by Brigette Mashile, founder of Roka Roko
I have been thinking for almost 6 months about a lot of the processes and events I have had in business; obviously wondering what I have done right and wrong. This is due to the fact that after 5 years I woke up one day and felt like I was depleted. Physically, mentally and emotionally depleted; the kind that needs a holiday with my mom on a quiet island, untapped without WIFI. I’m exaggerating…ok, ok, but I’m not lying.
So, guess what? A few weeks ago I signed up to yet another incubation/accelerator programme; I promise - my friends convinced me. The biggest reason I said yes is because it is online; done from my house in bed. Over the weeks it proved to be bearable and kept me busy while I was overcoming my depletion state. I want to share about one activity I found quite mind opening and profound. It is a very simple exercise that challenges you and gives back.
The instructions are to write down a few massive to normal events about your life since whenever you want to start. So, it can be since you were born, or primary school or since tertiary. Mention events that are outstanding for you; whether good or bad. Then write down what you learned from them; while ranking from 1 to 10 the intensity or effect that event had on you. Finally, you need to pick a word of value that represents your explanation of each event; the highest scores will give you what you value the most.
The magic part is reviewing those values you have ranked high, in your business. How have those values played in your business? Are you aware that you do prize those so much or have you let them affect more than they should? It is very possible for something like love to make or break a situation; love also needs to be managed in any situation. You can love what you do, but not if it is killing you. Let’s discuss my values:
It turns out I like being brave, the hero, going against the grain and doing the impossible. I have always been keen to go for whatever I put my mind to, no matter how hard or impossible it looked. I do think it has something to do with the fact that I am first the born in my family, I don’t have anyone to test my plans on. I am the test. I learned very early to suck it up and do it. But most brave souls are loners and love working alone. Here, is where the problems begin. Your million-rand dream cannot be won by the hero only, Superman needs friends and funders 😊
I am absolutely clumsy in everything and anything else in life; I don’t even care to impress in other activities in life but my work. I will obsess over and over the client at their final fitting, find problems no one can see but me; and correct them. I am the girl who got an A in matric for Afrikaans; when the world said you wont need Afrikaans. I just had to perfect that mark too. Problem with this is we are human; we are not perfect. We cannot be excellent every time. And art says perfection is against the very core of art; chaos and error is part of it. So I need to excel in my technique but stop attempting to fit into what earth calls perfection.
I don’t know why this one is here LOL! But I guess with my chosen career of dealing with and helping people every day, it makes sense. Upon starting this business I didn’t realize how much in contact I would be with people. And also, the amount of people! I am not a peoples person; I don’t know if any creative person is. I like my space, I am very protective of my space too, and I have a limit on how much new energy I can do in a day. This is by far the biggest challenge for me in my business; I have considered closing the business down because of people; I have gotten sick because of some negative experience I had with someone; today I am depleted because I feel exhausted by the amount of energies I have received and some kept. I need to find a way to make the importance of people to me, work for me.
So, what new mindset have I developed by realizing these 3 values? I have noticed I don’t give them enough attention; I have never celebrated them or managed them. Values to any company need to be recognized, invested in and managed well so they don’t become losses. So far, I have converted some of these into losses or just almost there. I am happy I have this information, and am able to do something about them. I also believe this contributes to the company profile and business model eventually. This is contributing well to the self-management process in motion right now.
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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