Passion – the feeling that lights a fire inside of you regardless of all the obstacles – is something that resonates with all entrepreneurs. Without passion, entrepreneurs would simply not be the type of individuals that we have come to associate with hard work, strength and determination.
It is this passion that led Volente Morais, 2015 EOY entrant and owner of My Passionate Life (MPL) Coaching & Consulting, to start her own business. She says that although it may be considered egotistical, she believes that she was born with a talent to achieve what she sets her sights on, regardless of the obstacles against her.
“Passion has always been a favorite word and expression for me. I have journeyed through many trials and tribulations to realise that I want to live the most passionate life possible,” says Volente. She says this practice was a step in the right direction to do something that she has always wanted to do for herself. Part of this process is to serve the greater good, and follow a path that develops others too.
“I started my own practice because I wanted to define my own culture and outcome, something that is often defined for you when working for a company. Corporate companies align your thinking and monitor your sense of value by their own standards.”
She explains that often employees never ask the difficult questions such as “Is this my standard?” and “Are these my values?”. “I am not against companies that create their own culture as they do instill good work ethic and a sense of job responsibility, but this culture often doesn’t motivate employees to step out from being a manager – someone who checks you are fulfilling your role – to a leader – someone who coaches, supports and motivates you. I learnt as a young manager that I did not know enough about managing people, and I wanted to learn to be a leader instead of just monitoring or placing a value on my staff.
As the previous Head of Corporate Relations at a prominent medical business, along with experience in other roles within the corporate environment, Volente says she always knew that she wanted to own her own business. “I started my business by choice, not luck. Working for someone else just because you have a skill to do something, does not mean that is what you must do.”
She says that starting her business from scratch has been her greatest challenge to date. “I was no longer the Head of anything, but an entrepreneur in charge of my own staff, and everything fell on my shoulders. I overcame this challenge by setting up a daily routine and learnt to plan ahead.”
Looking to the future, Volente hopes to have her practice contracting and housed in a corporate business, and running internal development programmes. She says that corporate businesses are always on the cutting edge of innovation and new age practices. “The sustainability of short term programmes are not as effective as having a coach on a consistent basis. A coach will help companies identify the stumbling blocks and assist in developing skills and coping methods that will help enable employers to overcome internal obstacles over time.”
When asked why she decided to enter the Sanlam/ Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, Volente says she is putting her own methodology into practice: “If you don’t step up, then you cannot stand out.”