Less than a week ago, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, tripped and fell at Harare International Airport upon returning from an AU meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On social media, speculations circulated – some suggesting it wasn’t a fall but the usual way the president of the African nation goes on his knees to pray and that this time he just did it in public due to excitement about being elected chairman of the AU. Pictures of the fall went viral hours later with memes showing the 90 year old doing all sorts of crazy things: Skating, Sitting on a broom, running from a Buffalo, doing Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” shuffle. However, a deeper look into who Mugabe is, how and why he fell and the banter that culminated from the incident give budding entrepreneurs three valuable lessons.
1. Take advantage of situations
Graphics designers made use of the fall to showcase their design skills. Mugabe’s critics used it to drive the point that Mugabe is no longer fit to rule blaming the fall on old age and deteriorating health. As an entrepreneur, it is helpful to often look out for odd ways of showcasing your business with profit goals. Everything happens for a reason. If something doesn’t teach you a lesson, it will provide an opportunity to make money and this opportunity is not always visible to every one – it’s only visible to the eagle eyed!
2. Life is not that rosy, even at the top
Nobody would expect a Head of State to trip and land like a toddler! But come to think of it, presidents are human, they eat the food we eat, use the roads we use, speak in languages we speak. Prominent entrepreneurs too face challenges like yours, keep going and don’t fret it. Rome like they say wasn’t a day’s work. If at your level you’re failing to raise rent for your business, some entrepreneur at the top is failing to raise a million dollars or so to pay taxes.
3. Offer a great service to everyone and anyone, always
People were talking about Mugabe being tired and no one listened. But the fall made some people wonder whether Mr. Mugabe, at 90 is still strong enough to continue running for office. Like Warren Buffett has said, it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. In business, one unsatisfied customer can spoil a good record that has been set over years. If you have decided to offer a great service, offer it to everyone and anyone, all the time and be sure that the day you’ll fall short of a great service might mark the beginning of your business demise.
Writer, Entrepreneur, Website Developer and Fitness Enthusiast.
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