Zamokuhle E Thwala

These are the words I sometimes murmur to myself. This is what many aspiring entrepreneurs go through every day. I don’t know how many times I have been viciously attacked by my relatives and neighbours because of my uniqueness. I have been called ‘selfish’ more than I care to remember.

Choosing the entrepreneurial journey has never been easy at all. It meant I had to turn a blind eye to the 9 to 5s conventional system. Not that it cannot be done in that way, but I just know myself, I perform badly under comfort zone.

I have this wonderful woman in my life, my grandmother. She has always been there for me. Next month she will be turning 69. Fortunately, she’s still strong like an ox and we are glad to have her.

When people try so hard to challenge me they would use her to appeal to my feelings. ‘Zamo, get a job. Your grandmother is old now. What if she dies? These words used to haunt me until I realised I have very little if not nothing to do with preventing death. If I did, my parents would be here to see their son flourishing.

Well, this isn’t about me but about anyone who wants to break the system. I guess we can all concur that a conventional job is enough to alleviate poverty but never enough to give you financial freedom. Moreover, there is no sustainability in it. Most people become entrepreneurs because that is what they want to attain. I never want to be a responsibility to my kids (as it is the case in many families), but I want vice versa. And if I don’t break the system, who will?

It can be hard to be a start-up. You have to deal with criticism and face failure in business at the same time.

I have a message to everyone who aspires to be an entrepreneur or maybe who wants to pursue their dreams but they’re advised otherwise. I urge you not be deterred by people who do not have ideas. More often, people without ideas have more time to criticize other people’s ideas. It may be tough, but trust me, it is worth it.

To those who are siblings to hustlers. If your lover, your relative or your best friend is a hustler. Give them support! In most cases, they don’t need your money but they are desperate for emotional support. Even if you do not believe in their ideas, the least you could do is to act as if you are listening. These people go through a lot, thus criticism should be the last thing to do.

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