Way back when I was in primary and secondary school, I used to be an avid athlete. My favourite races were the 100 meters as well as some long distance marathons.
Even today, though I may not be as fit as I was when I was younger, I find great satisfaction when I hit the treadmill for a good run.
During those marathons I always found that it was when I was approaching the finishing line that I would develop a stitch on my side. That uncomfortable stitch would persist and basically send a message to my mind saying 'Just give up Miyanda, you are tired, you are not even number one so just take it easy and walk the rest of the way.'
Immediate another thought would tell me that I had an obligation to my teammates and the school I was representing and needed whatever score I could get. And so I would continue running while holding my side where the stitch was hurting. However, after a short while and due to my persistence the pain would finally stop and I would run even faster, finish the race and be awarded the much-needed points for my team.
This simple example is exactly what many people experience in their lives every day. They conceive the perfect plan to start their own business after they realise that they are always broke long before payday arrives. In fact, by the time payday comes, they owe so many people that they switch off their phones to avoid paying their debts.
Finally, courage is gathered to quit their job and join the entrepreneur rat race. The first one month the new business person is energetic, goes everywhere looking for clients, works twenty-four-seven, does everything any business person can do to make their start up business as success. By the end of the month and because it is a new business, no money has come in.
The few clients who purchased your service of product tell you that your payment is not ready and that you should come back after 30 days. Tired and frustrated, you get home and your wife tells you that your children's school called saying your children will not be allowed in class unless school fees are paid. Three days letter electricity is cut off as you have not paid your bills. You call your brother or sister for some financial assistance telling them that you will pay back as soon as you collect your payments.
The second month doesn't seem any better, neither does the third or the sixth month or even after one year. It continues to be a hand-to-mouth business operation.
In some months, you just manage to pay your workers and nothing for yourself. After hanging on for over twelve months, your wife or husband tells you to just stop stressing the family, they even threaten to leave you if you don't start looking for a job. You finally reach your breaking point and after some careful thought, you decide enough is enough and the next morning you are in a suit going from office to office dropping your CV.
Within a short period of time, you fortunately find a job to your family's relief and you are back to being employed and broke on payday. Does this sound familiar? I have witnessed sharp intelligent people embark on the drive to set up their own business only to give up when they reach their breaking point.
They lose focus on the prize, they do not realise that the concept 'it is always darkest before dawn' does make sense. It is not rocket science that starting and running a business is not a walk in the park, it takes unquestionable determination and commitment. It takes you having the patience of an elephant and yet the intelligence of a professor, it takes drive, it takes enthusiasm.
Yes most of the times you will face challenge after challenge, you will be discouraged by people around you especially those very close to you, family and friends. You must keep your head up high, you must keep the faith, and you must place all your trust in the higher power of God. Your abilities, skills and the love of God will take you through the toughest challenges.
You may say well Miyanda; I am not a Christian so what you are saying does not help me. That's not a problem, there must be something or someone in your life who will benefit from your success. My faith in Isaiah 41 vs. 8-10, as well as every time I see my two daughters, I am reminded to try just one more time before I threw in the towel. I am reminded that I have an obligation to give my children the best life any child can expect.
The breaking point will always be there. In fact, it will appear in your walk to success many times over again. Stay focused, as my Golf instructor Steve always says 'Miyanda, do not take your eyes off the ball, stop rushing to see how far the ball has gone until you have hit the ball. He always sayS once you hit the ball, then you can step back and enjoy watching the distance the ball will go.
I am not just writing this article from without, I am only 38 years and yet for the last seven years, through some of the toughest times in my life, I have hang on to see my company Prosoft grow to what it is today. Never ever lose focus, do not take your eyes off the ball and you will reap the fruits of your labour.
The Author is Chief Executive Officer for the Prosoft Group of Companies. For any suggestions and comments please email 0979472850. visit www.prosofthumanresource.com
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