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Tracey Chambers I CEO and Co Founder of The Clothing Bank
Formerly a financial manager at Woolworths, Tracey Chambers departed from the safe confines of the corporate world to seek her own personal fulfillment. Co Founding The Clothing Bank with Tracey Gilmore opened the passage to honour this desire as Tracey empowers unemployed mothers with skills training and financial independence. Tracey thinks big, lives big and leaves a big impact on all those that meet her. Here, she shares with The Legacy Project the special qualities that make up this wonderful woman:
About my Life Mission | I have always believed I can achieve anything I set my mind to. My life motto: “If you believe you can then you can, if you believe you can’t then you can’t””
My Definition Of Success | To live my life in the present moment, living my purpose to the fullest each and every day.
I Am Driven By | Money and material wealth don’t drive me. Leaving a legacy that I did something positive to contribute to the world is what drives me.
The Difference Between Good And Great | Is taking action every day. Never be complacent, always seek better ways to do things. Question, question, question. Creating a great company means it never has an end state, it is always evolving and challenging itself to be better. It is always moving forward, mindful of the changing dynamics of the macro environment in which it operates. It challenges everyone (employees, customers and stakeholders) to strive to make it better each and every day.
Principles, Values and Ideologies I Live By | Integrity is the principle that guides everything I do. Integrity to me means having the courage to speak the truth and aligning what I say, think and do. I wouldn’t be able to work in an environment or with people that don’t have integrity.
How I Use My Mind | I have lots of thoughts and I act on many of them, sometimes too quickly. I am always trying new things and this is how I learn. I don’t learn through formal traditional study methods, I learn through experimentation and then as I bump my head, I adapt and develop my ideas and philosophies. It is important for me to continue to push the boundaries, the status quo isn’t an option, and my mantra is – there must always be a better way to do it. Some call it “divine dissatisfaction”.
Lessons I Have Learnt | I have learnt that you will never have all the answers and that you need to trust your intuition. Entrepreneurship is more about taking action than the idea. We would never have started The Clothing Bank if we had spent months researching and analyzing everything. It felt right so we did it and it was our passion that drove us every day. You will know you are living your purpose when you can’t wait to go to work every day and you don’t care what you get paid. You are living your purpose when your fire is burning in your belly and you are compelled to act, no obstacle will be able to stop you.
Dealing With Doubt | I have learnt that failure isn’t something to be feared. I used to be terrified of failure and that often drove me to burn out. As an entrepreneur I have come to accept that there will be failures along the way, I almost look forward to them now because then I know I am learning something. If you accept failure as the inevitable it allows you to be open, flexible and more adaptable. Building something great starts with a compelling vision but the road to getting there is often filled with many twists and turns, it would be boring if it was just a straight road.
I Am Inspired By | By the impact The Clothing Bank is having on people’s lives. When you are running an organisation it is easy to get caught up in the day to day challenges and administration but when I take the time to listen to the mothers that are part of our programme and hear how their lives have changed it inspires me way more than any award or pay check every could. These are real women and families that have faced so many obstacles, who are brave beyond measure, who have used the tools we have given them to change their lives forever. Knowing that The Clothing Bank, something we created from nothing, is making a difference is very satisfying.
Website | www.Theclothingbank.org.za
Twitter handle: @theclothingbank.org.za
Preferrred hashtags to use # women # changinglives