Imagine you’re 12 years old and you’ve just reached base camp at Mount Everest. If this was your first introduction to a challenge, imagine how minuscule every challenge can seem after that. Trischa Hauptfleish Buys was born in Boksburg and moved to Port Elizabeth a short three years ago. She grew up with two older brothers which she puts as “some days a blessing and other days a curse”.
Adventure was the spirit instilled in her family from a young age. Trischa’s parents took them on many adventures. This is where challenges quickly became the norm for Trischa and she thanks her parents for her passion to pursue challenges head-on.
With a Private Pilot License in her pocket, she met her husband. She also knows a thing or two about fashion design and a pastry course made her the go-to girl for family and friends when they needed a cake for a special occasion.
Trischa’s parents’ love for travel inspired her early on. “They never left us behind,” she says. “Even if exchange rates were high and they couldn’t afford to buy each an ice cream at Disneyland, we were happy to share our ice cream between siblings”.
Some of Trischa’s most memorable trips include the Polar Bear tour in Svalbard, Disneyland in the USA and renting a small boat and travelling through the canals in England.
Adventure aside. We talk to Trischa about her ever-evolving spirit to chase challenges in business and life.
The company was founded in 1971 by Mr Jürn Jünger and was acquired by Honingcraft in 2015. Trischa became the Sales Manager and a skilled all-rounder at the office soon after. Her progression to that title and climbing the ranks in a male-dominated industry came naturally to her.
“I spent a lot of my childhood school holidays and weekends with my father at work. I would join him in meetings, see customers and suppliers and type his emails on his behalf. Being in a male-dominated industry was introduced to me from a young age, and I never noted it”.
Trischa had some big shoes to fill, but we can’t help and wonder if she has not outgrown the ones handed to her already. Mr Jünger left a legacy. For Trischa continuing the legacy and, of course, leaving a legacy of her own, is about staying true to oneself. “If you stay true to yourself and your flavour, you will naturally leave your own legacy”.
Leadership forms a great deal of being an effective sales manager. Trischa sees the leadership process as a learning experience. “If I can just strive to be a better leader than the day before, then I am satisfied”.
Trischa also has a lot of respect for her team. We asked her what the secret sauce was for the success of Honingcraft Jünger and her answer was simple. “Our team is the secret. I can go to battle with them”. She continues, “Honingcraft Jünger is, cooperatively, a project that I am very proud of. Our company’s evolution since we took over brings me great pleasure and gratitude”.
As a manager and leader, Trischa constantly looks to the future. We asked her what she sees. “I visualise our imported containers pulling into our factory. Prosperity for our team and an ongoing friendship with all our customers and suppliers”.
ENDURING WITH THE BEST
Endurance sports are a way of testing your abilities, mentally and physically. Trischa is an accomplished endurance sport athlete who has competed in competitions like the Trans Baviaans and Isuzu Ironman competitions. Preparing for these endurance competitions, whilst running a company is a big commitment.
“For me, just deciding to do such an event and clicking the submit button on the online entry form means the battle is half won already. It is all in the mind. Whether you believe you can or you can’t – you’re right. From there on comes the fun part where you get to test your self-discipline and discover what you are capable of achieving. My favourite saying that keeps me going on days when I lack self-discipline is – ‘I don’t HAVE to do it, but instead I GET to do this and for that I am grateful”.
Trischa gets a kick out of testing her capabilities. She openly admits to having FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and that is a big reason why she keeps going back for more.
Nutrition plays a significant role in endurance sporting competitions. Preparation and consistency are key. “If your equipment and nutrition are well prepared you will have no reason to deviate from your plan. Of course, life happens and if it does, don’t be too hard on yourself. Take it for what it is and try again tomorrow. Just never stop trying”.
Recovery is equally important as preparation. As with business, how you handle your challenges and how you come back from them is what sets you apart. Then there are also the rewards.
Emotionally, Trischa will reward herself with a meal that a post-competition body deserves. “I normally have my family with me while we share a meal after a competition. Physically I don’t really like to recover by doing nothing. I will taper down and do less while I search for the next adventure to enter”.
STRIKING THE BALANCE
Trischa believes in consistency and she tries to be 80% consistent while leaving space – the remaining 20%, for when life happens. “I don’t always get it right and I drop the ball quite often but then I pick up where I dropped it and carry on and try again. My advice is to just make sure you are always moving forward no matter the pace. The fact that I have a very supportive husband and family makes it a bit easier to balance everything and they also help to catch the balls that I drop”.
When talking about inspiration, Trischa looks up to entrepreneur and general cool guy, Richard Branson. “Nothing is impossible for him. Not only is he a successful businessman but he also craves adventures. He has achieved goals that a normal person would think are insane.
Spending time at home, with her husband, dogs and a glass of wine is how she recharges. “If I can choose to spend time with my dogs or with people, I choose my dogs. I like drinking wine and I travel way too little for my liking. I always try to appreciate the small things in life. It’s the small things that bring the biggest joys, afterall”.