Success Story: Petula Titus - Reach for your Dreams (The Petula Perspective)

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

The paragraphs to follow is an excerpt from a letter written by a woman who, once upon a time, refused to accept no for an answer and who changed her destiny with pure determination and willpower. Her name is Petula Cornelius and she is the inspiration for our #fempreneur course. The letter has not been edited in any way, shape or form as that would destroy the authenticity of the message."

"Success for me is not just about a piece of paper. It is the perseverance to continue and not to give up on your dreams.

I worked as a general worker in a pharmaceutical distribution warehouse for 10 years and

regrettably this position has not allowed me to grow. I was starting to get frustrated the last few years because I knew that I had a lot more to learn and the environment I found myself in was not allowing me to reach my full potential. I decided that if I didn’t take the plunge and try to do something different I might be stuck there forever so I started to I apply for various positions but it was not easy and few people were prepared to give me an opportunity. I persevered because I knew I had more to give and I wasn’t prepared to give up.

Eventually I saw an ad by Nestene and I immediately applied. The position requirements were no experience needed for the accounts assistant position. Nestene said will build you from scratch and she did! Nestene contacted me for an interview in Table view. I had never been in Table view before in my life. This was my first time. I immediately felt demotivated because of the long distance. I got to the restaurant and was so discouraged because I knew in my heart that I would not be able to travel every day from Mitchells Plain to Table view.

I had never met Nestene before but when she walked into the room my whole mood changed.

She came in like a fairy and I knew from that moment on that she was special, she must have noticed how excited I was feeling as she said my eyes sparkled. There just seemed to be a light in her that lifted my mood and made me feel so connected to her.

I immediately felt motivated just by her presence. She talked to me like I was one of her, like I was also a clever person. She never once judged or looked down on me. She explained to me the position and she expected nothing from me just hard work and determination. I told her yes, I can give her hard work and determination.

She then said that she had more applicants to interview but because I saw the connection and the respect and passion, I knew that I had to prepare myself for the challenge. I was fascinated by Nestene and was so excited when she told me I had the job. She told me that she will turn me into a chartered accountant. And I could feel this power. I could actually feel the magical fairy dust on me. She fascinated me and I wanted to be like her. I was really amazed by her.

The first 3 weeks working with Nestene was tough and critical. I wanted to quit every day. I cried every day telling myself that I can’t do this. This is to much. The work was challenging, from reconciling, which was my favourite, to marketing and following up with clients to doing invoices which I had never done in my life.

After the first few weeks, Nestene saw that I was struggling and went through my cv and saw that I had no accounting from high school. I think she thought that I had accounting. I believe that she did not look at my qualifications but rather on the person she met on the day of the interview. She believed in me and with this I then believed in myself. I worked with Nestene and believe me when I say with her and not for her. She included me in every important meeting with clients. She made sure that I got noticed. She believed so much in me that I eventually believed that I was an auditor lol.

She got an opportunity with one of the clients and eventually things did not work out as planned but the client asked her if she could lend me for a few months. Nestene had no one to help her but she sacrificed me so that I could have a better salary. She knew that she could not match the salary and told me that it would be better for me to go, this was one of the most amazing characteristics that she has. She is selfless. She thinks about others first instead of herself.

Nestene is a true leader. She invited me on an extraordinary journey. And I enjoyed every single minute of it. Sometimes in life you need a door to open to follow your dreams and true potential. Nestene gave me that and more. She taught me to believe in myself and showed me that anything is possible with hard work and determination. So, I encourage everyone to reach for your dreams. Let your journey begin today."

Yours in business,


To read this story from Nestene's perspective - click here.

To watch Petula's Interview - click here.


Nestene is a proud #ProTechMentor and one of the original founders of Explore ProTech Entrepreneurial Haven. She designed and currently teaches on the #fempreneur course.

Petula is currently working as an assistant accountant at Jan van Riebeeck Highschool and a proud member of the #ProTechTribe.

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