Mpho exclaimed “oh I feel truly blessed, I wouldn’t have thought in a million years that I would have such a lovely home!”. Desmond, Mpho’s handyman, agreed with her. Mpho’s home was truly beautiful, by any standards. It had 6 bedrooms and a garden cottage, fire places and a pool, etc… Mpho had just finished major renovations in her home. She had done major improvements to her home with the hope of hosting soccer fans during the FIFA tournament. Desmond had been with her all the way, doing plumbing, painting, welding, etc…They were now just doing last – minute touch ups before the first visitors came.
As they drove back home from the hardware shop, Desmond said to Mpho, “you know my sister, I am happy for you and I understand why you are so greatful for your mansion. But you know what I am really thankful to God for? I feel blessed that I have been with my wife for 20 years”. Mpho was speechless. Desmond didn’t have much in material terms but he understood the value of relationships. Indeed the best things in life are free!
Optimistic Long – term View
Mpho was a little disappointed though. She didn’t get even a ¼ of the number of tourists she had expected she would get. There were thousands of other South Africans in her position who had spent thousands of Rands in home improvements yet they didn’t get any bookings. She was however feeling optimistic as she viewed the improvements in her home as a long – term investment. Hosting soccer fans gave her an idea that she could actually continue to run a B&B in her home on an on-going basis even after the tournament. After all, she didn’t use all of the bedrooms in her home all of the time. She also discovered that she quite liked hosting people in her home as it gave her an opportunity to meet so many people
I asked Mpho how she managed to get a few tourists that booked with her while thousands of others got none at all. She explained to me that she was feeling so desperate she actually went and knocked on the door of one lady in her area that runs a B& B. She asked her to recommend any spillover guests to her and offered her a commission for the referrals. Indeed the B&B lady was over booked and she gladly referred any enquiries to Mpho. She also took a few photos and prepared a brief marketing line that she would send to every enquiry she received.
What I learnt from Mpho’s 2010 experience
• Many South Africans managed to improve their homes because they had a goal to host soccer fans. We can actually achieve a lot in life if we clarify & simplify our goals and put a dead line to them
• Returns to most investments are in the long term
• To discover our passion, we need to try a few things in life
• To win in business, we need to think out of the box as Mpho did with making a deal with her neighbor who runs a B&B
• Money goes where it is needed – Mpho desperately needed to make some money out of 2010 and she did
• Sometimes our blessings are not immediately apparent e.g Mpho did not host as many soccer fans as she would have loved to but in the end, she is a winner. She has the most beautiful home and she deserves it!
Article written by Phumelele Ndumo; author of the book, 7 Secrets why the rich own their homes and founding MD of ThuthukaSA. Remember to visit our website www.thuthuka-sa.co.za for more money tips.