Doing it yourself?

There appears to be a strange psychology that prevails in the land of Small Business Owners. I am very familiar with it because when I started my first business I was a victim of it too, and it ended up consuming me. It has taken me three business startups in fact to rise above it. This is the psychology that convinces me that I can do my business on my own. I don’t need anyone to help, I don’t need to collaborate with anyone, I don’t need anyone to teach me better business practice, I can figure out what I need as I go along – even though I can see that what I am doing is not working, I will be so stubborn as to make mistake after mistake until the business pressure overwhelms me!

I learned business practice in the University of Hard Knocks! I know now that I could have learned most of what I needed to know simply by listening to others that have traveled the road ahead of me. Confucius said “The man that learns nothing is a fool; the man that learns from his mistakes is intelligent; but the man that learns from the mistakes of others is truly wise”.

Getting to the crossroad

When I look back I realise that I did not need to get a degree in business to avoid the pitfalls of owning a business, all I needed was someone at the crossroad to point me in the right direction. There is such a fine line between the right path and the wrong one, particularly if you are putting up the direction signs yourself. It does, however, take some humility to accept that someone actually knows better because they have been where you are right now. I could have saved so much time not taking that selfish detour in the swamps by listening to someone who could point me to the green pasture.

Changing my psychology (It’s called a paradigm shift) has helped me indescribably over the past few years. I look back now and I am clear about the path to take, and share it whenever possible with others “in the swamp” who have the courage, and humility, to want to know.


For more information, or to take part in our next program/course in your area, phone 083 701 2008 or email
‘Business Fitness’ is brought to you by The Business Gym, an organisation that facilitates affordable, interactive group coaching and training courses for serious business owners. The MyBusinessWorkout™ is a mentorship programme, founded and managed by Chris van Rooyen and Sylvia Malinowski, and designed to shape up and maximise your business growth – it’s like having a personal trainer for your business. For more information phone 083 701 2008.

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