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Tanya K's story on… showing up and selling yourself

Tanya’s early beginnings were as an employee in the legal consulting space, doing exceptionally well in business but underwhelmed personally. She realised working under the guise of an employee was feeling tiresome, limiting her access to family as well as personal growth as a professional in her own right.

“I decided I needed to do something different. I decided to explore. I learnt about the world of freelancing and knew this was something I could do.”

Tanya was coined by those around her as a ‘marketing wizz’, she knew she had a flair for business development, marketing and copywriting and started to build a business around her strengths. Today she is in the Go-to-Market business, instrumental in helping other visionaries achieve their dreams. Her clients success surpasses any financial gratification from the business she renders for them. To be part of a journey for many entrepreneurs, IS Tanya’s dream being brought to life, building something that is bigger than herself.

Tanya believes what 2020 taught us was that there is no such thing as job security and we have the opportunity to sit in the driver's seat. She looks at the African continent with excitement and wonder for entrepreneurs, a place where it may be a little tougher to find job security, but a place where entrepreneurship is unknowingly encouraged and built into our culture. The entrepreneurial journey often begins with a lot of doubt and Tanya advises us to focus on how we can diminish this early on. To make an intentional effort to follow our intuition first and not expectations of others nor the negative voices in our head.

“Show up. Be confident in what you bring to the table. Do what you say you will do. Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Don't quit. Things may not happen as quickly as you would like them to but it will happen.”

Tanya openly shares the cold hard truth about the requirements to find success as an entrepreneur: “You need to be able to sell! If you dont sell, you don’t make money, and there IS no business. You need to advocate for yourself, there is no one else who is doing this for you. Put yourself out there, stop shrinking, stop standing in the background. You have to be out there pitching. You need a thick skin because rejection is rife, there WILL be a lot of no’s but remember those no’s are not about you and they are not always a no forever, perhaps just a not right now.”

Creative Entrepreneurs are most often passionate people when it comes to their business and this means the work towards their vision is never ending, they never stop. Tanya shares the reality that entrepreneurship is not as easy as it is perceived to be.

“It is a lot of tears, loneliness, and a feeling of not being understood when surrounded by family and friends living a 9-5 employee life. There are not enough conversations around the personal growth you have to undertake to run a business. The person you are now is not the person you will be in the next five years yet you have to show up as that person today!”

Tanya talks about the bravery required in business too, when one has to make the difficult decision to walk away from a client who is not good for you or your business in the long term. She stresses the importance of guarding and protecting the value of your services. There will always be clients that take chances or advantage, that are unwilling to negotiate, and as an entrepreneur we are faced with a choice to bow down or to walk away (with our head held high). Many times entrepreneurs can be tempted in desperation for a client's business, to blur the boundaries and discount our services for instance. Tanya explains the reason why we should refrain from doing this is because we demean our own services in the process.

“In order for your business to grow, you must have strong boundaries in place. Implementing boundaries that you stay true to, means you are really putting your business first.”.

“Entrepreneurship is often a journey in solitude as there are not many people who understand it.” Tanya begins her day journaling to align her focus and attitude for the day ahead. She is far from the car mechanic who drives a beat up car. Tanya certainly practises what she preaches to her clients, without fail, creating and sharing meaningful content with her followers on a daily basis, building her brand continuously through sharing knowledge. Tanya inspires us to get cracking with our dreams.

“Start as a side hustle. Volunteer your time if you don't have the skills, as a way to level up. However you do it, just start. Make an offer everyday. From outreach to conversations to a business conversion, it starts with putting yourself out there.”

Thank you Tanya for reminding us that we ARE in control after all!

“Solving niche challenges Founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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