Posted in ... a bit of that

Heather Hook – Behind the scenes

Who is Heather? Well now that’s quite a story. Putting down who you are on paper is quite hard. Those who know me well, will know what I do and how I give my all to every single thing that I do – but it’s hard to get that across to people who have never met me, without coming across as a hard arse.

Today I am a media personality, radio host and social media addict. Where do I come from? Now that is quite a long story.

I was born and raised in Cape Town, to the two most amazing middle class parents, who gave me a great upbringing, great, but not spoilt. I attended good schools, and did extra murals, but I wanted more than sitting around smoking and drinking as a teenager. By the age of 15 I was already working to bring in my income, and I say “my’ income, my parents did not believe in handing out things – if I wanted luxuries (magazines, the latest trends in clothing or CD’s – I had to work for it.)

I started doing chores around the house as soon as I was a teenager – it was only at around 16 that I realised I could monetise this – my time is worth something to someone else, be it their time, or a chance to do other things – and though I didn’t really have a clue then about business, I became a trader.

I traded my time to do ironing, baskets and baskets of ironing, R 10 was a lot in those days, and I worked for it. From around 16 I had my first part time job as a waitress, I took orders, served drinks and meals, cleared plates and worked until 1am, unblocked bathrooms, whatever it took to give me financial freedom. I made scrunchies really cool hair bands back in the 1990’and sold them at school to my fellow pupils.

By 18 I had three part time jobs between my studies – I baby sat, cleaned houses, and did pretty much anything that I could walk to after school, and be home by dark. As soon as I could drive and got my hands on a car I widened my scope to working at events that were hosted around Cape Town. I have cleaned bars, balanced glasses on a tray above my head in a packed night club, carried beer kegs from the back of the bar and lugged crates of plates until my back almost broke.

Why? Because I craved my independence – and money gave me independence. Freedom means not having to ask anyone for anything – being able to make my own choices – if I spent my week’s wages on clothes, or cigarettes and petrol for the car or a night out with my friends, I didn’t have to tell anyone why.

Then, I met a boy. He had a motorbike and long hair, he swept me off of my feet. Miss independent saw white dresses, and cooked dinners, and babies on her horizon, and do you know what? I gave it all up. I got married and became a housewife. The novelty wore off after about 6 months – I started looking for other avenues to make money – I painted and did crafts which I sold on local craft markets, I waitressed, looked after show houses on a Sunday for an estate agent, and did pretty much anything I could to earn an income as my marriage slowly fell apart around my ears.

At the age of 28 I was on my own again. I had to survive, I had no other choice, no one else to rely on.

I started at the bottom of the scale, as receptionist – 7 years out of the working game means you are well behind your peers on the market – but I worked hard, and worked my way in to an Events Management company – as a PA to one of the Directors. Salary increase and more responsibility – whoo hoo!

The events industry tested my mettle to the utmost, long hours, working every weekend – but I am not a quitter, and I worked my way up through the company, moving up to Conference Producer in three short years.

In 2010 a chance to move from Cape Town to Johannesburg presented itself, and I grabbed it with both hands – the City of Gold, right? This is where dreams come true – and looking back 6 years now, it is indeed just that.

I moved from working for my original company to working for an international motivational speaker, to opening my own events management company – a dream I had fostered for many years.

Being an entrepreneur is no joke – it sounds glamorous, the reality is that it is anything but. The benefits and drawbacks weigh each other out, looking at it now, I have learnt and grown so much in the 5 years I have been running my own company. Bad decisions made, people trusted that I shouldn’t have, amazing relationships made and grown, people that have seen the strength in me and have chosen to support and work with me – which has given me the proverbial leg up in the industry.

I am always about support and full on honesty – that fuels me. Make no mistake I am not an easy person to work for, or with, but I am honest and down the line to a fault – I call a spade a spade, and I speak openly about what I see.

Oddly enough most people don’t like this, they prefer not hear about the bad and only hear the good – I am the complete opposite – I tell my clients what’s going on every step of the way, challenges we are facing, when issues arise, and I strive for perfection, always.

My brand is me and the reverse. Be it the events management company, or me as a person, I am open and honest – possibly too much sometimes.

I love the clients I work with, and the people I forge good relationships with – for them I will traverse mountains – to me this is service, and to be honest is ultimately the crux of why we are on this earth as human beings. What’s the point if life is a façade – who are you connecting with, on an honest base level?

At the beginning of 2015 I realised that events management was something that paid the bills, as passionate as I thought I was about it – the industry wasn’t conducive to a healthy life style for me, a few health scares and warnings made me look at other opportunities to live my life.

I asked myself, Heather, what are you good at, what else can you do? I can write, and I can talk, oh boy can I talk. And so I set off on a path to change my life, and in doing so, create a lifestyle for myself that I would wake up to every morning leaping out of bed shouting YES!!!

I don’t know if I am even at the pinnacle of where I want to be – I don’t even know what that pinnacle would be – all I know is that freedom and friendships are part of it.

I am lucky enough (with some very hard work behind it) to be getting closer to living my dream, I have a podcast radio show once a week on a small radio station called Niche Radio, I guest present on Cliff Central, I speak to groups of teenagers about changing their lives, I write for magazines – and get paid to do it, and I get to dabble in the social media realm, which I love. Certain companies in South Africa have seen what I do, and have contacted me to do the same for them, and boy do I love a challenge.

I get to work from home, in my pajamas most days – I dictate my own hours, if an afternoon nap needs to be had I can do that, but I work until the work is done, regardless of the time on the clock.

If I never achieve the wealth in the forms of physical possessions that I aspired to in my youth, that’s okay – I am beyond wealthy in the life I lead, good friends, work that challenges me and forces me to grow beyond the boundaries I have set for myself, every day, and I love that.

The future? I don’t know what it holds, but I will continue to work as hard as I always have, to continue to live the life I do, make my own decisions, travel as much as possible, and be as free as I possibly can be.

Some call me brave, most call me mad, but ultimately I am just me, doing what I love – who can ask for more?

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/heatherlhook

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherLHook

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/heatherlouisehook/

Web Site:  http://www.heatherhook.com/

Posted in #Wenchytude, ... a bit of that, Travel

#DiscoverYourJourney with @capephototour cc @Safari365 @JohannMSmith

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Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

@capephototour is offering a HUGE discount for all who wants to join me on our the Peninsula photo tour and #DiscoverYourJourney on 27th December 2014. The departure point for this event will be 09h30am from The Cape Milner Hotel – 1 Milner Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town.

A very special price of R600 per person wanting to join! (The Chase the Sun Peninsula Tour usually costs R1 500 per person!)

You can get the discounted tickets by clicking on this link:  NocturnalWenchyDiscoverYourJourney 

The Peninsula Tour includes:

  • lunch in kalk bay
  • entrance to boulders
  • entrance to Cape point
  • sunset on Chappies
  • You can even use a Samsung NX300 if you so choose,  for free!!

I look forward to a wonderful Cape Town experience,  #DiscoverYourJourney with @Safari365 and the bookings they have made for us! Next up… Cape Canopy Tour!

I wish you enough,
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