Finding Freedom Outside Your Comfort Zone
Meet Twambilile Mwafulilwa: HR consultant, interior designer, event planner, and professional spinning instructor extraordinaire!
In a candid, funny and truly wholesome conversation, the multitalented CEO of Plan On It shared the story of how she left her 11-year career to start her own business and how her weight loss journey has played a big role in her success so far.
After Twambilile worked in human resources, marketing and customer service she felt very demotivated and dreaded going in for work. She didn’t enjoy what she was doing anymore, and the built-up frustration eventually led to her leaving her cushy 9 to 5 to find her true passion. Twambilile did some soul-searching and discovered she had a keen interest in beautiful spaces as well as a good eye for luxury items. With this discovery, she decided to study interior design. Being the go-getter she is, she also decided to venture into event planning because she comes from a big family where there was always a party or wedding or a get-together at which she was always in the background organizing and making sure things went well. By 2021, she founded Plan On It, a multifaceted firm that provides three core services, namely, human resource consultancy (headhunting and executive recruitment on behalf of companies), interior design and event planning. Twambilile serves both Zambian and international markets.
When asked where the confidence to leave a secure job to do her own thing came from, Twambilile said, “You know what? When you’re tired, you’re tired. Something just takes over and you find the courage to do what you’ve always wanted to do. Also, if you think about it, fear and faith come from the same place so it’s up to you which of the two you’ll choose. Most times we would rather stay in our comfort zones, but I’m personally very adventurous and when I want something I go for it, no matter what.”
You may be wondering how her weight loss journey fits into all this. Twambilile believes that to be an entrepreneur, you need to work on yourself first. Once you build discipline and overcome your personal challenges, you can do anything you set your mind to.
“At the beginning of the year, in January, I gave myself a goal to lose 20 kg in six months. People thought I was crazy and said I couldn’t do it. I started by changing my mindset and building discipline. I was up by 04:30 am and in the gym by 5:30. I stopped drinking and started watching my meals. A lot of sacrifice went into it and by June, I had lost over 20 kg.”
The level of discipline and commitment she attained from her weight loss journey has spilled over into other areas of her life and makes her a stronger and more determined entrepreneur. Twambilile shared that the most exciting thing about running her own business is being able to make her own decisions and having control over her time. She acknowledges, however, that there are challenges as well.
“A traditional 9 to 5 is more stable and secure because you know there’s a paycheck coming at the end of the month. With entrepreneurship, money is not guaranteed so you have to work three times harder. So, passion is everything. When you’re passionate, people can see it from a mile away and success will surely follow.”
Twambilile recalls how a lot of people discouraged her when she was starting out. Now, she is very intentional about surrounding herself with positive-minded people. She is also big on manifesting the life she wants. “When you’re doing something, go in believing it’ll work!”
To the women who would like to start their own business, Twambilile says ask yourself what you really want to do, make sure you’re ready to do it and then take the risk. She shares that when some people hear her story, they think she was only able to succeed because she is single and has no children, assuming this means she has more freedom to take risks. “People will always try to find a reason to undermine your success or make excuses for themselves.” She believes that women, no matter their relationship status, can achieve their dreams.
When she’s not working out or instructing spinning classes at Lifestyle Gym at Eastpark Mall, you can find Twambilile in her office at The Works, situated at Latitude 15.
My conversation with this powerhouse left me in awe. Twambilile is fearless, passionate, unapologetically herself and goes after what she wants with guns blazing.