I’m an entrepreneur, at work

I sat at my desk last week a different person to the one I was just a few months ago. Butterflies fluttered around in my stomach and felt like I was tiptoeing on clouds ready to leap off a cliff at the same time.

KK and I have successfully started our own small business. We are officially entrepreneurs!

No one around me noticed the change (or perhaps panic in my face). People are busy and there’s very little time nowadays for anyone to stop and check-in on one another. It’s a pity because I’m not the only one standing at the edge of that cliff.

As I gazed around the desks, it dawned on me that I would not be where I am today had it not been for many of my colleagues. Their support, friendship and lessons over the years has grown me into the person I am today.

Pulling this off would also not have been possible without all the skills I had picked up during my 15 years of service at Standard Bank.

  • I’ve learnt the power of networking. Of relationship-building.
  • I understand the brand and how important it is to be true to what it is I’m selling.
  • I know how to assess the market & be aware of my competitors.
  • I’ve picked up key skills such as negotiation and buy-in.
  • I guess what excites me the most is the social media and engagement with potential customers.
  • I’ve also been taught that while the good times come, so do the bad and that it’s only by putting hard work into something that you see success.
  • Most of all, I’ve learnt patience. Things happen when the time is right.

    The view from the 4th floor of my office. Development is happening all around me.

As the bank grows, so do I. The courses I go on, the people I interact with. All of it adds to moulding me into a cleverer thinker, to be more strategic and constantly have a business-like mindset to every decision I make.

The more I grow at work, the more my business benefits. And because I’m eager to make a success out of both, the more effort I put in.

It’s a win win situation.

Is the sun going down on you?

Call it a midlife crisis, inspiration from a TED Talk or just mid-year review, but I've been on this mission to make time for more quality in my life. Notice that I said "make time" and not "find time". You will never find time, trust me on this one.

In order to make time, you need to do a combination of the following:

  • Plan your day. Make sure you know where the gaps are and which meetings at work will be productive or not.
  • Be selfish with your time. When you say yes to every meeting, every interruption and every invitation, you don't have anything left for you.
  • Make sure you're allocating enough quality time towards doing the things that enrich your life and make you happy.

To force myself to make time, I've been committed to getting home before the sun sets. I've taken a photo every day to prove that it's possible.

I've made time to bake in the middle of the week.

I've walked the dogs when I've arrived home from work.

I've even ensured that I look after myself physically and get my hair done on a regular Friday afternoon. There's no better feeling after a busy week to kickstart the weekend feeling fresh and beautiful!

More importantly I've made time to run and stick to my training programme. That's the single thing that I didn't sacrifice. Guess what? I ran a race on Saturday and was thrilled with my time! Just 2 minutes off my PB!
It pays off and the rewards come.

Make time for yourself and the things that matter in your life!

Are we racing or taking it easy? 

It’s a tad overdue but I wanted to share my review of the Northgate 10km road race with you.

It shouldn’t have been an official race for me. I gleefully jumped back into bed on the Saturday morning the day before when I saw that it was drizzling outside and promised myself that I’d run the following day. 

My training schedule read 12kms easy. Knowing that I had already skipped hills on Thursday due to work commitments meant there was no way I was getting out of this one.

I bargained with my Coach. I asked if I could run the Northgate 10km and simply add on the extra 2kms to make up 12kms. It would be easier. The race was packed with people (close to over 2000) with water stops. Sure, he said. Brilliant! 

But I was not in the right frame of mind when I started. I didn’t feel much like running and thought I’d take it easy. But when you’re in the middle of a road race, surrounded by hundreds of other runners panting and heaving & aiming to run faster than the dude next to you, you push yourself. 

The route promised to be flat and fast. But they lied. 

It didn’t matter, I kept reminding myself that I was out for an easy Sunday LSD 10km, right? Wrong! 

As much as you try slow down and not let it bother you that the walkers and prams have shot passed, it does! And so every now and then, I’d try push myself harder to keep up and do well. 

It was a flipping tough route. For me in any case. When I finished, I saw many a PB recorded on Strava. How? Did we run the same route? Well organized, packed! But hilly. 

Running the extra 2kms after completing 10kms was mentally tough! But I did it. 

I get it. It’s a race and that’s what people are there to do. As much as I thought I wouldn’t get caught up in the vibe, I couldn’t help it. It ended up being a really hard run because I didn’t know whether I was coming or going? 

Mmm, important to know before you start. If you’re not clear on what your run strategy is, it can be difficult to know if you had a good run or not. 

Lesson learnt. Oh and I’m never running the Northgate 10km race again! Just saying. 

What Munich taught me about life

Every runner needs to rest. And it’s exactly what KK and I did straight after Comrades. We flew out to Germany for two weeks of beer, pretzels and sun. For both of us it was a time of reflection.

KK analyzed his Comrades race, what went right, what went wrong and considered what steps he’d take for next year’s race. For me, the June break signified a pause in the year and an assessment of what was working in the areas of my life that I’d need to improve or release.

Munich proved to be the perfect place to view life from different eyes. This is what I saw and the lessons it taught me…

  • Drink beer! Anytime is a good time to drink beer. Drinking beer is a normal part of life for the bavarians like tea is to me. It seemed to put people in such a jovial mood. It meant that people stopped to say “prost” (cheers) to one another & take time to relax and drink this huge glass of beer. beer in munich
  • Eat carbs! My favourite was a pretzel filled with cream cheese and chives for breakfast. And forget about vegetables or salads. They don’t exist in Munich! Vegetarian options were the spatzle or dumpling. But then again, why would you choose anything other than the delicious pork roast or schnitzel?
  • Mind your own business! My friend Lisa made the comment that Munich is the city for introverts and she was right. Everyone keeps to themselves & no one interferes with one another, even though the place is bustling. Sticking to yourself and your own business is quite refreshing and definitely less stressful than carrying everyone else’s issues. 
  • Go big and make it count! Beer came in 500ml or 1 liter glasses. Nothing smaller! The pork roast was massive, the pretzels looked like they were on steroids! The bakeries were big, the bullet trains were fast and some of my favourite shops were x3 storey high buildings!
  • Riding your bicycle to a rock concert is cool! Their lives are so laid back & so relaxed. They don’t seem to care what other people think. They go with what makes sense. 

The biggest lesson I learnt was this…

  • Make time for me! Everything is closed on Sundays which means people make time to do other things. And I don’t mean be busy at the mall (because it’s also closed), but to lie around in the sun, to picnic in the park, to walk the dog and to relax. lying in the park in berlin

Thank you Munich! You’re just what I needed…