Chapter 6

CAN YOU MAKE IT TO 1001 DAYS AND STILL HAVE A LIFE?

Starting your own small business means having to make a lot of personal sacrifices in order to be successful. In the final chapter of our 1001 Days web series, small business owners, Nelisiwe Masango and Mariam Jakoet Harris, share what they have experienced along their journeys and how they’ve managed to find a work-life balance, while still growing their own thriving businesses. 

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BEAR RUN INVESTMENTS: CHAPTER 6

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NELISIWE ON WORK-LIFE BALANCE

It’s the final chapter of the 1001 Days web series and Nelisiwe Masango from Bear Run Investments kicks it off on a positive note. She’s had another successful month involving a project centred on teaching school kids financial literacy. It was only when she started her first business at age 18 that she learned about budgeting, saving and cash flow, so she’s excited to give these young students a head start.

Nelisiwe is no stranger to financial sacrifices, which she says have been her biggest challenge in trying to find work-life balance. As an entrepreneur who’s invested in your own business, you often have to save in order to see growth. Her advice is to recognise that you may have to live below your means and put your business before yourself. When starting out, Nelisiwe also said she had to “live, breath and eat her business”, which affected her personal leisure time and social life. After a few years of experience and proper time management, she’s learnt to strike more of a balance.

Reflecting on her journey, Nelisiwe admits she’s learnt a lot about her industry, like dealing with people, the need for proper planning and most of all – who she is. What will get you to 1001 days? Nelisiwe believes it comes down to passion for what you’re doing and perseverance to keep trying – no matter what.

"Every last cent I had, I wanted to use to see my business thrive."

– Nelisiwe Masango, Bear Run Investments

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COOKED INC.: CHAPTER 6

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MARIAM ON WORK-LIFE BALANCE

In the last chapter of our entrepreneurial series, Mariam shares that she’s really happy with how her business, Cooked Inc., is progressing. Having hired a new staff member she has seen a load taken off her shoulders, so she can focus on other areas of her business.

Even though Mariam started her business to spend more time with her family, she says it was tough in the beginning. To get things off the ground, she had to sacrifice a lot of personal time and dedicate herself to work, 24-7 and 365 days a year. It was also a big change for her being her own boss and she found herself missing some of the perks of a full-time job (like taking lunch hours or being sociable with colleagues) – but she knew it was worth it in the long run. Mariam’s goal for 2016 was to strike a balance between the demands of her business and her personal life. To do this, she put rules in place such as closing her kitchen at 8.30pm to spend time with her husband.

Mariam’s journey has transformed her and in turn her business plan has evolved for the better. Since she came up with her business idea, it’s been a long road. It’s taken her five years to get to a point where she’s doing what she set out to do. Her advice to anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur is to write down your idea, come up with a strategy and “take that leap of faith”.

"Fear of uncertainty is in your head – you are your biggest critic."

– Mariam Jakoet Harris, Cooked Inc.

THE BIGGEST SACRIFICES?

68.9%

Steady income

57.3%

Family time

50%

Downscaled lifestyle

40.6%

Personal relationships



55.4% of the men we spoke to said they’ve had to downscale their lifestyle while only 44.2% of women said the same

For deeper insights into the South African small business landscape, take a look at the Santam start-up survey results.

Survey results

EXPERT BUSINESS ADVICE

4 STEPS TO MANAGE WORK-LIFE BALANCE

The challenge of starting a small business is that entrepreneurs have to make big sacrifices in order be successful and make it past the first 1001 days of their journey. We explore what these sacrifices are and share advice on practical steps you can take to find the right balance between work and your personal life.

TAKE THE INSTANT POLL

What are the biggest sacrifices you’ve had to make on your small business journey? Take the poll to reveal what others said:

Gave up a steady income

Time with family & friends

Downscaled lifestyle

Personal relationships



68.9% of survey respondents on their journey to 1001 days said that giving up a steady income was the biggest sacrifice they had to make.

SMALL BUSINESS INSURANCE

From retail to service-oriented entrepreneurial ventures, every start-up is unique. Is your small business properly covered? Santam’s small business insurance offering gives you cover to suit your needs so you can get to day 1001, and beyond.

PREVIOUS: CHAPTER 5

HOW DO YOU HANDLE IT WHEN THINGS GO WRONG?

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LOOK BACK: CHAPTERS 1-6

THE 1001 DAYS WEB SERIES

Watch a recap of all 6 monthly diaries of our two small business owners to see what lessons they learnt and challenges they faced on their journey to 1001 days.

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1001 DAYS OF BUSINESS

Ensure your start-up makes it to 1001 days and beyond with a small business insurance solution from Santam starting at R162 per month.

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THE SANTAM START-UP SURVEY

Take a look at the comprehensive survey we conducted on over 600 small to medium enterprises in South Africa.

Survey results