Mentoring: Ntsoaki Phali

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ntsoaki Phali was nominated as one of the young people to watch out by Mail and Guardian in 2012. Not only is she an inspirational  business woman, she also loves the Lord Jesus and understands the power of purpose. She shares with us the good and the bad of the business world, and offers sobering advice for up and coming business women.

Inside Woman: Please share how you came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as the Saviour of your life?

Ntsoaki Phali: I will always treasure my testimony as it shows the power of God at work in our lives.  God had set me up for this moment way before I had a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. I used to go to one of the missionary churches and it felt more like a to do task than a relationship with God.

One September day I saw an advert for a conference that was to take place in December. I promised myself that I will attendant. When time came near I realised that I didn't have the full details of the  conference and I didn't know who to ask as I was new in the area.

Around December, I wasn't feeling OK emotionally and so I decided to take a drive around the new town. I somehow joined the national highway and I decided to turn back at the next off ramp. When I joined the off ramp, I saw the signs pointing to a Christian conference. I then followed the directions and when I arrived I realised that this was the same conference that I saw in an advert in December. It was the last day of the conference and the message was themed “the storm is over”. The message just spoke to my situation but I didn't respond to the alter call even though I wanted to.

In January when I joined a new company the person leaving the role was a member of the very same Church that I attended in December (but I didn't know this yet) and they invited me to be a part of the church.  Around Easter time I decide to attend an Easter conference at a tent next to my home and I soon found out that it was the same Church that I attended in December. During the conference I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour during.

I didn't understand what my decision meant but God revealed this truth through my friends who loved God and served Him.  As my friends continued to live out their beliefs, God removed the veil from my eyes and helped me to understand what it meant to be born again.

I used to wish that I should have accepted the call of Salvation much earlier in my life because it would have altered a lot of life decisions that I made in my life. But now I understand that God has a way to recompense for what the locust has eaten. Everything happens in its season.

Ntsoaki Phali


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Inside Woman: What’s the best advice you've ever received about following your dreams?

Ntsoaki Phali: I once read a quote from a time table that I received at primary school that inspired me. It read “do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” - Ralpho Waldo Emerson, poet and writer cited in the Shadow of the Moon.

Inside Woman:  What were the unfolding events that you led you to start Beyond Ability Talent Solutions?

Ntsoaki Phali: When I was employed I struggled to meet my company Employment Equity Plan targets for persons with disabilities in the depots I serviced. I soon realised that we have a lot of people living with disabilities that had the relevant skills but were not employed because they were not aware of the opportunities that were available to them. And on the other hand the employers also didn’t know where to find them.

More than anything I was also disturbed by the alarming and growing number of persons with disabilities who are asking for donations in traffic lights. Giving them money is not a solution nor is it sustainable.

Although people with Disabilities receive social grants from government it is never enough as some of them are bread winners and in most cases they need assistive devices and medication to maintain an independent lifestyle while living with a disability.

Then I decided this legacy for the next generation.

Inside Woman: How did you decide is a good idea to implement? Most people stop because they think their idea will never make enough money.

Ntsoaki Phali: I have identified a social need and turned it into a lucrative opportunity for me and others. It took some research and self belief to start and I learned and still learning everything along the way. God is at work in my life and He has not given me a spirit of fear.

Inside Woman: How did you fund your business?

Ntsoaki Phali: I funded this business from my savings and the initial investment was R30.000. It took months before I could have an invoice which exceeds my initial investment.

Inside Woman: What makes Beyond Ability Talent Solutions different from other recruitment companies?

Ntsoaki Phali: We are different in the sense that we focus more on the candidates and we try to make sure that their needs are met. Secondly we offer our clients customised solutions to their needs.

More than anything we are different in the sense that we honour God through everything we do. God is my CEO and He directs all the activities that take place in this business.

Inside Woman: How long did you have to work before you achieved that initial success as a business?

Ntsoaki Phali: It took one year five months for me to see the results. The first few months were a rollercoaster ride because this was when I was tested as to whether I believed in this vision or not. I think the first big invoice came after 11-12 months.

Inside Woman: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known when you started?

Ntsoaki Phali: Some days it’s not going to be easy. I had learned the hard way in certain areas and if I had to start all over again I would have a proper business plan. For instance I didn't realise that I was going to need more investment than I initially put in because I never planned for it. Nevertheless I made it through.

I also learned that you don’t go to God with your business plans already written out but you ask Him about His plans for the business and you allow Him to lead you.

Inside Woman: How does your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ play a part in helping you deal with setback and the “hard knocks” of life?

Ntsoaki Phali: My faith in our Lord Jesus Christ has kept me as a prisoner of hope.  The power of the Holy Ghost helps me to make decisions that honour God when I am faced with challenges.  And because God has told me to be courageous in this walk and He promised to never live me nor forsake me, I step out in faith all the time.
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Inside Woman: How important is formal education?

Ntsoaki Phali: Well I believe that we all have assignments in this life that we need to fulfill. I have also realised that once God has given you a purpose He will also give you the wisdom to make it happen.  Basically God has way to enable and qualify people He has called and we this in people who have succeeded without a formal education.  Dr Thomas Hasani "Shinyoni" Chauke (61 years) comes to mind. He is a primary school dropout and yet he was recently granted an honourary doctorate in African languages for the role his music has played in the development of the Xitsonga language.

However I am also of the belief that your talent and skill needs to be honed and you need to keep abreast with the latest technology and find new ways of doing what you are doing. As a believer in Christ I understand that promotion does not come from the East nor the West but from God. And when God gives you an assignment He will also give you the tools that will enable you as we have seen with the Jeremiah's and Elijah's of this world.

Inside Woman: Who or what motivates you to continue running Beyond Ability Talent Solutions every day?

Ntsoaki Phali: The mere fact that I have instilled a sense of hope to career seekers with disabilities keeps me going.

I also remind myself that if other companies who are doing the same thing as I’m doing, who are known intentionally, have survived the business challenges, I too can survive and not just survive but thrive above them.  All I need to do is continue persevering, staying resilient and determined.

Inside Woman: If you had to give any advice to new entrepreneurs what would you say?

Ntsoaki Phali: It is not going to be an easy journey but there is a God who will be with you all the way! Do not allow fear to steal Gods assignment from you.

Make sure that you start a business that is aligned to your defined values as that will be your brand. Thirdly define your end game and track your progress. Ask yourself what is that you would like to gain at the end of it all. Is it  profit? If yes, how much profit and by when?  Is it a legacy? How many people would you like to impact through your business?

And leverage on the Enterprise and Supplier Development opportunities available to entrepreneurs to grow your business.

Inside Woman: What have you observed as some of the mistakes that potential candidates make during an interview?

Ntsoaki Phali: I once had a candidate who broke down and cried in an interview before we could even talk. This sometimes happens to people who are coming to an interview for the first time who are afraid of the whole process because of what they have heard. But any seasoned interviewer will ensure that you are at ease to a point that you both achieve the objective of the interview. It is also important as well that you thoroughly understand each and every question and do not rush to respond where you do not understand.

Inside Woman: What is the worst thing anyone can do at a job interview?

Ntsoaki Phali: Not dressing properly for the interview, like clothes that are too revealing or too casual. Not being properly prepared or having a bad attitude.

Inside Woman: What’s your motto in life?

Ntsoaki Phali: If it’s to be its up to me. I never have expectations on anyone for anything and this helps me not to have an entitlement mentality.  In ALL that I do I always ask myself if this is best because excellence honours God.  As we excel we give Glory to the one who created us.

You can contact Beyond Ability Talent Solutions on their website.

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