A powerful business tool kit packaged in one copy
Book review by Nompumelelo Cele
Not so many people write about their failures, we are living in a success driven world and messages about wealthy entrepreneurs are flooded in the media and we automatically think entrepreneurial route leads to a better life. In her book titled “When is Enough, Enough?”, Morongwa Makakane has taken bold steps in revealing harsh, heart hitting realities about the challenges she faced as an emerging small business owner who had her taste of success. Post 1994 the South African government had just released a BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) policy and black women were given first preference when it comes to awarding projects. As an emerging entrepreneur at the time, Morongwa Makakane, saw her business booming within its first three years, and it all went over her head – finally, she was living her dream, her small business was going BIG! Then suddenly she saw it crumbling right before her eyes and realised it was all gone. She recalls one Saturday evening when the truck was parked outside her offices, loading all her business equipment, and a question struck her: “Have I lost it all?” It is through her life-changing experiences that Makakane’s idea of the book was born. She realises her mistakes and in this book she identifies each and gives valuable advice on other entrepreneurs on how to avoid similar mistakes. I should say, it takes bravery and courage for anyone to face their failures, deal with them and turn them around to a fruitful course. All Makakane is saying in her book is: ‘I have learnt my lessons; let me show you how to avoid them, let me help you make sure you do not make the same mistakes I made’. This is a heart-hitting book based on a true life story of an entrepreneur who one day had it all, and the next day it was all lost.
Whether you are thinking about starting your own business or you are looking for ways to sustain your existing business, this is the book that can talk to you. If you are success driven, you will find this book speaking your language. “When is Enough, Enough?” is a question that could be ringing in your head when you find yourself at the deep end in your business, career or life in general. You can join Makakane where she shares her glorious and shameful days. She touches the core problems that led to her downfall and provide valuable information that offers solutions by giving technical advice. Out of the biggest mistakes she made, she points out having no business plan and financial plan in the first place being the worst. She wrote: “Writing a business plan will help you to save money and time since you will be able to deal with issues before they become problems.” Makakane admits she did not have a proper plan at hand, so as the business grew she continued guessing her hourly rates and taking more and more projects and thought this was a picture of success. “In all honesty, I think the beginning of my success was the beginning of my downfall,” Makakane realises. She frankly puts it: “When the money came in, it went to my head. I used money for the business for personal use. I bought ‘expensive’ cars. I ended up having so many cars with not enough space to park them in my yard”. As a result, her cars were repossessed, staff left her and the business had to shut down. However, she does acknowledge that there were some of the few things she did right and that had led to her business booming in the first three years. “Perhaps one of the things I can pride myself with, and something I did well, out of all the things I did not do well was that I delivered quality work” she says. She adds: “One of the years in the three was so successful I made a turnover that even small businesses do not dream of”.
Makakane talks about positive quitting. She says this is a way of choosing all the things that bring about positive change in your life and stick to them to turn the situation all around. Her life story has taught her how to do that and succeed in it. Most importantly, she advises the reader that they can quit if they have to. But by this she does not mean they should give up. No! She says that the reader “should embrace the power of positive quitting and be a positive quitter”. This means, she says, to stop doing things that are not working for you and focus more on the things that work for you.
Hers is not a journey based on completely negative failure. It is a story of recovery. It’s a journey of personal transformation. The title of the book delivers a message that encourages a reader to do a self introspection and be able to see when enough is really enough. Makakane states that it is not really only about when things have not worked out in business, but it applies to all aspects of life, when a person has had enough. “By saying enough is enough you will be making the right life-changing decision. This means taking responsibility for your actions, for who you are, what you have, and what you do. It means taking control of your life,” writes Morongwa Makakane.
“When is Enough, Enough?” is a must read, not only for small entrepreneurs, but for everyone experiencing personal challenges today. Get yourself a copy today, by visiting http://www.morongwamakakane.co.za or sending an email to email@example.com