I had a very positive response to my article on How much is Enough?
It is a vast and complicated subject.
A lot of us approach retirement with trepidation and angst.
What can we do? Have we made enough provision to retire? How long can I keep my job? The youngsters are quing up to take it.. This is scary, but what can I do?
Most of the retirement advice is aimed at those people who still have good jobs and are going on pension soon. They have pension funds or retirement annuities. The insurance companies make a fortune. But where does it leave us a few years after we have retired.
I am not a financial advisor, so I can't help with your money issues.
I can only give some guidance. I've been through a lot in my short life. I've owned small businesses. I've tried a lot of different things. Won some, lost some. But I'm still around to tell the story.
And I'd like to share some of those experiences.
So keep watching this space as I try to give more ideas and suggestions, particularly for those of us over the age of 60.
Youngsters are more than welcome to join in, as you are the future.
And what a great one it promises to be.
That, of course, is up to you.
PS. As far as the How To is concerned, I recommend Peter Carruthers' Academy of Business Owners.
He has all the answers to your many business questions.
He has helped me over many years.
At least go and have a look, you may pick up a tip or two.
Authenticity - Do you have it?
I have been coming across this word in many blog posts and websites lately.
What does it mean to be authentic?
Here's just a few ideas that may help.
Own your own stuff.
Don't try to be someone else. Learn from leaders and teachers, but be yourself.
Be a professional.
Don't lie, cheat or steal. Treat others with respect. If you can't then just walk away. Don't argue, it's pointless
Stop whining, griping or blaming.
Also pointless. None of us can change the world on our own. We all need help from time to time. But complaining about the load shedding from Eskom isn't going to solve your problem. Buy a generator or make another plan. Stop moaning. It's tiresome.
Don't toleraste other's B***S****.
If you don't like somebody, walk away. If you don't agree with a politician, vote for someone else. If you don't like the movie on TV, switch it off and read a book. Turn the other cheek. The one on your bottom. Walk away.
Authenticity in Sales
That's what we all want, isn't it? We are all selling something. Whether it's a product or a service. We need to sell ourselves. But if you're not authentic in your life, you can't just switch it on when you're selling. You're either authentic or you aren't. Get real. No more BS. If you're not genuine in real life, how can you expect to be when you're selling something.
Honesty is the best policy.
Stop pretending. Be yourself. Tell people who you are and what you do. Highlight your value. Openly and honestly. Don't be a politician!
Learn how to sell.
With your authenticity(personality), and a little learning you're bound to succeed. You don't need the gift of the gab. No qualification or certificate will help.. Or the cheapest price. No need to sell ice to eskimos. Give your customer what they need. If you can't, be honest enough to say so. Refer them to someone you trust. Selling is a skill that can be learned.
If it's hard, then you're doing it wrong.
If you feel uncomfortable when you’re selling, you're doing it wrong. It feels unpleasant and not authentic because you have not learned to sell in a way that makes you feel good. It is up to you to develop the skill if you intend to stay in business. There are many courses available.
But you have to do it. No-one can do it for you.
Don't do the "hustle". That was a dance in the sixties.
Click the picture to see this and many other courses available. Learn to Earn.
There's much more to this retirement thing than having enough money to survive.
Like most things in life. It's not only about the money
Before we get there we have to plan our future.
It's a life-changing event. It is also a time to celebrate.
Enjoy the fruits of years of hard labour while we relax a little.
Retirement is doing what you want to, not what you have to.
Although it can be stressful at times, we can prepare ourselves for it. It's never too early to start with the planning.
Unless your'e already retired.
Then it's never too late to start learning new skills either.
The human body is made to keep busy.
We can't afford to sit on the stoep sipping a tonic and watching the world go by.
Or spend all our money travelling the world. Or buying a new car. You'll soon run out of cash.
Unless you really have prepared well. In which case congratulations, We wish you a long life of luxury.
But even the most wealthy among us always seem to be doing something.
Whether it's helping others or even just making more money.
Nobody really retires any more, do they?
Maybe we slow down a little, but we can't afford to stop.
We would fade away in no time.
We need a plan. A Goal. Make some choices. Do something.
Nobody can predict the future, so we have to plan for Now.
What can we do to sustain our lifestyle. I'm assuming most of us don't have a large
fortune stashed away.
Yes, budgeting is very important to make what we have last longer.
Wouldn't it be better if we could improve our financial position?
Are we qualified at anything? Could we devise something to help others? And make a little money in the process?
A fitness expert could make training videos for older folk.
All you need is a cellphone and a little knowledge of the Internet.
Or a doctor giving health advice to Senioi Citizens.
The Internet is full of them. Could we do it?
It just takes a little time and effort to learn how. The Internet can help there too.
We need a little knowledge of the technology, but that can be learned. In fact it's exciting learning new things. Keeps us young(er).
Online business are another way to make a bit of cash. Sometimes a very large bit.
Do a course, learn to earn.
One can market and sell all sorts of stuff with a small website. Or on Social Media. Even flea or craft markets. Limitless.
Find your own niche. It's there somewhere.
We don't want to be a nuisance around the house do we?
Or keep asking the kids for help. Worse is expecting them to take care of us because we did it for them.
Do your own thing, whatever it is.
There's a lot of help around. Google it.
If you don't want to go with the technology thing, speak to other people in the same situation. How are they handling it?
Join a social club. Chat to the wife/husband. I mean really talk. You're in this together.
The blame game is not one to play. Ever.
Get on the same page. Sort out the little issues. Revitalise.
It's very challenging to stay active and busy. When working, we don't have to worry about that, the boss will take care of it for us.
In retirement, you're on your own, so to speak.
It's your own business. Take care of it and it will take care of you.
Do what you want to, not what you're supposed to.
Most importantly, enjoy your later years.
What is motivation?
It's not the rah-rah-rah we used to hear from the old motivation speakers any more.
Are they still around?
They were all fascinating and motivating to listen to then.
But the motivation didn't last. Until the next time you saw them at a convention.
Nowadays, they're probably on YouTube. Well, they should be.
Motivation has to come from inside each one of us.
We can always be steered in the right direction by teachers or leaders.
But they can't make us do what they think we should.
Only we can do that, for ourselves.
Now, I don't see myself as a "motivator" or teacher. Or leader, for that matter.
I also need help. Often. But I know who I can turn to.
People like Peter Carruthers.
I know of a few others too. World famous.
They've all helped me a lot in my life.
And they don't even know who I am.
So what gets your flame burning? To succeed in the things you try?
Do you give up at the first hurdle? That normally comes when we don't know what we're doing. So we have to learn first.
Google and YouTube are filled with great programs to help us along the way. Motivational. And mostly free.
You don't have to pay a fortune to get good therapy. Just ask for help.
Someone will always be there to lend a helping hand.
Although you'll find the best helping hand at the end of your own arm.
Get up to speed with basic technology. Even a cellphone will do the trick.
And we all have one of those, don't we?
They're not there to just make phone calls, are they? Not any more.
Personally, I prefer the written word, as in using emails to get in touch with people.
I don't like interruptions when I'm busy with something (or someone) important.
And my email is on my phone!
I can answer an email when I'm done, and my mind is clear.
Not so a telephone call.
And what about all those marketing calls, Whatsapp messages and SMS's? Disturbing, to say the least.
So, find your own motivation. It's not too deeply buried. We all have it.
But we don't all use it.
I can try to motivate you, but I can't do it for you.
Only you can. Do the Can-Can.
So how much is enough - to retire?
The Internet is full of ways to prepare for retirement.
Save as much money as possible during your working life. Invest in retirement annuities.
Buy houses. Second hand cars. Pay cash for everything. Don't get heavily into debt.
And so on and so on.
All very sensible, but extremely difficult. We want to enjoy our lives while we're young, don't we?
To say nothing of the expenses involved. Marriage. Kids and all their requirements.
Family problems. Health issues. How does one save for tomorrow?
And, more importantly, how much is enough?
The value of money in 20 or 30 years' is going to be worth a fraction of what it is worth today.
Just inflation will take care of that. Even at the lowest possible rate.
Everything just gets more expensive. Every year.
Especially if we want to maintain the standards we have set today.
Very few of us already over the age of 60 can survive on our retirement savings.
Even if we have been saving since our thirties.
Most of us have to find a way or two to supplement our income.
Unfortunately, some of us are desperate enough to be caught in investment scams. Ponzi schemes, I believe they are called.
Huge promises of a fantastic return which will never come to fruition. Because we are desperate, or greedy.
If it sounds too good to be true it usually is.
Fingers will be burnt and fortunes lost. Some very large.
So how much is enough?
Very difficult to arrive at a figure as we are all different.
What may be enough for one will be nowhere near enough for many others.
We each have to look at her own situation, and make our decisions accordingly.
Many of us find our retirement fund or savings is barely enough to cover the monthly medical aid costs.
That is if you can afford to have a medical aid.
As we get older it is no longer a luxury but a necessity.
So, what can we do?
We need to keep up with technology.
I don't mean a the latest "app" which promises great wealth, easily.
Or a win on the lottery. In fact the lottery is probably the biggest waste of money. What are the chances? One in forty million? Not good odds.
So what is one to do?
It's quite simple, really. Not easy, but simple.
Perhaps start a business while you still have an income.
Turn a hobby into a business? Could you start a small business?
We have to think of something, before it's too late.
It's never too late, of course. We can't roll over and play dead.
Joan Baez said: "We all know we are going to die, but how many of us know how to live."
Or words to that effect. Very true for a lot of us.
We don't want to be a burden on our families. Or the government for that matter.
The old age pension doesn't go far, if you can get one.
So, how much is enough? I don't know.
But I'm Learning
Time to play around with heat-hardy plants and containers. Make your way to a GCA nursery today and stock up on commercial soil mixes, drainage chips, decorative pebbles, pots and start playing with lots of funky plants!
Trending: Bro’s in the air
Air plants have fascinating forms and they grow without soil, attached to virtually anything from pieces of wood to fishing line to suspend them from the air – you can even glue them onto different objects. Air plants are members of the genus Tillandsia which descends from the pineapple family. Many of them grow naturally on trees where they attach themselves on branches and can often be seen hanging from trees, like the mystical old man’s beard (Tillandsia usneoides). Contrary to popular belief, air plants actually do need moisture and nutrients to grow properly, and do not live on air alone. Buy some of these beautiful and collectable plants and care for them by using a mist sprayer. You can even soak the whole plant for a few minutes, but allow it to dry off well before displaying it again. Do this regularly in very hot weather as air plants like humidity in the atmosphere. Place them in a sheltered spot away from direct sunlight and ensure that there is good air circulation around them.
Get ready to plant the toughest!
One of the questions most often asked in a nursery is, “what can I plant in my pot?”. Well, GCA nurseries all over have all the answers (and the plants!) to back this up. If you want something really pretty, dramatic, long-lasting and hassle-free, go for the following suggestions:
‘Lipstick’ is a succulent hybrid Euphorbia with large, bright pink flowers, distinctive lime green foliage and soft thorns. It can be used as a pot plant or in the garden in warmer areas. Lipstick will flower freely in late winter, spring and summer. It thrives in hot, dry areas of the garden.
‘Black Prince’ (Echeveria shaviana x affinis) is a dark and dramatic echeveria which form a dense rosette of chocolate-brown leaves with sharp tips. Full sun deepens the colour of the leaves, light shade will have a fading effect. This pretty succulent produces blood-red flowers in late autumn.
Desert spoon (Dasylirion wheeleri) is an extremely handsome focal plant for a large and smart container.
For the complete article and pictures, Click Here
From Richard Koch
I had a most interesting and gratifying experience last week in Stellenbosch, South Africa, where I attended the Freshers Event at the University.
This is a very long tradition – each year at the start of their university degree, the freshmen and freshwomen at each college create a song and dance routine to entertain each other, their parents, and anyone who wants to attend.
The productions are of surprisingly high quality, lasting around 20 minutes or so, and repeated all evening so that audiences totaling several thousand can enjoy about half a dozen shows.
It’s a jolly evening and gives a holiday atmosphere to the whole town, which is a very attractive Cape Dutch-type place; the university buildings are not unlike those at Oxford, Cambridge or the American Ivy League colleges, just as impressive if less venerable.
But two things impressed me above all.
The first and more important was that about a third of the incoming fresh-people were not white, and clearly belonged there as much as any of the predominantly Afrikaner white students.
This may not seem remarkable, until one considers that Stellenbosch was once, not long ago, a badge of white privilege, and is still predominantly Afrikaans in character.
It is hard to overstate the transformation which has taken place.
The move from an apartheid society to one which is genuinely, openly and even exuberantly multiracial is one of the miracles of the last thirty years.............
Read the full Article from Richard's blog - enlightening and entertaining...........
Quinton has produced this short video to show the benefits of using Aqualock
Water retaining crystals in a farming environment.
Click Here if you'd like more info or to make an enquiry
All your questions will be answered. Ask away.
My wife tells me that my website and email newsletters are very confusing.
What am I advertising, or what do I want to sell you?
Well, the fact of the matter is that I am involved in a range of different things.
I sell and supply Nursery products to Growers and Landscapers in South Africa.
Especially the smaller or startup ones.
I have an arrangement with certain manufacturers to buy and sell their products.
I do the quote and Invoice and arrange the delivery. I make a small profit.
We do not compete on price. Their role is to look after the very large users of the products. Mine is to help the smaller growers and landscapers. Or anybody who uses our products in the production of their own. Like plants.
Different products come from different suppliers.
I have been doing this for more than forty years. I have been part of companies, had my own businesses and even worked for companies selling this stuff.
I am an Honorary Member of the SA Nursery Association (retired so no longer involved).
I just do things a little differently now that I am getting on a bit. Although I'm only 73.
I use technology (email and website) to communicate with my customers and suppliers. Or anybody who may be interested.
I do not run a large operation. In fact, it's just me and my laptop. At times the cellphone.
Each product, or range of products, are featured on a page of their own.
My email is on the phone too.
I personally respond to every enquiry. A one-man-band, playing all the instruments.
Catalogues and price lists can be downloaded on each page.
If you are interested, tell me what you need (use the form on the page) and I'll do a quote for you.
If you are satisfied with the quote, you just make the payment and I'll arrange the delivery. Simple, quick and easy. All by email.
You're welcome to phone me for a chat if you don't understand something, but quotes and orders I prefer to do via email.
That's the Nursery Supply bit.................
As far as the Aqualock Water Absorbing Crystals are concerned, I do some marketing for them. All enquiries are forwarded to the owner of the business. He will get in touch with you. If you become a customer, I will earn a small commission. That's our deal and it works very well. They are the experts in their field, not me.
Then we come to the Academy of Business Owners.
I have a very long relationship with Peter Carruthers. We have known each other since the mid 80's. I have done all the courses which are relevant to me. Including the Crashproof Your Business one from way back when.
He is a Teacher, Trainer and Mentor. I am not. One could say I am a "disciple" of his.
When you click his link, you will go straight to the site and he will answer your questions.
I also get a small commission should you buy a course.
There are many, all aimed at Business Owners in South Africa. Although he now lives in Norway, he is a true blue South African. With a great deal of knowledge and experience. And a very good sense of humour.
And we all need that. Especially as South Africans.
I am also affiliated to numerous other online suppliers like Netflorist and Mantality
Same deal, if you buy something from them, I get a small commission.
A little "pocket money", so to speak.
Just Click a Pic. You'll go straight there. Deal with them direct, not me.
I love the technology of the Internet.
But a warning. Be very careful who you get involved with.
I know I can trust these people.
This is how I am building my "Passive Income" for my future.
All the financial experts (the good ones) tell me I should.
I hope this makes things a little clearer.
I am a pretty simple person, nothing special. Or complicated.
PS. I also love sharing stuff, especially if it is motivational and helps us get through trying times.
Every day above ground is a great day.
I don't "do" Social Media, so the only place I can share good stuff is from here.
Here's a thought from Seth Godin's Blog. Hope you enjoy it.
Consider two loading docks at small companies.
At the first, a tractor-trailer filled with heavy boxes shows up. The sole worker on the dock is tasked with unloading the trailer, asap.
He puts on his gloves and begins hauling the boxes, one at a time. He’s manhandling them off the truck and straining to stack them to the side. Eight hours later, he has a strained back, blisters and an empty truck. A day’s work, hard earned.
At the second dock, the sole worker looks at the truck and then heads next door, to the larger company and their foreman, a woman he met on the bus to work last week. “Can I borrow your hand truck and ramp for an hour?” It took guts to ask, he might have been rejected, but his calm manner and ability to connect worked.
An hour later, the truck is empty.
Who worked harder today?
For most of us, hard work is measured in insight, emotional effort, and connection.
It’s been a long time since the economy fairly rewarded people based on brawn alone.
And now, consider the third company, where the person at the dock planned ahead and had everything ready as soon as the truck was scheduled to arrive…
Or consider the keyboard workers, one of whom does a repetitive task all day long, and the other who did the labor to find a plug-in or macro that would do it in a few minutes…
More interesting articles are on Seth Godin's Blog
I am about to close all my Social Media Accounts. Yes, you heard right. Every one.
I will get or stay in touch with the people who are important to me like Customers, Suppliers, Friends and Family. Via email or cellphone.
As far as the phone goes, If you're not on my contact list and I don't know who you are,
I won't even answer it.
You can email me your details and I will call back. If I want to.
If you leave a voicemail, I may call you back. No guarantees.
If you're a genuine, interested human being, that is.
If I know who you are, I will call back if I can't get to the phone in time.
I don't carry it with me, so it could be anywhere.
No insurance companies. I'm too old to have life insurance.
My kids make more money than I do, so they don't need an inheritance. If they want any of my "things" all they have to do is ask. I'll give. While I'm alive.
I'm also sick and tired of all these "marketing" SMS's and recorded messages. Especially political parties around the elections. I know who I will be voting for and it's none of your business, anyway. Back off.
I don't even have a landline any more. Cancelled that last month. Peace and quiet.
I take my dogs to the dog park every weekday morning. I walk three laps around the park (4kms) and they run around and have fun. I leave them to their own devices. I keep walking. The more I call them or shout, the less they listen. They come to me when they've finished their business. Maybe there's a lesson there for us all.
Especially politicians . The louder we shout, the less people listen.
That goes for salespeople too.
So, if you don't find me on social media, never fear, I am still here.
I am a "Salespeople", after all.......
If you want me to stay in touch, subscribe to my "newsletter". You can easily unsubscribe if you don't enjoy them. They're not "spammy".
I try very hard to stay positive. Not always easy, but I'll keep trying.
Or, Bookmark this page - Subscribe to the RSS Feed. Top of the page. See them in your browser whenever you want to. They aren't all sent by email.
As I said I don't want to "bug" or hassle anybody.
AWESOME SOUTH AFRICAN INVENTIONS – JUSLAAIK! By Steuart Pennington
The author Dr. Mike Bruton in an Ichthyologist – know what that is?
Don’t be surprised if you don’t!
It is the study of fishes.
But, he is also a lover of books and a proud South African.
He recently authored a book “What A Great Idea – Awesome South African Inventions”
It is mind-boggling, divided into 29 chapter category headings it contains over 700 inventions and innovations by 330+ South African inventors, at home and abroad.
We may all know about Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Telsa, the Kreepy Krauly, Hawkeye, the Cat Scanner, Pratley’s Putty, the Dolos and other epic, world renowned SA Inventions.
But I personally didn’t know that two South Africans Martin Deale and Michael Wolfe invented the plastic Supercart and received the Millennium Products Award from the British Prime Minister.
Nor did I know that James Greathead, born in Grahamstown (statue in London) invented the drilling machines for the Underground in London
The Abalobi app, makes it possible for small scale fishing communities to be included in fisheries monitoring networks, maritime safety and marketing initiatives in such a way that the fishers will serve as both harvesters and custodians of their resources. How cool is that!
Let’s not go down the road of SALT (South African large telescope) or the Square Kilometer Array which makes South Africa the most sought after scientific destination globally!
And what about the CoroCAM, a camera that detects faults in electricity transmission lines well before they become problematic?
The Sheffel Bogie, invented in 1970 allows our trains to travel faster and more safely on our narrow-gauge railroads (1.065m and opposed to international standard of 1.435m – Cecil John Rhodes to thank for that!)
And…Sandile Ngobo’s invention enabling the controlling of a laser beam with a digital application.
Anne Githuku-Shongwe’s mobile games that make African children look to their own continent for heroes and role models while challenging social myths and stereotypes.
The list goes on….and on
The book concludes with a delightful chapter on:
HOW TO BECOME A GREAT INVENTOR and THE VALUE OF INVENTIONS,
dealing with 50 innovation concepts, including technology uptake, technology leapfrogs, innovation and design, disruptive technologies, the importance of good (and bad) ideas, the threat of robots, gig economies, inclusive design, the triple bottom line, humanising technology, and how to become an inventor.
It is a great read, particularly if you have an entrepreneurial, inventive and creative mind, or for that matter your children do!
It will surprise you!
Published by Jakana in 2017, this full colour 240 page book retails at R295.
Contact Janine Daniel at 011 628 3200 email@example.com
Dr. Mike Bruton
What if you pretended, just for a little while…
What if you acted as if?
What if you pretended that you were glad to see me, happy to deliver this service, eager for it to be well received?
What if you acted as though you were more charismatic than you feel–more confident, more competent?
What if you demonstrated optimism about what’s about to happen next, even if you’re not sure?
It takes effort, more than most of us can expend day in and day out.
But what if you invested that effort, just for a little while?
It’s entirely possible that acting as if would actually create the very outcome you’re hoping for.
I am not a teacher, guru or expert at anything.
I am a Senior Citizen with a lot of experience.
I've had many ups and downs in my life.
I want to share those with anybody who finds themselves in a similar situation.
Although not much of a "Student", I have always enjoyed learning new things.
Even as I reach my Twilight years, I still have so much to learn.
As I said, I am not a teacher. I know a lot of people who are.
That's where I get a lot of my learning from.
People like Peter Carruthers have trained, taught and mentored me for many years.
I'm very grateful.
I'm sure he could help you too. You just have to ask.
Pictured below is just one of his many courses. Click the Pic - ask your questions.
These courses will guide you into earning an income Online.
In 2003 Peter Carruthers went completely online.
He hated all the red tape and rules that got in the way normal business
He also wanted the freedom to travel with his business. On a laptop computer.
Since 2003 he averages US$15,000 in monthly online income.
He asks:"What stops you from doing the same?"
Most of us just don’t know where to start.
Most courses offer free ideas that are worthless.
They don’t show you how to actually do it!
That’s where his programs are different.
You learn tried and tested systems to build your very own online businesses.
You will learn each from scratch, step by step.
They’re the result of 35 years of experience with computers going back to the first PC in 1984.
Bottom line: If you know how to send an email then you can make this online income thing work as well.
Whether you're a youngster fresh out of school, or a grizzled old timer heading for retirement.
Click Here and let Peter show you what he can do for you.
How should a small business owner think?
Most of us find ourselves in this position because of various reasons:
The differences are vast.
Those who come from a corporate background will learn this.
We need to learn some lessons before even starting out on this adventure.
Yes, it is an adventure and should be enjoyed.
What's the point of doing something if you're not going to have a little fun along the way?
It's certainly not about rags to riches. Get rich quick. No free lunches. We have to earn our share.
Investment advisors always tell us not to use borrowed money to buy shares, for instance.
The same goes for when you start your first small business.
Never borrow money, take loans or get an overdraft before you have found a customer.
Definitely not a good idea.
If you haven't got startup money of your own, you have to "bootstrap" your business.
How does one do that? What is Bootstrapping?
Google is filled with people offering advice on this.
There are loads of books on Amazon.
Ask friends and other small business owners how they started. Subscribe to email newsletters. Those you like or those that can help you. Avoid the "spammy" ones. Don't send them either.
Invest in yourself before spending money on anything else.
We don't "need" expensive toys, especially not those bought on "tick".
It's not necessary to have a business plan. The banks won't loan you money on that. You have to have some security, like a house or insurance policy to cover them.
If you can't pay the loan within the stipulated time, they'll take the house. And everything you own to get their money. Never, ever sign a surety. Certain financial death.
The bank manager is not your friend. He may be nice enough to give you the money. It's the debt collector who comes after you. And he's a Rotweiller. No sentiment.
I know, I've been there. Not a nice place.
Instead of spending your time on all these things, find a customer. Just one to start.
Grow from there. Slowly.
When you have a few good, supportive customers, give great service. Stay in touch. Help where you can.
As time goes by, they will find new customers for you, by word of mouth.
Satisfied people tell their friends. Good news spreads. To the right people.
As Seth Godin says: "People like us do things like this"
Go for the smallest viable market. Also from Seth Godin's book "This is Marketing"
What's the point of advertising nationally, if you live in Pofadder? Find people in your own town, suburb or neighbourhood who may want what you offer.
Unhappy customers don't say anything, they just leave.
Especially if it's your fault. And it's always your fault.
Take responsibility for what you do. Or don't do it.
Accept the challenge to be successful by adapting your mindset.
Learn the things that will make your small business a success.
Talk and listen to the fundi's, gurus and teachers.
“Where you will be in 5 years’ time will depend on the books you read and the people you meet” – Jim Rohn
Read books, watch Youtube videos. Learn as much as you can.
Most of this is Free, by the way.
You don't have to spend a fortune before you start.
Of course, not all the free stuff is good stuff. Be picky.
Follow the leaders. They'll take you where you want to go.
Focus on your continuous growth, and you're sure to make it.
Believe in yourself and make your plans.
Be positive and the world will start to look like a different place.
A much nicer place.
Have you made your small business resolutions (choices) for this year?
With all the technology and social media around, which direction will you take?
Same as everyone else?
More costly advertising? More expensive marketing? More sales staff?
That's what everyone else is doing.
If you want to improve your business or make more money, some fundis say you should do less.
Use the rifle, as opposed to the shotgun. Not literally, of course. It's a figure of speech..
As Seth Godin says - "Find your Smallest Viable Market"
If you chase two rabbits, you will catch neither - Russian Proverb. That's multitasking.
Some gurus say you should check your competition and do the opposite of what they do.
Nothing radical, just small things, done often. Break with conventional thinking.
Some things you could try:
A short story could be on the few things I did right.
They more than make up for the boo-boos.
But I'm not a show-off, so I'll just share my ideas.
Small business is about Customers and Sales.
Get those right and someone else can do all the analysing and bookkeeping for you.
You'll be able to afford them.
I love what I do. I hate admin and paperwork.
Always have, always will.
Maybe I will write that book one day, but for now, I'll stick with this.
Is your small business the be-all and end-all in your life?
No time for any fun?
Seven days a week, 365 days a year.
It needn't be so. Especially if you're 60 plus.
You've slaved to be where you are, working for a boss and a pension. Now what?
Ask yourself these few questions:
And it's those closest to us who have to suffer.
We carry on doing the things we've always done, expecting things to change for the better when we get old. Or rich.
Einstein called that Insanity, but we continue to do it.
Even when we're blessed with the wisdom of age.
Its all a matter of changing ourselves. Our ways. Our habits. It's never too late.
We can learn from others, but we have to do the hard work ourselves.
Nobody can do it for us. Even a coach can tell you what to do, but the doing is up to you.
Like any world-class athlete.
As Gary Player always said: "The harder I practice, the luckier I get".
The time to start practising is NOW.
The government and big business keep saying how they want to help us small businesses.
They offer us loans, credit facilities, training, investment etc.
This is not helping us.
What would help is if they paid up front for our services.
Instead of asking for extended credit.
Or should that be "demanding" extensive credit.
And then taking so long to pay. Sometimes not paying at all.
Many a small business has hit the wall because of credit not paid on time.
Small Businesses have been wiped out by lack of payment.
Cash Flow is the single most important aspect of any business.
Big or small.
The big businesses have huge resources should someone err in payment.
Not so a small business. It's the owner's money invested in the business.
One no-payment and the brown stuff hits the fan.
What if everybody paid up front for what we want?
Including government and big business.
An investment in a house is one thing. But the latest shiny model 4x4 on credit?
Because your competition has one?
Maybe they can afford one because they don't pay their creditors?
Better to save and buy a second hand vehicle until a new one can be afforded.
Always better to pay cash.
The whole world economy would be in a better position if countries paid up front.
There should be money in the kitty. We pay our taxes on time, don't we?
No need for loans.
Some countries can't even pay back the huge loans they have been given.
To help them?
What chance does a new small business have?
Or even an old established one.
How many businesses do we hear of who have had to shut their doors because a few customers haven't paid?
Not just government and big businesses either.
Many have lost everything because of credit.
So please, government and big business, we need your help.
Not for Credit. Loans or overdrafts.
Help us to be of service to you, by paying us up front.
As for small businesses owners, if you can't afford to give credit, find customers who are willing to support you by paying up front. They are out there.
Bigger is not always better. It is a lot more expensive though.
In fact, it could cost you everything.
Has anyone noticed that the richest companies in the world get paid up front?
Amazon, Google, Facebook etc, etc. Ad Nauseum.
Want something from them? Pay and they deliver - instantly.
Now, that's something to think about.
ARE SA VOTERS HOBBITS, HOOLIGANS OR VULCANS?
In his book ‘Against Democracy’ Professor Jason Brennan from Georgetown University, highlights voter ignorance as one of the major pitfalls of modern democracies. He distinguishes between voters that are hobbits, hooligans and Vulcans. (Vulcans are the ancient Roman god of fire and smith, hence the word vulcanised rubber).
I would argue that political party insensitivity and straightforward crassness is also one of the major pitfalls of modern democracies.
What does the DA think it intended to achieve with its “The ANC is killing us” slogan as its opening salvo for this year’s election. How can Mmusi Maimane possibly have allowed it?
So incensed was I that I wrote the letter below to Business Day, I also sent it to the DA.
I wonder who gives the DA promotional advice? Their slogan “The ANC is killing us” is typical of their inability to understand what will attract voters.
In an article “Democracy is not Democratic” Arturo Bris points out that voters fall into three categories:
Given the youthfulness of our democracy and the diversity of it I would suggest that while it is obvious that we have a number of Hobbit and Hooligan voters in this country, we have more Vulcans than we suspect.
These are the only people who are likely to change their vote based on the manifesto and the sloganeering of a prominent political parties. These are the only people who will interrogate the legitimacy of campaign promises.
What does “The ANC is killing you” promise? What does it promote? What does it say that the questioning voter will support?
What information does it offer Vulcans that might get them to change their vote?
How about “The ANC is not delivering, We will, Give us a chance”.
Vulcans might give that serious thought.
Steuart Pennington is the editor of South Africa - The Good News.
Subscribe to the Newsletter.