by Brigette Mashile, founder of Roka Roko
When I was younger, I hated going through tough times. Actually, I was mortified by them. I would drive myself into a frenzy of anxiety expecting them, then depress myself during them, and then just be in a bad mood afterwards. I was under the impression that bad things and times should not ever happen. Life is meant to be an easy, happy, fun and enjoyable experience. Here, ladies is one of the reasons I don’t miss being young!
Growing up, and entrepreneurship has taught me that bad days come. Sometimes its bad weeks, sometimes months and other even years. You simply cannot avoid them, you can maybe plan for when they arrive; to soften the blow. I have realized that nature will be nature. Everything in this universe follows the same road: birth, life, death. Then again, the most important part to realize is birth cannot happen without death. My favourite example is growing up in ‘Bush’Buckridge. In spring all bushes sprout, in summer they are thriving, then in autumn they start browning and falling; in winter they go dry and burnt. The residue from the burn is manure for the next spring!
The issue is when we, as humans, go through the burn, we miss the opportunity. We concentrate so much on how much it hurts, and who did this to me, and how I can get them back (YAWN). We miss the point. You have to fall, to rise again. And in life, because there are so many things to learn, we have to rise many, many, many times. Meaning, we will have to fall as many times. In the midst of your bad times, look within yourself first. I promise you, many of your falls, are because of you; but definitely initiated by something external. Missing a due date on an order is mostly because I (me) allowed the client (external) way too much times to cancel on the dates I needed them.
Last week I was speaking to a friend about this very subject. I said to her I now look at bad times as ‘science’ class in high school. I don’t hate science, its just that I don’t get it. The language, the goal, and the necessity; kind of like when I go through a terrible patch. When something bad happens, you just feel like you don’t know what is going on, and you cannot see the point of it and you constantly ask yourself why? But, I have learned I need to go to science class so I can complete matric, so I can go study fashion. The great (or annoying) thing, is a year later, I finally realize the importance of that science (bad) class (time).
I cannot tell you how to get through those tough patches. In business, they seem to come all at once, or continuously. The more I go through them, the more I am becoming stronger and friendlier to them. I think, this is also because I know, these bad times will become more advanced as I grow. I know one day I will have million dollar problems … and these thousand Rand rent problems will look like a holiday. At every level of the journey there’s newness, and each newness demands its own attention in its own complex way. This has to happen, or else you are not growing or moving forward.
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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