Humble Beginnings

So how did a young girl from Durban move from being a packer at Woolworths to coaching and training Managers and Team leaders on an international platform. Wow, still feels a bit surreal at times……..  If I had to choose one word, it would certainly be “Determination”

As a packer I always knew that there was more to life and I wanted more, I was not going to settle for mediocre, that was not me. My teachers never thought I would amount to much and often gave my parents the average speech about my performance.  My older sister always got the accolades while I got the “why can’t you be more like your sister talk” over and over again.

I finished Matric in 1995 (OMG 19 years ago …I certainly don’t feel that old) with a decent pass that could have gotten me into university. My parent’s unfortunately didn’t have the financial means to send me to university. I was angry for many years, while my friends went on to study I had to get a job and help support my family. Today as I look back I have no regrets as my past fight to succeed helped mould the person I am today.

So what did I do to get ahead…. Armed with the values my parents had instilled in me, my determination and a hunger to learn and grow, I would arrive at work hours before my packers shift, so that I could learn how to merchandise stock with my Manager, and that was not enough, I convinced the receptionist to teach me how to answer the switchboard and use to act as a relief to the admin staff with answering the main switchboard while they were on lunch. I did all of this outside my normal packer shifts, and often even went in to learn admin during my days off.

It wasn’t long before the heavens opened up with an opportunity that took me out of retail hours and into a formal office position. I remember the excitement… my first earning salary was R1000, most of which I gave to my parents and kept just enough for me to have for transport and weekend partying (yes I loved partying – I admit I outgrew that phase very quickly). It was also when I met my first husband, he was very kind, sweet and often spoilt me with gifts and going out at his expense (a very new experience for me).

The constant awareness that I still didn’t have a higher education was like a dark cloud that hung over me. I had no proper computer skills, and the idea of spending the rest of my life as a receptionist was certainly not my idea of success. I saw others, driving, shopping, excelling. I hungered for more.  I enrolled at a computer college, and attended during weekends to learn the various computer packages. That was the beginning of me paying my way to getting a higher education and attaining various qualifications over the last 19 years. My greatest learnings came from observing successful people. I watched, I stole with my eyes, and I read allot.  The first book that had a high influence on me was a Dale Carnegie book, titled “How to win friends and influence people” (a book I haven’t parted with since first reading it).

All of this prepared me for the next big move and chapter in my life, moving to the City of Gold, Egoli.  The years that followed brought me work success, marriage and motherhood.

A life I never imagined, only dreamed of was becoming a reality, every time I fell down, I rose up even higher than before. My learning and growing never stopped.  I never stopped!  To this day I continue to fall and I continue to rise against all odds. #lifeisforliving and I won’t have it any other way.

41 thoughts on “Humble Beginnings

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