Thembi Bheka, from refugee to online entrepreneur: what it takes to leave a country, start fresh and thrive


In today's episode, I chat to Thembi Bheka, she's an Zimbabwean who is living in Canada with a thriving online business as well as a virtual assistant agency that empowers woman in Zimbabwe to work in online businesses all over the world. 


Thembi shares her journey of how she left Zimbabwe almost 20 years ago as a refugee leaving her children behind, and the journey to becoming a thriving online business owner based in Canada with her children no thriving with her.


Please enjoy! 

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Tamryn Sherriffs, Thembi Bheka


Tamryn Sherriffs  00:03

Hello everyone, it's Tamryn and I have got the wonderful Thembi with me today, Thembi Bheka welcome. It's so fantastic to chat with you.


Thembi Bheka  00:14

I am so excited to be here Tamryn especially with you just having a baby.


Thembi Bheka  00:22

Yes, just for those who are watching. So we are creating an episode of The Differently podcast but of course you're watching us do that live here on the Differently Facebook group. And some of you may have seen that I've been expecting a wonderful baby girl who arrived on Saturday morning. So I am being quite adventurous and doing things differently. She's here with me sleeping, so she might make a debut or she might not. Thank you for for for mentioning that Thembi. You and I met maybe four years ago and I think it is three or four years ago at a fantastic Jeff Walker event in the States, and I think our opening conversation is I was wearing this really flowing Ugandan print skirt. And you are from Zim originally. And I'm from South Africa. So we we had this connection over Africa, although you're living in Canada at the time. And are living in Canada again now, but in between, you had a stint back in in Zim, and I kind of want to start our conversation there because you have had an incredible journey. Your story is phenomenal coming from Zimbabwe, starting online businesses, leaving nursing I mean, there's so many things I don't want to steal all your points away. But the thing that stands out for me is this incredible against all odds element about you sitting in your beautiful house now, in Canada, I'm assuming you're in Canada now, did you go back you? And having this incredible project empowering people in Zimbabwe to become a virtual assistants in this world of supporting online businesses, I'd love you to start there and kind of just weave backwards and just tell us what are you doing and how is it that you've managed to do things so differently than the norm particularly coming from Zim?


Thembi Bheka  02:28

Thank you Tamryn and once again, thank you so much for being here. I am so excited and thanks for everyone who's listening. I wish I could say it was unique I wish I could say I am unique and I'm different but I think I'm like everybody who just had a hunger and best to to be something and to do something and to do something differently. If you know I mean, you will know this Tamryn coming from South Africa like back home if you're growing up in Zimbabwe, which is just like South Africa like in the really in a rural areas or low income neighborhoods, life is tough and everybody is fighting hard to get out of that if you are growing up maybe in Soweto or you know you're fighting hard to get out of those, those shanty towns and to try and be a better person, and that's why I was really like I grew up in the, in the hood of the hood and you know, and so it's like, Okay, I need to get out I need to fight I need to get out. I am not continuing like this in this path. And that journey took me to eventually coming to Canada. Basically, when I came to Canada as a refugee in 2001. But I want to say something like in regards to this whole journey, which we tack these always angels in front of us who've done things differently. You know, like you are you are one who's having a baby right now who's five days old and you're talking to me like, I'm like, oh my goodness, I could never do that. How do you do that? You know, there's always angels who, who do things in front of us. And we look at those angels. And we're like, oh my god, I want to be like her. Oh my god, I want to be like him. And that's really kind of how my journey started. I started out, I had some people go to this overseas wild, I was like, oh, my goodness, people's lives were changed by just leaving the country now. Like, how do I do that? And at that time, Zimbabwe was going through a political situation. Tizen star is still going through that. But at that time, I was like, let me just do let me just find a way to leave this country, leave this politics, things and just move to Canada. And that's really how I moved to Canada as a refugee. Do you want me to tell the whole story?


Tamryn Sherriffs  04:46

Look, I mean, that must have taken incredible courage.


Thembi Bheka  04:49

It was hard. I think that's, I mean, I've done a lot of hard things every time you feel like oh my god, this is the hardest thing I've ever done every time you do something, but that I was hard because I left my daughter, I had a daughter, I left my daughter when she was 10 months old. I couldn't, first of all, because  I didn't know where I was going, I couldn't just take a kid and just bring her here. She was safer with my mom than she was with me to a foreign country where I didn't know anybody. So that was the hardest thing for me. And then I get here, and it's a complete different country altogether. The culture is different. The everything is different, the weather is different. And one of the things which I started learning, and once I got here is that every time you move to a new country, and this will refer to me moving back to Zimbabwe, but every time you move to a new country, you are like a baby who's just been born, it takes like, three years or four years for you to finally start walking perfectly. At first you're crawling, at first you're sitting and then you're crawling, and then you start walking. And I didn't know this, I can't remember how I heard about this, but I didn't know this, and I didn't realize this like, it even affected me when I moved back to my own country where I was born, I felt like a baby. And after four months, I couldn't be a baby anymore. I was like, I can't believe you're permanent.


Tamryn Sherriffs  06:11

This is tiring. I can really relate to that I moved from South Africa to Luxembourg in Europe, when I was really young, straight out of university, and that's not even an English speaking country. And it took me I would say at least two years to feel okay, like familiar to myself again. So absolutely. That must have been even more difficult if you moved under circumstances that you know you were looking for an opportunity and a better life. How did you find the courage to do that? Have you got any reflections on that?


Thembi Bheka  06:13

I think I had no option. I think staying for me was way worse than for me to leave and when you're faced in those situations with what's the worst that would happen. I mean, it was in the situation already what is the worst that could happen. I also have to say I was living in a marriage, where my husband at that time had two other wives. So I was wife number three, and so really, I had no option. I was like, it's either I'm staying in this marriage being wife number three, or I leave. So for me, it was better.


Tamryn Sherriffs  07:27

And fast forward 20 years basically. And just for some context for people who haven't met you know, Thembi is a power house woman I mentioned that we met at a Jeff Walker event, which is a really significant community where you're basically a famous celebrity in the Jeff Walker world now, you could become an icon of what it can be like to work on a successful online project. You've got many followers all over the world students all over the world in different subjects. And you're sitting in what looks like a beautiful home. So in 20 years you have achieved something quite remarkable. How did you get from there to here?


Thembi Bheka  08:13

Thank you, thank you for that and thank you for that acknowledgement. Well, the first thing is I went to when I first arrived in Canada, I went to school to become a nurse. But I always you know, I think for me it was the bigger why it was the bigger why that kept me focused. My big why was to have the other Thembis I had left back home, who also stuck in relationships like me, and I said I want to lift them up I want to help them so I at first I went into nursing school because I was going to train to be a trained to be a registered nurse. And after I graduated, I started the first paychecks I would send money home thinking; okay, I'm just going to help all those people, but eventually your lifestyle upgrades and the money is never enough and you can't really sustain that and I was like, I can't really, I need to start a business. That's really how I got into real estate. I came across a paper which says get out of the ratrace invest in real estate. I was like, Hmm, I could make more money and send more money back home. And so I started investing in real estate. And it was during those times that I started realizing that sending money was never helping people. Actually, I was disempowering people. I realized that I needed to empower them by teaching them something. And so at first I started by boreholes wells. Most people call them wells. It's a borehole and I started building those. And I said, okay, I'm going to help this woman and just build boreholes in Binga. That's where I started. Really not that great of a success. I mean, yes, it helped, but they still kind of needed help with setting the projects and all that stuff. I was like, Oh my god, how do I do this, then this is what if I empowered more people on a higher level so that they can empower those people who are building boreholes and doing the gardening stuff. And so I decided to start teaching women in Africa again how to invest in real estate. And that journey was hard because I was attracting the wrong people. I was attracting men, instead of woman, nothing wrong with men, but that's not who I wanted to help. I just started attracting man. But what happens is I got a secretary who was working for me who was taking this course as a woman she couldn't afford to pay and so she ended up working for me, and so it should have been my, my VA. And so I was like, oh, what if I taught them how to do what I'm doing? And it's almost been a journey. It's not like, I came to Canada, I was like, in 20 years, I'm gonna be teaching women how to be VA's. I had no idea how that was gonna go. It was kind of a journey and the journey and the journey. And eventually I was it ended up being the situation where I said, maybe I can teach this women how to have online businesses. That actually was my intention. And I moved to Zimbabwe in 2017. I think I spoke to you and told you Tamryn I'm moving back to Africa. Oh my goodness, the hardest four months of my life. Culture shock, culture shock. And you know, Ann Wilson have a mutual friend Ann Wilson, Ann Wilson said to me, Zim. Zim is hard. Are you gonna survive? I'm like, I'm from there. I'll be fine. Little did I know. It was so hard. I basically had to come. I've only been to therapy twice. The first time is when I had a miscarriage. And the second time is after Zimbabwe. I had to go for therapy, because it was so hard, emotionally, mentally, everything. And it was during that process that I thought I just decided, you know what? These women are so so far off to even think of going online to start their online business, why don't I just teach them how to be virtual assistants. So I decided to teach them to be VA s. And I had no intention, again, to start an agency, I was gonna teach them how to be VA and give them resources to go find a job. Well, after training them, nobody could find a job. They could look for jobs. Another different culture again, that's when I was like, okay, I guess I'm gonna start an agency. And then I started an agency to hire them. And basically, that's really how I ended up having a VA agency.


Tamryn Sherriffs  12:36

The main theme that I've heard from what you've told me is, you started something, you paid attention to what was happening, and then you adjusted according to the need. And although it's you know, it sounds quite simple when you describe it, oh, you know, I was doing this and then I realized that this is actually what people wanted so I changed. And that's not actually an easy thing to do. You have to be really aware and be really willing to change the direction of a ship. In order to do that I often use the analogy of following the breadcrumbs like that story from Hansel and Gretel where you didn't notice the next crumb and then you go and then you go. And for me, that's a really important way that I live my life. And it sounds like you really follow the breadcrumbs of investing in property teaching property, noticing it wasn't impacting woman noticing you were working with a VA that there was a demand that woman in Africa could start online businesses, but actually that was to advance move back VA business. I think that's really remarkable to have been so adaptable and pay so much attention to what was unfolding in front of you. Would you agree?


Thembi Bheka  13:56

You know, I didn't see it that way. I mean, yes, I followed the breadcrumbs. But when you are doing it at that time you don't see it that way you are twisting and shifting and turning in your bed thinking, oh my god, what can I do to change this situation?


Tamryn Sherriffs  14:12

Thank you for sharing that. The lived reality is different, right?


Thembi Bheka  14:16

Exactly, exactly. You have sleepless nights and recently, I have had some sleepless nights too. It's not like the sleepless nights never ever disappear. I don't think they ever do because a friend of mine always says new level new devil and there's always a new level you're going to go through right now my new level is managing team members and a big team and I just hired a CEO. I just hired you know, like a new manager and it's like, oh my god, how do I deal with that? I think new level new devil will say do I regret it? No, I don't. But at the same time, it is not easy when you are going through that and it is not. And the reason why it's not easy is because sometimes you don't even have a role model who's done the same thing like you do. We always feel like especially for me as an African woman, I felt like there was no one who had, who has. I mean, African as a black African woman, not as an African American as a black African woman. There was no one I knew from Africa, who was in the same industry like I did. So you always I always give these excuses sometimes when things were hard that Yeah, they don't have the same background like me. They don't have the same culture like me. And I'm sure you do the same thing. Tamryn is no South African. I know who's doing the same thing I am doing right now.


Tamryn Sherriffs  15:40

Yeah, sure. I mean, when I see kind of successful people, in fact, a lot of people we met at that same event have rocketed into the you know, the next level of the online business. And I'm like, well, it's so easy when you're based in North America, because you can just meet all the people. It's easy to tell yourself these silly stories which may or may not be true, but you know what? The irrelevant to your own journey.


Thembi Bheka  16:05

So that's the same thing with me like it always felt like that and I think we're all different in that way that it's really gonna be hard to find somebody who's got the exact situation like yours exact background exact everything is gonna be hard. So you just have to realize that everybody started on a journey. Jeff Bezos didn't have a role model. Nobody had ever started Amazon, you know, he didn't have a role model. Nobody knew about computers. So you just have to path it's good to have a model if you have like a mentor like Tamryn and everybody, just to help you along the way, but don't think you're going to get the exact mentor who's doing what you want to do.


Tamryn Sherriffs  16:44

Absolutely, absolutely. Just in case there is anybody listening. I mean, we've started talking about that Thembis current project, which is a VA agency. If you haven't heard that term before. It's virtual assistant. And that is literally what it sounds like an assistant who helps you, but virtually, in fact, so I have a virtual assistant and for the first year that I was working with my virtual assistant, we didn't meet physically, it just happened, that she came on on vacation where I live that we actually got to meet. But I think that's kind of a new idea for some people, maybe you want to just talk a little bit to us around the concept of a virtual assistant. And you said that you realized you could train woman back in Zimbabwe because you had your own assistant. So just tell us a little bit about that industry and how it support an online business, just for those who perhaps are unfamiliar.


Thembi Bheka  17:43

That's a very growing industry actually a virtual assistant. So basically think of I always say to people who don't even know they think of a secretary, except that you don't have them in the office. They are online. And now that with businesses going online, everything is online, you need someone to send your emails like I was communicating with your VA just to coordinate this interview. You need someone to send your emails you need someone to even maybe fix your website, you need someone to just help you have social media presence. Like maybe after we finish this interview, Tamryns virtual assistant could take this and put it on maybe YouTube and Instagram and other places. That's really what a virtual assistant is, is basically your secretary online. And, and if you have an offline business and you're listening to this, I want to tell you this, you have to go online yesterday. Because the world is changing. The world has changed, like especially right now with COVID. We have been forced to do things which we didn't even know would be possible to do. Like I didn't know I had to talk to zoom with teachers through zoom with teachers. I didn't know there's so many things I wish we just had to adjust because of everything going on right now. And I don't think the world is going back, the world is going forward, and your audience is likely to have you because you've walked this path, you know, what's on the way and how they can follow through and do an online business. But really, you need to go online and go, like yesterday, because the world is changing. And that's when you'll need when you're starting, you might not need a virtual assistant. But I highly, highly recommend. That's something I did differently I hired before I could even afford to, because that just will escalate your business. It'll propel you to the next level. I highly recommend just getting somebody who's experienced in work with somebody right away before you even get started.


Tamryn Sherriffs  19:44

I often see people ask the question, who's the first person you should employ in your businesses. Is it a bookkeeper is it a this is it or that, and my choice was also an assistant in any business that I started because the reality is, particularly if you're a small business owner, you're doing everything. You're doing your emails you're doing your social media you're doing your admin you're doing and when are you actually doing the stuff that only you can do? Yeah. So for me, one of the beautiful things about my assistant is the stuff that's unique to me that only I can do. And there's stuff that really anybody who's been shown how to do it, can replicate it and do. And for me, that's the power of an assistant is to be able to do tasks that is not unique to me.


Thembi Bheka  20:30

So you can work on your zone of genius because we have, we all have gifts, we all have geniuses in us. You just want to work on that zone where you're good at and just outsource the other stuff to your assistant the stuff which you are not good at to the assistant it will save you time, money and energy. And I think that's the first hire too. And people get caught up in this actually because sometimes they like bookkeeper, please don't think of a bookkeeper when you're starting. Save yourself some money and make money first. Make money first and you can think of that.


Tamryn Sherriffs  21:02

Do not worry about keeping track of where it went. Yes, I agree with you, and for anybody listening, you can go to the show notes at we'll have a link where you can find timbi. And she's got plenty of resources, including how to choose a VA and she does fantastic events all the time. And any of the ways that you want to find her you'll be able to find in the link in the show notes. Thembi has made a specific link just for me. And you'll be able to find her there. And you know, your real wealth of knowledge, I really want to circle back Thembi to the so we don't underestimate the reality of starting multiple businesses and multiple online businesses. Because we kind of just quickly glossed over the fact that you used to teach people about real estate, I mean, that became a really successful project, you know, teaching people online courses, that's a whole avenue that also is suddenly more kind of in people's awareness now, as a result of COVID. You talked about get online yesterday. I agree. And maybe that's a more believable statement today. You know, we're recording this July 2020, after a couple of months in this bizarre Corona coaster experience that this world has gone. You know, if we recorded this in January, and you said that I think not many people would have understood how important it is like we do now where people have been forced to work from home and work online and, and keep multiple income streams. And another income stream as I mean, my primary business model, and I'm assuming in some ways, it's been yours for a while is information products. You learned about property, which was a very wise thing to do. And then you started teaching people about property and that's a fantastic business model to do. And then you shifted into a couple of other things. I think there was a time where you were working you were mentoring women. Is that right?


Thembi Bheka  23:10

Yeah, I still do actually, I still have a coaching business on this event, which I'm going to be hosting an event escalator event in September. And basically what I'm going to be doing is teaching women. Most of my clients are women. I do have men, but it's like, I attract women a lot. So I end up saying women, but I teach women how to basically scale their businesses online how to go. These are not people who are new into the online business, somebody who's already in online business, or trying to get into online business and already have a product and they want to build a list and they want to launch to that list. You know, it's called escalate methods. I teach them how to do a live stream over three days, build a massive list build and launch to it instantly.


Tamryn Sherriffs  23:53

Great. So you've got multiple businesses. That's a word that I've heard to talk about that is called a portfolio life. I certainly have a portfolio life I've got a project starting a school and online business and I do affiliate marketing and you know all we're quite similar in that sense. Somebody who's listening who, who's kind of maybe always had a job, and that feels certain and safe and secure and listening to these two women thinking, what? how is that even possible? Have you got any kind of words for somebody who's really curious about this, what's available from a digital business point of view?


Thembi Bheka  24:36

You know, before I even talk about that, I read an article. I think it was two years ago. And this sounded crazy when I read this article, and it said 30% of jobs are going to disappear because of online business, and it sounded crazy at that time, it was like ah, how would that happen? But fast forward two years now? Actually that has happened.


Tamryn Sherriffs  25:05

And it's fast track has escalator.


Thembi Bheka  25:08

It's fast. More than 30% because like the unemployment rate in Canada is ridiculous. It's crazy. And so during this last few months, and so, it's really so surprising that if the job market, you know, if you think of the way the job market was started this whole capitalism go to work, get a paycheck, get taxed and retire happily after 40 years. That was started many years ago, and it worked for that system many years ago. Life has changed. We now have technology. We now have online schooling, I always tell people if you're a teacher, you need to get online. You know how, when when this whole COVID thing happened. I was searching for a teacher, a bilingual teacher because my son does French as well. I was searching for a bilingual teacher online to teach a grade one, I couldn't find one. I'm like, where is everybody? Like, I need somebody to teach my son, you know, because I don't have time to teach my son. So just thinking of those things like and people will pay you for anything. As long as people have a pain point, they'll pay you for it to be solved, even when even if even if you're a nurse, you can still work at the hospital. But guess what, there's a lot of nurse consultations happening online right now. You can go online and get a diagnosis based on your symptoms from a doctor, which charges 20 bucks in India, you know, and these are so many things going online. And I'm not saying that you should quit your job. You don't have to quit your job. But think of how you can integrate what you are doing online, online CEOs, there are online CEOs now, you know, online accountants that I have never met my accountant. I found him online. You know, he lives across the world. I found him online. And so those things like just that thinking how you can incorporate that into your business or into your, your current job. Start slowly when destroying that job. Instead, looking at those options, and even doing freelancing for the type of job you do, you can get that on So many websites out there, and just that doing that job and finally, eventually start your own business. You don't have to start by quitting everything and going full on and starting an online business. Just start by what you're doing right now and learn and discover what you love, and you will expand from there.


Tamryn Sherriffs  27:33

For me, so I've worked with one of my COVID pivots. So one of my flagship information product is is an Airbnb product, which obviously has been completely inappropriate while Airbnb and travel has been closed. And one of the things that I started doing was helping people who really quickly needed to get online, get online, and one of my clients was a midwife. So I mean talk about jobs you think cannot be virtual. I mean, a midwife is surely the most like, in person thing you can think of. And yet, this client of mine who's called The Virtual Midwife, you can find her. And she helps people virtually, she supports families all around the world. And that's totally, totally possible. But there's one factor that I've noticed that's very important, if you want to move online is you have got to change your mindset about your relationship to technology.


Thembi Bheka  28:34



Tamryn Sherriffs  28:35

As soon as I hear people say, I'm not good at technology. I have to stop them and say, listen, that's a choice. And you can keep saying that to yourself. Or you can say, you know what, I embrace new things. I learned new software. So and that's a habit, I would say. Have you got any, any comments around habits that you have, that have helped you on this journey?


Thembi Bheka  28:59

Yeah, I love that. You know, I actually love this question when I saw when I saw it, I really wanted to address this because I actually last week, I sent an email to, to the people were in my community. And I was asking them about routines and hobbies. And in that, because I came across an article, a podcast, rather, where the speakers say that he doesn't believe in morning rituals or morning routines, because they get ingrained in you and it forms a pathway and you don't see much change. And I thought that was interesting. So I did that research on myself. So it's proven. I did the research on myself. For six weeks, and six weeks, I was lost without my routines. I was so lost, I couldn't do anything I couldn't do. I really, I really was lost. I couldn't believe in anything I just saw negative after negative after negative. So if you have that ritual or that belief that you're not good in tech or you're not good in anything. You can't do anything. You can't go online, or you can't afford it. That was one which I was good at. I was like, I can't afford it. That was my word. I stopped saying that I can afford, I can afford anything I want. You know, so, um, I started writing every morning I write a gratitude journal. I have a journal where I am grateful for all the good things that have happened to me. That's the first thing I do. I stopped it for six weeks. And as I said, my life was just all over the place.


Tamryn Sherriffs  30:34

Things can fall apart quickly.


Thembi Bheka  30:37

Yeah, yeah. My house flooded. My team members I told you earlier on I lost some team members. I things just fell apart. When I stopped that and I'm back now I'm like, I cant afford not to, I cant afford not to. So one of the things I do.


Tamryn Sherriffs  30:56

Even if the same events happened you would have felt differently about them, if you were in that frame of mind of getting into gratitude in the mornings.


Thembi Bheka  31:05

Exactly, exactly, exactly. So now I am grateful for everything that happens to me, and happens for me, because things happen for me and not against me. And I'm also grateful for things like I'm hosting. as I said, I'm hosting an event. I've never hosted a virtual event before, or to this scale, or rather, it's gonna be like a live virtual event. I've never done it before. And every morning, I am just right. I am hosting a virtual event with 250 attendees and I am so grateful for all the people who are coming. Do I have 250 people registered yet? No, I have zero I haven't even advertised it. But I am grateful for things I foresee happening in my life. And that's, I start doing that. So if you have this vision to start an online business and coach with Tamryn because she is amazing. Just start saying I am grateful for coach with Tamryn, and having my online business it is generating hundred thousand a year for my first year or whatever it is that you want to generate, and you'll be surprised for some I don't know how it works Tamryn I can't explain it. But for some reason the money comes in the things which you wish for happen. Like they happen. I honestly can't explain it, but they happen.


Tamryn Sherriffs  32:24

Yeah, look, I can relate. I also have a morning gratitude ritual. There's a wonderful book called The Five Minute Journal. It's just a book that you can complete talks about three things that you're grateful for three things, you know, that happened at the end of the day. And if I don't do my gratitude, I can notice I notice I'm much more easily thrown off of my center. And as I there is actually some really good science about this. In fact, there's another episode by Alex Korb, who talks about The Upward Spiral that in the same way you can spiral down. If you don't monitor your thoughts, you can actually manufacture an upward spiral, that your mood goes up and your feelings get up and you get a sense of well being. And gratitude is one of the ingredients in that from a neuroscientific point of view. I can't tell you the neuroscience he can, but what I can tell you is my lived experience is if I don't do it, I feel crappy. And if I do it, good shit happens.


Thembi Bheka  33:31



Tamryn Sherriffs  33:35

If you don't do if you're listening in and you don't do a gratitude ritual, and I recommend the first thing in the morning, and it can be just as simple as writing three things down that you're feeling grateful for, and they don't even have to be kind of dream things like Thembi does, they can just be I'm grateful for the sunshine today, or I'm grateful for those birds that I hear singing outside, they just calibrate your brain to pick up on the things around you in the day, it's almost like focusing a laser that are useful and positive. Do you have any other rituals in your life that would be useful we could we could model, steal from you?


Thembi Bheka  34:19

Well, some of them, it's past now, because I'm a Christian. So one of the things I do is I read the Bible. Every morning, I read a verse, and every night I read the Bible, and that I find that that's kind of a message talking to me every morning. That's God talking to me. That's my belief you don't have to take. But that's really what I do. Those are some of the things and I used to when we just moved, so as I said, six weeks have been off. But one of the things I used to do is to just do a little bit of stretching and, you know, yoga, you might want to call it but like just stretching and just kind of just having that time to relax instead and it on my balcony I have a beautiful view from my balcony and just be grateful honestly just drink my cup of coffee in the morning and just be grateful. And that's something I like to do every morning and when it comes to work summer for me is hard because I take I try to take some of it's summer here and I tried to take summer off but during the week, I basically write one thing I do is on Sunday night, I write the things I'm going to do my big three for the week, and I write them down and say this week, this is what I want to do. This is what I want to do. This is what I want to do, big three personal big three business, and big three health and so health could be eating healthy, going for a walk or exercising every day, something like that and business is this end cuttings which we want to do. So those are the things I write on Sunday nights when I'm starting my week, as I said during summer is basically lays a fair I do whatever I want and this is going to be starting again in September.


Tamryn Sherriffs  36:00

Lovely. I mean, that was one of the things that stood out for me when we met. Because we met in in April, and you talked about how you were going to be off for the summer, think you went somewhere with your kids. It was 2017 already. And I was just starting out on my own online business journey. At that time, I was a corporate trainer I used to teach personality style training and pitch and presentation training. And my big plan at that point, was to just convert all of the stuff I used to teach in the corporate classroom to online training. But then when I learned about the real power of building community and the reach.  was like I'm not teaching pitch and personality training. There's a whole other world of stuff I can be sinking my teeth into. But at that point in time, while I was still focused on on that I heard you talking about going away and taking the summer off. And at that point, you had a property training business and I was like, wow, now that's a lifestyle. I could definitely get behind. And for anybody who, who's listening who thinks that that's just impossible for them? What kind of words of encouragement would you have?


Thembi Bheka  37:13

I think you just have to, it's actually hard. In as much as I'm saying, takes them off. It's hard not to work, especially right now, for me with my virtual business because clients still submit work. And sometimes, I mean, I have the manager, but I still have to oversee sometimes to see what's going on what's happening in the business. So it's really hard. So I don't do projects, as I say, but I kind of just wake up in the morning and look at that. And then in the afternoon, either if, even for traveling, if we're at home, we basically just go to the beach because we live close by to the beach and all that stuff. But um, what I can say is I think you have to come and I don't think you ever find time to take off your summer time. I think you just have to close your eyes and say I'm doing it and shut down. And say whatever happens happens, I am doing it. I don't care, and maybe even commit to saying, oh, when you're starting out just one day a week where you can respond to email and say, just once a week, maybe I'll just just respond to the urgent emails from my assistant, and also the urgent stuff which needs to be done. And but you just have to close your eyes. Honestly, you'll never have enough time for this. I, I wish I could say Oh, it's easy. You can just do it. No, it's not. You have to discipline yourself. You will never have enough time to take off.


Tamryn Sherriffs  38:32

Well, I mean, I think that speaks a little bit to lifestyle as well. And we had this chat briefly before we started recording when you were like what? you had your baby 5 days ago and you're recording a podcast, you're crazy woman. And I said, you know, words, getting on a call with somebody amazing and chatting to them. It's not work for me that's play.


Thembi Bheka  38:54

That's true.


Tamryn Sherriffs  38:55

So there are parts of if you if you manage to design your life, the way that you want it, which can be different than what I call the traffic and TV norm, then a lot of the stuff you do doesn't have to feel like work, especially if you build a team. So I have a virtual assistant who does stuff that would feel more like work for me, then it doesn't have to be, you know, if I were in another part of the world, or if I'm at home, there is stuff that I'll always want to be doing that happens to be related to my business, but I can do it before I go to the beach. And that is a you don't have to do nothing related to your business. You don't have to be like, no, you may not be productive, but you can choose what you're going to do and kind of have more downtime at different periods. And that's a really beautiful freedom to have.


Thembi Bheka  39:51

I agree. I agree. Yeah, I totally agree about that. It doesn't feel like work like this summer, I had coaching calls with clients like for the training program, I was finishing a training program so it is weekly coaching calls, doesn't feel didn't feel like work. So yes, I took some off, and I still worked but I was just talking to people.


Tamryn Sherriffs  40:12

Yes, a lot of the stuff I do these days doesn't feel like work. I love writing as well, I write a lot of emails, I write interesting articles. And for me that also feels like I'm playing. And that's again, a kind of a choice that you get to make if you have the courage to start building your life differently. And that's the last kind of conversation I want to have Thembi to bring us to a close is around this idea of courage, every breadcrumb shift that you made, you talked about it you know, let's not underestimate the tossing and turning and at times it can feel like something failed. You know, something's not working. But actually it's just the the next step on the ladder to the next point in your journey. But I want to say that it takes tremendous courage to recognize the next step and take it in the face of uncertainty. Would you agree? And what do you have to say about the idea of how you've had to have courage in your own in your own journey?


Thembi Bheka  41:19

I agree and it takes takes a lot of courage and and I just think this is where really mentors come in handy. Because what happens when you have a mentor, they believe in you, before you believe in yourself, and they see a greater vision for you than you can see for yourself. And so usually, in those cases, when you have a mentor, you start realizing that, like these, I'm just gonna go back to the example of the live event. It's my mentor who said, you need to do a live event. You need to do a live event. I wasn't gonna do it. I'm like, really, you think I can do it and then ofcourse if anyone can do it, it's you. You know, mentors believe in you and they see bigger things for us than we see for ourselves. And yes, maybe I would have been able to do the little courage shifts by myself, but I honestly want to credit all to the people who have mentored me, because they made me realize that I could do it made me realize that it was possible for me to do it.


Tamryn Sherriffs  42:26

Wow, well, that I mean, that's a really powerful tip to leave everyone with because sometimes, sometimes you can have an informal mentor or somebody that you meet in a relationship forms and somebody kind of mentoring you just sort of accidentally, but what's more common these days is to get into a formal mentor relationship with somebody where it's their job, it's their business to mentor you or coach you are a combination of the two. And that can sometimes be quite a big investment, a time investment, an emotional investment into financial investment. And if I observe the difference between people who have skyrocketed, I talked about meeting a whole bunch of people at the same event that I met you whose businesses have boomed. This is people who've kind of trudge, you know, stayed along. The biggest difference I can see from the outside is their willingness to invest in themselves in time, emotional energy, but importantly, financially because if you want somebody who's achieved what you want to achieve, to dedicate some time to work with you on your life in your business, there's a huge expense associated to that. Have you got any words around how terrifying it can be to make a huge investment to get somebody to mentor you?


Thembi Bheka  43:50

I do because I never understood why I should pay somebody a lot of money to teach me or coach me when I could find it online. I really struggled when I first started and I remember I signed up with I started a mastermind with other people who are who in kind of the same level as I was when I first started, because we decided that it wasn't worth it to invest. And, you know, I don't know if I told you this story, but a year later, I came into into Jeff Walker event. That's when I joined launch club, I realized that people had joined launch club had just skyrocketed. And here I was, with my mastermind thinking we are doing great. And we're breaking with like, small launches, and you know, and you know what I mean? And so, um, that's what I realized the power of investing in yourself, and it's not, and this is the thing. It's actually it's actually I actually don't think you should ever join anything for free. I don't think you should ever join anything for free. Because I believe that when you make a financial investment, even your level of commitment changes. Even the work you put into that changes, because I have seen the free masterminds I have had and the paid masterminds, I have had other paid mentors I have had, there is a huge difference. All my financial results have come from my paid masterminds, all my financial results have come from my paid mentorships. And for the free ones, it's good to chat and have fun. But really, if you're serious about taking your business to the next level, you need to invest some money. And this also you know, when you think of the law of universe, you whatever you put out comes back to you. It's the same thing like if you invest money, put money in somewhere or invest in yourself, the money comes back to you and you you will find a way to value yourself you know, I could never remember for me the aha moment when I went  to the Jeff Walker event and joined launch club which was when I met a girl who was charging $10,000 for people to coach with her, and at that time I was charging, like maybe $500 and I was like oh my god somebody charging $10,000 and then I realized that when you invest 10,000 it's easier for you to get out that number and say that's my rate. 10,000


Tamryn Sherriffs  46:17

Yes, absolutely. I mean, I've, I've invested in a lot of programs, so do it yourself programs, also launched clubs. I'm a huge Jeff Walker evangelist and also joined launch club, which is a substantial investment. But after having had various coaching and since then join even more masterminds higher ticket masterminds. You, like you say when you've made an investment in a program like that, and you know what it feels like, and you know, what value you got? It doesn't feel like a lot to charge a high ticket item for your own work. So I completely relate to that. And I'm glad that the topic of investing in yourself and in a mentor came up because I know that it's a block for a lot of people. Are there any closing thoughts you want to leave to any listener who's fascinated with the kind of life journey that that you've taken?


Thembi Bheka  47:20

Absolutely. Before I share where you can find us, I'm sure the links will be down here. I just want to say the first thing is, go online. Go online like yesterday. Invest in a mentor, invest in somebody who will believe you who's walked the journey because it looks like it's an easy journey. You can try and go it on your own, but I can tell you it does take a lot. It does take a lot. You can try it on your own, but it's gonna take you 10 years to get to longer. It's much longer. So just invest in a mentor get started as soon as possible and never give up. Never Give up believing yourself, you can do it. If I can do it. If a girl like me can do it for me, you also can do it. I mean, the sky's the limit for you. And actually, there's no limit for you. So yeah, so that's really what I can say. And for those who are looking to get in touch with us, And also we have a free gift and the link will be down below Tamryn will share it with you, where you can just come in and get your free gift to work with a VA and learn how to get started.


Tamryn Sherriffs  48:29

Wonderful Thembi, it's been such a pleasure to chat with you. Thank you for so willingly sharing your story, particularly the early, very difficult start of leaving Zimbabwe, again, almost against all odds. It's been such an honor to share this time with you.


Thembi Bheka  48:49

Thank you, thank you so much for having me.


Tamryn Sherriffs  48:52

Pleasure. And luckily we had little Mica playing along she's still fast asleep here. You can have a little glance at her.


Thembi Bheka  49:00

What an angel, no crying, no nothing, wow.


Tamryn Sherriffs  49:07

No, she's very, she's very calm. She's kind of brought the calm energy into our family. So that might must be your first recording surely with a newborn along.


Thembi Bheka  49:18

Ive done cats not babies.


Tamryn Sherriffs  49:22

And, yeah, it's been such a pleasure. And thank you so much for your time.


Thembi Bheka  49:27

And thank you for having me.


Tamryn Sherriffs  49:29

Bye bye, everyone.


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