Dear Matriculant, there’s something I need to tell you.

I can remember the day I received my Matric results like it was yesterday. I was standing outside the gates of the school staring at the words on the piece of paper. I had passed Matric but with conditional exemption to University. I had failed Maths. I had failed it so badly that even though they had pushed me down to lower grade, I had still failed. If I wanted to do any degree at University, I would need to re-do Maths.

I was 17 years old when I matriculated. How the hell anyone at that age is supposed to know what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives is beyond me!

My parents did not have enough money to send me to University. My dad handed me a cheque for R2000 and wished me well. Whatever I had planned to do from that day on was solely in my hands.

The pressure to do something weighed heavily on me and so, I took the R2000, registered at Technikon SA for the first 5 subjects of the Library Science National Diploma. I figured that I loved reading and I loved books so why not study something that I love. I also started working at the Public Library in Bedfordview. Studying through correspondence was tough but as long as I passed, I got reimbursed for the money I had spent which paid for the next year’s subjects. It took me a full 6 years to finally obtain my BTech Degree in Library Science. By this stage I had also managed to get a job at Anglo American Corporation and a couple of years later, I moved to Standard Bank.

With my library and information background, I have managed to use that skill to not only do information centre work, but competitive intelligence, environmental analysis, strategic analysis and media. You see, it’s not the degree that mattered; it was the skill that I had picked up along the way. I was like a sponge and ensured that whatever I did, I was brilliant at it.

But more than that, the people I met and the mentors I chose right from day one made all the difference to my success. Added to all that has been my attitude and will to succeed. Today I regard myself as a highly successful career woman with a stunning CV with my name on it.

I feel really bad for kids when I see how low their marks are. I was there. I was not a stupid child. In fact, I was getting B’s and C’s for all my other subjects. But Maths was just not my thing.

Dont give up

The lesson is that it’s not the end of the world if you have bad marks. It’s what you choose to do now that will determine your future. And believe me, there is a future. Don’t get caught up in what other people think. Find a skill. Do something you enjoy doing. Even if it’s as simple as reading books. The world out there is nothing like school. It’s better!

I wish you all the best!

SUCCESS by Neil Tovey

Soccer legend, Neil Tovey presented at a workshop I attended this week. My initial reaction when I heard he was coming was panic. I planned to keep as far away from him as possible for fear that he would sniff out my lack of knowledge about anything football/soccer. But surprisingly, he is a pretty casual, down to earth kinda guy. Over and above sharing some really cool stories about Bafana, Neil shared with us his take on S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

S – Solid Foundation

Laying a solid foundation is key to future success and is key to achieving your desired goals. You need to build this platform before embarking on any journey.

U – Unlimited Resources

Without people, we will fail. Each individual is an integral part of the journey. This not only includes the players but also those behind the scenes; the medical staff, finance etc. Do not underestimate the role these people play in your success.

C – Communication

It’s important that people communicate from the top down, bottom up and across all levels. Your game plan will fail if you get into the field to play a game and the team cannot communicate to one another, especially leaders to the rest of the team.

C – Committment

Go the extra mile. Put in the extra work. It’s worth it in the end.

E – Enjoyment

Do everything to the best of your ability. Enjoy doing it. Have fun.

S – Sacrifice

Time spent away from home playing games. Time put in to train. Time away from family and friends. To achieve success you need to be willing to make the sacrifice.

S – Setting goals

You need to decide where you want to be? Where are you going? Are you getting there? This matters to all aspects of our lives, both work and family.

Neil related many examples to soccer but as I listened, I realised that with all of the above, you can use for anything in life: family, career, sport, even friendships.

The important thing is that if one fails, most of the others do too.