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Suddenly, I’m an entrepreneur!

Gugu Sidaki started her own wealth management business last year.  For a young black woman in a traditionally white male-dominated industry, she is facing challenges she had not anticipated …. The good news is that she is learning how to conquer them, and she is sharing her lessons. You will enjoy her honest take on what is required to be an entrepreneur.  

I quit my job as a wealth manager in September 2017. It was not an impulsive decision, but one born of much work in self-discovery.

So, what had I discovered about myself?

I wanted to craft a life and career on my terms.  I knew that I would not be able to do either while working for a large bank.  I also knew that I wanted to stay in the industry; it was where and how that I had to figure out.

The result is that, for a year now, I have been running my own wealth management business – and what a journey it has been!

The Yucks

Many things I’m discovering along the way are things I never would’ve imagined having to deal with, either as an employee and as a self-employed individual; for example, running this business in the past 12 months has been more about business management than it has been about wealth management. I’m not sure why, but that is something I definitely did not anticipate. The most tedious (and dare I say, soul-destroying) part about this journey has to be the admin that I have had to do, and keep doing. The amount of paperwork! The completion of forms is a job on its own and it’s a lot! My personality just doesn’t lend itself to these kinds of tasks, but it’s something I’ve had to deal with, regardless.

The Yays

The best part of my job is writing weekly articles for the business blog: Wealth Creed Journal. I’ve always enjoyed writing and have contributed articles to a few publications in the past. This process has reaffirmed my love of writing and has given me the creative licence to write what I like. I’ve also been busy with a children’s financial literacy booklet which has been such a joy to create. Would you believe that I’ve also been creating the images in the booklet? My daughter is especially proud of my stick figures and colouring-in skills!

In between all of this, I’m trying to figure out how I can get my life back to normal as quickly as possible without having to get into debt. So far, I’ve managed to get by on my savings and the charity of my very generous roommate (hubby!). For 16 months I’ve had to forgo a salary, my beloved company fuel card and all the amazing perks of employment. I’d be lying if I said I’m not panicking about money. That is why the idea of getting a part-time job or contract work is not completely off the table.

These have been some of the peaks and the troughs of the path that I have chosen. I haven’t yet achieved the balance that I so desperately craved. But I know that it is possible to find the balance you seek, even in the chaos and uncertainty. It’s also ok to take the occasional detour along the way … because that’s life.

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