We start with quotes from Seth Godin, ‘A check (Cheque) in your wallet does very little good. It represents opportunity but not action.
Most of us are carrying around a check, an opportunity to make an impact, to do what we are capable of, to ship the art that would make the difference. No, the world isn’t fair, and most people do not get all the chances they deserve, there are barriers due to income, to race, to social standing and to education, and they are inexcusable and must fall but the check remains, now more than ever.
The opportunity to step up and fall (and then to fall again, and to fall again) and continue falling until we succeed is greater now than it has ever been.’
As Martin Luther King junior spoke about half a lifetime ago, “ We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. , there is such a thing as being too late.
Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and rejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood- it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “too late.”
Last Christmas, I visited Mwanza, Tanzania (on the shores of Lake Victoria). What a lovely tranquil city it is. As I passed through North western Tanzania from the Rusumo border into the Gold and Diamond mining parts of Tanzania.
I recalled having hitherto heard a Tanzanian cabinet minister say over the radio something to the effect that the only rich countries in this region are Tanzania and Congo due to their minerals. Subconsciously, I had expected to see this wealth in this region, being the mineral rich belt.
I saw, instead, a check (cheque) in the pocket waiting to be cashed. There is nothing unique about North Western Tanzania with regard to unexploited opportunities;
This scenario is replicated all around the region. More often than not we procrastinate and await tomorrow to take up opportunities (cash the cheque). Secondly, opportunities come adorned as problems. You ask yourself why somebody is not doing something about it.
You never realize that you could be that somebody. The moment you realize that , and then try to resolve the problem, you turn it into an opportunity.
As Robert Kiyosaki says, “you become rich by looking for problems and solving them.” And if you think it is the government that should solve it, then consider these; one, democracy by definition is a government of the people, for the people, by the people. You are a person, no?
Most problems, of whatever nature, appear bigger than they really are. Perhaps that is why someone said that 80% of success is in showing up, in trying.
You do have a choice, of course, you could do it now or wait for tomorrow. But tomorrow may be too late. The opportunity may be gone. There are barriers alright but not insurmountable, life is full of people who started from situations of serious disadvantage and went on to be the very best of what they wanted to be.
It can be done but first you must step out. You must seize the opportunity.
As Tanzanian artiste, Juma Nature, sings; kwani wao wanaoweza wana nini? Na sisi tushindwe tuna nini? (What do those who succeed have that we don’t, that we cannot succeed?) Cash the cheque.
Sam Kebongo is a skills and business advisory services consultant. He teaches entrepreneurship at Rwanda Tourism University College.