Control: Capa Diem!

One of my peculiar habits is reading and listening to what premier league coaches say after matches. It is quite interesting, actually. Most of the times, I have observed, they say something like…”We controlled the game for the first thirty minutes…” or “… we were careless and failed to control the game and gave them too much space…” Sounds familiar? 

One of my peculiar habits is reading and listening to what premier league coaches say after matches. It is quite interesting, actually.

Most of the times, I have observed, they say something like…”We controlled the game for the first thirty minutes…” or “… we were careless and failed to control the game and gave them too much space…” Sounds familiar?  These coaches (or managers as the English call them) think entrepreneurial.

In contrast, I do remember when I was younger, our local clubs and national teams would have coaches /managers totally confident of winning before a match and when the team loses they blame it on the referee, lack of facilities and just about everything and everyone but themselves. A sure mark of lack of control, no wonder a lot of people shifted to watch foreign games.

Capa Diem- Latin for ‘seize the day’ captures the spirit of entrepreneurship. As an entrepreneur you are supposed to take, nay seize control.

Last week, we saw innovation and initiative is the mark of the true entrepreneur. The bottom line in these two words is control. The other is creativity, but then how would you be in control without being creative? As my old boss would ask; are you in control? 

As I said last week, innovation and initiative is the mark of the true entrepreneur. The bottom line in these two words is control. The other is creativity, but then, how would you be in control without being creative? As my old boss would ask; are you in control? 

A lot of people have the annoying habit of pity- partying. Let’s admit it; a lot of us quietly enjoy being victims.  Sure, they could be more sinned against than sinned but then again we are in a hurry to cede, nay, gift away control of our lives to others.

When in problems, be it poverty, hunger, disease or some catastrophe they don’t first look for solutions, we seek solution providers. But, let’s face it, how do you know you cannot solve a problem before you try to actually solve it?

In Kiswahili you’d be asked; upo ama upo upo tu?  I suppose a quick lesson in street Kiswahili is necessary here: When someone tells you   ‘upo!’ (Note the exclamation mark) apart from registering your presence, s/he is saying with confidence ‘you are standing up to be counted’, ‘you’re strong and alive’ or as Obama would put it ‘yes, we can!’ On the contrary, ‘upo upo’ is like registering a weak apologetic presence with sub-zero confidence. If you add ’tu’, it gets even worse. You are only just there! (If there’s such a phrase). You are victims of everything.

The sun, the moon, the wind, the trees…you name it we are totally not in control. Now, let’s bring this ‘control’ talk to entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurial approach helps solve this. Seeking and seizing control of your life is the bottom line. Many of us have this thought pattern of avoiding getting to the bottom of the problem and at best curing symptoms. That’s why I still disagree with the proponents of the Malthusian reasoning that population control alone.

The Indian sub-continent fits into Africa about 11 times. Indian population is bigger than the African one. So why India is more developed? Simple; they have a better ‘solve-it attitude’! A more current and interesting example is Ireland that is choosing to go it alone in the face of a financial crisis before rushing for help. They want to only ask for help after they are convinced that they cannot fix it themselves. You have to admire the Irish spirit. 

How you respond to issues affecting you is sometimes more important than the matter affecting you. Do you keep the victim mentality, taking things , as given, being comfortable or do you, tough as it may be. Try to solve your problems and improve your lot?

Entrepreneur or not, make sure upo!  Capa Diem!

Sam Kebongo is a skills development and business advisory consultant. He teaches entrepreneurship at Rwanda Tourism University College.

Comments to: sam.kebongo@gmail.com

 

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