PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
IanMartin
 
Comments: 13
Article views: 623
 
 
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.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Warren Holman
Open letter to Mr Zuma Part one

Bring on 2014 and it is with utter disappointment that I look onto this country, remembering the hope I had in 1994. Read more...

1 comments 219 views
Submitted by
Tyronehster
The Halls of Jacob Zuma

Every freedom that’s been fought for every decent human right will be taken from the people more especially if they’re white. Read more...

1 comments 164 views
Submitted by
Irukandji
Why so loud?

Each one seemed to have a built-in, vocal cord amplifier – set at maximum decibels. Read more...

31 comments 474 views
Submitted by
Godless Heathen
I am an oppressor

Being a white man it is incumbent on me to oppress my rage at some of the folly I encounter daily. Read more...

6 comments 524 views
Submitted by
Guy Alain Lukoki
Position yourself and be wise!

If you are everywhere that seems you are nowhere! Do not live by chance! Read more...

7 comments 335 views
That Plane In Ukraine (update 4)

In spite of the fact that the area of Donesk has been declared to be a No combat Zone so that the investigators can do their job, Kiev continued to bomb around the city Read more...

7 comments 314 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

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 your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 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.