Mpho Thaa +Thaa
Every successful entrepreneur started somewhere.
There is no “magic pill” that effortlessly launches one out of their shell and into the world of entrepreneurship, for some, the dream to dive into entrepreneurship is a natural evolution and for Leseli Letšela, entrepreneurship in her journey was prompted by opportunity and necessity.
With no definite plan, and just the desire to get off the merry-go-round and find a more sustainable path, Letšela left Khonofaneng village which is buried in the heart of Mokhotlong district initially to study.
Not only has she graduated, but she has found love in modelling, videography and make-up.
She has never looked back!
After graduating in 2018 BA Honours in Broadcasting and journalism, Letšela did not pack her things to return back to the rural Mokhotlong, but rather she pursued her dreams and looked beyond just being employed.
“After graduation, I stayed here in Maseru because one, I had to find a job and help my family back home more so I stayed in Maseru because I honestly felt that my hometown had very little space for my talents to be nurtured and to exhume money.
“I was unemployed but I had to pay rent, buy groceries and cover all other expenses.”
Letšela says she then decided to start her own business.
She says she brainstormed which skills she could build on while addressing what really needed.
“At the time my friends were searching for makeup artists to look fine when they went for job interviews, others were getting married, so I offered make-up sessions. I booked 4 sessions and got my first three clients in two weeks. It felt like a dream come true,” she recounts.
“I was never an entrepreneurial kid, but I was always a dreamer and a rule breaker.
“I learned everything that I know on youtube. I have never had classes and I feel so blessed that so far I have had only happy clients who really love my make-up techniques.”
To secure finances for major needs, she decided to seek an 8-to-5 job at TGee Agency, but she tells Market place that in the evening she embarks on her personal businesses.
“My typical day is about 15 hours straight. I come to town, go over to the studio where I am employed to touch up on videos and pictures for about 4-6 hours. I do my own administrative and edit processes for my own photography, and modelling work I do on the side before I go to bed.
Weekends for me are filled with attending events where I do photography for my clients and putting up fliers around town to attract new clientele base,” she outlines.
Letšela says her love for make-up wasn’t based on a great desire to build a business but a personal choice.
“I wore make-up almost every day to school. People loved it. They started asking me to do their make-up and that was when I realised that I could actually make money out of a hobby.
I only had my friends as my clients when I started out. Then a few lecturers at school,” she recounts.
Letšela says presently her make-up clientele base has grown.
She notes she has travelled to other districts to do wedding make up.
The artist says after the initial fear and hurdles, her learning curve is so great she came close to failure, but has never given up.
“Instead of giving up, I started to develop a deep sense of passion for motivating and educating myself to reach greater heights in business and income. It became a challenge for me, and I don’t know any other way now.”
Letšela urges anyone who want to become an entrepreneur to never give up too.
“Don’t give up, don’t take anything personally, and never take no for an answer,” Letšela advises.
She say with the vintage modelling, she plans to one day transform her career into a vintage clothing line multimillion-dollar Empire all over Africa and beyond.
“This year I celebrate a year in business for myself. It hasn’t always been easy, but it continues to bring me great joy and satisfaction,” she says.
“I decided to pursue my dream photography after graduation, and worked with a couple of guys on weekends while picking up a full-time work in the field during weekdays.
However, I was still frustrated that I was not in charge of my day and my decisions.”
She added, “I developed love for videography and photography back in high school. I want to be the best amongst the rest of the other photographer, especially when this field remains up-to-date a male dominated industry.”
Letšela says she has been an entrepreneur for as long as she can remember but saw it as just passionate to make money.
“From selling sweets at school, to all the businesses I am embarking on now, it’s really not just a passion for me. It’s a way of life.”
Letšela says she has built her online network on social media where she embarked on after learning a few trick of internet marketing and gaining skills and resources that changed the course of her path up until today.
Letšela adds that she has discovered the most influential person, whose mentorship gave her the confidence and clarity to develop her businesses.
“I have established people on Facebook and Instagram who have given me a kick in the pants which I needed to define, and flex my entrepreneurial muscles.
She advised everyone who wants to be an entrepreneur to find what lights them up, and to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
“With a little bit of coaching and a LOT of fear, I went for it and the rest is history,” She says.