by Brigette Mashile, founder of Roka Roko
We are the first, in many ways, in this entrepreneurship boom happening currently. Most of us are first amongst our families, friends and generally in all of history. You know what this means…it means we have to find out, teach ourselves, and excel at something we have no history of from a personal perspective. Having a parent who had previously run a business, whether it failed or succeeded, would be just bliss. Someone to ask specific questions to; someone to check in with all the time.
As entrepreneurs we are told to do this, do that, and not to do this and that! The frustrating thing is that most of the people giving us this advice HAVE NEVER RUN YOUR BUSINESS even for a day. And, they are not you. It is so easy to pinpoint problematic areas in other people’s journeys from the outside, just make sure you do it after hearing their story first. I was doing a SWOT analysis today and realized there is one thing no one speaks of, or even advises on….SELF MANAGEMENT.
We are expected to know all those BCom subjects well and execute them for the success of the business. Manage this, strategize that, and then implement. What about the person all of this is expected of? I am currently watching Chef’s Table and one common trait is how all the chefs reached a point of ‘I quit’. It came after they worked and worked and delivered beyond themselves. They then realized they forgot themselves in the entire process; they are successful but unhappy. It’s fascinating. I cannot begin to tell you how many people ask me why don’t I just do this and sell this fast so I can make more money; or make a dress for so and so, in order to become famous quickly.
But why? Is fame and huge amounts of money the goal for all of us? Business is definitely a money making strategy; hell it better be for the pain it brings. But, are we all simply driven to achieve this one goal only? I feel like a lot of us find ourselves doing what is ‘normal’ or ‘expected’; forgetting what works for us. What about all the successful creative people who followed their dreams and the money somehow came along…what did they do? If you are a creative, I suggest you follow and hear them first.
Personally, I think I am a bad manager of myself. It is a direct result of me loving what I do. I find myself investing so much of me physically, emotionally and mentally into the business. Unnecessary behaviour I tell you, I know because I have been angry, sick and heartbroken due to events in the business. Maybe if I manage myself better, I might be a better business manager? What do they even call that, self management? And what is self management? Or are we just assuming we are great at managing ourselves simply because we started businesses?
I know I can be better in many ways. I also know that often I get in my own way. It is always easier to have external reasons for why something is not working; but sometimes it is down to you. And it’s not that you are a bad person; but because you forgot that managing yourself is the first and most important part of anything you will ever want to be successful at. There is a saying that goes, “you cannot pour (share) from an empty bucket.” The bigger statement is making sure that when you are full and ready to share, you are sharing goodness because you have succeeded in making sure you are also good.
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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