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Resolve to win in 2021 – Merry Christmas Everybody

Create Habits and Resolutions

Getting ready for 2021, don’t get caught out on making a few silly resolutions.

Follow the steps below for a more comprehensive look at how you can make real change in your own life and provide a better service to those you serve, it’s not just about your resolutions, it’s far more important than that.

Make the time. This process will likely take you a half-day anything from 3 – 4 hours. So take time away from the family and work through it.

It works best if you go step by step, but feel free to change things up a bit, or if you don’t feel comfortable with something move on, don’t get stuck!!!

Do a reality check

This exercise from Dr Demartinihelps you to review your current life and see where you are giving priorities (value) to things that may seem mentally unimportant, but the fact that you’re spending time/money/resources on them, means that they are manifesting as important.

Use this to begin to understand what your life actually demonstrates, rather than what you wish it did.

Based on your values choose your service/purpose/mission

Once you’re clear about what your life currently demonstrates, look at what it is that you want to achieve, not in 12 months, but rather what it is that you want to dedicate your life to. Read our post on choosing your struggle

Set your resolutions

This article from the World Economic Forum research provides brand new information on setting goals that are “approach based” versus “avoidance based”, showing that it’s better to include new positive activities than to avoid bad habits. In time the new positive activities may (or may not) squeeze the bad habits out, but either way, you’re on your way to achieving your ultimate goals. And after all, who doesn’t have a few bad habits!

Take action

Start to fill your days with actions that are higher priority activities, build better habits, plan your time better (​with our free time management webinar)

Remember: Even the smallest action, performed daily will help you reach your goals faster than no action, and even inconsistent action is better than none. Don’t get deflated or depressed if things take longer, there are ways to speed it up and it’s all about priorities.

And to end, a quote from Elon Musk, a boy from Tshwane, who was bullied at school, unappreciated by his community and who’s lofty ambitions to change the world has made him the second richest person in the world​

"If other people are putting in 40 hour workweeks and you're putting in 100 hour workweeks, then even if you're doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve."

And from HBX we wish a Merry Christmas and a splendid New Year to you and your families and the communities that we serve and wish to serve in 2021.

Climb every mountain

Drakenberg Mountains

In South Africa, we do not have a shortage of Mountains to climb, from the mighty Drakensberg to the majestic Table Mountain, the Magaliesberg and Soutpansberg. But did you know that the two highest peaks are actually on the borders with our neighbours in Lesotho and eSwatini? Read more here…

So if you’re taking a break this holiday season, with the beaches closed and social distancing a requirement, why not arrange to climb one of these natural monuments. Monuments that existed before us and will continue long past our lifetime. Monuments that challenge us to grow, to find peace and recharge our mental batteries.

This year at HBX we decided to choose a different mountain to climb, that of youth unemployment, specifically in the rural and township economies of South Africa.

We have achieved a number of victories from setting up our first walk in store/incubator in the town of Atamelang in the North West Province to keeping it open, testing new products, mentoring members and running over 20 Friday with Metseng Webinars with industry leaders, despite all the chaos around us, and we’ve done it because we believe in our mission and we’re surrounded by people who believe that our mission is an important one, and for that, we thank each and every one of you.

As we head into the new year and possibly a whole new world, where we’ll need to remain resilient as we pick up the pieces of ourselves, our communities and society that has been destroyed, through 9 months of Covid, and more than 9 years of government mismanagement and neglect, we reflect on the fact that in order to build something better, stronger and resilient, we need to be strengthened and like the iron from an assegai that comes from iron ore that’s been ground to dust, heated to incredible temperatures and then beaten into shape, we too have been tried and tested and are emerging stronger and more prepared to tackle the issues we’re facing.

And so our message to you is to stay your course, see your obstacles as challenges to help you grow and strengthen yourself and then set your new years resolutions and be prepared to make a difference to those around you because it is only through serving others that you will truly find your purpose.

Choosing your struggle

Blog Feature Image Choose your struggle

Bust of a Young Freedom Fighter

On the South Bank of London’s Thames River stands the British National Theatre, an ode to concrete brutalism. It’s possibly one of the ugliest buildings in an area that’s famous for the London Aquarium, the London Eye and Waterloo station, but none of this is really important.

What’s important about this particular building is not how unsightly it is, but rather the statue that’s almost hidden away down the side of it. This bust of Nelson Mandela was erected in 1988 and was the second erected at this site, the first was unveiled by Oliver Thambo, President of the ANC’s government in exile, and was destroyed by racist gangs. This may be the only statue of him erected while he was still imprisoned in South Africa and therefore depicts Mandela as a young freedom fighter he was when sentenced to prison by South Africa’s Apartheid government.

This alone might make this particular statue special, but what really moved me is title inscription on the statue. The statue’s inscription begins with words that, I’d like to think, vocalised Mandela life and the man that he was. The black granite plinth is engraved with the words,

“The struggle is my life.”

This statement was taken from a press statement, of the same name, released on 26 June 1961, a few years before his capture and incarceration. In the final sentence of the second last paragraph the statement reads

“The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.”

For me this sentence personified the man that Nelson Mandela was, for even after he won political freedom for all South Africans his governement led the creation of one of the most progressive consititutions in the world, granting a wider range of freedom to all South Africans than those enjoyed by even the most “civilised” nations on earth.

He continued to champion the freedom and rights of those victims of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and one of his final appearances, after retirment was at the Make Poverty History campaign in London. Still fighting for economic freedom.

Nelson Mandela was a man of his time, he saw the injustices plaguing his land and it’s people and he chose to give his life fighting for an ideal that he believed in.

But the struggle continues, for political freedom is nothing without economic freedom and economic freedom is worthless without security for ourselves, our families and our communities.

The world today is a very different one from that in which Nelson Mandela was born, but there are significant struggles to choose from and to dedicate your life to, real fundamental human challenges that are local and global.

They include, but are not limited too

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Cultural freedoms
  • Economic inequality
  • Gender based violence
  • Government and Corporate Corruption
  • Political stability
  • Safety and security
  • Xenophobia

And so I say to you who have not yet chosen your struggle or those who’s struggles have small, personal impacts, consider your daily struggle as well as those of the people around you, and then choose which struggle will become your life’s work.

Build a circle of like-minded individuals and tackle the problem head on.

For our struggles are real. Whether you are struggling for the betterment of yourself, your family, your community or society at large, having a clear and definitive statement that underpins your actions will allow you to also state with confidence that “The struggle is my life” and when questioned about what that struggle is you’ll be prepared to respond “I will continue to fight for ______ until the end of my days.”

Below: The granite plinth with the original statue removed, with a young Mandla Mandela atop it

The Plinth with the original statue remove, with a young Mandla Mandela atop it

Today is the day!

HBX Insights Sunrise

We are where we are today because of what we did yesterday, and our tomorrow is determined by what we do today. Therefore there is no more important day than today to determine the future.

Regardless of whether you believe in a predetermine destiny or a natural unravelling of your destination over time, you can and must take steps today that lead to a better future.

For our tomorrow to be bright we need to be bright, capable leaders today!


The Seed of Potential

HBX Insights Potential

Potential is the seed, floating in the wind, travelling from afar to settle, waiting for the environment to be just right to take root and become a part of the very fabric of this land.

This same potential lies in the fruit of past seeds who’ve established themselves, and the land is welcoming, it accepts the seeds, and the fruit and allows each to blossom in its turn and in its season.

For the seed; the youngest bloom; the impatient youth; the young lady and gentlemen have as much potential as the middle aged man and women; the brother and the sister; the aunt and uncle and the grand parents.

We all have within us the potential to be even better, to make history or to pave the way for others to do so.

That is potential and we’re in South Africa, and so we’re Potential South.

In his maiden SONA President Ramaphosa challenged us all to lend a hand, to help double the numbers of jobs in tourism by welcoming guest into our “rondavels” in the most beautiful country in the world. And while the government get themselves in order we’re getting involved, so that when our children ask us what we did when we had the chance, we can say “I stood up and was counted”

This is our answer to the call to make our country great again, to work together to right the wrongs of the past and to finally put them behind us, while at the same time building a prosperous nation that can be shared by all of us in our lifetime and beyond.

And if we all get more prosperous along the way, even better.

Bootstrapping your business is bootstrapping your life

Insights Bootstrapping
It seems obvious when you think about it, but when you’re bootstrapping a business, trying to get it off the ground at the lowest possible cost, while maintaining your health and fitness then an easy way is to consume less, waste less and ultimately pay less.
Starting your own business may require significant personal sacrifices and if you’re personally financing your business, you’re likely to need to bootstrap your life as well as your business.
Here are some thought on things you could consider:
Instead of maintaining you gym membership take up running or dig that old bicycle out of the garage and go for a ride. Not only is it good for you, but it will give you personal time to think through ideas and re-energise you.
Instead of buying 2 litre bottles of milk, buy 2 one litre sachets of milk. Save R2 a litre. It’s fiddly but the savings add up. Over a month that could save another R100
Coming to the end of your phone contract? Switch to a pay monthly plan, not a contract, that you can scale according to your needs, and keep the phone for another year or even two. At R500 a month for the phone that could save you R12000 over 2 year.
Have an old phone/pc/printer at home, use it to start your business, don’t buy new unless the business can afford it.
Don’t use your personal money to buy goods for your business unless you have to. Wait until the business is making it’s own money, it exists as an entity separate from you.
Walk somewhere instead of driving, save petrol or take a bicycle and add it to your exercise routine.
Look for bargains in store and shop around and don’t be afraid to buy something nearing the end of it’s sell by date, just consume it within a reasonable amount of time.
Be careful of buying in bulk, this saves money over a long period but ties up your money in stock or in the food cupboard. I know so many people who struggle month to month, or day to day, but have cupboards full of bargains they bought in bulk.
Use up everything you have in the cupboard before doing shopping. Get creative with your ingredients.
If you have the space, plant a vegetable garden, it’s almost free. And if we’ve learnt anything from the current drought, use grey water to keep them alive. This is a great way to not only return water to the ground, but also saves you on your water bill.
When dealing with suppliers don’t be afraid to ask for a discount, almost anything is negotiable, but also recognise that we all need to make a living, and if you cut the deal too fine someone may not do business with you in the future.
This is only the first of many bootstrapping articles we’ll be sharing. We might even explore some of these ideas in more detail as we build up our knowledge and experience.
Feel free to add your thoughts and ideas below.

Everyone should be be able to go online

Insights Internet

The internet is here to stay for the significant future, of that we can be certain. We’ve learnt over the past 20 years that the internet as a means of connecting people is unsurpassed, whether on a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet or internet connected fridge.

It’s also gotten cheaper (and still has a long way to go) and more accessible across most walks of life (and still has a long way to go) and it’s become easier and easier to use (and still has a long way to go).
I truly believe that the internet has a long way to go before we reach saturation point and that far more disruption is on the way.

Africa’s industrial powerhouse, South Africa is only now beginning to roll out fibre into provincial towns, with much of the country to do and as we accelerate the roll-out, the opportunities already realised in other countries are going to appear. Internet connectivity can expect to be followed by increased logistics requirements as new sources of knowledge and skills comes online. This exercise is being repeated all over Africa and indeed most of the the developing world, in some instances they’re able to leapfrog developed countries who are dependent on legacy infrastructure.

Government and industry commitment to fund wide scale roll-out of communication infrastructure is crucial to ensure that we’re able to take advantage of this “fourth industrial age” to leap frog from a developing country to a developed country.
And ensuring that we’re all apart of this is not only simple, but it makes sense. We have young people who are unemployed but have experience as digital natives, we have mature adults who are semi-retiring to run small family businesses such as B&B’s, Guest Houses or lifestyle businesses and who may be more comfortable checking sms’s and emails than building social media following.
Many of our youth have within their pockets the tools and in their minds the brains to go out and start their own digital marketing company, assisting our small and medium sized businesses to get online in the modern world and to promote South Africa not just locally but globally.
Taking advantage of this “Fourth Industrial Age” means educating ourselves on the business benefits of social media and helping them understand the basics of setting up and running their own business.
I believe that this is important enough to spend a good deal of time exploring questions and providing answers as to what it takes to start and run a business digitally and run a digital business in South Africa.

The shadow that you cast

Insights Shadow

You are unique and create the world you live in. You eat to feed and strengthen your body, you save to establish your future, you work to survive in the present and you learn to increase your knowledge and earning potential.

And in everything you do, you are being watched by those around you, some want to judge, but mostly those around you are looking for inspiration, justification and leadership.

The old will question your ways and the young will try to imitate them, but only you have the knowledge to know why you live the way you do.

The shadow that you cast goes beyond you, and into the community. It will outlive you and impact the world long after you’re gone.

Are you satisfied with the shadow that you cast?

The great thing about a goal

Insights Goal

Through out time immemorial it has been well understood that a man with a mission is a man more likely to succeed. And so many of us search our souls and analyse our lives to find our own mission, our purpose and our vision of contribution. And off we go out into the big wide world to achieve it.

The greatest thing about our goals are the fact that they’re our own, whether or not they align to the goals of others is irrelevant, although it usually helps if they do.

Being the sole owner of your goal means that it’s yours to add to or subtract from, to share or to keep hidden. It’s all yours and only you can decide what it looks like and how important it is to you to achieve it.

That is an amazing amount of power that you have in your hands, you could ignore it and go on living as you’ve always done, or you can rise up to the challenge you lay down for yourself, and achieve it.

Remember: Don’t focus on the mountain that you’re climbing, focus on reaching the next ledge. Before long you’ll be on top of the mountain.