by Phindile Ndlovu, Founder and Director of Bhekizenzo Foundation
There are so many things I witness every day on my way to work. I see the same people rushing to work late. I see school children excited and almost dancing their way to school transport services. I also see ladies fixing their make up in vehicles by the robots. What struck my attention was when I saw two different sets of people - the sellers and the beggars in the streets.
At the one intersection, there was a gentleman that sold fruits. My husband and I did not have money to buy anything and thought to ourselves we would buy next time. When we got to this gentleman at the robot, we signalled that we would buy tomorrow when he next came to our window. He tried to convince us to buy something there and then. We assured him that we would buy the next day. He then went on to ask for money and begged us to give him some coins. I was startled and my husband continued assuring him we would be back the next day to support him. The next day, I saw him again on my way to work, however this time he was not selling but begging. The next day I saw him again and he was selling again - so, was he a beggar or a seller? Why did he stop selling and start begging?
During the same week when my husband went to play golf, we encountered a guy who was selling frantically at the other intersection. He was running from car to car, showing drivers and passengers what he had to offer. He smiled and took rejection well and moved on to the next car. He was the perfect salesman, looking to sell fruits and vegetables to his customers. He approached my husband but we did not actually need to buy anything. However, as we had money my husband offered him some money without actually buying anything. The gentleman was flattered but insisted that we take some veggies or fruits in exchange. My husband modestly encouraged the gentleman to see the money as funds to buy a cold drink. The gentleman insisted that they exchange and pushed until my husband took a small plastic bag of plums. We were so impressed. He did not want to be viewed as a beggar. He wears a soccer jersey. He has made friends and people only buy their cans of cold-drinks from him because he is just so friendly. He has employed two young men to help him sell his drinks. I was impressed at how he delegates and treats his workers.
I am writing about this because there are a lot of people who give up on their ventures because they are not reaching their sales goals. Some go back to their 9 to 5 jobs and others chop and change the product or service they are offering. Others review their strategy and push until success happens. The difference between these two sets of entrepreneurs who we met at the robots is that the one who does not give up believes in his business and does not reduce it to begging.
Our goals excite us when we start planning. We see ourselves reaching our goals and can imagine the feeling of reaching our goals. The danger is when we expect the goals to be reached with no blood and sweat. We want things to come to us. We want success, money and happiness to chase us. The sad reality is that it is our responsibility to do all the chasing. We cannot be the chasers if we still have a begging mentality. When I look back at all the goals I did not reach, I know I have my self to blame for not implementing. As we reach end the year, let us be intentional. Here is to chasing and getting it done.
Phindile Ndlovu is passionate about Community Development pertaining skills development and education for the youth. She is experienced in driving life changing community development campaigns. Passionate about self-development and leadership, she works and speaks with young people across the Gauteng Province in South Africa, motivating and coordinating her vision and goal setting workshops through her organization, Bhekizenzo Foundation. Her skillset is based on project design, brand awareness and organizational surveys, amongst many others. Phindile has strong, professional media and communications expertise, particularly with event coordination and campaign strategy planning. She has obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Political Studies and Sociology at the University of Witswatersand Johannesburg. Learn more.
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