How Que Lebatha went from full-time employee to entrepreneur

by - January 23, 2018

Last week I started a new series where I talk to women business owners and find out how they made the leap from employees to be their own boss. The essence of this series is so that you can get tips and strategies on how to become your own boss. 

What I learned from last weeks' interview with Jerusha Govender is that there is a lot of uncertainty in entrepreneurship. And the only way to learn if your product or service is needed by the market is to test, learn, and improve.

So continuing with the inspiring stories, here is an interview I did with Que Lebatha, a versatile and successful Marketing Specialist with over 15 years’ experience in Public Relations, Social Media and Event Management. Her passion for collaboration has seen her develop and implement various communications strategies for Entrepreneurs looking to increase their brand profile, whilst allowing them to focus on their core function. She has a distinct creative flair and possesses an ability to perform effectively even under significant pressure. She excels in project management and has strong leadership and creative skills. Que is the MD of Que Lebatha Consulting

Please share your story. How did you move from the corporate world into being a business owner? How did that process unravel?:

I worked in many different industries before settling where I am. My first job was packing plastic bags at my mom’s butchery, then I was working the till at my dad’s dry cleaning company during school holidays. In varsity, I was a student assistant marking exam papers - then started working at Three Ring Circus; a small marketing company that allowed me to travel around the country talking to matric students about their options for life after high school. As much as I loved life on the road, I thought I should try to find a real job and with one yes from Tsogo Sun my corporate career started. It was AMAZING! Wow, the coins I got, the salary was amazing, the growth was steep and quick. I truly worked with the A-Team! Then one day I had a quarter-life crisis at the age of 25. I  thought it was time I did something I was passionate about. So I went ahead and quit my job, took a year off to study and travel and do random freelance jobs for people – then I ran out of money 😊. Tried working various jobs, the agency – smaller corporate and nothing was coming together. Eventually, I had a long honest talk with myself and realised I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. My Grandfather, parents, uncles and aunts have all started and run successful businesses. Maybe entrepreneurship is where I should be. That’s when I went ahead and officially registered my company and became a business owner.

What were your fears about making the leap from a full-time job with a steady income and benefits to running your own business?

Oh man – how am I gonna pay for things! I am so so so lucky that I have an incredibly supportive family and husband who were like “go ahead, do what you need to do – you have a safe space to land”. Without that kind of emotional and financial support, making the leap would’ve been pretty much crippling for me. Also, ke yaphapha (I'm forward) a bit and am a believer in trying something and hoping it works! It’s still a fear to this day. You watch your friends progressing and buying Range Rovers and multi-story houses and you’re just trying to make sure you can pay salaries at the end of the month. It’s an incredibly lonely and tough journey. Three years down the line I still have days when I’m like “No ways this is hard – whose idea was this” and then I have to re-centre myself and remember why I started this journey. A journey I am not alone on. I have built an incredible tribe of fellow female entrepreneurs where we mentor, challenge and support each other.

What is your experience so far as an entrepreneur?

It has been an absolute roller coaster! So many highs and so so many lows. The growth curve is steep and painful. The nights are long and dark and one has to have a lot of self-confidence to persevere. With that being said – I wouldn’t trade it for the world! When I responded to your email I was working on the beach in Umhlanga! Thank you the City of eThekwini for the free WIFI – we learn to source those free WIFI and parking spots for entrepreneurs! Being a nomad at heart, I get to work from absolutely anywhere in the world. And that freedom means absolutely everything to me. That and the fact that building this business will allow my kids to always have an option when they grow up is the reason I keep going.

What advice would you give to women who want to start a business?

Just do it! No okay. I would advise them to ask themselves why they want to start a business. What it is they want to achieve and to determine for themselves if starting a business or supporting an already existing entrepreneur is where their passion lies. I truly believe there’s a path for everybody and those that are lucky to find theirs are incredibly blessed. If after this internal deep dive they want to go ahead, then they must put their mind, body and soul into the business. Because it will take all of you. Entrepreneurship is HARD! Keep working at it – you will fail, fail forward. Fail quickly, dust yourself off and keep going. You don’t have to be on this journey alone. Find your tribe, your support group and help each other grow. And then, as soon as you’re in a position to help someone else up the ladder – do that exact thing.

If you need her services, get in touch via

She is also on social media:  TwitterInstagram and Facebook. 

So there you have it, ladies. There is definitely a lot to learn about running your own business. But like Que says, when you do take the leap, know your "WHY."

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