‘Normalise conversations about salary’ – Hetty the Entrepreneur on money coaching and psychology

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Hetty Kartra quit her high-paying job to become a monetisation coach.
Hetty Kartra quit her high-paying job to become a monetisation coach.

She was earning well as an investment banker, doing great in her career and also running a side hustle retail business that was nicely supplementing her income.

But when the Covid-19 lockdown started in 2020, Hetty Kartra quickly realised that things were about to change. So she revaluated her career choices.

The now full-time entrepreneur who has rebranded herself as a monetisation guru for digital creators and businesses talks to Drum about how deeply linked our psychology about money is to our ability to manifest what we want to achieve.

This was an insight she first discovered for herself as the pandemic battered the world economy, bringing many businesses to a standstill.

“In the first 21 days of lockdown, I sat down and asked myself am I going to change direction in terms of my career?” Hetty says.

She knew she wanted three things: to be an entrepreneur online, provide some form of mentorship and have a business that would allow her to travel when she wanted to. And that’s how she came up with her online business where she eventually became a monetisation guru.

“I started off teaching people about monetisation on Instagram live, and eventually did a masterclass, and from that a full-on agency grew, where we coach and mentor other business coaches, content creators and businesses about monetisation.”

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Becoming a full-time entrepreneur wasn’t easy, but after Hetty quit her corporate job to run her retail business, she learned many lessons she now applies to her monetisation guru work. One of those lessons was self-discipline.

“My corporate job had great pay and gave me a great team to work with and it gave me a routine and structure, but when I quit and focused on my business, I realised I had no routine to give me some sort of structure to look forward to unless I created one for myself," says the Tedx speaker who's one of the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Youth South Africans. "I had to have discipline, otherwise my business would fail." 

With 2022 just beginning, some people are creating vision boards while others are afraid to plan forward as we continue to live in a time of unprecedented uncertainty, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Right now, people are afraid to set goals, the pandemic and its uncertainty has made people afraid to have any hope or even plan, and setting goals is a form of planning," she says. "The most important thing is to write them down, but you can’t end there.

"When it comes to your goals you have to believe that you will achieve them and that you are deserving. And then accompany that with small intentional actions, daily, that will make your goals a reality.”

“Look at your goals and make sure they are yours, not your parents', not your spouses’, but yours and lastly ask yourself, 'Is my goal rooted in the right thing?' And if your goals are related to your business, include a SWOT analysis, which is so important because of the unpredictability of the pandemic.”

For anyone lucky enough to be employed in this economy but contemplating going the side-hustle, freelance or full-time entrepreneurial route, Hetty's advice is to know your value as an employer and as a creator of goods or of the services you want to sell. “And when business is good and money is coming in regularly, normalise conversations about money, especially with your colleagues. The secrecy only serves those who are paying you, not  you,” says Hetty.

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“I always tell people, stay in your 9-5 until your business on the side is making you enough money to sustain you and your lifestyle,” she adds.

For digital creators who are hoping to monetise their platforms, be it YouTube or Instagram content, Hetty's advice is to be clear about your unique selling proposition and stick to it.

“It’s always better to specialise," she says. "When you create content that is popular for the sake of numbers and brand deals, you drown in the sea of what’s popular, because everyone is doing the exact same thing you are, whereas with specialising you know your audience relates to something specific about you and your content.”

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