The first time I met Jabu he was juggling four dirty plates while greeting customers and directing his team.
Over time, I came to know Jabu as a friend and also as one of the most gifted people I knew.
Jabu’s bosses loved how he ran their cafe as if it were his own. He took charge, took initiative and made things happen.
Hi bosses loved how he made their customers feel so welcome that they kept coming back.
And they loved how their business was growing under his caring leadership. They just didn’t show it and he just didn’t know how they felt about it.
Jabu loved his customers, but he hated the feeling of not being valued by his employers, and besides, he had a dream.
At the weekends or day offs, Jabu had a side gig.
He became a personal chef and dinner party host for hire. His clients went out for the day leaving him in to cook the meal and style their home before their guests arrived in the evening.
Nothing gave Jabu more satisfaction than seeing the look on someone’s face when they came home looking relaxed to an exquisite meal in the beautiful setting he’d created.
Jabu wanted to do this work full-time. He dreamt of starting his own business one day.
He could see how his service would work for dinner parties, small celebrations and family gatherings.
He had everything he needed to begin and clients who were ready to recommend him at the drop of a hat.
Jabu spent hours that next year talking about his business ideas. He worked on everything from the name to the launch strategy, the menu, layout and design, look and feel.
His eyes lit when he spoke about his business and all the things he will do differently that will set him apart from others.
That was 15 years ago.
I would love to tell you that Jabu got his business up and running and that it succeeded beyond even his wildest dreams but I can’t.
You see, he never did find the courage to leave his old job.
He never started.
He is still working in the cafe where we met.
The only thing that has changed is that he stopped talking about how everything is going to be different one day when he gets around to doing the thing he really wants to do.
He feels trapped, he spark his gone, he does what he does because “hey, he has to pay the bills.”
Too many people not only never make the leap, they never even take the first step.
Often what is holding them back is the clarity, confidence and support they need to change direction.
‘One day’ becomes never when we fail to take the first step.
Jabu’s dream moved being deferred to oblivion.
Like Langston Hughes asked in his poem Harlem: “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore and then run?” He finishes with “Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?”
There are so many people like Jabu, they are competent, but they feel under-appreciated where they are, they have strong desires to start their own businesses, but due to fear, lack of clarity and confidence, they never start and their ‘one day’ becomes never, their dreams get deferred indefinitely and sags like a heavy load.
At The LORA Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, we have put together a 5 months intensive entrepreneurship programme that will help you clarify your vision, give you the confidence to take the leap and will support you in shaping your first steps. We have students like Jabu, who took the leap and started their businesses and now they are succeeding.
For more information on the programme, class dates, fees and to register online, please double click on this link —> New Venture Creation Programme. Register now online, classes commence on Saturday, 25 January.
Register now, take your first step now, sometimes ‘later’ becomes ‘never.’ Nobody got ready by waiting, you only get ready by starting.
If you were looking for a sign or something before you start, this here is the sign you were looking for.
Jabu might believe it is too late for him. It is not too late for you.