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Justine Otto is an image consultant and social media marketer at The South African Image Academy. She’s also a photographer and content creator who’s passionate about inspiring women to be the best they can be. She tells Go Hustle about the journey.

If you are working for yourself and are building your own image consulting brand from scratch…

“You have to be disciplined and consistent,” says Justine. “You have to come up with new ideas and ways of thinking. You will never grow if you do the same things over and over.” Simply do what you need to do. “Don’t stop just because you aren’t getting the results you expect from day one. Building a successful business does not happen overnight. Consistency is key. Mindset is everything,” she says.

Passion with purpose…

Justine is passionate about creating opportunities for women to get together. Her biggest calling? To create a community in a world where people feel like they have to do life alone. “Everything is so fast-paced. We live in a society where strangers struggle to have meaningful conversations; [we struggle] to create a safe environment for women to share their hearts and stories – where they don’t have to feel like they have to guard themselves, for fear of being judged,” she says.

How to get into image consulting

“There are internships available at the South African Image Academy. Most graduates start their own businesses and do freelance work. If you study through SA Image, you will learn all the tips and tricks on how to successfully run your own business,” says Justine.

Apart from working for yourself as a consultant, you can become part of the SA Image Sisterhood after you graduate. Bonus: As part of the sisterhood, you have unlimited access to a network of image consultants. Plus, a minimal monthly fee gives you access to ongoing education and updated resources.

READ MORE: The Art Of Being A Luxury Image Consultant

Ways to put yourself out there

1/  Get out of your comfort zone.

“Identify brands and leaders you’d like to work with or be connected to, then start networking to build those relationships. There are also workshops and an abundance of online training options available these days.”

2/ Build a community and be consistent.

“Remember that you are not just doing business – you are also doing life together. We as women need to be supportive of each other in every aspect of life.”

Every industry has its challenges…

“Some women go into the industry thinking that if you only dress well, you will be successful. It’s not just about the style and glamour, but also about the messy parts, the late nights, and relationships. You have to work hard, be creative and think of new ways to improve, start building relationships, and truly put in the effort to put yourself out there,” says Justine.

Sometimes things will feel uncomfortable if you’re more of an introvert. Remember, if something makes you feel uncomfortable, it can be a sign of a growing process. “Just stay grounded and always be kind in everything you do. Wisdom will grow as you start venturing into this industry,” she says.

Leadership and life lessons learnt so far…

1/ Choose your role models wisely.

“Listen to your gut feeling. Doing the right thing isn’t always the most fun thing to do, but you will bear the fruits of it in the long run. Do the right thing,” says Justine.

2/ Criticism is not always a negative thing.

“Always have a teachable spirit, but don’t listen to criticism from someone you wouldn’t seek advice from.”

3/ Do not fear.

“Everything is going to be okay.”

4/ Use your money wisely.

“Don’t let your finances control you. Take control of your finances.”

5/ Lead by example.

6/ You are probably going to make some mistakes as well.

“Learn from them and use your stories as testimonies to teach the next generation.”

7/ Community is important.

8/ There is always room for growth.

“There always will be space for growth. Surround yourself with like-minded people.”

Connect with Justine

Instagram: @journeywithjustine

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