# Entrepreneurship

From the time I left school and realised that I cannot run away from the responsibility of employment I made the conscious decision to work for SMME’s – mainly because I wanted to get a clear picture (the unedited version) of what the word “start-up” really means but the main decision influencer was because I see the need for start-ups to receive support from a capacity point of view. More often than not people think that what they need is capital when in actuality, no amount of capital can get you the skill you require and neither can capital make up for the lack of growth – that requires a combination of things that we could write a whole new article about – and of course you can agree or politely argue the point logically. But in an effort not to digress, let me continue.

Fast forward to five years later, currently employed at in a black owned SMME, having worked in three which have all the been in operation for more than five years; I have been troubled by the strange behaviour small business owners display when they constantly feel the need to feed into a reality that is bright on the outside and broken inside.

I have seen many a hashtag in my life but none as annoying as #Entrepreneurship. What’s bothersome about this life is the unrealistic picture it paints of the working world. The dishonesty makes my soul bleed! There is nothing glamorous about running a business; it is not only tiring but it is draining, it is draining emotionally, it drains your resources and it in turn drains your employees.

Nobody tells you how hard it but their all so eager to tweet the rewards, Instagram the profits and dramatise the returns; but the truth is not dressed in bling. Life is hard enough without having to deal with the fact that you might want end up working for people who come into the office at twelve, ask you how your day was and leave at four and then tweet #entrepreneurship. Not only is it disheartening it is false advertising!

                                       Entrepreneurs-Rubin

If you’ve ever worked for a small company you’ll realise the amount of effort that goes into ensuring that you have a constant and consistent income. You’re benchmarking and we live in a society that doesn’t think quality is an integral part of a process so under no circumstances can you compromise on any part of your processes. You pour your heart and soul into assisting someone or a group of people to get their brand where it needs to be and you’re shocked when you log onto Instagram to see a veil on your hard work covered by testimonials of how hard THEY’VE worked.

At this point your probably shocked out of your eye balls at the exaggeration. After a moment you are no longer shocked but amused at the embellishment of the truth. Puzzled because would it not be easier to just speak the truth? Would it not be that once people get a clearer picture of what issues you encounter on your day to day “grind” they are able to:

1. Redirect their visions and align these to how much time and effort their supposed to put in to “making it work”

2. Respect the rewards and realise that they are a direct result of those sleepless nights

3. Be Inspired

                                                                                                     

Ladies, Why Do We Do That?

I used to get upset when guys used to call us females “crazy”, I always thought do they understand what crazy means? Do they? No, do they really? They made me want to recite a sentence out of Wikipedia, to make them understand that to be crazy is to be mad, to be wild and aggressive in behaviour; and this got me upset because as far as I knew I was lady through and through, I knew other females who were ladies so what exactly could these men be talking about?

I had received a phone call from a very dear friend of mine, who was experiencing some turbulence in her relationship, she needed someone to talk to and so I listened… To how this gentleman was making life slightly difficult by being firstly “a little distant” –Now I have always wanted to know what us females meant by someone being [a little] distant, is it possible? Are there degrees to being distant?

If the answer is YES (which it isn’t) then that is the issue. The idea that people can be distant from you a little or a lot begs the question that if people are a little distant from you does it make the hurt of the distance felt a little less painful? Because according to me, hurt is hurt, it may occur as a result of different situations and can be interpreted in different contexts but the definition of the feeling remains the same. So when someone distances themselves from me, in my heart it no longer matters how much distance there is, all my heart knows is that it hurts – my feelings are hurt.

When I hear a fellow female, especially a friend of mine start to say this in a conversation I want to give them a hug, because they are doing what I myself, and you and every other fabulous lady are guilty of. We allow, promote and enable men to treat us like we don’t matter because we give them the impression that we don’t mind, because what was once long phone calls and essays on WhatsApp, disintegrate into very little to no conversation and missed calls, till he eventually stops calling and the texts seem like the only form of communication available in 2014 and they become your lifeline.
Your lifeline becomes a string of one liners which drip of non-commitment and disinterest and you are confused poor child because he used to spend all of his time with you and now he is become Mr. Unavailable, he’s so busy, he is working so hard, he is so tired and he can’t get a break from work because his boss is a douche, and the car is giving him problems or his best friend whom you don’t know borrowed it the week you were supposed to meet (coincidence?) BLAH BLAH BLAH (Seriously ladies if we were all determined we could write a paper called Liars Daily that comes out 7 days a week because these men lie to you uurrrrday! That is a paper 365 days of the year for all the lies we been told) aren’t you tired?

                                          Stop Lying

Ladies that man is a LIAR. He is not tired; him and his car are in good shape. His boss is not a douche he is, for lying. Simple. Now, granted I don’t know a lot outside of why he doesn’t do what he used to, with that said I actually wish we would stop trying to “think like men”, I don’t want to think a like a man purely because I like how I think and my thoughts let me know that I deserve a man who is with me not because I thought like him (then he is just dating himself) but because I was myself – I was a woman. This is a plea, can we stop looking for reasons why these men do what they do and take their actions for what they are which is rude and uncaring, can we do that? Don’t be ashamed of getting hurt, be ashamed of allowing it to happen. Be ashamed of pretending not to care because you’re trying that thing that you read in that stupid book that became some stereotypical movie. Be ashamed that you honestly just invented an explanation for his behaviour without asking HIM to account for it.

You do not treat people you care about like they do not or in this case no longer exist. You can take a young walk to the Great Wall of China and come back and have this fact still here waiting for you or you could save yourself the trouble and make peace with this fact: This man is a Liar, He is Rude and he Does Not Care about you, not like how you deserve because nobody deserves that. It hurts.

I recently discovered something that rocked the scientific community to it’s core. It changed the course of our future. What made it so sensational is that it contradicted one of our age old beliefs and caused many to re-examine their research. The truth uncovered was: Men…. Can’t… Read Minds. If you really love that man, if he is really not worth letting go you would put your big girl panties on and demand better. Are you putting up with his non-commitment because you’re afraid he does not respond to your demands the way you hope he does?

Thanks Chomz @sadiewiggles, for helping me with this one. I love you .

How To Be An Ideal Employee…

I unfortunately do not have fond memories of my days working as a shop assistant in a boutique, I was nineteen years old, excited to have a job and to earn my own salary. When asked if I can sell clothes, I replied “yes!” and stopped short of the colloquialism “duh!” which means obviously; with the enthusiasm of a girl being told they are about to get a Brazilian 18 inch weave… for free. Little did I know that employment is not for the faint hearted; nobody can you prepare for you this, especially not five years of high school.

I let my excitement of getting a job overshadow the fact that there would be lots of work involved, in fact I let my excitement overshadow a lot! I didn’t know a thing about how to be an employee. I didn’t know a thing about customer service, the only reference I had been me, and I wasn’t a very nice customer. I didn’t know a lot, and how could I? I was fresh out of school just looking for an opportunity to prove myself. But instead I got given the opportunity to make mistakes, and I did exactly that. I took the opportunity and I ran with it. I didn’t get far though (obviously), I did well, in making mistakes that is. And I made HUGE blunders.

Strike One:
I didn’t realise that if a store opens at 09:00 am you can’t get there at 09:00. I was late the first week, the whole week, the lady in human resources came to talk to me (between you and me, I don’t think she liked me much, but that’s a story for another day) can you imagine my shock and my fear when I was being placed on a performance improvement plan when I hadn’t even been given an opportunity to perform?

Strike Two:
a couple of months into the job, I got bored, with myself, with the store, with the work. I just got bored and it showed. Because the store wasn’t always so busy, I tried to find ways to keep myself occupied; I started reading books. Big mistake! How do you even know who is entering the store when your engrossed in a riveting tale? And I’m those readers who gets comfy with a book, I zone out. I was becoming fast friends with human resources.

Strike Three:
I’ve recently developed a problem with drinking milk, it makes me sick, not cough cough sick but toilet sick; so on that particular day I was due for work, I found myself faced with this very annoying problem of diarrhoea. At the time, I thought I did the mature, responsible thing of calling management and notifying them of my problem. Despite the problem, I felt very good about myself and the way I handled the situation… till I walked into the boutique the next day. My joy was short-lived, because my best friend, human resources was waiting for me. I was stumped; I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong, because on the surface the job and what its responsibilities required of me seemed simple, and the job probably was simple. It was learning how to be the ideal employee that wasn’t. Working with people is never easy.

Hate will always be such a strong word to use, but I got to a point where I hated my job. I could no longer hide my dissatisfaction. Human resources became my nemesis, I developed a bad attitude, I went to work but I left my joy at home, my smiles were no longer genuine and to stay out of trouble, I stopped caring about the boutique. That attitude toward my work makes it on the list of the biggest mistakes I ever made.

You see, when you start to peel layers off of the complexities of being an employee, you start to get to the core of being employed, which is why are you there? The issues with not knowing why you are where you are in your career can lead to a variety of problems, such as a lack of work ethic. nobody tells you when you start off as a “newbie” in the world of employment that all the work that you do will be tied to service; that customer service has nothing to do with the customer but everything to do with the service that you give to them; that you are not just working, you’re helping someone to build their dream; that you’re not just working to make money but working towards building skill sets with value in exchange for a salary.

It’s hard to understand this, if you have never worked a day in your life. It is much harder to make sense of your experiences, when your guide is mistakes. Years later, this is what I know for sure:

1.Don’t assume.
If you are at any point unsure of what it is you’re supposed to do, please ask. It is going to save you the trauma of dealing with a bitter HR who thinks that you are not capable.

2.Punctuality is your best-friend.
As a rule of thumb, you should arrive 7 minutes early to interviews to give yourself sufficient time to park your car, walk into reception and ask for the person you’re going to be meeting with, calm yourself down and wait to be called in.

For work, you want to reserve as much time to meandering so the earlier you get to work, the sooner you can start convincing yourself that you’re a champion, have that fifth cup of tea and then get into it. The work is not going to do itself!

3.Have clarity.
It is important, for the sake of your own sanity to know what it is you’re required to do, it saves you the trouble of confusion and it will guide you when deciding whether this is the role for you.

Clarity gives you piece of mind when contemplating your vision. It is your direction and it gives you an opportunity to know yourself.

4.Make it a point every day to work on your Attitude.
“Our Attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working 24 hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.” – Charles Simmons

You owe it to yourself to have a good attitude. Your job may suck but keep this in mind next time: You might be giving your next employer a bad attitude.

5.Remember to learn – It’s never failure, only feedback!
Your errors are stepping-stones to your success, if you remember to remember to always find the lesson you may find that the journey is much easier to endure.

A couple of a years later, I’ve got a good story to tell. I know I am a good employee – I am Branch Manager for Define-IT Professional Placements. I’ve got zero tolerance for lateness and I am learning to listen with the intention of only absorbing.