Honesty and simplicity

fMucRBaH

Former President Nelson Mandela once said:

“People tend to measure themselves by external accomplishments, but jail allows a person to focus on internal ones: such as honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, generosity, and an absence of variety. You learn to look into yourself.” 

A life of simplicity can be defined as a life that has removed all of the nonessentials.

It is marked by oneness.

It is uncomplicated.

As a result, it is freeing.

It allows our lives to be focused on the things that are most important to us.

Simplicity is a life of less clutter, of less complications.

Simplicity in life cannot be achieved without honesty.

Honesty can live without simplicity, but simplicity cannot live without honesty.

Consider the fact that every time we are not truthful, we create an alternate reality.

Immediately we tell a lie, we have created the burden to maintain an alternate life and as a result we can’t live a simple life.

And subsequently, we are forced to live a life in both worlds: the true one and the one we have created.

On the other hand, when we choose honesty in all aspects of life including our marriage, our business, and our relationships, we live the same life wherever we are.

Honesty leads to simplicity, but dishonesty leads to duplicity, the exact opposite.

Advertisements

It’s always too soon

Unknown-1

Every time we are supposed to do something that matters, we always hold back and tell ourselves:

It’s too soon.

I need more proof.

Someone else should go first.

The market is not ready.

Johannes Gutenberg launched the printing press when 94% of people in Europe were illiterate.

He should waited until everyone knew how to read.

There were no bookstores, He should have waited until there was Exclusive Books.

When Karl Benz introduced the car to Germany, it was against the law to drive a car, He needed a permission letter from the king to use his new device.

There were no roads, there were no petrol stations, there were not drive-throughs.

No one knew how to drive a car.

The fellas who are busy with self-drive cars, they are doing it even when there were no laws for self-drive cars.

They didn’t wait for the self-drive cars to get driver’s license.

When Lucas Moloi decided to do an online radio station in South Africa, he didn’t say no one listens to radio online here, he did it, and then CliffCentral did it, and then TouchHD did it, and others.

Today people listen to radio online all the time.

It’s always too soon, and that’s okay.

Change almost never fails because it is too early. It almost always fails because it is too late.

Tell a story

mens-hand-tattoo-logo-harley-davidson-tattoo-designs

Great entrepreneurs create an environment that makes it almost impossible for a potential customer to not talk to you.

People buy the story, and they get the product for free.

What is the story you give to people to spread the word about you?

Communities, tribes, followers whatever you want to call them, need to feel like they belong to something, that is for them.

And to flip that on it’s head, people need to feel like if they are not part of the community, then they are missing out.

We have created FOMO [Fear Of Missing Out] Because people inherently want to be in sync with people like them.

One of the things people want in life is the need to belong.

To belong to a family group, church group, soccer team supporters branch, women’s group, men’s group, vote for a particular political party, belong to a specific community of thinkers, of doers, of like-minded.

That’s why we have Facebook group pages, WhatsApp groups, all-white parties, monthly stockvels, etc so that we be part of the group.

We want to belong and we want to belong to a group that tells a story that resonates with us.

Why is it thousands of people have Harley Davidson tattoos, and nobody has a Suzuki tattoo?

They have bought the Harley story more than the Suzuki story.

People like us, do things like this.

People like us, buy soccer jerseys for a team because we are “peace-loving.”

People like us, wear all-white and go have a party.

People like us, attend conferences of ideas worth spreading.

People like us, go to universities like this.

People like us are fighter for economic freedom in our lifetime.

People like us, do things like this.

Could you say that for your own business?

What is the story of your business?

Will we miss you when you are gone?

9-inspiring-quotes

Will we miss you when you are no longer around, when your brand ceases to exist, when you resign, when your business closes?

Will we miss you when you are no longer there.

The best way to be missed when you are gone is to stand for something when you are here. Works for people, works for brands.

When I say “missed when you are gone,” I’m not talking about having a lot of people come to your funeral.

I’m talking about creating a reputation where you get asked back, where people seek out your product, where a store or a conference or an agenda is not complete without you, where people seek your leadership, your thoughts, your wisdom, your insights and guidance.

 

Hope and expectation

2882172621_eaa3d004c7_z

Hope and expectation, they always seem to be the same thing, but they are not.

Perhaps I should first distinguish between expectations and hope.

When I use the word expectation I am referring to a belief that a particular event or action will occur.

When we hope something happens, we are acknowledging that there is little likelihood of it occurring, for example, I hope to win the lottery. We would like it to happen, but we do not expect it.

When we expect something to happen, we feel disappointed when it does not, for example, I expected to get the promotion and it was given to someone else.

With expectations we anticipate that the event will in fact occur.

When we hope something happens, we rarely feel terribly disappointed when it does not occur.

Hope is fuel, it moves us forward and it amplifies our best work.

We hope something will happen.

We expect something will happen.

We have expectation of how it will happen.

We make it ever more concrete as we get ever more hopeful.

Here is the thing, without hope, you are not going to accomplish anything.

It is hope that get’s us out of bed in the morning.

It is hope that helps us solve a difficult problem.

It is hope that drives every creator to create anything.

I hope this will change someone.

I hope this will make a difference.

We are optimists about the possibility that something might happen.

But expectation is the killer of joy, the shortest route to disappointment.

When we expect that something will happen, we cannot help but be let down when it does not happen.

As expectations rise, we make it more and more likely we will be disappointed.

What we must do as creators is to hope, and to hope in abundance.

Hope over hope over hope, to keep ourselves going.

We have to renunciate expectations, we have to lower or destroy expectations.

We have to be able to say: This might not work.

What I’m hoping you will do, having thought about this and working on it, is to be able to say: “Here I made this.”

“Here I made this, I hope it changes you.”

“Here I made this, I hope it was worth making.”

“Here I made this, I would like to be able to make something else for you again.”

When we say “Here I made this,” we must also be able to give the person we made it for the freedom to say “thanks, but no thanks, this is not for me.”

We must forgive them and say “you are right, it is not for you, and that is okay.”

In fact the entire market may say: “it is not for me.” Then we have to go and make something else.

We are better off hoping without expectations.

“Here I made this, it might work, it might not work. I hope it will change you.”

These are the mantras of someone who wants to make change in the world.

It is not something that we do once, it is not something we do when we have to.

It is something we get to do, it is a privilege, it is something we do over and over again.

It is something we are never done with.

 

 

Book Review: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 4.21.14 PM_article_large

Reading this book is like being in one long comedy session. Trevor Noah has done an amazing work of narrating his journey as a colored person in apartheid South Africa.

Similar to his comedy, Noah tells the stories of his childhood with a wit and a sarcasm, but also a realism and startling and brutal honesty. He seems to revel in pointing out what should be painfully obvious, but he does so with humility and deprecating humor.

He writes about being coloured [mixed race] in apartheid South Africa but more about his mother’s strength and resilience in raising him there.

The star of the book has to be his mother. Trevor Noah’s mom ninja, a starring, she is one amazing woman. After reading this book, I think I’m more a fan of Trevor’s mom more than Trevor. That mother rocks.

In this book, Trevor does an amazing job of narrating how growing up in Apartheid South Africa. As someone who grew up in a township during apartheid, I can relate to Trevor’s experiences.

There are so many short stories that Trevor takes us through, when he had to jump off a moving car with her mom, how her mom took him to various churches, white churches that took an hour and it’s over and black churches that took 5 hours on a Sunday, he narrates life in township, prison, domestic violence, life at school, there are many stories he takes you through.

He pokes jabs and makes fun of the stupidity of the apartheid system.

The thing about comedians is that even if they are funny, they are smart and have to research a lot of their content. This book is well researched and Trevor makes the serious matter of crime funny.

The final chapter is very emotional, it hits you like a smack on your face. Very heavy chapter, had to sit in the car for a while after reading it.

Rating:

9/10

I truly enjoyed the book. There are times where I felt it was long winded in certain sections but I highly recommend it.

The book struggles to pick momentum in certain areas, his matric dance part was just too winded.

I’m not a fan of books being turned into movies, but I think this book will make an amazing movie, on condition that Trevor is the main actor and the Bomb Production crew produces it.

Emotional, entertaining, informative, motivational, humane and very funny.

What a story. What a life. What a mother. Wonderfully written.

Quotes that stood out for me:

  • “I wasn’t a lonely kid—I was good at being alone. I’d read books, play with the toy that I had, make up imaginary worlds. I lived inside my head. I still live inside my head. To this day you can leave me alone for hours and I’m perfectly happy entertaining myself. I have to remember to be with people.”
  • “People love to say, “Give man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing. Working with Andrew is the first time in my life I realized you need someone from the privileged world to come to you and say, “Okay, here’s what you need, and here’s how it works.” Talent alone would have gotten me nowhere without Andrew giving me the CD writer. People say , “Oh, that’s a handout.” No. I still have to work to profit by it. But I don’t stand a chance without it.”
  • “Nelson Mandela once said, ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.’ He was so right. When you make the effort to speak someone else’s language, even if it’s just basic phrases here and there, you are saying to them, ‘I understand that you have a culture and identity that exists beyond me. I see you as a human being”
  • “We live in a world where we don’t see the ramifications of what we do to others because we don’t live with them. It would be a whole lot harder for an investment banker to rip off people with subprime mortgages if he actually had to live with the people he was ripping off. If we could see one another’s pain and empathize with one another, it would never be worth it to us to commit the crimes in the first place.”

  • “So many black families spend all of their time trying to fix the problems of the past. That is the curse of being black and poor, and it is a curse that follows you from generation to generation. My mother calls it “the black tax.” Because the generations who came before you have been pillaged, rather than being free to use your skills and education to move forward, you lose everything just trying to bring everyone behind you back up to zero.”
  • “Language brings with it an identity and a culture, or at least the perception of it. A shared language says ‘We’re the same.’ A language barrier says ‘We’re different.’ The architects of apartheid understood this. Part of the effort to divide black people was to make sure we were separated not just physically but by language as well…The great thing about language is that you can just as easily use it to do the opposite: convince people that they are the same. Racism teaches us that we are different because of the color of our skin. But because racism is stupid, it’s easily tricked.”

  • “Relationships are built in the silences. You spend time with people, you observe them and interact with them, and you come to know them—and that is what apartheid stole from us: time.”
  • “People always lecture the poor: “Take responsibility for yourself! Make something of yourself!” But with what raw materials are the poor to make something of themselves?”
  • “Racism teaches us that we are different because of the color of our skin. But because racism is stupid, it’s easily tricked.”

  • “But the real world doesn’t go away. Racism exists. People are getting hurt. And just because it’s not happening to you, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. And at some point you have to choose; black or white, pick a side. You can try to hide from it. You can say, oh I don’t take sides, but at some point, life will force you to pick a side.”
  • “In America the dream is to make it out of the ghetto. In Soweto, because there was no leaving the ghetto, the dream was to transform the ghetto.”

  • “My mom did what school didn’t. She taught me how to think.”
  • “The first thing I learned about having money was that it gives you choices. People don’t want to be rich. They want to be able to choose. The richer you are, the more choices you have. That is the freedom of money.”
  • “Comfort can be dangerous. Comfort provides a floor but also a ceiling.”

  • “The world doesn’t love you. If the police get you, the police don’t love you. When I beat you, I’m trying to save you. When they beat you, they’re trying to kill you.”
  • “If you spoke to me in Zulu, I replied to you in Zulu. If you spoke to me in Tswana, I replied to you in Tswana. Maybe I didn’t look like you, but if I spoke like you, I was you.”

 

LORA 2018 Guest Lecture Series

26993369_1793381887347005_8258666179458241540_n

LORA strives to bring thought-leaders, men and women who are pathfinders, entrepreneurs who have affected the very fibre of our thought process, who influence our set of beliefs, and engage our mindsets in elements of value.

LORA Lecture Series has brought highly successful business leaders from a variety of industries to campus to share their experiences and give advice to our entrepreneurs on topics ranging from “building a venture around intellectual capital” to “successful entrepreneurship in large organisations” and “socially responsible leadership.”

Current students and alumni [former students] access theses lectures for free. If you are not a current or former student yet, you can access these sessions at R100 per session.  

If you would like to attend the sessions, please rsvp by sending an email to: roche@loracentre.com

We are excited to announce the LORA guest lecturers for 2018:

Ms. Faith Katsaura [Zim] – Saturday, 17 February 2018

Founder: Zuva Printers

15219594_1630725293889681_5698374523105387542_n

For Faith Katsaura, business has become her way of life. Each day starts with the challenge of how to sustain her two enterprises or how to make them better.

Winner of the Women in Enterprise Awards in the SME category in 2013, Katsaura-Mawande is the founder and owner of Zuva Printers, a printing company in Zimbabwe. She also co-founded Paddock Gears, an engineering company.

Zuva Printers is a company that aims to provide innovative printing and packaging solutions to the Zimbabwean market.

Faith holds a Diploma in Marketing Management and Bachelor of Business Administration from Institute of Marketing Management and MBA degree from Regenesys Business School.

Twitter: @faithkats

Mr. Jabu Stone [SA] – Saturday, 10 March 2018

Founder: Jabu Stone Natural Hair

Jabu Stone

Jabu Stone grew up in Daveyton on the East Rand, but nurtured and retained strong cultural ties with the elders of his father’s village in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal.

His interest and love of the African hair care industry originates from his time helping out in his sister’s salon during the 1980s.

And so Jabu Stone created the brand name, products and salon network, with the company committed to protecting the physical integrity of African hair, while safeguarding African identity and highlighting its rich heritage.

Jabu Stone hold a Bsc in Engineering from University of Cape Town.

Twitter: @JabuStone1

Ms. Leah Molatseli [SA] – Saturday, 17 March 2018

Founder: Lenoma Legal

Leah Molatseli

Leah is an attorney turned Founder and MD of Lenoma Legal, a legal consulting firm which specializes in commercial and labour issues for small to medium sized businesses in South Africa, based in Bloemfontein South Africa.

Before that she practiced law for a number of years, sat on numerous business chamber boards.

She frequently publishes articles on different platforms. She is also a contributory writer for News24 Voices. It is her passion for entrepreneurship and female empowerment that moved her to start Lenoma Legal.

Twitter: @leahmolatseli

Mr. Lebona Moleli [SA] – Saturday, 21 April 2018

Founder: The Marketing Kraal

15078605_1168720019830770_7707248075757382018_n

Rre Lebona Moleli founded both The Marketing Kraal and Lesaka Marketing Consulting in 2007. The Marketing Kraal is an Outdoor advertising and media company based in Johannesburg.

Lesaka Marketing is a Marketing Consulting Agency that focuses in the SMME market and provides consulting and mentoring services in the field of marketing strategy.

Lebona has more than 15 years experience in manufacturing, operations and marketing gained at SA Breweries , Coca-Cola,South African Airways and Uthingo Management.

Rre Lebona holds a Bsc in Chemistry from University of Lesotho, Msc from Clark Atlanta University and MBA from Wits University.

Twitter: @LebonaMoleli

Ms. Marang Marekimane [SA] – Saturday, 19 May 2018

Founder: Business Process Mechanics

marang-marekimane

Marang Marekimane is the founder of Business Process Mechanics, assisting entrepreneurs to review their business models and automate business processes to build sustainable businesses.

After 11 years as a Project Management Consultant, and now working with entrepreneurs to improve business operations, Marang believes that success relies on a person’s tolerance for change. As a result, she is focused on providing entrepreneurs with the resources they need to adopt the change.

Marang is often invited by corporates such as Standard Bank and South African Breweries (SAB) to facilitate masterclasses as part of their enterprise and supplier development programs. As a public speaker, Marang is often invited to give practical tips to entrepreneurs and share insights on accessing markets and improving the entrepreneurship eco-system – including a TEDx talk motivating why we should buy “Made in Africa”.

Twitter: @ProcessMechanic

Venue:

The lectures will be held in Midrand, Johannesburg:

Midrand [3 Tybalt Place, Waterfall Office Park, Bekker Road, Vorna Valley, Midrand.

Current students and alumni [former students] access theses lectures for free. If you are not a current or former student, you can access these sessions at R100 per session.  

If you would like to attend the sessions, please rsvp by sending an email to: roche@loracentre.com