Mentoring: Puseletso Maitin Modimogale

Any entrepreneur knows that starting a business is no an easy task. Inspired by a passion to connect and mentor women, Puseletso founded W.E.Y Foundation, a Socio- Enterprise Development company designed to connect, lead, and support women entrepreneurs to fulfill their potential. In this interview with us, she offers women sober and practical advice on how to navigate the business world.

Inside Woman: Tell us how you got to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour? 

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: I grew up in a family that is God fearing, my parents always taught us to centre God as our Saviour, to trust in Him and to involve Him in all our plans. I got saved during my tertiary years and I never looked back.

Inside Woman: What has this relationship taught you about life and God’s plan for our lives?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: It has taught me that nothing is impossible with God; I must trust in Him and take all my troubles to Him. I must love my neighbour as I love myself and that we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord.

Inside Woman: What is it that made you want to go into business?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: I grew up in the entrepreneurial family. My mother has always knitted table cloths, hats, scarves and sold them. My grannies from both side of my family were entrepreneurs. I was raised by my uncle who ran successful transport business so I knew in my young age that I am an entrepreneur and a business woman. I started selling pens, sweets, coffee, and tea at age of 10, in the village I grew up in.

I met my husband and he is passionate about business.  His encouragement and support gave me the confidence to start business and to excel in what I do.

[adsenseyu1]Inside Woman: What was your first business venture and how did you fund it?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: In 2002 I started a business in the health and wellness industry called Therapeutic Touch Studio, which I ran for 12 years, providing health and beauty services for individuals and corporate South Africa.  We used our savings, personal credit card, family supported us and client’s offered assistance, monetarily and non-monetarily.

Inside Woman: Is college/university education important when running your own business?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: I don’t think graduating from a particular college really factors into one’s ability to successfully start and operate a business. There are many people who are successful in business without any formal education however it depends on what line of business you want to venture into.

I studied Somatology (study of skin and human body) and specialised with stress and relaxation therapy. This helped me in my business and business innovations.

Having said that; people will never know how successful they can be as entrepreneurs until they jump in with both feet. As an aspiring business owner don’t postpone opening your business for further, formal education. Opening a business is education enough. As a matter of fact, it is by far the best education one can receive with regards to business.
1472003_354578491345660_1484495669_nTherapeutic Touch Studio

Inside Woman: What led you to start the other ventures?

  • In 2010 in was inspired to start an organisation called Woman Emancipate Yourself which in now called W.E.Y Foundation with the aim to help women on the grassroots level and idea stage to start businesses. This idea was inspired by my interactions with my female clients who would discuss their desires and challenges that they are faced with in life. My philosophy is; Education and Entrepreneurship is one of the solutions to the challenges faced by women in our country.

  • I moved from wellness space into Enterprise development space.

  • 2013 I joined an organisation called The Hope Factory and a business mentor and I love every moment of giving back to my community, as I grow and learn from other entrepreneurs.

  • I am looking forward to my new venture called “P.M” connecting like-minded entrepreneurs, which will be revealed soon in 2014. 

Inside Woman: You wear a few hats. How do you balance your private and business life?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: It took me a long time before I even knew that this term “balance” existed. Since I started my first business at the age of 23 – I was used to working 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week, eating my lunch next to my desk. If I took a week vacation once or twice a year I was busy thinking what is going on and what crisis is taking place without ME. Now, don’t get me wrong – I loved every minute of it.

But after a few years I started to notice that:

• I had a constant migraine

• I had several miscarriages

• My daughters kept complaining that I love my work more than them

• My family complained that all I talk about is… work

• My friends never invited me to their events since they knew how busy I am

• When I did spend a quiet dinner with my husband we didn’t have much to talk about, except business

This went on for a while, until I had to face the music and tell myself the truth: “My name is Puseletso and my life is out of balance”.  I realised at that moment that if I’ll continue down that road, soon I’ll find myself miserable, sick and… alone. I made a conscious decision to balance my life for better health, quality life and wholeness.

I now plan my day, I stop when it is time to stop and I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me. I am more productive now than I have ever been before and I am able to balance my life first by loving myself, hence they say “you can’t give what you don’t have”.

Inside Woman: What has been a stumbling block in your entrepreneurial life and how are/did you overcome that?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: There are two major stumbling blocks: Self-doubt and procrastination. Mariam Willemse poem about “my deepest fear” defined me to the core and I realised that I am able and capable to do anything I set my mind to and I should stop selling myself short.

Inside Woman: Do you ever have times when you want to leave it all behind and do something else?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: Many times, I debated with myself, I challenged myself and I wanted to change my career. It took me 12 year before I finally found myself again in the enterprise development space.

Inside Woman: Why do you think many start ups fail and what advice do you give to business women who are on the verge of giving up?

  1. If you are about to give up, ask yourself why you started that business in the first place, find that exciting passion that drove you to starting your business and hold on to it.

  2. Get yourself a business mentor, who can keep you accountable and become your support during challenging times. 

Inside Woman: Name three characteristics that govern a successful entrepreneur?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: There is more to being an entrepreneur; many things contribute to the success of entrepreneur. And just to name the few:

  1. An unwavering passion.

  2. And open minded.

  3. The desire to be an expert in their field.

  4. Forward thinking/innovation

  5. God being the foundation. 

[adsenseyu1]Inside Woman: Many of us are afraid of failure. What have you learned about it?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: I have learned that you fail for not trying and that failure first starts in the mind. Should things not workout the way you planned, take the lessons and try again.

Inside Woman:  What role has your faith played in those tough times of your entrepreneurial life?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: Faith means believing on things not yet seen and the life of an entrepreneur is about faith. We project the figures and do the estimates on the business outcomes yet we don’t know if everything will work out as planned. But faith gives you hope and trust that you have the All Mighty looking out for you and making it possible to achieve your goals and dreams in business.

Inside Woman: Do you have a mentor(s) and what role (s) have they played in your life?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: Besides the Holy Spirit, yes I have a mentor and she keeps me on my toes and accountable to my goals and life in general.

Inside Woman: What is your advice to women who are thinking about starting their own business but feel inadequate?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale:  They must start empowering themselves and learn business skills, attend seminars, networking sessions and rub shoulders with other business women.

  • Join organisations that are dealing with women and entrepreneurs. I.e. W.E.Y Foundation:

  • They must know that God has made them perfect and capable and the power lies within and we are the creators of our own destiny. 

Inside Woman: What do you say to Christian women who have identified their gifts and talents but still feel stuck?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: God has given you a dream to pursue, a destiny to fulfill, a plan to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future. Find your passion, fight procrastination, fear and fatigue out of your life and start trusting in your abilities.

Inside Woman: Do you think you are born an entrepreneur or it’s something you can learn?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: I believe we are all given gifts and talents that can help us in our entrepreneurial journey; it is just that others use theirs while others have not unleashed them yet.

Inside Woman: If you had to do this all over again what would you change?

Puseletso Maitin Modimogale: I would change negative mind-set; I will be braver, less fearful and connect more to the Higher Power.

Visit: Therapeutic Touch Studio