Home PodcastMaryam Mkwanda Leaving the corporate world and becoming a successful entrepreneur

Leaving the corporate world and becoming a successful entrepreneur

by Salaamedia Intern
Oumaki Aletta Motloung has become a successful entrepreneur after leaving the corporate world to pursue her dreams Photo Beezy Corner Cafe Vaal

Vaal – It is never easy to leave a successful corporate career to start something fresh and pursue your dreams. However, one South African entrepreneur took that chance on herself and is now running a successful cafe, poultry farm and business.

Oumaki Aletta Motloung always wanted to have her own business from a young age. Before she returned home to pursue her dreams, she was a team leader of a call centre for an insurance company. Although she was successful in her role, the call to start something of her own had to be answered

The obstacles faced as an entrepreneur

It is never easy to start something from scratch, especially a business. Motloung has faced many obstacles one her path to becoming a success story. One of the obstacles she had to overcome was self-doubt, she explained. It is easy to lose confidence and focus when you first start out, but you have to keep your goal in mind.

“You have this idea of what you want to do and then your mind starts playing games with you. You start doubting yourself. What if this does not happen or what if this does not succeed? Then you start discussing or maybe engaging with people and you get negative feedback from different people. If you know exactly what you want, then you will pick up all the good things from the negative that you’ve heard and turn those around to actually benefit you.” 

Sometimes people overlook the cost of starting a business. To get the equipment meant Motloung had to invest everything that she had into the business. The business is very much family ran as her sister is the head chef and her brothers work in the business as well. Employing family meant she could cut a few costs but also have the business feel very much like a home.

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Her drive and motivation to achieve her goals as an entrepreneur

Every entrepreneur has something that drives them and keeps them motivated. Motloung credits her drive and passion to her late father. It was he who taught her the importance of always working towards what you want. 

“I used to actually work at his offices. He had a security company so every day after school I would actually go back there and work. My dad was that type of parent you asked him for money, and he tells you that you need to work for it. That’s where I learned my independence and I got motivated that one day I’m going to have my own company as well.” 

Starting Beezy Corner Cafe

When one opens up a cafe, they normally pick an area that is busy, that is situated in the bustling town. Motloung decided to go against the norm and open her cafe in the township. The cafe opened in March 2021 but according to Motloung, things were in place long before that. It was just about finding the right time to open the doors and invite everyone in.

The reception she got was quite unexpected. The community was quick to welcome her with open arms and support her. Having the support of the community means a lot to her as her intentions were to provide a place for families to gather without having to travel very far.

“The community is actually very supportive because I remember when I had the opening, it turned out better than I had expected actually. It’s something that I was aiming for. It [the cafe] was actually meant to be there for the community. So, it’s making life easier for them as well.”

The cafe is not just a restaurant but also caters to family events. Before the opening of the cafe, community members had to travel a far distance to have such events. 

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Maintaining a balance in life and having fun with work

Running multiple businesses is no easy task. It requires a lot of attention and one can easily find themselves being burnt out. For Motloung, it is all about knowing where to be, for how long to be there and having helping hands.

“I think I’ve just gotten used to it now because now I’ve had to actually move my schedule around my working hours or move it around the businesses that I have. I know that I’m required to be at Beezy Corner from what time to what time or which days. Then I know that poultry also needs my attention at a specific time. You cannot do everything alone. You need helping hands. I’ve got staff helping me on all my businesses as well.”

Although the hours might be long, Motloung enjoys her hours compared to what they were in the corporate world. Her hours are filled with her creative ideas, and this gives her a sense of fun and freedom she wasn’t accustomed to in the corporate world.

Turning the negativity into positivity

In life you will get people that are negative towards your ideas and goals. Motloung has had to face such people in her life as well. For her, it is all about taking positives from the negatives. Any information is useful.

“I take all the negative things that they said, and I only pick the things that I know that I can change from negative to positive. When I get home, I’ll be like okay this person said this and that and that. I am not going to listen to all the negative things. Just pick up one two and three from whatever they said and make use of that. Use that to turn that whole situation around.”

The future is looking bright for Motloung as she is set to open up a second Beezy Corner Cafe. She is looking to franchise it and expand on it. As for her poultry farm, she hopes to be supplying supermarkets instead of just small businesses. For her, this proves one thing. Never give up and always give it your best no matter what.

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