Oh, sweet Africa, You’ve stolen my heart.
I went on a journey in the last few months to various parts of Africa, and it was life-changing. I had high expectations regarding our projects, and they were exceeded. We contributed a lot and received much more.
The wealth of wisdom is knowledge. ~ Swahili
We often learn about the different cultures in the world, and in actuality, we are all different in our business. My own clients would tell me that ‘you don’t know my business. It’s business, people! The recently-recent trip to South Africa affirmed that. I’ve reached a conclusion, both in our private lives as well as in our professional lives, that we’re really more alike than others.
If you’re brimming with pride, then you lack the wisdom to be wise. A classic African proverb
LESSON 1 – The sentence really struck me.
The only MAJOR lesson that I believe we can take from the people of Africa is to listen. To swallow our pride and self-importance and truly listen. At the speaking engagements I had in Johannesburg, and at the coaching/mentoring/training sessions in Zimbabwe, it was amazing to me that you could actually hear a pin drop in the rooms. The women who were entrepreneurs had a massive thirst for knowledge, and whenever any of us talked, the room was utterly silent. This reminded me about what is missing in our gatherings, meetings, as well as retreats, and workshops. This is undoubtedly a business lesson that all of us from North America can get better at. When we listen, we learn.
Traveling is an opportunity to grow. ~Kenyan Proverb
LESSON #2 “When you travel in front of you, you transforms the world around you.
” This is a quote that I posted on my travel blog almost four years ago when I was on a globe tour. The same feelings I have as I just returned from Africa. Traveling is a way to learn. Entrepreneurs should get away from their zones and out of their community and from the four corners of the globe and travel. We can offer a lot of thanks to the many successes that have been achieved across North America – but we also have much to learn from the people of different nations. Although we’re more alike than we are different, however, I believe there are many ways that we can make our lives easier and, when traveling, we’re exposed to these various ways. In Zimbabwe, we developed custom budget sheets that were simple for women to keep track of their income. A lot of my OWN clients don’t have this habit. Maybe they should travel into Zimbabwe for a chance to study from women entrepreneurs the value of recording our data. On the trip, we discovered the value of the community (we are stronger when we work together! ) and the importance of asking the value of the right question of punctuality (many women had to walk for hours in order to secure their seats in our class) and the joy of learning. I believe that we take things of things for granted as a people in North America – travel is the key to gaining perspective.
Unity is strength; division is weakness. ~ Swahili proverb
Lesson #3: strength in numbers!
While working with women at markets located in Victoria Falls or as part of the Global Mentoring Walk in Johannesburg on International Women’s Day, it was clear that there is the power of numbers. Many entrepreneurs attempt to do everything themselves. This is among the biggest mistakes I have seen. If you travel and witness the diversity of culture and strength which can exist in the numbers, This is a valuable lesson we can learn from. Every entrepreneur should have a mentor and join a mastermind business group. Separation IS a weak point – it could cause loneliness, isolation, stress, and a host of other issues. We are stronger when we work together!
If you’re looking to move quickly, you can do it by yourself. If you’re looking to travel far, you should go with a group. • African proverb
If I’m happy with my family, then that’s happiness. • Ute proverb
LESSON #4: SET UP A BUSINESS that supports your LIFESTYLE
This is one of the lessons we can take from women in Africa. Keep in touch in your relationship with your loved ones. I’ve seen many entrepreneurs work for hours of incredibly long and challenging hours and sacrifice time with family. That’s backward, people. You need to be able to see clearly regarding your personal life and your family – and to create your own business to support this. Women in Africa are highly focused on their families. It’s obvious. Yes, they are eager to study. Yes, they would like to be employed. They want to earn money. They know their main reason for doing it – their family. If you’re in perfect harmony with your family, it is a sign of success. Have a look at your personal situation today – are you at peace? Do you require adjustments? Are you looking to travel and experience the life of a family in Africa for a fresh perspective? You are in control. Make a choice.
There isn’t a crime to earn money by working. It is a shame to be in Africa.
LESSON 5. BUSINESS is about making MONEY.
Entrepreneurs in Africa know this, and they were willing and eager to know more about the subject. In the course I gave in Johannesburg, I was able to host an entire room of entrepreneurs who didn’t understand what they were missing. When we discussed the importance of having an innate sense of self-worth and value for your services and products, I could see lightbulbs erupting. This is the same for the clients I work with here. We’re more alike than we are different. The mindset and culture of Africa are quite similar to ours in regards to the mentality of money. If we are able to change our fundamental views about wealth and money and wealth, we can transform everything around us. The majority of entrepreneurs get into business because they are driven by the work they do. One thing to keep in mind is that money is the most critical factor in everything! Therefore, forget your shame and get started making many dollars because this is the time to really make a difference. It is when you are able to visit Africa together with me for 2016! Together, we’re stronger. Keep that in mind. (and it costs money to travel across the ocean to Africa!)
I’ve traveled the globe three times, and I’ve been to Africa more than five times. I am confident that the lessons from a business that I’ve learned can be applied globally. I also believe that a lot of us have to travel more in order to gain an understanding of the world and to listen and make a difference in our own world.
What business lessons do you plan to use this week? Where would you like to go so that you as well, can also learn and gain perspective?
Pat Mussieux is fast becoming a highly sought-after Canadian coach for women entrepreneurs who took her own company from a small start-up to a six-figure home-based enterprise in just four years. A large part of her success is due to her experience in the field of marketing, mentality, and finances!