-awareness
Boitumelo shares that entrepreneurship requires one to strike the balance between doing things yourself and collaborating. “We live in a world of collaboration and we really do work together and it takes all kinds of people to make this world, as my mother always said. I never really used to understand that theory until now. It really does take collaboration and ubuntu and building a community together; we’re building something together. It takes this community to tap into my brand and buy into my brand to help my brand, in essence, grow.”
But it’s important to remember that the centre of everything remains the founder. “When people do disappoint,” she says, “that’s okay too, and you need to be detached from that, because it’s not their vision. They’re also here to push their own vision and their entrepreneurship. You are working and collaborating together; they are not just hired by you. So, it’s always important to understand that you are the root of your dreams.”
So, she says, self-awareness is crucial for an entrepreneur. “It’s important for you as a person to spend a bit more time with yourself,” says Boitumelo. “We live in a world that takes up so much of our personal time, and we kind of lose that vibration of knowing who we are, what we love to do and what we’re about. So, understanding yourself comes first, so that you can stand firmly; it’s the greatest foundation you can create for your own brand.”
Self-awareness also kicks when things don’t go one’s way, leading to self-doubt. “As humans, we’re very quick to identify problems,” Boitumelo notes, “but coming up with solutions and following through with testing them out are what make you a true entrepreneur.
“And it’s really important for you to always be hopeful, as well as being open to knowing that there is failure sometimes, but that you can try again. Trial and error are part of the journey.”
“So, I think it’s really important to have a good financial support structure. And not just in the sense of having a six-month plan and being like, ‘This is the salary I’m gonna save and then leave my job.’ I mean in the sense of having a financial institution that actually supports where you are at a point in time. Because it’s really important not to compare yourself to every other entrepreneur; people have started long before you have; others have tried and maybe haven’t reached the place that you wanted to reach but, for you, it’s really important to know your money; be with a financial institution that actually also wants to support you in a way that makes sense for your own lifestyle.
So, you’re not finding too many integrated problems and trying to figure out, ‘Which tax is this?’ and then, ‘Where does this money go?’ and, ‘How many of this and that?’ It’s really just important for you to focus on your passion, because passion should always be the driver and the money will always be the consequence.”
Pen and paper
“A pen and paper and a couple of magazines, and then basically create a whole vision board. Help yourself see your vision better, because you may have it in your mind, but sometimes, it may be easier to write it down or help your mind envision it better. So, cutting out pictures of how you would like to see your vision come to life will help you see it in your consciousness and in your sub-consciousness.”
Everybody has a phone; everybody wants to communicate; everybody needs to speak to each other. The phone is such a great tool; you don’t need to have a laptop to get yourself out there. I think the greatest issue today is that everybody wants to look like they’re working but, once you get your hands dirty and just actually do it, it takes a simple post to put it out there.”
“An invoicing app that helps me send invoices, see my forecast and see how my brand is growing. And the app is free as well.”
“I do get my money there, and I do send some money there. I’ve got family and friends; I’ve got things that I do on a daily that need to happen quickly or even instantly. So, using the app really does work for me and it’s easy to use. It also helps that, even when I don’t have data or internet (which does happen because we’re now in this beautiful society that has Wi-Fi everywhere, but sometimes not, and sometimes we have loadshedding everywhere), the app works.”
“Meditative apps and affirmation apps as well, ’cause it really is about me at the end of the day. It’s about how I feel; it’s about pouring into myself; it’s about knowing the worth of my work – the value of my work. It’s not about my business just draining me, but about me being resourceful. Yeah… that’s helped.”
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