Name: Bernidene Thieroff
Business: CS Debt Counselling
Industry: Financial Services
Location: Welkom, South Africa
Reason for starting: This is quite a difficult question to answer as I believe the reason for starting CS Debt Counselling with my mother was because God gave me this huge heart’s desire to help others, I always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and I always wanted to be independent, but I was never sure how to do this. Today I am lucky enough to know what that desire is, through CS Debt Counselling we are making a difference in people’s everyday lives, we are helping them gain control over their finances.
How do you define success? My biggest success was being able to run a business at the age of 22, but at the same time, not knowing what to do, when to do it and how to do it, I have learned from my mistakes, picked myself up when everybody around me wanted to give up and I’ve worked harder than I ever thought I could. To be successful is hard; it was never going to be easy, if it was going to be easy, everybody would be successful. Success makes you unique.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? To work and communicate with people I do not know. I am an introvert and tend to have low self-esteem when I am out of my comfort zone, in my line of work I cannot be an introvert and I have to be able to speak to people, my ability to communicate with others plays a huge role in the success of our negotiations. How I address this challenge – I face it, I do not allow it to control me, God uses my inabilities to create abilities I never knew I had.
Related: Get Over it: Being An Introvert
I was in partnership with my mother when we started CS Debt Counselling in 2009. Due to unforeseen circumstances she could not continue to help me in the business. I had to learn to cope and manage the business on my own and I did not have any experience with how to run a business, I really had no idea what I was doing. But I was willing to learn, I strongly believe my faith and willingness to learn helped me to get to where I am today.
Who is your most important role model? In my personal life, my mother. She raised us in very difficult circumstances and still managed to be a wonderful mother and have a very successful career. She showed me that anything is possible no matter what your circumstances are. She showed me that your circumstance does not define you, you define your circumstances, God gives us all equal opportunities, the choice is still yours if you are going to take them or not.
In the business world our mentor and business coach, Renay Van Der Berg.
Edited by The Story Exchange