OPINION | #SONA made it clear: No one is coming to save entrepreneurs 

The State of the Nation (Sona) address by President Cyril Ramaphosa, was devoid of the usual interruptions and chaos engineered by the comrades in red, I almost felt cheated instead of relieved.

At least the antics of the comrades in red, whilst extremely frustrating and high blood pressure-inducing, created an interesting diversion to the boring and ridiculous we’ve come to expect from Sona.

The longer-than-usual Sona had the usual waxing lyrical about the successes of the past, accentuated by the need to look back on the full 30 years since the dawn of our new democracy.

To illustrate the benefits for society, we were introduced to ‘Tintswalo’. Our dear President attempted to console us with the imaginative character’s perfect ‘new’ world brought about by the amazing achievements of our government.

Whilst many of the elements listed in the imaginary story can be traced back and found to have an element of truth, many were realised long before the current administration and not in the past ‘lost decade’ nor the period of correction our current sitting President has promised since taking power in 2018.

As a side reminder, Ramaphosa was voted unopposed as president of the Republic of South Africa on 15 February 2018. That was six whole years ago. Many of the references to the devastation caused by Covid-19 and the world’s reaction to it, whilst seemingly still vivid and painful are now, next month, four whole years ago.

Surprise, Surprise! There was absolutely nothing new. No vision, no solutions, and no credible and visible action on the many promises we’ve heard for years from the same podium.

So what? How does this affect you?

We’re in a year of elections and the fun and games are only just about to start.

Best you buckle up as we’re in for a ride. Fast track to the elections and an ever-increasing multitude of politicians and parties, some new, some revamped, rehashed and resuscitated, will make all sorts of promises they cannot keep and we as a country cannot afford. If all the corruption in South Africa stopped today, we still wouldn’t have a balanced budget.

So, here’s the reality no one wants to hear about, let alone accept. No one, and I do mean no one, is coming to create a better tomorrow for you anytime soon. No one, and I do mean no one, is paying any more money into your bank account tomorrow either.

You and I need to create our own tomorrow within the challenges and opportunities we currently find ourselves in.

Let the politicians; past, current and future, fight amongst themselves and whilst they’re doing so, we build our businesses, the economy and the future we all so badly desire.

Wait and see is not a strategy. It’s a highly stressful and depressing vice that will eat you alive.

So, what can you, and me, then do?

1. Focus on a vision you desire for yourself, your family, and your business. Get crystal clear about it and cast it in stone in your mind, on paper, in conversation and anywhere else you can find meaningful space.

2. Put together a budget that supports that future. Perhaps not realising it all at once but in a staggered, realistic stretched, and disciplined way.

3. Learn the skills, like yesterday, to bridge any current gaps you have in executing your budget and future vision.

4. Put your learnings into a plan that keeps you focused and ensures you have a base, a strong foundation, to come back to and reference when the world, our politicians, the media, your friends and even family, try their hardest to get you distracted from your vision.

5. Take hands with like-minded people in both a professional and social setting, and work together, after clearly highlighting your plan and reasons for it, to achieve that desired future.

6. Take a hard look in the mirror often, dig deep, breathe, and refocus.

7. Get to work. Stay the course. Fall.Get up. Get to work. Stay the course.

You’ve got this. We’ve got this. Most of the world loves South Africa. Many want what we have and can’t wait to live here – some already do.

Fall back in love with this amazing country. Fall back in love with your business. Fall back in love with a life you desire and the journey it requires to get there.

By Harry Welby-Cooke

Leading business and executive coach and SA’s Co-Master Licensee for global franchise company – ActionCOACH. For more information visit www.actioncoach.co.za

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