Today we chat to Mompreneur Sasha Knott, CEO of Switch2 Credit Life, a division of Clientèle Life Assurance Company Limited.
If you are a mom who is building a startup or who already owns a business, please get in touch! I want to feature you.
Meet Sasha Knott
Sasha Knott is about to turn the big 40 in a few months’ time. She’s a mom of two busy, wonderful, young girls, a wife and a devout entrepreneur.
In her spare time, She focuses on being the best wife and mom she can be. Some of her hobbies are reading and, more recently, pilates and aerobics.
Sasha says Philanthropy is also very close to her heart. She spends a lot of time focussing on developing those around her and participating in charity work. She supports TapeAid and acts as a mentor to the children of the Kay Mason Foundation.
About Switch2 Credit Life
Established in 2016, Switch2 Credit Life operates to help consumers save on credit life insurance. As a Division of Clientèle Life Assurance Company Limited, Switch2 is an authorised Financial Services Provider and Registered Insurer (FSP Number 15268).
To help South Africans make better financial decisions, Switch2 employs innovative technology and a disruptive approach to credit life insurance, offering unique and reliable financial switching services.
At Switch2, we’re passionate about ensuring consumers are treated fairly. Too often people are over-charged for credit life insurance. We evaluate what customer are spending on credit cover and show them where they can save. We don’t take an admin fee – it’s all about the customer saving and finding financial freedom again.
I am particularly zealous about educating expecting moms that credit life insurance can help them get through the financially tough maternity leave period. Often new moms are overwrought with the enormous task of caring for a newborn – so they shouldn’t have to worry about how to cover their debt. With the maternity benefit, the debt instalments are paid directly to the credit provider for the duration of the maternity leave. I love this concept.
How did you come up with the name for your company?
We brainstormed about our name when we founded the company and wanted whatever we chose to explain what we did – without necessarily being linked to a particular product.
Originally, we chose the name “Switch”, but found that this name wasn’t available (someone had already registered a company with that name). When we thought it through, we realised that we help clients “switch to save” – and Switch2 was born!
How long have you been running your own business? What were you doing before this?
We began developing the Switch2 brand in December 2015 and launched in 2016. Almost two years later we proudly joined Clientèle Life.
What is the hardest part about running your own business?
The most frustrating part is wanting things done faster, or questions answered quicker. When you are just starting out, many suppliers take their time in replying as you ‘aren’t a big enough account’. So learning patience was essential.
Which social media platform do you love/hate the most and why?
I enjoy all of the social media platforms, each for different reasons. I love Facebook for the personal touch in seeing family and friends’ updates; LinkedIn for networking; Instagram for beautiful images; and Twitter for reading what influential people say and learning about how/what they think about important issues.
What I hate about social media is the restrictions when you want to use it for commercial reasons. At times, social business strategies don’t always work out the way you want them to. I’m looking into participating in a social media course to improve my expertise in this area.
Name 3 goals for 2018 that you want to achieve?
In addition to a social media course, I would like to complete a marketing course. Marketing was never something that I concentrated on, but it fascinates me, and I would love to be better at marketing my business myself.
My second goal is to help our two mentees from the Kay Mason Foundation pass their second year of high school.
Thirdly, I’m exceedingly passionate about educating more consumers in credit life insurance. Most consumers don’t know whether or not they have credit cover (so they could be paying for something they don’t know they have, and therefore don’t claim when an insured event occurs). Those who know they have this insurance also often don’t know that it’s their right to choose who provides the cover – they don’t have to take the cover with the credit provider (even though it is often built into the original credit agreement).
What motivates you to get out of bed every day?
I thoroughly enjoy the team that I work with, the laughter, determination and the way they challenge me each day gets me up. The fact that one of my daughters is routinely standing next to my bed asking me for breakfast helps too!
How do you manage your successful career while being a mom?
They say it takes a village to raise a child and I have an amazing village. My husband is very hands-on in that he often does the morning run, lunches and cooks dinner. I also have an amazing nanny who goes beyond for my daughters, and my family who step in when I have events in the evening or weekends.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received about motherhood?
Trust your gut. The second best advice I’ve received is to find a routine and stick to it. As a mom, you just know if that cough doesn’t sound right, or whether the crying is something serious, or if they’re just hungry or thirsty. I believe we need to trust ourselves a whole lot more – mother nature gave us mother’s intuition, we just need to listen.
What has surprised you the most about being a mom?
Having children teaches you a lot about unconditional, all-encompassing love. The most surprising element for me is how much I love seeing my daughters, all the time – even in the morning. I have never been a morning person but having that little hand on you or face next to you makes it all better.
What are your top tips for balancing work life and home life?
Balance is not something that can be achieved quickly – it’s not going to happen overnight or within 24 hours. However, if you keep working at it, and make conscious decisions to adjust your lifestyle, you will find your balance. It may take a month/week/year but keep at it. Over a period of time you will get time with the kids, with hubby, for work, for studying and for yourself – it just doesn’t happen in one day.
What popular entrepreneurial advice do you agree/ disagree with? Why?
I agree with the advice that you probably won’t succeed first time around. I have started three businesses and not one went the way I thought it would. Take the ‘failures’ as lessons and challenges and keep going – you will figure it all out.
Who has been your inspiration in the business world?
I thoroughly enjoy Richard Branson, his background and his thoughts. Basetsana Kumalo is also an inspiration, always being gracious in her achievements. I admire Gail Kelly for being truly proudly South African and for how she became the CEO of an Australian Bank. Last but by no means least, I draw immense inspiration from my mentor, Karl Westvig. He always has a positive attitude, regardless of the challenges he’s facing.
Share some of your failures and the best lessons you have learned from them?
Remain positive and don’t see failure as something you can’t learn from. Pick yourself up, put on your “big girl panties” and get on with it. The key to moving on is to have goals in place. Write them down and develop a timeline for their achievement. Rome wasn’t built in a day – achieve your goals in small increments.
How do you define success?
I believe the definition of “success” is very different for everyone. To many of my friends, falling pregnant and starting a family is their idea of success. To others, dominating the boardroom is the ultimate goal. We all have our own challenges and goals. I define success as when you sit back, look around and (honestly) say; “wow, I did it!”. I also consider ticking off goals – or their increments – as success.
Top 3 mobile apps that make your work more effective?
I am loving Blinkist. I love reading but there simply aren’t enough hours in a day for me to get through my reading list. This app gives you a summary of each chapter.
SnapScan is great because I never have cash on me. It makes life so much easier when I am running into a meeting and need to pay for parking.
I couldn’t function without WhatsApp’s voice note function!
What do you think is missing in the mompreneurs community in South Africa?
I don’t think we always use mompreneurs enough in business. As women who run businesses, our first thought should be to support another mompreneur.
What advice would you give to a Mompreneur who is just starting out?
It is essential always to have three months’ plans/goals/forecasts in sight – and these must be written down. Of course, you also need the five-year and one-year plans; but to get there you need a series of three month plans as stepping-stones to achieving the big plans.
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