Cleo Johnson quit her well-paying 9-to-5 in 2017 to start her hospitality consulting firm, Nuecleo, and has put in the hard work and self care to ensure she hasn’t had to look back since.
“Your health is your greatest asset and that includes your mental health. Learn to rest and not feel guilty for it. If you’re in it for the long haul, pausing is necessary.
Learn to be introspective, learn to read people and learn how to take criticism, these three things are vital for your growth.”
This approach has served her well – she’s worked with some of the largest players in the hospitality industry, from Marriott International, to Radisson Blu and The One & Only, and has used this invaluable experience to take local hotels from ideation to market.
“My aim is to change the face of the hospitality and tourism industry not only in South Africa but on the continent through commercial strategies, skills development, business intelligence and systems that take into consideration the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
While she’s passionate about building her brand, it’s not all about the money, and Cleo has strived to give back along the way.
“Business is not just about profits, but what you can do to lift others up”. Cleo has woven this belief into every aspect of her work, from supporting school feeding scheme CRC Cares, to starting her own initiative called Adopt a Block, which each week provides food to about 60 people in parts of Johannesburg.
“One of my proudest moment was summiting Kilimanjaro for Caring 4 Girls, a sanitary pad and sex education programme that’s part of the Imbumba Foundation. Knowing that I could stretch my body and mind under some extreme circumstances reinforced that I am capable of just about anything if I want it badly enough.”