NEWS | ENTREPRENEUR
By Philes Davis.
Like most successful entrepreneurs, 26-year-old Mzuzu-based Monica Mhone, started with curiosity. It was sheer curiosity and desire to emulate what her immediate role models back then, her brother, and her mother were into; small scale businesses.
As Monica was growing up, day in day out, she could see her mother, and her sibling running up and down, making ends meet; trying to be their own bosses.
It was through her role models that Monica grew up understanding that courage, risk-taking, sacrifices, and positive attitude towards work were the four cornerstones to a successful business.
So come 2009, enough was enough, Monica had seen it all. After saving a few Kwachas, Monica’s dream was ready to be put into gear. She started trekking down South (Africa) purchasing designer clothes.
Although she had embarked on her childhood dream, life was not that rosy. Apart from being undermined by other onlookers who had seen her metamorphosis into adulthood, Monica had other challenges as well. Self-doubt. Countless times, she could be doubting her capabilities.
“There were times when I could doubt if it was really worthy pursuing the journey I’d started.” She recalls.
But unlike other weak minded souls, Monica was no quitter. She had to live her dream.
“I passed my own self-doubts, and continued moving forward by following my heart and being motivated by those that recognized and supported my efforts,” she reminisced.
So, nine years later, Monica is a proud owner of Street Wear business enterprise. Unlike her hey days, now her shop boasts of not only clothes, but also a wide range of furniture too. She is now home and dry.
Visiting her glamourous Street Wear shop, you need not ask further; the atmosphere is self- explanatory. The shop is full to the brim.
So, what has been her secret?
According to her, understanding her customer’s needs is a virtue for any successful entrepreneur.
“I always priotize the needs of my customers first before anything. I started my business with a vision of being the best. So, the only way for me to be where I want to be is by handling them (the customers) with respect,” she reveals.
Meanwhile, as her business enterprise is progressing, Monica is facing some stiff competition.
“A lot of people are doing the same business as mine, so yeah, my earning has decreased a little,” she confessed.
That, however, is not pushing her back. She claims her business enterprise has considerably grown for the past five years.
“Much as my business has been facing stiff competition, but the overall returns are meaningful. If I can compare what I used to earn back then, and now, there are changes worthy smiling for,” she disclosed.
Monica is as busy as an ant. However, she challenged that her business enterprise does not affect her other aspects of life as a mother, wife, and as a friend.
“I’m not always so stuck to my business. I have time for my baby, and my husband. That aside, I also have time for my girlfriends; socializing and having fun.” She said.
According to her, it is important to have some time off her business and interact with family and friends, as through them, she can also get fresh ideas for her growth.
“It’s not important to always think of business all the time. At times, we need to have some time off and interact with family and friends,” she said.
Such has been Monica Mhone’s exodus to the realization of her childhood dream. Although she is not yet there, Monica is impressed with the pace her enterprise is trending. She feels she is a model a modern aspiring female entrepreneurs need to emulate.
She has however, observed that most aspiring female entrepreneurs lack determination and perseverance. As a result, they do not last on the market.
“Self-employment is all about perseverance. Patience is a virtue in entrepreneurship. The sweet fruits of entrepreneurship take time, but it’s worth the wait!” she advised.
In Monica’s world, females can also make it in entrepreneurship if only they can have self- confidence and the zeal to be their own bosses.
“Anything is possible; just believe in yourself. Gone are the days when some jobs were specifically meant for males only; both of us can!” she challenged.