I receive a fair amount of praise for what I have achieved “for someone my age”. I never consider what people mean by that and that’s because I don’t spend enough time reflecting and acknowledging what I’ve done. Yeah, I’m working on that, ok.
One of the most common questions I get asked is how I’ve done this in such a short amount of time. So I indulged in a little introspection and figured it out.
I Adore My Own Company and Never Get Lonely
Ask any entrepreneur if their journey has been lonely and 99% of them will respond with a despondent “Yeah…”
I own 100% of STIR, which I started at the tender age of 24 without a stitch of formal experience in digital marketing or owning my own business. While I had an incredible support system, I couldn’t have people hold my hand until all hours of the night while I put proposals together. So, for the past 6 and a bit years, I’ve spent countless days alone. And I love it because I’m so comfortable with my own company. There’s a huge difference between being alone and being lonely and if you want to succeed with your own business, you’re going to have to get used to recognising that and learn to love spending time with you.
I guess I’ve become my own best friend.
Even though consequent businesses I’ve started and built have been with partners, there are always moments when you have to make decisions by yourself – although it’s cool to be able to bounce these decisions off people who are smarter than you.
I Always Find New Ways to Keep Myself Busy
I grew up as an only child. I have two brothers, but they grew up in Durbs and I grew up in Jozi.
Disclaimer: No, I’m not spoilt. No, I’m not socially inept. No, I’m not a selfish asshole.
Only children get a bad wrap because society has forced us to believe that 2.4 children and Labradors are the ideal. (Someone holla at me when we get over this. Please.) Anyways, I owe a lot of my independence and self-sufficient ways to my upbringing. Both of my folks worked really hard, so I had to entertain myself. This forced me to be creative and figure out different ways to keep myself outta trouble.
I Learnt Independence Very Early On
I started working at 16. My first job was at The Video Spot in Sunninghill at a whopping R10 an hour. The only time I haven’t worked since then was in Matric when I knew I had to focus my attention on school. When I matriculated, I went on to waitress, model and do promo work which I continued doing when I studied further.
Besides the jobs being perceived as menial, I learned very early on that fuck all comes from nothing. I worked 20 hour days and dealt with very difficult people. Complaining achieved nothing. This attitude set me up very well for when I entered the corporate world after completing my PDM and even more so when building businesses.
I Don’t Know What Boredom Feels Like
I legitimately cannot remember the last time I was bored. I have absolutely no reason to be because my thirst for knowledge is unquenchable. If I’m not working, I’m researching news and trends on my and my clients’ industries. This habit has ensured that I remain hungry, ambitious, and on the lookout for further opportunities to advance my career and my businesses.
I find that the fuller my days are, the more productive I am.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t spend time switching off. I exercise almost daily, read, and do breathing exercises about three times a day (thanks, Apple.)
The truth is I’m so far from achieving what I ultimately want to, so my target is constantly moving. But I’ll keep you posted 😉