The secret to success in ANY situation is really quite simple:
Focus on the solution, not the problem.
With the global financial crisis, many businesses are suffering and people are struggling to survive. This may sound like it's easy for me to say, but you simply can't just focus on the fact that you have bills to pay.
There is a very simple, but clear fact that no one can argue with: No amount of worry or stress will make a problem go away. So often in life we get told we should set goals, yet so many of us don't know how to clearly set goals. But that doesn't need to stop you. Even if you're not going to set a goal, at least do something. Live in denial if you have to, but do not stress about anything because it does not help, ever! It can't. So stop worrying and stop stressing. Get out and do something.
If you own your own business, but don't have enough work coming in, find another business and offer to do a bit of work for them for free. Don't tell them how tough things are for you. Be positive! People do not like to be around those who are negative. Just tell the people you are approaching that things are a bit quiet for you at the moment and you don't like being idle, so you figure you may as well help someone else out a bit. And say it with a nice big smile and happy demeanour. Before you know it, you'll have made some new contacts and they may just love your attitude and introduce you to your next big client. Project Fish is a new initiative we've started at Sabona. We hope that it will be a solution to a problem that we've identified.
The problem is that while we've helped so many people who are in difficult situations (see page 8 and 9), we're always asking for more help and more money. But there isn't an endless amount of money. So how do we hope to solve this problem?
We have created a project that will give people the opportunity to help themselves. It would be lovely to say that our goal is to ensure no Southern African in Australia will ever be in a position where they can't pay their bills, but that is not really something we could easily measure, let alone achieve. Sure that may be the ultimate vision, but to start with we need to have some realistic expectations.
Our initial goal is to set up one person with a part-time home based business that will earn that individual an extra $250 per week. It may not sound like much, but it is a great start. By making our goal a lot simpler to achieve, it is easier for us to be motivated, easier to plan, quicker to get started and ultimately quicker and easier to reach our goal.
No one said we're not allowed to set new goals once we've reached our first goal, and that's exactly what we'll be doing. You'll be able to follow the progress on our website (www.sabona.com.au), but in a nutshell we have a simple business plan, with its own achievable goals. To allow us to set up that one person, we'll be raising funds, but here's the big difference: The funds raised will not be a donation as such, but rather a form of investment. The project will operate as a business with profits re-invested to grow the project and so that we are able to set up more people in businesses, resulting in more profits and an ability to help even more people.
In short, Project Fish enables us to focus our energy on a solution to the problem of the many Southern Africans living inAustralia who are currently in need.
Philip Scott is the chief executive officer of Sabona and co-ordinator of the Sabona Business Network. See www.sabona.com.au/philipscott