by Brigette Mashile, founder of Roka Roko
People tell me they see I have made it. And I used to respond and say no, not really - I’m still working on it. They don’t believe it. They have their own measurements of success for me of course, and based on them, I have made it. Well, thank God, because if they used my measurements I would be nowhere near success. I have learned to say thank you and receive the compliments; and see them as a small reminder from God that I am doing okay and on the right track.
If you don’t know, entrepreneurs are their own biggest critics. If you are first born, even worse; if you were a great achiever in high school (academic or sports), even worse; if you are a control freak perfectionist, even worse than worse, LOL! We wake up everyday counting what went wrong yesterday and wondering how to correct it, and how to avoid it next time. So, we really don’t see our ‘Mama I’ve made it moments’ easily.
‘Mama I’ve made it moments’ are those times when you feel like you have achieved what you have always dreamt of, planned for, prayed for and are working towards. Sometimes, you get more than you had hoped for; and sometimes at times you weren’t even expecting it. For some people, these moments are also of events they never believed would happen for them…or someone told them they would never achieve. It’s a whole lot of emotions. But this phenomenon is a great motivator for many. It keeps us working.
Here is a list of what will make me believe I have made it:
- The day I am 100% sure all the company’s expenses are covered every month without even looking. This is like when people say they want to shop without looking at the price. Sound a bit irresponsible…but I would love it for 6 months at least. Worrying about paying staff and rent is a blockage to creativity; it stands in the way of progress. And this a reality for most of us who start businesses. I am praying to God it ends; that one day we can all have that dream of having 6 months’ worth of monthly expenses sitting in the business account. Imagine!
- The day I can afford a month’s leave. In other words, the day my company can function efficiently without me for 30 days. So I can go wherever I wish, do anything I want; be with whoever I would love to be with; and read all the books we miss out on while we are running our businesses. This can even be done at home; just to sit and not have to check in and make sure operations are running. This is such bliss!
- The day all (ok at least most) of my business partners are doing as well as I am. Who wants to make it alone? Not me! And if you think about it, if your supplier is doing well, it mostly means you are doing well too. If your accountant is doing well, you should also be doing well…no? Life is more fun when we can all work together in good spirits, at a somewhat equal pace and supporting each other. I am currently surrounded by entrepreneurs only; in business and personally. I support most of them by using their services, and we will all make it as a result.
- The day my illnesses are because of things such as a regular flu. You know, the sort everyone gets. Not those illnesses that are caused by exhaustion. Or as a result of fatigue from working endlessly to keep the wheel running. Most entrepreneurs take leave because they have fallen sick and the doctor has demanded it. Their bodies just decide ‘Im tired” and quit. This is a sign that you need to manage yourself better - take better care of yourself.
For today, I will be happy that the business I started 4 years ago is still in existence and operating. That fact alone is a cause for celebration. And I will also find other things that are going well in the business to motivate myself; so I can bask in the smaller ‘Mama I made it’ events. I will continue working towards that day when I will know deep within me that I have finally made it.
Brigette Mashile is the founder and creative force behind Roka Roko, a custom fashion design business based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company passionately delivers quality tailored and trendy fashion to make their customers happy, and specializes in styling women by creating unusual combinations with fabric, culture and style. Brigette has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Witwatersrand and a Fashion Diploma from Studio5 School of Fashion. She’s a former fashion buyer for a major retailer in South Africa, and an international direct selling company. She’s been passionate about fashion since the age of 10 and gained invaluable experience in the fashion world running informal fashion creation businesses until the day her own Roka Roko brand was born. Find out more by visiting the Roka Roko website www.rokaroko.co.za
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