PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
IanMartin
 
Comments: 13
Article views: 0
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all IanMartin's badges.
 

Building success

09 January 2013, 18:46

One of my weak points is laziness. As a child I held a grudge against my parents for not being wealthy enough to afford servants and spare me the irksome chores imposed on me at home. At school I achieved poorly and was thrown out of university for consistent non-performance. And I resented being told to go out and get a job. Any job.

 Some busybody once described me as ‘shiftless’ on account of my inability to remain employed for more than a few months at a time. My own father called me ‘work-shy.’

Then, when I was in my late twenties, I happened to be in a bar one morning and made the acquaintance of a man who gave me some valuable advice. I was drawing unemployment benefits at that stage and had plenty of time on my hands. That’s why I was sitting in the Astoria in Hermanus in the middle of the week. This guy of about 50 was already half drunk but I told him my life story, anyway.

“Man,” he said, when I was finished, “You got a problem. You know what your problem is? Your problem is you are unsuitable employee material. Stop trying to be an employee and become an employer instead. Start your own business.”

“What kind of business?” I said.

“Any business,’ he said. “Alright, I’ll decide for you. Become a builder.”

“But I don’t know the first thing about building,” I objected.

“No sweat,” he said. “What you do is this. You borrow some money from a relative, or a friend, or somebody, and you buy yourself a second hand bakkie. Then you hire a bricklayer and tell him you’ll make him foreman. Right, now you’ve got some brains to pick. Next, you look for an odd job, something easy like a garden wall. The bricky will know how to build it and, of course, all the time you must be stealing with your eyes and learning the ropes. Then you look for another job, and away you go. But,” he said, Remember this one thing above everything else: always act like you’re in complete control and you know exactly what you’re doing. That’s how the Europeans colonised the world.”

Well, this man might have been a drunken loser but I followed his advice and it turned out to be sound. After six months I signed my first contract to build a house, and I never looked back. Whenever I encountered a practical problem that I didn’t have the know-how to solve, I would tell my employees I had an appointment, and when I came back in two hours, I wanted the job done.

It’s amazing how resourceful a bunch of workers can be, and 9 times out of ten they didn’t disappoint me. And of course I always pretended to have known the answer to the problem they had solved on their own.

I continued to use this strategy in all my various business endeavours over the years and it served me well. The man in the bar was right: it was all about taking control and getting others to work well and make you rich in the process. My own kids seem to have inherited their father’s laziness and their mother’s scatter brains, but I’m not worried about them, having sent them to expensive private schools where they were taught the attitude that I had to learn the hard way. I’ve given them a good start and can enjoy retirement knowing that their privileged way of life is secure.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Nicholas K Mashabela
Are you a corrupter or a corrupte...

Many of our people, desperate to acquire drivers’ licenses, have for many years, found themselves being corrupted by traffic officials at driving schools.  Read more...

0 comments 792 views
Submitted by
Linda De Rooster
Children losing out

I am an Educational Psychologist who does a lot of psycho-educational assessments with children with special needs.  Read more...

0 comments 169 views
Submitted by
Sindiswa Ramokgata
Voters: Mindless Sheep?

In this godforsaken country of ours, one can only shake one’s head at the naivety of the mindless masses (MMS’s) who make up the vast majority of voters. Read more...

0 comments 442 views
Submitted by
Martin Albert
The decision on who to vote for i...

Much has been said about voting or not voting and who to vote for. I believe that both decisions are very straightforward. Read more...

0 comments 765 views
Submitted by
Colin Webster452
MSSA's General Secretary to be a ...

120 officials from e-sports and sports industries will participate in the Global e-Sports Executive Summit,which will be held by International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) in Shanghai, China for 2 days, from July 30th to July 31st. Read more...

0 comments 58 views
Submitted by
Struan Robertson
Why Does Science Set Us Free?

Why does science set us free? The short answer. Science sets us free because as a method of inquiry it is about the pursuit of truth and as the universal law stated in John so clearly says it is knowing the truth that sets us free. Read more...

0 comments 690 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2016 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.