By Patrick Achitabwino:
The world has shrunk into a global village. Political boundaries mean nothing in the current environment. If you are in business, fear international competitors you do not know than the locals you know, more so because they are upping the game significantly and, shortly, they will drive you out of business in your own country.
India is making strides in technology and, with cloud computing, your competitors in service delivery are hiding in the sky
Whatever you aim to achieve, aim to be the best in the world. The world is gunning for the best of the best. The world wants best music, best arts, best talents, what have you. The academic front is evidence that competition is tough. Many international universities are recruiting students in Africa, outsmarting our local universities, some of which stopped growing many years past.
In 1948, a cartoon in America depicted a father telling his son: “Finish your food, another child is starving in China”.
In 1980, the same cartoon changes the story and depicts a father telling the son: “Study hard, somebody is studying in China.”
This is how China has broken the boundaries of competition and the sooner we realise this the better. It is not surprising, therefore, to see China investing a lot in infrastructure and agriculture in Africa and beyond. China is harnessing its human resource to reposition itself as a global leader.
Let not your mind be confined to the vicinity. Do not be satisfied with your position. The rate at which the world is moving, you could be a star in a small location today but end up being irrelevant tomorrow as new investors and new global ideas overtake your most recent priviledges.
The sporting world bears testimony that minds of people can change, that peoples’ attention can easily change focus and that people want nothing but the best. Just take notice of how people patronise international sporting events, even memorising profiles of sports personalities that are millions of miles away from them. People want the best, mediocrity is no excuse, poverty is no excuse, lack of support is no excuse. If you fail to make it, then you have yourself to blame.
Beat the yourself of yesterday. You have no competitor in life but yourself. You are the best in the way you are; you only need to harness your potential and make it explosive on the market. Keep increasing your training, keep intensifying your studying, keep on working hard and harder every day. Unleash the best out of yourself and, then, you will beat world records. The records are already in you; you only have to unleash them on the world scale.
All humans are born to be successful; they are born to be successful. The world has showcased many times that your background is no limiting factor to what you can achieve. Most of the top people in the country – driving the posh vehicles you ever admire – come from very humble beginnings. Most of them walked on foot to school, some of them will tell you that they had no pair of shoes in school and went to school on an empty stomach, surviving term after term with no pocket money. That was no deterrent to their dream; they were geared to beat their yesterday version and, by and large, moved out of the quagmire of poverty.
Most millionaires and billionaires the world celebrates now are self-made. They beat their yesterday version. Malawi is no exception. Dr Thomson Mpinganjira did not inherit a bank from parents, he made his own; Jimmy Koreia Mpatsa did not go to college. There was even a time he was fired from his job and survived on writing short stories but became a billionaire. You have many stories in your localities. Napoleon Dzombe built a business empire that started with K77. He was a secondary school dropout, by the way. Take time to read the story of Mike Chilewe, who made millions from welding and, yet, previously he was a meter reader at the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi.
Aim to defy all odds, be world class in your thinking, be world class in the way you carry out your business, be world class in everything. The world is geared towards world-class products and services. Nothing can stop you if only you believe. You are the next big thing this country has ever had. Put yourself in the Guinness book of records. Nothing can stop you but yourself.