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Huzlet Sbusiso Mabasa, financial director of The Seed SA writes:
My favourite TV commercial of all time has to be the very first Capitec Bank matchbox advert which was based on a true story.
Let me jog your memory. It depicts a man who had a job at a match factory. The factory was going through a tough time and without any new business ideas and stringent cost-cutting measures, it was going to close down. One by one people came up with ideas, each presenting to the factory owner and his board. None of the ideas were satisfactory to save the factory.
Eventually, this shabbily dressed man asked his boss, “Why do we need both sides of the matchbox? If you only use half of the matchbox you save half.”
Often in life, the simplest ideas can change everyone’s fortune.
Sadly, I have come across people who prefer to remain silent when they have an opinion and should be speaking up. They tend to be followers when deep down they have refreshing ideas. They are swallowed by self-doubt, crippled by an imagined fear of embarrassing themselves. I know because I was caught there, particularly in the early years of my corporate career. I thought I was too inexperienced to speak my mind. I thought I knew too little to make any difference.
It is essential that you find your voice and stake your claim to who you are and what you want. But how?
This may sound daunting, but it is not difficult at all. Work on developing personal, and professional, relationships with people critical to the realisation of your ideas. Seize opportunities to test your ideas on one-on-one encounters. Ensure your hard-thought ideas find an audience with the relevant people.
As silly as it sounds, I have learned to consider the consequences of not speaking up. If a wrong decision is taken in my presence, the truth is I am party to that decision whether I spoke up or not. What if what I had in mind, and kept to myself, was the best solution under the circumstances? What if the question I had in mind, and did not ask, was going to clarify things not just for myself but for everyone?
Almost all successful entrepreneurs in the world had conviction in their ideas. They were then able to sell their ideas to a third party. They became leaders in their craft and in their area of business.
I am using an Apple device to write this blog. Steve Jobs had the boldness to act on his ideas. Find your voice.
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