Gift Muteletwa is business savvy and is using her business acumen to help others grow their businesses through her company Khayil Consultancy. Wanting to learn more about how she got her start in business, I reached out to her and asked about her entrepreneurial journey and who she is as a woman.
Who is Gift Muteletwa?
I am a local businesswoman born and bred in Bulawayo who wears many hats, including being a mentor, a business consultant and a trainer. I’m a woman who is passionate about developing and growing small businesses and also doing community work. I enjoy working with youth, adolescents, young ladies and women.
My initiatives include mentoring young ladies and also upcoming businesspeople and entrepreneurs.
I am an AWE Alumni. I own Khayil Consultancy and also do community work as a project manager at Inspire Women and Children.
Tell us more about your journey to start your business (Khayil Consultancy).
My journey to start my business started when a friend saw my potential and offered me a job to manage the business side of her hair and beauty salon. She was good at doing her work but needed someone to manage the business side of things. I organised her business and set up her business systems. It came naturally, and I found that I really enjoyed it.
I also started getting more clients, offering business support services to small businesses. I also became an independent beauty consultant for an American brand, Mary Kay Cosmetics, where we were given top notch business training every week.
All these opportunities unlocked my potential and made me realise that being a businesswoman was part of my God-given purpose. When I discovered my purpose, I started sharpening my business acumen by reading books, attending business events and just eating up anything to do with business.
When I relocated back to Zimbabwe, I also joined empowerment programs like the PROWEB entrepreneurship and mentoring program and also the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs. I also have powerful women mentors who have helped to groom me and inspire me in business. In 2019, I registered and officially launched my business, Khayil Consultancy, with a business shower hosted by Duduzile Trust, a women’s empowerment initiative. It has been a long journey, but I am still learning and growing.
How do you manage multitasking, that is, consultancy work, social work, etc?
Multitasking is difficult, especially if you are a woman. There are always household chores waiting for you whether you are married or single and still living at home. Society still has not fully embraced women in business. Your gender roles will always somehow have to come first, especially here in Zimbabwe.
I have to create time…I have to plan and set aside time for the different hats I wear. I also am a night owl. I will sleep around 10:00 p.m. and then get up around 1:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m. to work for an hour or so to meet deadlines or complete tasks.
I have to be creative to keep on top of things. When I have a lot of pressure, I prioritize. My diary keeps me organized. Preparation also helps. Planning ahead for meetings, events and the day ahead also helps.
What motivated you to begin this journey?
What motivated me on this journey was discovering my purpose. I also read two books that changed my life. The first was The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord by T. D. Jakes, which opened my eyes to the Proverbs 31 woman. I was fascinated by the entrepreneur this character is in the Bible, and I wanted to be like her. I also read Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, which opened my eyes to the unlimited possibilities of being your own boss.
Oprah Winfrey also inspires. She has certainly used her gift and her purpose to create a legacy as a black woman.
What are the challenges you faced starting up?
Starting up is really not easy. There are so many challenges and obstacles. The challenges I faced were the lack of support. Not everyone understands entrepreneurs or businesspeople, especially females. Most of grow up being told to study and get a good job, but when you break the mould, it can be a lonely journey.
Also, financing your vision by yourself is not easy. You have to be patient with the process and be enterprising. At times, you will have to work to fund your business or vision. You need a lot of patience and wisdom to start finance and build your dream.
What keeps you going on tough days?
What keeps me going on tough days is:
- My relationship with God. I pray, worship and seek God’s wisdom when I need strength.
- I have my inner circle, my support system – three of my closest friends who are my confidantes and prayer partners.
- The realization that I have to keep going for the other women looking up to me, especially my mentees. Giving up is not an option even though at times I want to quit.
- The prophetic words I have written down. They are a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness and what He has called me to do.
What is your advice to young women who want to venture into the world of business?
To the young women out there, I will share a few nuggets from what I have learnt over the years.
- Discover your purpose, your calling and your passion.
- Do not be afraid to step out and pursue your purpose regardless of your doubts, fears and opposing forces.
- Develop your character. You will make mistakes, but don’t be discouraged. Learn from them. Pick yourself up again and work on becoming a woman of integrity, have moral values and set high moral standards for yourself.
- Do not be held back by your past mistakes or what people think about you.
- Get equipped. Read books, go on YouTube, get a mentor, attend business events, network.
- Keep working on yourself. Keep evolving and reinventing yourself.
- Fail forward [and don’t] be afraid to start again if at first you don’t succeed.
- Get financially literate. Learn to manage your finances.
- Surround yourself with the right people.
- Have a vision board and a plan. Know where you want to go.
You can find Gift via:
Facebook: Khayil Consultancy
Instagram: Khayil Consultancy
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