From Multiple Highlights and Challenging Times
The year-end holiday season is the perfect time to relax, do the things you don’t get time for and spend quality time with your loved ones. Moving on to a new year is also a perfect time to reflect on happenings during 2019, celebrate the highlights, re-adjust your focus and determine how to improve during 2020. 2019 was filled with amazing highlights but also with difficult and challenging times. Reflecting on 2019, I am sharing 19 lessons I learned and I truly hope you can learn from these lessons.
2019 was an amazingly blessed and successful year for me personally, financially and on a business level. Words cannot express my immense gratitude towards God and the people supporting me for all the blessings and support I have been receiving during 2019. The highlights include: My book ‘Financially Fit and Wealthy’ that was published and won an award; I was co-author of the inspirational book ‘Maak dit Gebeur. Maak dat dit saak maak’ published by Finesse Magazine and Carpe Diem; the Ronel Jooste Dream Foundation was founded and registered as an NPO; launched the ‘Geldfiks Gids’ together with Helpende Hand; had book launches and speaking opportunities in Gauteng, Cape Town and Mpumalanga; received 9 awards/nominations during 2019; received my Competent Communicator CC10 accreditation from Toastmasters International; was featured in multiple magazines, on radio and TV; was featured in the international Woman Entrepreneur magazine after being named as one of the ‘Inspirational Female Entrepreneurs’ of 2019 (I was the only South African entrepreneur); my blog was selected as one of the Top-10 South African investment blogs; I contracted for a financial consulting project with one of the largest listed companies in the financial services industry and our guesthouse, PhysEQFiT Guesthouse turned 3 years old showing phenomenal growth for the year.
2019 was also exceptionally challenging on an emotional and physical level. Contracting to the financial consulting project required me to be based in Cape Town. During May 2019, I ‘unofficially relocated’ to Cape Town, though frequently travelling to Pretoria for business or events. Filled with energy and business ideas, I arrived in the Mother City not knowing the vast differences in holidaying versus working and living in Cape Town. Living in a different location and keeping the businesses in Pretoria intact was a challenge, let alone the flights to and from Pretoria which in itself is stressful. The weather in Cape Town from June to November is cold and often rainy with little sunshine and a strong wind which makes road running training really difficult resulting in me not always being able to execute my exercise programme, which was really tough on me. Having to leave family, friends, businesses and networks behind was also equally tough on me.
2019 was also a year of reflection – self-reflection, reflecting on relationships, reflecting on business and reflecting on my dreams, purpose and vision in life. I certainly learned multiple lessons, be it from the highlights or the difficult times:
- Keep working hard.
You will reap the fruit of all the effort you put in. A time will come when you will realise all the late nights, tears, disappointments, challenges, stress and sleepless nights were worth it. The multiple highlights of my 2019 year might sound like a fairy tale, but believe me the mountains I had to climb to get to this point will make Mount Everest looks tiny. Stay focussed, believe in yourself and keep going.
- Continue to grow and treasure your network.
There is a saying ‘your network determines your net worth’ and that is entirely true. Nurture those relationships. I realised the power of my network this year especially during my book launch which was hosted at BMW Centurion – an exceptionally special evening that I will treasure forever. Although still small, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to also build a network in Cape Town.
- If it is your time to shine, then shine.
I was honoured to win the “Woman of the Year 2019” award this year. I cannot remember much of the previous winner’s speech; it was those typical nail biting moments before she announced the winner for 2019 and I only caught certain words. The one phrase from her speech that I clearly remembered was ‘if it is your time to shine, then shine’. God gave us talents and the ability to utilise those talents to reach our full potential in life. Don’t be afraid to shine. God wants for us to shine but remain humble.
- When your staff buy into your vision they become your biggest asset.
We are fortunate to have amazing staff at PhysEQFiT Guesthouse. Joyce and Evah started out as cleaners. They bought into our vision and dream for our business and we acknowledged their potential, giving them the opportunity to grow and develop within the business but also as individuals. When the Cape Town contract emerged, I was able to grab the opportunity with both hands because I could rely on them to take over the responsibilities. I will eternally be thankful to Joyce and Evah and especially to my sister and co-owner, Marli for managing the guesthouse while I am in Cape Town. They are doing a brilliant job and I am super proud of them.
- Sometimes you need to walk away.
My biggest fear coming to Cape Town was leaving the guesthouse behind. Finances is my profession, but our guesthouse is my pride and joy. It is my baby that I have built up from scratch. I worked tremendously hard to get it to this point. What if the business fails? But we had 5 of our best months ever while I was in Cape Town and I learned that you sometimes need to walk away from something and give it wings to fly. It will fly. After all, isn’t that what business is all about? To create businesses that can run independently from you and provide you with a passive source of income.
- Know who your true friends are.
Out of sight, out of mind. Being in Cape Town and far away from my network made me realise who my true friends and supporters are. There are those people who will keep in touch, who will check up on you, who will be happy for you when you achieve success and support you during the difficult times. There are also those people who won’t make an effort to keep in touch, who won’t congratulate you or won’t support you. Focus your attention on those people who are your true friends and supporters and cherish them. Let go of the people who aren’t true friends.
- Keep praying and have faith – the right thing will happen at the right time.
In 2018 I said to myself once I have published my book I want to focus on financial consulting on a bigger scale. It was literally a few hours before leaving for my book launch on 11 April 2019 that I received the e-mail – I got an offer from one of the largest listed financial services companies in South Africa to consult for them on a 6-month contract (and the contract got extended towards the end of 2019). They approached me out of nowhere and it all happened so quickly and unexpectedly. It has once again proven to me that you need to keep praying for what you want in life and have faith. God will provide for the right thing to happen at the right time.
- Don’t fear change, embrace it
Few people feel comfortable with change and most people avoid it. Leaving the corporate world venturing into my entrepreneurial journey provided me with the biggest lesson in how to move out of your comfort zone and embrace change. It was one of the hardest things I ever did. I moved from a very structured, deadline driven, high pressurised financial background to a completely unstructured, relatively chaotic at the best of times and go-with-the-flow environment when starting the guesthouse. If it wasn’t for these lessons learned I would probably not have accepted the offer to live in Cape Town for a while. In Cape Town I once again found myself out of my comfort zone and having to adapt to all the changes on a daily basis. But I managed to keep going despite all the challenges and grabbed onto the opportunities that came my way.
- Create your own opportunities
Opportunities might appear but it is still up to you whether you take the opportunity and turn it into something bigger or not. Quite often the opportunities you are waiting for won’t necessarily appear and if you keep sitting around waiting, you might wait forever. I have learned to also create my own opportunities. Don’t be afraid to ask. Sometimes the answer is no and then I accept it and move on. But when the answer is yes, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and make the most of it.
- Think differently
Since I was physically away from my businesses, network and normal routine, I had the opportunity to reflect on my businesses and what I want in life. I spent time reassessing my goals, the current situation of my businesses and the bigger vision I have for my life. I asked myself: “am I happy with the current progress?” I realized I have to let go of the things that don’t produce or don’t work well. I need to think differently. I cannot repeat the same weak process, expecting different results. I need to think bigger. I have to make tough business decisions and should not hang onto something because I am emotionally attached to it and as a result of that, I am excited to venture into a new business line / venture during 2020.
- Treasure your partner
I cannot be more grateful for the love and support I received from my partner during 2019. It was very tough on both of us, but he supported my dream throughout. Treasure the people who love and support you. Also give them the support they need. Make time for them. Pray for them and pray with them. Listen to their fears and dreams. Set goals together as a couple. Encourage them and love them unconditionally.
- Keep the positive thoughts going
Through all the emotional challenges we faced this year, I was cognisant of maintaining a positive mind-set. The minute you allow negativity to slip in, you are starting to lose the battle. Surround yourself with positive people who inspire and support you. Read positive things, watch positive things, think positive things and talk positive things.
- Look after your health and fitness
Your health is your wealth. My usual routine includes running 5 days a week and going to gym 2-3 times a week. Exercise certainly helps me to keep fit and healthy, feel and think better, be more effective, have more energy, plan and visualise, set goals and achieve those, manage stress better, sleep better and to enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle. As mentioned earlier, I struggled to keep to my routine while being away from home. I could most definitely feel the exact opposite impact on my mind and body. Yes I am committed to get my exercise routine back on track now that the weather is getting better in Cape Town. We even got ourselves a Nutribullet as a Christmas gift to motivate us to start eating healthier again. Subscribe to our Enchanted Journeys channel on YouTube where we will be sharing our healthy recipes.
- Don’t forget to have fun
We had lots of fun too in Cape Town and Cape Town truly is one of the most beautiful places on earth. There are plenty of activities, great restaurants, incredible scenery, charming little towns and places to explore in Cape Town. At times, it was all the fun we had during the weekends that kept us going during the week. Having fun together as a couple is a non-negotiable ingredient for building a healthy relationship.
- Analyse your financial position on an ongoing basis
I always used to vigorously analyse my financial position. It certainly helped me to make better decisions, to save a lot of money, to move my investments timeously when a certain fund / asset was no longer performing well, to have more effective tax structures in place and to repay my bond in 6 years. Since I started my own businesses, I spent a lot of time monitoring my businesses’ finances but neglected my personal finances a bit. During 2019 I again spent a lot of time analysing my personal finances and I was horrified (and ashamed) to see how much money I lost because I wasn’t on top of things all the time. I will not make that same mistake again. From now on, I will keep on top of things to ensure I make the best financial decisions possible at all times.
- Investment properties are still my favourite
Since my university years, I had this dream of owning a huge property portfolio. Although I had a great start building my property portfolio, I channelled all my time, money and attention to building my businesses the last three years. After reflecting and the financial analyses I did during 2019, I decided to expand my property portfolio in 2020. Despite certain negative implications in the market and the economy taking strain, property still outperforms all other asset classes over the longer term. Keep an eye on my FinanciallyFiTLife blog and social media where I will be sharing facts, articles and insight from my personal journey with investment properties.
- Create additional income streams
Retrenchments, a struggling economy, businesses failing, our income no longer keeping up with the impact of real inflation on our expenses and expensive medical costs are a few of the factors impacting negatively on our financial wellbeing. It is a sad but harsh reality of the world we live in. We can no longer rely only on one income stream. We have to create multiple sources of income, preferably passive income sources and I once again realised the importance of this during 2019. I still earned passive income from my other income sources (guesthouse, book, online courses, investments, properties etc.) even though I was based in a different location. Start creating additional income sources rather sooner than later, no matter how small they are initially. It will grow and you will forever be grateful.
- Life is short, treasure it
I have lost a dear friend, Toastmasters colleague, the MC at my book launch and one of my biggest supporters towards the end of 2019. It was devastating news to me. He was such an amazing and talented person. We were still talking three days before his sudden death. Life is short and precious. Being alive is a blessing. We should be living our best lives and be living it today. Don’t delay, tomorrow might be too late.
- Take action and just do it
Saturday 24 March 2018 was a special evening for me. I was attending the Woman of Stature Woman of the Year awards as a guest at Emperors Palace. It was also the first formal evening event my partner and I attended as a couple. That was however not the main reason it was special. I was mesmerised and truly inspired by all the amazing women finalists that evening. Some spark ignited within me that evening. My financial business was still very new at that point, but I had a much bigger dream. That evening I set personal and business goals for myself. I wanted to be on that stage winning prizes too. I wanted for my businesses to grow and be successful. I wanted to grow personally and achieve my full potential in life. I went home that evening and I started working with renewed energy and focus. Long story short – 11 awards / nominations followed since that evening back in 2018. None of that would have been possible if I didn’t take action to make the dream that was initiated inside of me a reality. What are you waiting for? Take action and just do it.
I thank God for being alive and giving me the ability to realise my dreams. My wish is for you to realise every single dream of yours and to live your best life in 2020. I hope that you can take something from the lessons I learned in 2019, apply it in your own life and derive value from it. I would also like to invite you to subscribe for my 30-Day ‘Live Your Best Life’ program – for more information and to subscribe – click here.
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