StartUp Tip #30: Slay at the office and play horsie at home


Actors spend months and months getting into role.

They also spend time getting out of role.

The dangers of actors not getting out of role [i.e de-roling] is that the roles they play affects their personality, creating depression, acting out or heavy drinking because they didn’t leave their characters behind at the end of the day.

We are all actors.

We play different roles in a stage of life.

We play the role of a father, sister, brother, son or daughter.

We play the role of an entrepreneur, manager, super-star soccer player or actor.

We may not think that way, but when we get to our work places, we assume certain roles and perform tasks and get paid at month end.

We are acting our lives.

When you put hours into your role, you become good.

Spend more time studying, you become a good student.

Spend more time improving your cooking skills, you become a good chef.

Spend more time improving your caring skills, you become a good caring partner.

Great actors, spend time perfecting their roles.

What we focus and spend more deliberate time on, improves.

Great actors like Sello Maake Ka Ncube, Lupita Nyongo or John Kani spend time immersing ourselves in their acting roles.

We work hard as entrepreneurs.

We put in long hours slaying at the office.

We leave last on the soccer pitch practicing our free-kick technique.

We leave late in the studio learning our lines and understanding a character.

When we succeed in those roles, the world celebrates us, we become public successes.

When you get home, your family expects to see a father, mother, sister, brother, daughter.

Which means when you leave your business, office, soccer pitch, the studio, you have to de-role from being an entrepreneur, manager, super-star or actor and get into the role of being a father, mother, sister, daughter, son.

When we don’t put more time and effort perfecting those roles, we become private failures.

Cornet Mamabolo [lead actor as Thabo ‘Those’ Maputla in Skeem Saam] in his recent talk says, the problem is when you don’t de-role when leave work, instead you carry your work role to home. You perform as an actor at home instead of a father, brother, or son.

The problem is when a superstar actor behaves like a diva at the airport throwing “you don’t know who I am?” to the official checking her in.

The problem is when a successful entrepreneur sees his wife is an employee when he gets home.

The problem is when a superstar son refuses to run errands for his mother because he believes a superstar doesn’t do those chores.

The problem is when a daughter who has done well at university and now holds a respectable position at work, now she thinks she smarter than her mom.

The problem is when the high position wife gets home and behaves like her home is a boardroom.


The problem of not de-roling when you get home is that it creates tension with people around you.

In order to succeed in her next role, a great actor has to de-role her previous role and mentally and emotionally get into the next role.

Relationships work the same way.

When you get home and you still play the role of a manager at home instead of husband, it creates tension.

When you fail to de-role from your professional role, your home role is left unfilled.

When people at home expect to see a father, sister, brother, daughter, son instead they get to meet an entrepreneur, manager, super-star, actor.

De-roling means when you get home, you play the role of a father and do what fathers do, when you are mother, you mother at home, when you are a son, daughter, sister, cousin, you play that role.

You are an amazing entrepreneur, strive to be an amazing husband at home.

You are a high flying slayer at the office, strive to an amazingly wife at home.

You are a kickass soccer star, strive to be an obedient son to your parents.

You are an amazing actor on stage, strive to be a dependable friend, sister, brother.

De-roleing is not about work-life balance, it is about knowing your various roles, knowing when to switch between them and playing the right roles at the right times.

Failure to play the right roles at the right time might result in being a public success but a private failure [or vice-versa]

Get on your knees and play horsie with your kids at home, and slay the following day at work.

On Saturday, take their mom out on date-night.

Sunday afternoon, spend some time mentoring young boys in your community.

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