Can you please tell us more about your business?
A. We are community based medical practise. I would like to say a community centre that addresses all issues facing the community, not only health. We also have a pro bono leg of the business which sees patients at no cost. We would like to put people first before anything else and to excel when it comes to customers service.
When, how and why did you start your business?
A. It was a collection of moments that shaped my think and forced me to see another side to health care. To name a few my dad having to visit a state health facility, my community and its needs, my belief that we have been created for a purpose and a little visit to India and seeing what their health care system looks like.
I started the pro bono section about 5 years ago using my own funding. Later once it received recognition, we started getting some funding in to keep the practise running a little longer. During this time many patients approached me saying that they would like to see me in private practise, it then blossomed from there into Dr Rivka.
What is your role in the business?
A. I am the owner of the practise and everything in between. To keep cost low so we can charge patients an affordable rate, a lot of the functions that a business needs gets done by me, whether it be making tea or cleaning up and sometimes being doctor and receptionist when things get a bit busy.
Where did you study and what did you study?
A. Stellenbosch University qualified in 2011 and studied a medical degree MB, ChB
How did you finance your business?
A. Partly cash that I had saved up, part of my salary I needed for the month prior to starting up and unfortunately partly credit card when funds ran low.
Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
A. We open bright and early. When I walk in I usually put on the kettle for a fix of caffeine, I then go through mails that need to be sorted out , update my quote of the day board in our waiting room to get my mind on track , then start seeing patients , I also call patients who were quite sick the day before to find out how they are doing today. Usually during the day I decide if I will be uploading to social media and decide what I will be adding, a large part of the day I spend praying that god increases my patient numbers or that we make some good connections that day that would be life long .
How do you balance your home life and your work life?
A. Initially there was no balance between the two I would come home and immediately take out my laptop and do calculations on what still needs to be done. As time went on, I realised if I don’t separate the two, I would go crazy. Part of my belief is that your value lies in who you are and not in what you doing because of this it is essential for me to take time out and build on myself and make sure that I am performing at my best.
This requires me to have mental, spiritual and physical wellness at the top of my list. Since then I decided not to open my laptop unless its an emergency and completely separate work and home. I am still lacking in the physical side, I haven’t been to gym in about 2 months but recently spent about 20 mins there. My goal is to maintain a normal life as far as possible which has been extremely challenging as this process has change who I am.
What drives you and inspires you?
A. I am driven by the belief that you put people first. Its more important to me that you feel you could speak to me and you felt I listened than your payment of the consultation, your experience of the waiting room was good and that you feel you would return again. I also believe we have all been put on this earth to contribute and constantly question what my contribution to this world will be. I believe in legacies and not in short term fulfilments.
I believe we have all been given unique gifts that is a solution to the many problems the world faces. Someone out there has the solution to poverty, to gangsterism, to racism and to hate and that just to name a few. We still have those problems because a lot of us have not discovered why we are here on earth, what is our purpose or calling?
Where and when do you have your best ideas?
A. My best ideas usually come when I am driving on my own playing music that inspires and strengthens me. When I am alone with my thoughts and guitar I am at my best. I usually have a book where I write down my craziest ideas before the moment passes and I decide I don’t have the money for the dream or my mind gets the best of me.
Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?
A. My main focus has been social media, its free and it’s a way for people to see the real you. My post is more the blog type because I believe we should be authentic even in business. I have tried the flyer route and business cards I don’t think it’s as effective as social media. I also do quite a bit of public speaking.
What is next for your business?
A. Next for the business is the scariest thing I have yet dreamed, to open up a hospital and have out reach across our country. My goal would be to show that quality of care is not determined by finances. We need to think outside of the box to see how can we serve people who don’t have much but still do it at a level that they feel value has not been compromised on.
What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?
A. We as women have a unique set of skills to men and while the world is dominated by men who run business, they need what we will bring to the table. It takes a special kind of human to fulfill your role as a wife, mother and business owner and do them all well. God has made us in a way that we are able to excel at it all. There is a saying that says if your dream doesn’t scare you then it’s not big enough, I say dream it as big as it possibly can get, fear is an amazing thing it forces us to adapt in a way that we would never have done, before a little anxiety came along.
When we find ourselves in difficult situations it’s when our creative power should come out, figuring out a solution to the problem rather than focusing on the problem does amazing things for you. A new type of leader is entering the market , it is no longer the ones who build there empires on the blood and sweat of others. It’s the one who is able to bring you along on the ride and see you also become who you were born to be , it’s the nurturer and we as women do nurturing quite well we were born to do it.