Honingcraft is known for its diverse company culture. A positive environment fueled by felicity is where Paulo Soares was lucky to find himself during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A personal trainer before the pandemic hit, Paulo relied on working at physical fitness gyms to do what he does best. When the gyms closed their doors, Paulo was in a predicament many of us found ourselves in. Our jobs were in jeopardy, and fearing for our lives as we knew very little about COVID-19 at the time.
Paulo joined the Honingcraft team during the pandemic, as Honingcraft was an essential service provider during lockdown. “I am currently the purchasing officer, and I enjoy the role I am in. The experience has been amazing so far. I’ve been part of the team for two years”.
Paulo’s leadership process involves identifying how the team functions together to create a better workplace. Paulo says, “When one part of the team suffers, the whole team suffers. That’s why we need to look for opportunities to build each other up”.
HONINGCRAFT CULTURE AT ITS BEST
Honingcraft has a great way of working towards operational excellence, and sometimes, that process includes a bit of “tough love”, but Paulo welcomes the challenges. “Honingcraft has a great company culture. There is often tough love, but we strike a good balance between productivity and passion”.
THE SKINNY ON BODYBUILDING
Paulo was a skinny, small child. Bullying was often the order of the day. He discovered sports and started playing squash with his father. “I was so small, they had to shorten the children’s racket so I could play”. To Paulo’s surprise, he realised he was quite competitive and enjoyed playing squash. “I played for about 15 years and received provincial and national colours. Squash was an outlet for a lot of the frustration I felt”.
When Paulo stopped playing squash, he needed another sport to fill that void. He tried action cricket, and some of his training included some body exercises, which resulted in Paulo getting a small workout bench and some weights. “I soon discovered that I enjoyed the exercises more than the cricket. I found myself working out more often, and before I knew it, I was hooked”.
Paulo started competing as a bodybuilder around 2013. His first competition was the Millenium Gold Plate. The Millennium Gold Plate is a local competition and one of the biggest IFBB Fitness and Bodybuilding Events in South Africa. This official qualifying event for the prestigious Arnold Classic Africa is part of the IFBB Platinum League.
“I competed in amateur events for about two years without ever progressing to the final stage of any competitions. Thinking back on it, I am embarrassed that I went on stage looking like that”.
In Paulo’s early bodybuilding years, he did much of his research on bodybuilding and nutrition. He soon started developing his own programs and workouts. “I think most people believe it’s just about pumping iron, but there’s a lot more to it. Nutrition and recovery teach you a lot about how the body works and how food is metabolised”.
Paulo implemented his own programs and knew his ideas and approaches worked when he saw the results. Paulo was finally ready to reach the final stages of the competitions he entered in his third year of competing.
“I have competed in most local amateur and professional events and placed in almost every league and federation event I could compete in. The last few competitions were major events like the SA’s and the Arnold Classic. I placed 6th out of 22 competitors nationally in the last Arnold Classic. I’ve also placed first in South African Nationals”.
Paulo believes that bodybuilding is a great way to build self-confidence and an even better way to learn about your body and nutrition. “Beyond the pragmatic benefits of practising the sport, I find it makes me tick. I have a passion for it”.
We asked Paulo how he balances his bodybuilding career while managing his position at Honingcraft successfully. “Discipline equals freedom. If you can make the time to prepare for the needs of the day and plan your time, you will find that you can fit quite a lot into a single day. Staying disciplined at work yields the same results meaning I get the freedom to pursue a career at Honingcraft and in the bodybuilding arena to a high standard”.