by Tania Reid, founder and chief experience officer, Ithemba Office Solutions
I watched the movie Hidden Figures recently and there is a scene in the movie where the character goes to court to fight to be able to attend a school she cannot go to. When asked why she was doing it, she told the judge that because it had never been done, she would have to be the first.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with an aspirant intrapreneur employed at Liberty. After sharing my entrepreneurial journey with about 50 ladies, a lady in her forties walked up to me to tell me how brave I was and that she would never have the courage to step out and be an entrepreneur. You see, there had never been an entrepreneur in her family, and the thought that she could be the first wasn’t even a thought.
I asked her what seemed like such a simple question, ‘Why can’t you be the first?’ and to see her ‘aha’ moment, was the best feeling of the workshop. Up until that moment, she had never considered that the responsibility of leaving a legacy of inheritance instead of debt, was hers to leave. I asked her if she ever considered that her family just needed one person to step out of their comfort zone for it to become a reality for all.
I shared that I got married at 40, started my business at 41 and had my second child at the age of 42. Age had never been a deterrent to me, rather I saw this period in my life as my time to be the first, and as a result, my children had an example of someone who had the courage to try.
When did we become so intimidated to be the first? South African Olympic athlete, Wayde van Niekerk, is currently in the news for consistently excelling and breaking records - he has just shattered the 300 metres world record at the Golden Spike race meeting in the Czech Republic. Do you remember who came second in that race?
Just like the emergency briefings on-board a flight instructs; start by putting on your own oxygen mask first, then you assist others. Be the first in your family, group of friends, your business to (fill in your blank) even if there are no clues on how to do it. There is no excuse, surround yourself with a tribe of woman who have already done what you still need to, and learn from them.
When you are the first to do anything, you create the blueprint for your life and for generations to come. When we step up and become the first, we are unconsciously giving others the permission to do the same.
Tania Reid is the founder and chief experience officer of ithemba office solutions based in South Africa, and has over 17 years of sales experience in office automation, stationery and consumables. She is known for her honesty, excellent customer care skills and that she runs her life and business with integrity. Tania is a big believer in “When you are Blessed, you Bless others”. She won the opportunity to go to Australia to represent the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship by joining serial entrepreneur, Creel Price on the Ultimate Growth Adventure Bootcamp and pitched her business to James Caan of Dragons Den fame. So twice a month she shares her entrepreneurial journey with recovering addicts of the Phela Give Back organization at the Booysens LDAC Wellness Centre and also contributes monthly to events held for the aged at the Kensington Old Age Home, Cape Town which is also her hometown.
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