Friends & Friction | Business must not be distracted by politics

Absence of limitation is the enemy of greatness.

Are you starting a career when unemployment is at a record high of 27%?

Count yourself lucky – the mountain you are about to climb will take you to heights only a few will reach.

Don’t ask what you’re going to do, instead ask what you want to do.

There will be setbacks along the way. You will find immovable rocks as you walk deeper and deeper into the wilderness.

A friend of mine lost his only son while business was tough. He sunk into a quicksand of hurt.

One morning, just before a pitch to clients, he called me to say he had dreamt of his son and he was too distracted to do the presentation. He thought of pulling out, and asked what I thought.

I knew how important that pitch was for his business. I took a deep breath as I tried to make sense of the situation.

“See that dream as a good luck charm,” I replied.

My friend cried. I wanted him to stand up and punch back at adversity. I didn’t want him to cower and surrender to circumstance.

I wanted him to keep the candle of positive attitude lit in a blistering storm. He won the pitch.

In the past two decades or so, we have heard so many good stories about black empowerment that we now think success is a birthright.

We have forgotten that we are, in fact, pioneers. Many black people are first-generation businesspeople. They are making the mistakes from which their children will learn.

Sadly, we live in a world that has imposed a linear link between causality and effect.

Where there is none, we impose one and, in typical South African fashion, we hunt for the deemed culprits and seek to punish them at the stake.

But the nation will not be built by the timid. It will be built by the pain of those who dare to dream and try, and we should not disturb them.

As election season comes around again, entrepreneurs must not be distracted by the politics of hate.

Your energies should not be directed against anyone, but rather to helping the community that you serve by giving them products and services at prices that are fair and profitable.

In the end, your energy will help fight unemployment and desperation.

Business is in a constant fight to remain relevant. Markets change, products become obsolete and services become outdated.

It is the duty of the entrepreneur to keep their business in business by imagining the future and creating new opportunities.

Politics may be about left or right, but business is about up or down. It is about lifting the lives of the community and the profits of the entrepreneur.

There is an urgent need to have a creative approach to unemployment.

Start-up businesses do not have the money to employ people, but when young people are sitting at home, it is better to give them an opportunity they can later use to establish their own careers.

In the past, small business existed to support big business, but this has changed.

Small businesses around the world are creating their own ecosystems, relying on each other for support and growth, pooling their resources, reducing their costs and facing up to corporate behemoths.

So call your peers and cooperate with them instead of competing against them.

This may open up more opportunities for the youngsters in our country.

When young people team up without adult supervision, their creative power is unimaginable.

They will take the country and push these difficult times to a distant corner of history.

Kuzwayo is the founder of Ignitive, an advertising agency

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ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has written a letter suspending party president Cyril Ramaphosa in apparent retaliation after he was served with a letter of suspension on Wednesday.
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He doesn't have the power
32% - 23 votes
It’s a declaration of war
19% - 14 votes
Nothing but a distraction
49% - 35 votes