It all starts with knowing what matters to you
- April 22, 2018
Tumelo Mashteng took the opportunity of being laid off from her job to start her business selling “My My’s Chillis” in Botswana in Feb 2017.
Umutoni Monalisa was an unemployed student who followed her interest in hairstyle and make-up to eventually launched her own brand “Mona Faces” which is now a popular brand for make-up artistry across Uganda.
Udoka Uju was an accountant in a bank in Nigeria until she decided to start a business as “The Lady Painter” as well as a not-for-profit called “Grab-a-Brush. Colour-a-Life”.
Do you see the common thread with these three entrepreneurs?
That’s right, all three were ordinary African women who changed their situation in order to live the life they imagined.
Each woman took the opportunity to use their skills and experience to start their own business.
Each woman weighed up the options and took the risk to create the life they wanted.
And what’s more, all three women are alive now and living in Africa. They’re happy, busy and they’re making it happen!
LIFE IS FULL OF OPTIONS
Now some of you might think, “Oh that’s not possible for me. She had opportunities that I don’t have.” That might not be true. You need to know that each of these women had their days of doubts and difficulties too.
The point is not that they had more opportunities, it’s that they made the most of the opportunities that came their way. They made their choices and took their chances!
You have choices, options and opportunities. You have a mission, purpose and an exciting adventure waiting for you.
You also have responsibilities, obligations and decisions. Sometimes the latter can seem to slow you down from accomplishing your dreams, mission and purpose. You get the chance to choose and decide how you will make sense of your responsibilities and your dreams.
YOU HAVE CHOICES
Granted your options may not be easy and your choices may seem limited today. But you can take a longer term view because things are not ending today. You have time. As long as you have breath, you have time and opportunity!
You can change your situation. You can imagine and dream.
The desires you have within you are not accidental. There are things on earth that your community need you to do because they can only be done by you. You have unique gifts.
YOU HAVE CAREER OPTIONS
In fact, the research tells us that we have more options and opportunities to change than ever before!
In terms of employment and career options, many people change careers, and change jobs quite frequently. And that trend is true for African youth too. It is highly unlikely that you will spend 30 years in one job with one company – these days people rarely stay longer than 4.5 years in the same job. And the great thing about that is the freedom it gives you!
You can change your mind.
You can try something and change your mind when you outgrow it.
You can fail and start something new.
You can start with one idea and end up doing something very different than what you first had in mind.
You can move forward.
THIS IS ONLY A PHASE IN YOUR JOURNEY
Whatever your situation is right now, you can know that it is just a phase. Your situation will change! You can be ready to take the next step because you always have options, dreams and choices!
I suspect some of you may feel that your situation is too difficult – that you are somehow truly stuck and without hope. BUT I strongly believe that even if you feel stuck now, this is only a phase. I doubt that you will be truly stuck forever.
Your time is coming!
Every person has something special that the world needs to see.
You are not the same as anybody else in your family or you community!
Whether you live in a city of a million or a village of a hundred people, there is no-one else like you who can do what you do in the way you do it.
You owe it to yourself to do your thing, your way and to bless those around you with your special talent, gift!
So, look again and see all the options that are possible for you. With the new technologies and internet, everything is in reach for everyone now.
As Africans we skipped the landline era and went straight to mobile phones and smart tech tablets. It’s very possible for you to keep up and use the new opportunities wherever you are in Africa.
You’re reading this post, so you already have enough tech skills to get you this far! You can choose to go further!
You are not meant to be just like Tumelo Mashteng, Umutoni Monalisa or Udoka Uju. They can inspire you, but you are meant to be you and to do exactly what matters to you.
Let’s get started by figuring out what is important to you and how you imagine life could be for you in future.
IT ALL STARTS WITH UNDERSTANDING YOUR BIG DREAM
Use the tools you have at hand and find space to think and reflect. The Nobel prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman says that the best tool on the market is a simple marble notebook.[/b]
Indeed, the best tool in your toolkit is your journal. Grab it now, or a piece of paper and pen, and start writing. Set a timer for 15 minutes and start to describe your life as you imagine it in 10 years time.
We love to hear your thoughts. Ask us a questions or tell us what would you love to do if you had all the resources you needed. What is your BIG dream? How have you always imagined your life would be?
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