5 hindrances to self mastery

When we start a new journey, in which we set up certain goals there are certain obstacles of that journey that will be new experiences. Those new experiences will challenge us in ways we may not be familiar with, but to truly get to the end of the journey we will have to go through those obstacles. Which will have plenty for us to learn, the trick is to understand that these hurdles will evoke certain emotions and will lead to us feeling confused and lost at times. Which is all part of the game/journey those mistakes and failures we make become our true lessons, This is the part of a concept known as “failing forward”.

Therefore with every lesson learnt we become a step closer to our true goal, there might be circumstances that will distract us from our journey. Those are understood in certain stages but for this piece we focus on 5 hindrances to self mastery.

Sensual Desire

The way I like to see sensual desire is through timing because, the process of timing things makes it easier to know when it is the right time for certain pleasures and when it is the right time for focus and determination. In an essence we should not divert from our mental practices for too long, as this leads to us going down the rabbit hole and losing track of our focus. The desire to be stimulated to forget certain problems or just escape our environment for a second because, facing those problems is too much to handle. The idea of diverting from our goals for a long period of time will affect our progress and eventually our pleasures will become our main priority. A form of addiction taking too much time from our actual work. We start to spend time on things that don’t bring us value. From our work ethic and using that time to sooth our desires. Just like any other addiction. Goals eventually seem impossible, diluting passion into something of a task, so we spend time on our pleasures instead. Some may say the key is to allocate very little time to our pleasures until, after completing all our tasks for the day/week/month/year, by using our pleasures as a reward system to our passions instead.

Ill will/Aversion

The process of moving forward in life without healing better understood as a process of bottling up our emotions, it may seem like a good idea until one day when we’ve reached our limit and we unleash all those emotions on the wrong person, resulting in situations where we find ourselves hurting someone else or ourselves. The idea of avoiding your problems is that it is nothing but a temporary fix and does not particularly resolve the issue. Only way to resolve an issue like that is to address it head on as; anger, fear and insecurities are part of the game of life and need to be dealt with compassion and understanding, in order to heal.

Dullness/Heaviness

This part is largely common and experienced by most. The feeling one gets of self doubt and just really being unable to see any positive outcome happening in our life. We usually experience a deep state of negative thought, when we’ve hit our level of self awareness of not feeling well mentally. Leading to an attempt of interpreting and processing our depression. We create our own suffering and it truly is difficult to get out this state in life and takes a lot out of us, to be able to overcome this state. Usually the trick is to truly treat this situation just like “quick sand”. The more we try fight the situation the faster we sink, so the best option is usually to approach this situation calmly and allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling and start processing ways to overcome this. Understanding what we are feeling and why we are feeling this way, where it stems from, leads to the key of how and what is the best way to move past that state. Mainly who can be around us to help.

Restlessness

We all hate the process of working for something, but love the finish product. We envision ourselves being successful but hate the fact that we not there yet and feel like we are not really going to make it so we quit or start to find ways to distract ourselves from completing the tasks at hand. Challenges will always be part of the journey. The idea that a person is impatient stems from comparing ourselves from other peoples accomplishments, feeling like time is no longer on our side. The desire to want to be great but not feel any suffering. Comparing dilutes a clear vision to what we must do to succeed. Finding ways to boost our inspiration from surrounding ourselves with like minded people and also finding things to do to help keep, us inspired and focused.

Sceptical Doubt

This part of any journey is quite interesting, this is the point where we feel like we are not ready to be in a certain position, so we use all our fears to delay the process of growth. The fear of failure, sacrifices we might need to make in order to reach a certain position becomes too big of an ask, for various reasons we tell ourselves it is not worth it, usually because it takes us out of our comfort zone.

The idea is to build a certain sense of resilience, where we trust our intuition in order to get us through a level of uncertainty we might be feeling / experiencing. This is usually when the vision to the end of our goal seems very unclear and we feel like its too overwhelming for us to even attempt to go on.

Assume nothing expect anything

The idea or concept of approaching anything in life whether in (business or a big move away from family) with a logical approach, is important. The approach of assuming nothing, by not getting your hopes up about what can or cannot work. This also applies to friendships, relationships, life lessons. It may help to assume nothing from anything or anyone, but prepare yourself to expect everything. This way you have a clear understanding and level of consciousness to be aware of anything unusual about a deal or contract you have to sign. What this helps is to be mindful about the decisions you make. Which teaches you to make sound decisions under pressure. We all know how life can get so overwhelming to a point that you become depressed.

Assuming nothing

The concept of assuming nothing is to create a way of being in which you are able to remove emotion in making critical decisions that could affect important decisions. Life can be quite humbling, leading you into situations you never expected yourself to be in. Planning your future hopes and dreams of having a particular life, but having to face the reality that some of those hopes and dreams may not come true. Depression is something that hits people hard on a daily basis. People are taught to work hard and to follow their dreams. However in reality certain hopes and dreams we have as we grow older, tend to show the fact that we taught from a young age to view the world a certain way. However, when it comes to how life really is we find it difficult to cope, which leads to many facing depression. Depression hits the best of us and we taught to just suppress those emotions and act strong. Sometimes the best option you have is to not suppress your depression but to pay attention to it and let your self heal, sometimes its best to talk about it with loved ones or a specialist. Sometimes you just need to have a day that is specifically designed for you to do things you feel like doing.

A factor that has helped me go through certain aspects of my life with a slight handling, is what I like to call “down days”, which is basically paying attention to me and my health. Paying attention to the food I eat and paying attention to my sleeping patterns and daily routines, working on my bad habits daily and finding good habits to replace those bad habits.

What I will say is that walking into rooms, making decisions on a daily basis like solving problems. I use a very peculiar approach pattern of thought, when it comes to how I present myself as I walk into rooms and how I make decisions. Which is that, I assume nothing and expect anything. By doing this I am allowing myself to be given the benefit of the doubt, by a certain situations. Furthermore by expecting everything I am eliminating any possible chance of having a certain high expectation and replacing it with a logical observation and understanding of that particular situation/moment. I am basically teaching myself to unlearn the fact that I deserve everything. Also I’m giving myself a clear mindset to see things with clarity in order to make the best decision towards a particular predicament I may be facing or the excitement of getting my hopes up before decisions are made. It allows me to manage my stress and it also as mentioned allows me to think logically and ethically about the decisions I make. this also feeds me the right energy to produce humility in my decision and analysis of things irregardless of the outcome.

This concept of assuming nothing and expect anything allows me to build a mindset that helps me narrow down the best decision without using ego or pride to make a decision. This particular process is similar to the concept of failing forward. Because in life things tend to move in a way which leads to you failing a lot. However failing is not necessarily a negative outcome, it is an opportunity for one to learn from their mistakes and to understand what went wrong by analysing what you could’ve be done different, could be lack of preparation, or how you communicate your product or idea.

Im not saying this will cure ones anxiety, but what it will do is allow yourself to not take certain situations into heart and to understand that life is filled with ups and downs, meaning not everything will go your way and that it is okay to be sad or angry from time to time, but its not okay for you to transfer that negative energy towards someone else because you bottled it up inside.

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

The language of Colours

By Tshepo Leroy Dube

Colours evoke a sense of
feeling that can be described as a form of language, that is ideally used in
our daily lives to express certain emotions. The particular feeling one gets
when they are looking at a certain colour. How colourful nature gets, on a
spring morning when all the flowers blossom evoking a sense of good energy
around, as the sun shines. When a loved one dies, in certain cultures wearing
black for a few months as a form of mourning, until a cultural ritual is done
to cleanse your body from your loss to signify a clear path to a brighter
future and ready to move on.

  • Red: Passion, Love, Anger
  • Orange: Energy, Happiness, Vitality
  • Yellow: Happiness, Hope, Deceit
  • Green: New Beginnings, Abundance, Nature
  • Blue: Calm, Responsible, Sadness
  • Purple: Creativity, Royalty, Wealth
  • Black: Mystery, Elegance, Evil
  • Gray: Moody, Conservative, Formality
  • White: Purity, Cleanliness, Virtue
  • Brown: Nature, Wholesomeness, Dependability
  • Tan or Beige: Conservative, Piety, Dull
  • Cream or Ivory: Calm, Elegant, Purity

From
what you consider to be your favourite colour. To the common theme of colours
in your closet, to how Robots/Traffic lights communicate with us. Red means
stop, Orange means prepare to stop and Green means go. We are constantly using
colours to communicate on a daily bases certain colours used to indicate
specific signs others to define what we do, from police wearing blue and
medical doctors wearing white coats.

Testing out commonalities in colour
communications leads to discovering, that most countries and cultures use same
colours to express the same meanings without even realising how colours are a
universal language. The colour GREEN is mostly associated with nature. RED
being the colour commonly used to communicate power or danger or love. ORANGE
regarded as the colour that signifies Energy,
Happiness or Vitality. Black is known to represent a more Mysterious approach,
Elegance or Evil look. The colour white has been seen as a more Clean, Pure and
Virtuous representation. Other colours such as BLUE represent Calmness,
Responsibility and sometimes Sadness hence the phrase Blue Monday or feeling
blue when one is under the weather or feeling down.

Fun Fact about Colours in Japanese
culture

Ever heard of the saying Japan Blue?
And wondered why? When foreigners were allowed to
enter Japan during the Meiji period (1868-1912),they were so astonished at the
fact that indigo blue was everywhere in Japanese towns that they called it
“Japan blue” Kimono, bedding, hand towels, noren–Japanese people would use it
for everything.

Indigo is a natural dye
made of fermented leaves of the indigo plant mixed with water. At first it was
used by aristocrats, but in the Edo period (1603-1868), all sorts of people
from common folk to samurai wore dyed clothes. Indigo-dyed clothes were not
only fashionable, but they also had three additional benefits: the fibre
becomes stronger after indigo dying, it has an insect repelling effect, and it
has a UV protective effect. Nowadays this colour is still used in a lot of
Japanese items, even blue jeans. https://kokoro-jp.com/culture/298/

When you enter certain
business fields you start to see how colours are important and also in certain
religious beliefs. In corporate life the suit blue is regarded as someone who
is trust worthy and responsible this can also be said as the reason for Police
being known to wear blue. Orange is a common colour known for energy, happiness
and vitality. Monks are known to wear Orange as a way to represent exactly
that, seeking happiness and having constant energy and not just any kind of
energy but the energy that can be received as peaceful and filled with Joy just
by being in their presence.

Many people in the
business field adapted the concept of colour importance. It could be stated
that in the past colours were used to differentiate the different rankings in a
certain company and also colours are used in places like restaurants such as
McDonalds chose the colour yellow as one of their main colours because that
colour represents happiness, joy. That also connects why their food is designed
to bring families together. 

Now that we know that
different colours symbolise different energies, it is easier for those who are
designing logos and starting new companies to understand that whatever they
pick from uniforms, to how their company looks colour wise. The colours need to
be communicating the right feeling, that speaks to their target market. You
want to make sure that the colours you pick make your customers feel safe
enough to want to use your services/product/goods.

your everyday life

miuc.org

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

hedonic treadmill theory

By Tshepo Leroy Dube

“The hedonic treadmill, also known as hedonic adaptation, is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes.” wikipedia.

To understand hedonic treadmill a bit better I’m going to tell you a story, a story that contains a father and son. Daedalus known as one of the greatest architects to ever live in the greek mythology. He was famously known for being the key architect of how Crete looked and designing a spectacular labyrinth for King Minos of Crete. It is said the labyrinth was so cunning that those who entered could not find their way out. The only way out was with a magical clue that would assist you find your way to the nearest exit. One day it is said King Minos imprisoned Daedalus together with his son Icarus. While imprisoned in the tower it is said Daedalus would watch the birds that would fly by and study their aerodynamic ways of flying. This is, where he thought of the idea to craft wings from fallen feathers and wax. By doing this he understood he would be building a risky escape plan for him and his son. It is said that Daedalus spoke to his son Icarus before taking flight, stating to him that they should not fly too high or too low and to follow his lead in order to have a safe journey. As usual Icarus felt the need to not listen to his father, believing he new better and he could reach the sun. It could be said he could have been mesmerised by his feeling of flying, after being in prison for so long. Wishing to go as high as possible in order to reach the sun. It can be said that sun was the only thing besides the birds that Icarus could see, which made him dream about reaching the sun one day escaping, his anxiety could have played a major role in wanting to escape his reflection of earth and reach the sun. By not taking heed to his fathers warning, lead to Icarus’s wax wings melting and his feathers scattering, leading to him falling to his death.

The feeling of not being satisfied with what you have. The feeling of, whatever you may achieve or get is never enough to make you happy, so you constantly wanting more. This also means that people who feel like they need to get to a certain stage in their career or life to be happy, quickly learn that wherever they go they still face problems. The trick is to find happiness/peace irregardless of your circumstances or life situation, understanding that life is meant to be lived through all kinds of problems and that the key is to understand that the worlds filled with ups and downs.  The spirit of Daedalus is a strong key of what we could consider as the hedonic treadmill theory, as you look at his story of how he designed an amazing labyrinth for a king and that same king placed him in prison later on with his son. In prison Daedalus. Daedalus at his lowest could have easily given up but his strong will lead to him designing a master plan for his escape. His son Icarus on the other hand is the example of what happens when you don’t find a balance in your life, this state is known as the Icarus effect.

When you chase your dreams or set goals always make sure to expect the journey of reaching yours goals to have ups and downs, twists and turns, reason being that every goal set or dream chased, comes with challenges that will test your limits and sometimes you will want to give up.

So in closing the key meaning to not only understand, but to take from this thread is that you don’t need a miraculous life in order to be happy, happiness is a state of mind and not a place.

The myth of Daedalus and Icarus

The Hedonic Treadmill: From Consumerism …

vacounseling.com

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

If tress could talk

WHAT WOULD THEY SAY?

Fun Fact About Trees

“Trees can live anywhere from less than 100 years up to more than a few thousand years. It all depends on what type of tree it is. In the United States, the tree with the longest lifespan is the bristle cone pine, which grows in the mountains of Nevada and southern California. A singletree can live up to 5,000 years!”

Trees are known to live for thousands of years longer than the people who plant them. In those centuries it would be interesting to know what the trees have seen and experienced the difference in temperatures and weather changes over the years. Different animals who have occupied or fed from the trees. The stories that trees could tell would be far interesting. To live so long could it be said that trees could tell us our journey as human and how civilisation took place?

Civilisation

If we were concious enough to speak to trees could they tell us their pain from watching their families being cut down daily for human benefits? Could trees tell us about their trauma from listening to their loved ones crying for help as their cut down. They could tell us about the toxic pollution they’ve had to endure as we create our chemical based factories and constant smoke over the centuries. They would tell us about the droughts and fasting they’ve experienced the stories they could tell us could help us reflect on our own evaluation.

Humans

The love, hate relationship trees would have with us humans, would be a very interesting factor or discussion. What do trees think of us, have we been good to them?  The knowledge we could learn, in order to rectify a lot of our errors. Think of the information they’ve passed down generation after generation, knowledge that surpasses human existence. The stories they’ve been told by their ancestors about life before humans. They could tell us about our development over the years to our current state of Homo Sapiens.

Extinctions

Plenty of animals and plant based creatures have gone extinct in the past few centuries, imagine the stories trees could tell us about such creatures how they lived and what they particularly like to do during the day and what they did in different seasons, how they seemed to feed and choose to eat and what caused them to go extinct, what could have been done to prevent such from taking place. What could be done differently to prevent the next animals from going extinct. Imagine the amount of time effort it would save certain  scientist to learn about certain things, not only scientists but also historians and farmers and garden lovers, so many could benefit from communicating with trees, would we be better humans if we could communicate with trees? Would we see things differently if we could take a slight glimpse into what trees have seen over the years?

Health

Imagine the health benefits we could get from different trees, the knowledge we could learn from trees about certain things that they have that could be used to cure diseases and cure illnesses and how we could prevent certain animals from dying not only humans but all living creatures.

Fun Fact About Trees

Some tree species — such as silver maple, green ash, sweet gum and black willow — are thought to be more tolerant to flooded soils than other trees like black locust, black walnut, tulip poplar, sugar maple and American beech.

Recovering From Disaster

Great Basin bristlecone pine

At roughly 4,800 years old, this Great Basin bristlecone pine is one of the oldest trees in world. Methuselah grows nearly two miles above sea level in California’s Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. It’s been in good company over the past several thousand years.

Fun Debate Topic

I leave you guys with a cool fun debate to have with your friends and family, on the endless possibilities of this question. IF A TREE FALLS IN THE FOREST AND NO ONE IS AROUND DOES IT MAKE A SOUND? Remember the more you ask questions about this and think outside the box the more interesting it will get.

For those interested to share their results after their Debate email me at tshepod@nsabasi-publishing.co.za.

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

Ikigai: A word that transforms a life time of decisions

By Tshepo Leroy Dube

Pronounced as (eee kee guy) .

Ikigai: A personal, process of finding your true purpose in life. The process of truly understanding what you are good at. What you truly love. How you feel when you are doing what you love. Knowing, how you start your day everyday affects/defines, how your day will look like for the next 24 hours. In a nutshell it is a journey of discovering your balance through stages and phases of your life.

Now there are four stages of this flow-state process, to identifying your ikigai.

  1. Doing things that you are good at
  2. Doing things that you love to do
  3. Doing what the world needs
  4. Doing what generates money

Now the trick is finding a balance between these four stages in order to find your true level of ikigai.

  • What you good at + what you love = passion
  • What you love + what the world needs = mission
  • What you can get paid for + what the world needs = vocation
  • What you’re good at + what you can be paid for = profession

Without all four of these in motion at the same time you have not reached ikigai. Another way to look at how it works, picture four pillars. These four pillars, hold your purpose of being up and keep it at balance. The moment you remove any one of the four, the entire flow-state crumbles. So ideas such as retiring become non existent because what you’re doing is so fulfilling. Therefore with each stage and step of your life you are able to adjust it into your circumstance and able to face any hurdle / obstacle, that is placed your way. You are never certain which curve ball life will throw at you, nevertheless your flow-state is prepared for such situations and this too can be said for ones business.

Finding ikigai is not something that comes lightly as it requires you to dig deep and do a little bit of soul searching, while grasping your strengths and weaknesses. Understanding that your past and future are filled with attainments of growth. When you’re at your bliss, to remember the lessons learnt on your bad days. When you’re dealing with bad days it is ideal to understand that good days are coming. You just have to be patient and understand that life is a balance of every emotion. The journey is finding a true balance within your chaos and success, this is the state of ikigai.

It is fairly easy to speak about successes but, it’s very difficult to talk about our failures. With ikigai flow-state you’re suppose to see the bigger picture in your flaws as much as in your successes that balance is what fore fills your fuel to keep doing what you’re doing when you see the right results. It is the process of taking care of you’re self physically mentally

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

Collaboration in the business

By Tshepo Leroy Dube

A picture from –What Is Collaboration and Where Does It (seapointcenter.com)

Collaboration in the Business Sector

The meaning of collaboration is to work jointly on an activity or project with the intention of reaching a certain goal. This is one important factor for business. Most start-up companies fear the idea of collaborating, because they fear the image of their business will be tarnished leading to their profits dropping. Most small businesses cringe at the thought of collaborating with a company trying to reach the same objective/s as them.  The fear of being out of business, fear of risk taking can sometimes be the downfall of your company. Such thoughts are a state i like to call “defensive mode”, where companies start to compete. Most reasons why some start-up companies don’t make it past five years is truly because the passion, vision and timing of why they started their business goes out the window when they try do everything alone, with hopes that no one takes claim of their success and so forth. Similar businesses start to look like threats so you compete and start to lose the reason why you started your business and what makes you different.

However collaborating with someone or a company to achieve the same goal, shortens the time frame of your goal being reached earlier. The reason being, it is no longer just you doing all the work. You are now able to trade with other people information and learn some of the things that you couldn’t have learnt alone and through this process, new projects are born for you to immerse yourself in. More valuable hours are put into your craft, with the help of a team that understands your mission. The approach of collaborating can be elementary if you ask very specific questions that have to do with you and your company. For example: what do I gain from working with them? How does my company benefit from this? How can we best work together? Why do I need to work with them? What value do I bring to the table oppose to the value I gain from collaborating?.

“What value do I bring to the table oppose to the value I gain from collaborating.”

To dissect this a little further, once you understand your value and the value of your company, it becomes easier for you to position yourself in places that make you understand what you have and lack (finding your niche). When you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your company. The process of projecting, what it will take for you to achieve or grow your company to its full potential, begins. The next step is then to position yourself with companies (networks) that have what you need. Which places you in a position to make collaborative decisions to benefit you and your collaborative partner/s. For example take a company that designs and manufactures tables for a living. The company may be doing well financially but until that company takes the approach to collaborate with a “chair company”, their sale may never grow as much as they want it to. The value of a chair company is the ability to now have a complete set to sell (table/desk & chair) from this you could split the profits and keep your individual profits from your original work separate. This makes each product viewed from collaborative aspect and individual aspect. The amount of time it would take you to start up and build a story line for your new chair line and “perfect it” to the desires of your clients, is shortened by collaborating. you not only get their experience from selling chairs. You have first-hand experience, their data base and  the time frame of getting your new products ready for market is far simpler as you both have the capabilities of making individual products on time then collaborative products should then be easier and faster to process.

You access their database to create a bigger database you both have a new target audience

Most of the time new companies who choose to compete find themselves losing the direction of where they originally wanted to take their business, because their vision is now blurred by wanting to be ahead of their competitors by seeing what they are doing and trying to produce a better product. By doing this you are not only closing your companies innovative potential you also tend to start forgetting about your clients needs and wants. You completely tarnish the reason why you started your company and everything starts to feel like a drag and your lack of passion starts to be seen by your staff and clients and that case your company starts to lose its value and next thing you know you have lost your company and your drive. When you could have avoided everything by looking at what your value is …and what you have to offer and how you plan to offer it without losing sight of why you started your business and why customers trust you.

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

Grey Matters – Putting the Grey Entrepreneur First

September 2020 – Middle-aged professionals and entrepreneurs have consistently shown to form the economic engine of our country. Their capacity to drive economic growth by creating employment opportunities, generating consistent tax revenue, and being substantial consumers in their personal capacity is far greater than their younger counterparts.

In the wake of the COVID19 pandemic, The Grey Incubator is pioneering a new approach to help the economy recover by saving our biggest economic contributors, middle aged entrepreneurs. They develop more mature entrepreneurs, fondly known as grey entrepreneurs, referring both to their grey hair and the collection of grey matter in the brain and the knowledge it represents.

Not only do many grey entrepreneurs begin with more financial capital or an asset base to start their enterprise but the worldwide average age of a successful start-up owner is 47 years old. Showing an international trend towards successful entrepreneurs being consistently middle-aged.

Their experience, skills, networks, and assets represent an incalculable value that grey entrepreneurs have generated through years of working. Not to mention that they have often faced stress, and failure before, making them more resilient.

After noticing that entrepreneurs between the ages of 30 and 60 have been overlooked and ignored by most entrepreneurship programs, founders Willem Gous and Eugene Beetge began using their 50 years of joint experience to enable these grey entrepreneurs to start and build their ideas into a business with minimal risk.

The Grey Incubator combines expert consultants in entrepreneurship, with a business community of Grey entrepreneurs to facilitates the learning process at all entrepreneurial levels.

“Although the internet provides abundant access to information, courses, and training, it lacks cohesion,” says co-founder of The Grey Incubator and entrepreneurial expert Eugene Beetge. “Information is organized into small isolated silos with little to no knowledge sharing on how the components required to run a successful business come together. Learning how to be an entrepreneur using all these isolated bits of information, is possible but it is an inefficient and time-consuming journey.”

Beetge believes that to be a successful entrepreneur you need a roadmap, guidance, vision, motivation, support, and skill.

“Combine these elements with accountability, sound boarding and masterminding, and it is possible to avoid big financial risks,” he says.

For the grey entrepreneur, a start-up often requires risking their last available capital, and guidance from conception to fruition in the current economic environment can be invaluable in preventing failure.

The Grey Incubator program pairs small, carefully curated groups of individuals into cooperative teams that work together with experienced overseers and mentors to help develop their businesses and ideas. These groups are guided to make sure they stay on track while helping them avoid costly mistakes. As each group progresses and achieves their weekly goals, third party specialists are made available to help groups go through the natural growth phases of a start-up.

The Grey Incubator uses a subscription-based model that allows start-up founders to invest in themselves and their business without long term commitment thereby reducing their financial risk.

Although many mature professionals’ livelihoods have been disrupted by the COVID 19 pandemic, learning how to start and grow a successful business in your middle age can be an invigorating experience.

Like any first venture into entrepreneurship, it can be overwhelming, risky, and costly without the correct guidance. By creating a business community in which older entrepreneurs are surrounded by like-minded peers and can be guided by experienced mentors, The Grey Incubator is investing in our economy, inspiring people to rediscover their dreams, and providing a path for them to rebuild their lives.

ENDS

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

It’s the fear of failure that destroys innovation in small businesses

Innovation is the development and application of ideas that improve the way things are done or what can be achieved. Innovation can help your business grow by improving productivity and efficiency. Your ability to innovate will also help your business to remain competitive and respond to changes.

“Being innovative takes a lot of hard work and a little bit of risk. But, if you want to thrive and stay ahead of the game, it’s an essential part of being a business owner”, Mike Anderson: NSBC Founder and CEO

There are many sources you can use to help generate new ideas for your business. Suppliers, customers, employees, and strategic alliances can all make valuable contributions to the creative process, as well as providing support and encouragement.

“Your employees are a vital asset in generating innovative ideas. To get the most from them, you need to create an innovative environment and encourage creative thinking. Most ideas never get off the ground because business owners are afraid to take a risk and fail, and employees are not permitted to try new things and take some risk. Those who have achieved real success have overcome the fear of failure and often risked the most to get there.”, says Anderson.

To succeed, you have to move out of your comfort zone, continuously challenge the status quo and innovate. Always be on the lookout for new ideas and new ways of doing things that will improve your business. Do things differently, walk on the wrong side of the road, swim upstream, and always keep looking for the next big thing.

Winners always look at the bigger picture while losers cannot go beyond the way things are at the time. If it doesn’t work you can always go back to the drawing board. This is far better than not trying and doing things differently.

John Maxwell asks why so many people work so hard without ever achieving or making an impact, while fewer who don’t seem to work hard achieve so much. The reason is simple – it is because of conformity. Research has shown that only five percent of the people in the world are able to achieve their life goals. Why? Because the remaining ninety-five percent are blind conformists who go through life accepting the way things are. Doing things differently is the most powerful key to success.

You also need to listen to Albert Einstein who said, ‘Doing things the way we have always done them and expecting different results is one of the definitions of insanity.’ If you want to experience a change, you must do things differently. Stop following the crowd and you can be among the top five percent.

“If you want to live an impactful life, you must break the mould. Stop being a blind conformist who just keeps to tradition. Challenging the status quo gives you the seeds of vision and opportunity. There are always better ways of doing things. Strive to be the one who will discover the better way. When you do this, windows of opportunity and abundant wealth will open widely for you”, concludes Anderson.

Here are 10 success-boosting innovative tips for your business:

  • Get your team on-board. Have them involved in the entire innovation process, such as solving problems during a meeting and providing a suggestion box. Reward innovation and celebrate success. Appropriate incentives can play a significant role in encouraging staff to think creatively.
  • Make innovation a routine. Schedule an hour or so each week to brainstorm and exercise you and your team’s creativity, and establish goals that encourage you to improve your business. 
  • Encourage suggestions. Ask or survey your employees, customers, and even, suppliers if they have any suggestions on how you can improve your business.
  • Create a supportive atmosphere in which people feel free to express their ideas without the risk of criticism.
  • Encourage risk-taking and experimentation – don’t penalise people who try new ideas that fail. Remember, fear destroys innovation.
  • Stress that people at all levels of the business share responsibility for innovation, so everybody feels involved in taking the business forward. The fewer the layers of decision-making in your business, the more people feel their ideas matter.
  • Look for imagination and creativity when recruiting new employees. Remember that innovative thinkers aren’t always those with the most impressive list of qualifications.
  • You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Keep innovation simple by improving your existing products or services, trying out a new marketing strategy, or finding a supplier that is offering you a better rate.
  • Invest in innovation. Purchase technology and equipment that can improve your business operations. Also, invest in developing new products and services
  • Educate yourself. Continue to learn new skills or information by attending workshops, webinars, conferences, local industry events, and reading everything from blog posts to books.

‘Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do’. – Steve Jobs

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020

Paper industry encourages people to continue recycling amid challenging times

“Getting Big Business South Africa and Government to pay their small business suppliers on time is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses and when the problem persists too long, it can ultimately shut down a small business. More than ever before, now is the time to ensure that all your small business suppliers are paid quickly. We are urging Big Business South Africa and Government to release these all important payments now”, That’s the urgent plea from Mike Anderson: NSBC Founder & CEO.


COVID-19 and the economic downturn has and will continue to have a devastating  impact on small businesses throughout South Africa. Small businesses need to pay their workers, their rent, suppliers and other key operating expenses, and survive as a family. What they don’t need right now, or at any time in fact, is that additional burden of not receiving payment on outstanding invoices. We have limited control over how long the pandemic will disrupt our nation, but we are in control how quickly we can pay our small business suppliers , says Anderson.


For any business, the amount of money flowing in or out is critical to its success. When money is tight, paying basic bills can get challenging. But when cash is plentiful, a business can invest in its future by expanding, buying new equipment, hiring key staff or retaining key staff by rewarding them further.  


Anderson continues, through the Prompt Payment Code, a National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) initiative, the NSBC is challenging the way small businesses are being paid. We are championing the importance of big business and Government paying small business suppliers within 30 days or much quicker. It’s a highly recognised process where Business South Africa and Government openly commit to paying small businesses on time.


The findings of the recent COVID-19 National Small Business Survey clearly indicates that late payments are at an all-time high as small businesses are waiting too long to get paid. The average amount owed to each small business is now at its highest level. Big Business and Government are mainly to blame for small businesses waiting for payment. More than half of all small businesses in South Africa are burdened with late payments. The result is that small businesses are going out of business due to late payments.


Intentional late or non-payment is totally unacceptable, says Anderson, as in most cases when a small business goes out of business a family goes out of business. Procurement policies urgently need to be changed to accommodate for early payments. Late payments to small businesses coupled with the current crisis and the economic downturn spells out disaster for many small businesses, the mainstay of our economy, the very engine of our society and the future of job creation.


We see small businesses going out of business every day, in many cases due to cash flow as a result of late or non-payment. Prompt payment is vital to the cash flow of every business, and especially to smaller businesses. The Prompt Payment Code is about encouraging and promoting best practice between government, larger organisations and their small business suppliers.


“We all have a collective responsibility to do whatever we can to keep small businesses in business and their workers employed. By paying small businesses quickly, this is the most meaningful step in the right direction


Media contact:
Twané Gouws
Email: twane@nsbc.africa
Website: www.nsbc.africa
Cell:  084 603 1763

Keep recycling, urges RecyclePaperZA JOHANNESBURG – February 17, 2020 – More than 12 million tonnes of paper and paper packaging have been recovered for recycling in South Africa over the past decade. This, according to RecyclePaperZA, the country’s paper recycling association, has ensured that waste paper is diverted from landfill and recycled into new products – tissue products, newsprint and paper packaging for the agricultural, manufacturing and retail sectors. In 2018, South Africa collected 71.7% of recoverable paper and packaging*, amounting to 1,285 million tonnes. “South Africa is in the enviable position of being able to use up to 90% of its recovered waste paper locally by recycling it into new paper, packaging and tissue,” says Anele Sololo, general manager of RecyclePaperZA. The balance of waste paper is exported.A difficult time for paper industry, but don’t stop recyclingCurrently, the global paper recycling industry is faced with over-supply. “This means there is more waste paper available than there is use for it,” says Sololo. There are various economic factors at play, not least of which is China’s stricter requirement for cleaner waste imports since 2017. This means that around 30 million tonnes of waste paper from around the world needs to find a new home and use. In South Africa, the severe drought in fruit-growing regions has had a knock-on effect for the paper packaging sector. “Corrugators produce less boxes for fruit with the result being that mills produce less paper which affects waste paper consumption rates,” explains Sololo.“It is important to understand that collectors are paid for the recyclables they collect, and the higher the value of that recyclable, the more likely they are to collect it,” says Sololo. The lower demand in the market will effect a price drop as mills need to ensure they remain commercially viable, and unfortunately this affects recycling collectors and traders.The South African paper industry is however investing in research and development of alternative uses for recycled paper to ensure that recyclable paper and paperboard continues to be diverted from landfill and help improve demand for recycled paper fibre. Different recycled paper products need different ingredientsOn the home front, some citizens may be a little confused about why some types of paper – such as newspapers – are not wanted by collectors. Just as chocolate cakes may differ slightly in terms of their ingredients, so too does paper. Printing paper, tissue, cardboard boxes, paper bags and sacks all require different types and quantities of raw materials. “The difference in paper recipes may even be customer-specific which makes papermaking an exact science,” says Sololo.Historically newspapers were required as a raw material for newsprint manufacturing. The declining newspaper consumption, largely due to online media, has resulted in the closure of newsprint machines in South Africa, leaving only one operational newsprint machine. “In 2011, South Africa produced 316,725 tonnes of newsprint,” says Sololo, adding that in 2018, the annual newsprint production was less than half the 2011 figure at 113,912 tonnes. This in turn has reduced the demand for used newspapers by paper mills. Newspapers are still used in the manufacture of moulded fibre products such as egg cartons, takeaway cup holders and fruit trays. “This is where brand owners and retailers can help make a difference – by moving from plastic to paper for their packaging,” notes Sololo. A classic example are polystyrene vegetable and fruit trays – these can be made effectively from paper pulp.Some grades of paper are in higher demand than others. As an example, there is more use for white paper as it require less deinking and cleaning than newspapers and magazines. White paper also contains better quality fibres for “paper recipes”. What are the various types of paper recycled into?White office paper is made from certified, sustainably produced virgin wood fibre, especially if it is made in South Africa. White paper, which contains good quality fibre, is recycled into tissue products and is also added to the other paper recipes. Brown cardboard boxes are repulped into new cardboard boxes and brown kraft paper which in turn can also will be converted into sacks and bags.Liquid packaging board (beverage cartons and paper cups) comprises long, strong virgin fibre, also from sustainably managed forests, which is a great ingredient for paper products that require strength. The plastic and foil layers in liquid packaging board are separated from the paper in the recycling process and can be used in a range of applications such as plastic garden furniture.Common or mixed paper and cardboard packaging (cereal and dry food cartons, coloured paper, magazines, toilet roll cores) are classifed by the industry as “common mixed waste”. These go into recipes for various paper products even tissue – if the mill has a deinking plant. What should we do with “old news”?Fortunately newspaper is very versatile and can be used for many things. Here are our top five but you can find a more comprehensive list on www.recyclepaper.co.zaAnimal shelters – donate your old newspapers to animal shelters who will use them to line the kennels and catteries. Compost and worm farms – earthworms love a tasty snack of newspaper. Add dampened, shredded newspaper to your compost heap or worm farm. Fruit and vegetable drawer liners – place sheets of newspaper at the bottom of the fruit and vegetable drawer in your fridge. They will absorb any mess from rotten produce, and will also keep the drawer free from odours. Gift wrap – use newspaper to wrap gifts and decorate with some string and sprig of rosemary or lavender. Table padding – lay newspaper underneath a table cloth. It’s an excellent replacement for expensive padding, and will help protect your table from spills and other damage.Where should I take my paper recyclingIn November last year, Mpact Recycling, a RecyclePaperZA member, announced the discontinuation of its kerbside collection programme. While we recognise that this causes inconvenience to a number of its loyal supporters, there are other options available:Visit www.recyclepaper.co.za – Check out our “Where to recycle” page for some useful links.Support your neighborhood recycling collectors – find out what they collect and put this in a separate bag for them. You may opt to support the same person each week or simply put a bag out on your pavement on a first come, first serve basis.Support a school or community centre under the Mpact Recycling paper bank programme. The company is in the process of upgrading some of its sites so separation is key: white paper in one bag, cardboard in one bag, beverage cartons in one bag, cereal boxes, coloured paper and where applicable magazines in one bag. Look for your nearest paper bank here. Support recycling collection businesses which offer a paid service. Do a web search for “recycling collection services” for your area.Explore your local shopping centre and find out if they have a recycling zone.So keep up with those recycling efforts! And keep your paper clean and dry, and separate from other waste. * Recoverable paper excludes paper which is unrecoverable or unsuitable for recycling. For example, toilet tissue and sanitary products, cigarette paper and archive material.

About Us

The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.

@NsabasiNBR

Designed by Nsabasi Publishing©2020