Entrepreneurship, especially while trying to also prioritise the needs of your family, is not for the faint-hearted! One of our readers, Desrae Coventry, certainly embodies this, as her tenacity and get-it-done attitude make sure nothing stands in her way! Speaking to Desrae at her Howick residence, she noted, “This month (March 2020) is my birthday but I certainly don’t feel like I’m a senior at all, but rather on the brink of success in achieving my dreams!”
Back in 2006, she moved with her children to Johannesburg, where her son and daughter wanted to pursue careers in professional tennis coaching and ballet respectively. Unfortunately, just a few years later, Desrae fell ill and was unable to work. Instead of being defeated, she used this time to reflect, and realised the importance of one’s mental and emotional well-being, particularly in trying times. This understanding, along with a knack for entrepreneurship, lit a fire in Desrae that ultimately led to a whole new career path!
Gradually, she was allowed to return to employment for short periods of time. She worked as an au pair, ran a lift club service for school children and provided secretarial services. When she was finally ready to get back into full-time work again, she bought a Florist Shop which she successfully ran for 3 years.
It was during this time that her son was offered a job as a farm manager, back in KZN. Shortly thereafter, her daughter got engaged and also decided to move to KZN. With all of her immediate and extended family living in KZN, she decided to move back. In 2013 she sold her florist business as a going concern and moved to Howick in the KZN Midlands.
It was now time for Desrae to follow another dream that she had had for many years – PERSONAL COACHING! She completed her training and declared it her mission to help people discover their true value!
After attending a BNI (Business Network International) Breakfast – suited for entrepreneurship and small businesses – she was introduced to the world of business networking. It wasn’t long before Desrae had accumulated quite a few Durban clients through this model and realised it would make more business sense to move to Durban.
Her potential was quickly spotted, and soon Desrae, in addition to running her own business, was championing the BNI cause as a Director Consultant before being promoted to Area Director. The Networking chapters under her wing blossomed and Desrae developed a reputation as one of the top Director Consultants who achieved results.
She also reached the #1 position in the world for having completed the most courses in a single month on BNI University, an online educational platform. The following month, she was once again in the Top 10 globally where she finished in 7th position.
Sadly, in 2018, tragedy struck with the passing of her father. Desrae opted to move back to Howick, where she moved in with her ageing mother, to become her full-time care-giver. This meant that Desrae could not leave the house to work unless another family member relieved her. Her business, which involved face-to-face coaching sessions, came to an abrupt halt, impacting heavily on her finances. Most people at this point would have despaired, but Desrae knew she had to reinvent the way she did business – and her course called “DISCOVER YOUR TRUE VALUE” was born!
This virtual coaching course is currently done through digital mediums, and with Desrae’s tenacity, she intends having a fully automated online business by the end of this year where she will also be able to accommodate an international clientele.
Desrae describes her latest reinventing, as re-framing. “Most people work all their lives with the hope of eventually being able to stay at home and earn a living. I had it handed to me, albeit in a tragic manner, but had to look at it from a different angle to recognise and appreciate it for what it was. Once I had done that, I could leverage it.”
Senior Living wishes Desrae all the best in her entrepreneurship, and we know that her strong will and determination will ensure her success!
If you would like to learn a bit more about Desrae, ring her on 0825705737 or visit her website: https://www.maketheshift.co.za