Be afraid to fail – it leads to success

Ms Phephsile Maseko and Ms Nora Fakude.

MBOMBELA – Ms Nora Fakude, executive chairman of Buscor, is afraid to fail. Not so afraid that she will not start, but so afraid that she will not stop.

She has run the gamut in business during her hugely successful career, and has first-hand experience of going it alone.

Having to fight from the beginning, first to obtain an education and later to make a success of her business endeavours, she learned to make the most of the opportunities that came her way.

She has learnt to survive. “There was poverty and poverty and poverty. Out of that poverty, we learned to survive.”

When she left for school, there was nothing to take with her. Instead she started selling the cream she used. This assisted her mother in paying her fees and obtaining pocket money, or just to afford her transport home.

A general trend throughout her life story remains: nothing is easy. Once she achieved a manner of success it remained true: doing business is difficult.

A steadfast refusal to fail, for the sake of her children and her employees, has to a large extent kept her going.

As a mentor in the Bring Change Lowveld Programme, she recently shared the 10 most helpful things she has learned with programme winner Ms Phephsile Maseko. Lowvelder readers get a view into her heart too, as she continues on her journey.

1. Be the leader you naturally are
Women are natural leaders. Fakude remembers the crucial role her own mother played in their family: she was the leader, sacrificing much for her children, and teaching them by example.
“She held on to her principles, and we followed suit. Women can multitask, which makes them natural leaders.”
Multitasking, which comes naturally to some, allows you to fulfill the immediate needs of those who depend on you (put food on the table) and go beyond that (dream and work towards that long-term vision).

2. Be determined
Given the range of challenges a person faces, as they strive, attain, develop and strive some more, you will need determination to keep on going at times.
“Business is a scary world, but you can never stop. You need a very strong backbone in order to be firm and focus on what you are doing.”
Fellow girls in her school career didn’t finish their education – for many reasons. Fakude would never yield to those external forces. With very little by way of support of her dreams, it was sheer determination that lead Fakude through school.
“I was determined to get my education, and nothing could stop me.”

3. Help others
At the height of her own poverty, she found ways to help others. She used to have kids from her village make handcrafts, teaching them how to do it, feeding them food she cooked in her grandmother’s pot, and then sold the goods.
“At the time I didn’t know I was creating a future for myself in business, as it put me in touch with funding organisations and contacts.
“And the kids that ate from that pot, they went on to become teachers, doctors, you name it.”
She still feels she needs to help and assist wherever possible. “Demonstrate appreciation. Help others too.”

4. Share 
Sharing is not giving your ten cents. “Sharing is teaching others to make a living. It is giving of yourself, your time as well as adding value to that time you give, to add value to people.”

5. Persevere
Sometimes nobody will stand by you. People may say you are crazy and leave you.
“You don’t give up because somebody says, ‘Not you, but rather that one’.”
In persevering Fakude has managed to register the first black-owned company which maintained, repaired and refurbished vehicles for the military.
An opportunity arose for her to acquire shares in a foreign company, which enabled her to pitch a partnership to Buscor, which she now co-owns.
“You have to stand firm – in a nice way. As a woman and a mother you can’t fail, you have to be there for the people who depend on you.”

6. Don’t listen to your critics 
“When people say I can’t, I don’t listen. I focus on what I want to achieve and what I need to do to get there.”
There was a time in the history of South Africa when there was nothing worse than being a black woman.
“But I would think, ‘I am complete!’ I never thought there was something my brother could do that I couldn’t.
“When going into business, never be discouraged about this or that being a man’s or woman’s domain. Everything is a human being’s domain.”

7. Go for it
Whatever it is you are doing, it not just an idea which just dropped into your mind. Once you have done your research, and realised your idea will work, go for it.
“Fight for it, stand for it. Even when it is not going well, don’t give up.
“I couldn’t fail. What would I tell the people depending on me?
That I failed while I could still see the possibility of survival?”

8. Innovate
Fakude left teaching to go into business. She was sure she could do it. Her family was furious.
They had made sacrifices to enable her to become qualified as a teacher, but she resigned to pursue business interests.
“When I entered into business, that was where the real challenges started. I left teaching to work for the Bantu Investment Corporation, as manager of their courrier shop. Yet the political situation at the time discouraged tourists from visiting because it was not safe for them.
“When the tourists stopped coming, the corporation closed, and Fakude had bought the company from them.
“In so doing, I shacked myself with a huge debt. I had to go out, sell my stock in order to service the debt strife and the tourists wouldn’t come.”
“I had faith, but I had to think on my feet.”

9. Be ready to be disparaged
Once you achieve a little success, be prepared for others not to be happy for you, but to try to tear you down.
“Be careful when you achieve success. There are very few who will be happy and excited for you. People will try to pull you down.
“Be prepared to be trampled upon and pulled down. As a black woman people will question your success more. Women will point fingers first and withdraw their support.
“Men would probably be impressed and say, ‘Who is she that she can operate in that way?’
“It may take a long time, but if you persevere, you will be taken seriously.”

10. Use opportunities
“During our time there was nothing like a bank loan. If you look at what we have achieved with so little opportunities…
“Now companies are forced to bring in black women. Now it is legislated that black people, and black women in particular, be taken seriously by government and business. It was unheard of in our time.”
Yes, she has had bad experiences entering into partnerships. You learn, she says. Keep trying. Keep applying.
“With all these opportunities around now, I wish I was 30 years younger. The things I could achieve!”

 

Read what other mentors have to say:

  AUTHOR
Mireille de Villiers
Journalist

Latest News

COMMENTS

Top
Recommended Story x
9 proven ways to a successful career

Thanks for your referral. We have no doubt your friends will love our newsletter as much as you!

Don't forget to verify your email.

to our FREE newsletter
SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter.




SELECT your titles:

Barberton Times
Corridor Gazette
Hazyview Herald
Lowvelder
Mpumalanga News
Nelspruit Post
Steelburger News
White River Post


Get regular news updates sent directly to you inbox.

Your source of local breaking news and trending stories from across the country.

Be a part of our growing community

1MILFacebook Fans
98KTwitter Followers
5MILMonthly Readers
12MILArticles Published Every Month
72Local Community Websites

SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter

SELECT your titles:

Barberton Times
Corridor Gazette
Hazyview Herald
Lowvelder
Mpumalanga News
Nelspruit Post
Steelburger News
White River Post

Get regular news updates sent directly to you inbox.

Your source of local breaking news and trending stories from across the country.

Be a part of our growing community

Subscribe Here
1MILFacebook Fans
98KTwitter Followers
5MILMonthly Readers
12MILArticles Published Every Month
72Local Community Websites
Your details:


Your friends: