by Lizl Naude, founder of Lilly Loompa
Establishing a business is really not for the faint-hearted. It requires faith, stamina, and perseverance. In essence...it is more of a mental challenge to overcome than anything else.
This reminds me of a conversation I had with a remarkable lady about two years ago, on Women's day, to be exact. Here is an extract from my Facebook post a few days later.
On Women's Day, I attended an awesome event in Sandton, Johannesburg. I was shown to my seat at table 6. A part of me wondered who I might be seated next to.
The first lady guest arrived. She sat on my left. We immediately connected and chatted away. Another lady (slightly older than me) came to sit next to me to my right. She introduced herself and we struck up a conversation. A few minutes later, I recognized the next guest. I heard her speak at another event about a month ago, and learned that she had just climbed Kilimanjaro successfully! As she introduced herself, I jokingly called her “the Kilimanjaro lady”! We had a great laugh. Then the lady seated on the right calmly said: “I also did Kilimanjaro…about 15 years ago.” Wow! What a coincidence? That two women who both climbed the highest mountain in Africa would sit next to me?
I was fascinated and bombarded the older lady with all kinds of questions. Her answer, in short, was: “It is definitely more of a mental challenge than it is physical. I didn’t train as hard physically as some of my other team members, and many of them succumbed to the pressure and quit. But I was mentally prepared on so many levels, and that is why I made it!” I was stunned. It dawned on me that as an Entrepreneur, I am climbing my own Kilimanjaro.
So here are the lessons I learned at that table on Tuesday:
1. I am overcoming challenges in my business every day, by using my mental health and well-being. If you have never been an entrepreneur, you would never understand the pain and frustrations we go through. Whether we have chosen to follow this path willingly or not, it requires constant problem-solving skills and a level of presence. I voluntarily choose to get up every morning because I believe in my dream of building a legacy and business that will benefit the greater mankind. That lady chose to tackle Kilimanjaro by putting one foot in front of the other and pushing herself to achieve her dream. I too am choosing to put one foot in front of the other all the way to the summit!
2. Women are the most amazing beings. They birth, they feed, they clothe, they nurture, they cry and weep, but they also laugh and conquer! I am so honoured to be surrounded by so many great women. My Moms, my sisters, my girlfriends and my fellow women entrepreneurs. And at that table, I was surrounded by greatness!
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and motivate you. We women cannot help but build and we choose to build together!” If that was the only reason I had to attend that event…I have learned very valuable lessons. Now I must mention that I have no plans to climb Kilimanjaro anytime soon! But respect to those who have! But I will keep climbing!
Lizl Naude is the founder of Lilly Loompa in South Africa, a company that creates beautiful and usable furniture pieces made with recycled material. Lilly Loompa's “Rubbish Range” is the result of Lizl's craving to deliver pieces that are completely "green". Lizl is a self taught designer and started designing and making furniture because she couldn’t afford to buy new pieces to furnish her home. She started to scout and source for budget material and quickly realised that most people discard of very usable materials. This led to her building and designing beautiful furniture items that she used in her home.
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