After my stint at Bopedi Bapedi High School, I moved to St Marks College. One of my class mates was a guy named Tshepo. He was a bully to an extent, but had an impressive following and was known by virtually everyone.
He was a jerk when he needed to be and sweet when he wanted to be. He was harsh to those he didn’t like and those who didn’t like him. Actually, he was sweet to some that didn’t like him because he had figured that he’d need them someday.
What amazed me was that he had a girlfriend. I never had a girlfriend throughout most of my high school years; my first kiss was in Grade 11.
Most of the girls spoke to Tshepo nicely, including those that talked smack about him behind his back. They spoke to him nicely anyway. No one talked to me.
Other than doing silly things like drinking – which I also did – and group beefs, he chaired the school’s food committee and participated in the sport and entertainment committees as well.
We’ve now grown to be good friends.
He had, and still has, an impressive emotional and social range. He is good at managing people.
Throughout high school, I always thought I was handsome. I am handsome. Google me!
Thinking I am handsome never got me anywhere, despite being told I am handsome by both girls and guys. I still have trouble with getting girls. I have approached many hot and beautiful girls and they always said no to me.
South Africa is largely a Christian country.
Have you realised how the guys, who attended church confirmation classes and participated in church activities, like choirs, are well acquainted with a lot of women?
I would be with my friend, Twakkie, who would be greeted by hot women. I’d ask him, “Where do you know her from?” He’d be like, “Church!”
Why didn’t I attend confirmation classes?!
My dear son, in order to be well acquainted with hot women and be known in the world of business, other than being my child, you’d have to practice the following:
In some of my businesses, I have worked with very attractive women. It is not that I am a handsome guy – which I am – but because I am involved in businesses that offer services people want.
Do something interesting that you love; love it more than hot girls. It should be known that you are committed to it. Respect it. Don’t give discounts to hot girls merely because they are dazzling.
I have given discounts to people, including attractive women but their allure had nothing to do with it.
Take soccer players, they are always surrounded by hot girls and they even date some of them, but the girls know they are secondary to the game. Some douche-bag might say, “not South African soccer players though,” and I wouldn’t dispute that. Not that I take that view, but because the douche would only be messing with this point I’m trying to make.
I could give an example of a runner, but I won’t.
I am not much of a joiner. Had I maybe joined ANCYL, BMF, a business chamber, a church group, (like Twakkie did), or whatever organisation, my network would be exponentially wicked. It would be rolling on 19-inch rims.
Tshepo and Twakkie were part of something, hence they are known by people.
I tried to join Endeavor and they told me they don’t admit Parallel Entrepreneurs, or rather, confused businessmen. I now dislike the guy, albeit unfair, who turned me away. He wasn’t even an entrepreneur, what does he know? Biatch!
So my son, join something. I would recommend that if you aren’t interested in the politics of organisations, just be there and be of value to the organisation’s mandate and provide as much value as possible to the group. Be the source of help.
You see, my boy, I have Startup Picnic going on. You can also establish something that attracts groups of people where you can provide them with much value.
They will love you for it. Your contacts will increase. Then see how the different contacts can be of value to each other and introduce them to one another.
The trick is to be of value to people. Assist them in the different ways you can. Refer them to help. Introduce them to potential lovers. Anything!
I shouldn’t be putting this in the book, but I introduced two cousins – not mine – to their current lovers. One now has a child and both couples are living happily ever after, I hope. They seem like they are. I hope they don’t find out I put this in the book.
It is easy to be the one always asking for things, but it is easier to draw a huge resourceful network by being the one who always thinks of ways to add value to others.
Adding value happens in many ways. There is a printing company to which I always refer business and I do free workshops now and then. I recently introduced a clothing label to one shop I almost did business with because I believe that their partnership would be beneficial to them.
When I’m done writing this, I am going to help someone secure radio interviews to promote their exhibition, by sharing my contacts and helping them with writing a press release.
Last year, someone said I should come and get something for free. I went to her office and as I was waiting she told me, “Sorry, we are going to have to charge you, we bill for such things.”
I still referred business to her later.
Some people think that since I am fluent in business language I can write free company profiles for them. Those are the ones that actually don’t deserve my help. It is important to differentiate between those who expect help and those who genuinely need it.
Those who are asking for genuine help will appreciate pointers on how to write a business profile and your offer to review their attempts once they are done
Those who expect your help are hard to please. They are the ones that would bad-mouth you when things don’t go their way. Know the mathematics my boy, steer clear from such entitled characters. Have the guts to say NO!
This does not mean you should scream when you greet people.
I am terrible when it comes to greeting people. I greet, but it is often not welcoming, it is too soft. Maybe I am afraid they will not greet back. Even when I’m replying, after being greeted first, I smile and reply softly. That’s not good enough.
I boldly notice other people who put attention and effort in greeting, because I never forget them.
I must confess that I suck at greeting. I should improve.
I want to make people feel noticed when I greet them, like I feel when others greet me with warmth.
I have missed many opportunities to introduce myself to people who could be good contacts, because of my shyness. I would be driving with my uncle Toto and he would greet people and I would just smile and wait for them to greet first. Fuck!
If people do not greet me, I should greet them, so that they feel bad for not greeting.
I suck at greetings and I should stop. In fact, I should face people when I greet them, look them in the eye and say, “Howzit’ da!” I know this works because it works on me when someone does it.
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