Business & life lessons from my month in South Africa

Hello from South Africa! I have been fortunate enough to have spent the last month here and I’m recording this podcast from Cape Town, during my last week in this stunning country.

I’ve learnt some really great lessons during my time here and I wanted to share my thoughts about Cape Town and South Africa in general and how they can relate to the way that we run our agencies (and our lives!):

[1:37] The Importance of Branding - “yes but Rob, is it safe?” is exactly what so many people asked me before I came here. This is my 4th trip to South Africa and to be honest, in my opinion it’s as safe as any big city I have been to! It’s clear that South Africa needs to do some serious rebranding to shake off its past reputation and this highlights just how important branding really is to your business. Once you are known for one thing, you have to work super hard to rebrand to become known for something else.

[5:12] Living In The Present - We seem to be a lot more present and ‘in the moment’ when we’re on holiday, which is a shame because most of us only tend to spend a few weeks of the year away (if we’re lucky enough), and the rest of it is spent working. Stop wishing time away. Life is too short and if you hate your job, try to find something you love doing because before you know it, 20 years would have flown by and you’ll never get that back.

[8:00] Be Efficient With Your Time – Know what your goals are and organise your time properly. During my last two weeks here, I made a plan to work from 7am-3pm each day. Knowing I could be exploring the beautiful sunny Cape Town at the end of each day meant I didn’t waste any time throughout the day, and I achieved so much because of this. Giving yourself a reward, (even something small like a cup of tea or a nice 30-minute walk) can help you get super focused throughout your day.

[10:39] Morning/Evening Routines – Following on from the last point, having a consistent morning and evening routine helps me to be really efficient with my time during the day. I highly recommend you check out Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt if this is something you’d like to work on.  

[11:39] We All Have Choices – I’ve been told by various people that I’m so lucky to be able to go on trips like this, but to be honest it has nothing to do with luck. It was all simply in the planning and this is something you could do too, if you really wanted to! Stop constraining yourself. Stop telling yourself stories that you believe as facts. Step outside of your comfort zone and into your learning zone, and remember, it’s all about choices and planning. Listen to my episode Starting the Year With A Positive Mindset for help with this.

[13:51] Sun Is So Good For The Soul! - Seriously, doesn’t everyone seem so much happier when the weather is beautiful?

[15:06] It’s A Small World - So much of business operates on a “who you know” basis, so always make sure to keep networking and making sure the world knows who you are. 

[15:43] Practise Gratitude - There is a lot of poverty in South Africa and it reminds me just how lucky most of us really are. We need to remember to be grateful for what we have and stop moaning about such small things.

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