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On choosing to…..engage

My wife and I have returned from a super time in the UK, visiting our son and his family.  It was refreshing and impactful, and I am ready to take up the privilege of writing once more.

Part of my “why” I do this is because I believe in living as engaged as I can possibly be.  The quote by Earl Nightingale hereunder echoes this value.


We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile. Earl Nightingale


Entrepreneurs also need to know their why; focus on their offering and engage with their journey.  During the last 4-6 weeks, the CFE has been integrally involved in two competitions. We were firstly, the implementing partners for the City of Cape Town’s #YouthStartCT competition.  Secondly, this was the third and biggest year of running our internal competition, Poster and Pitch.


Over 100 young people entered and participated in these two events.   It was so interesting to me to see what influence the power of engagement can have in participants growth and success.


One of our own Alumni, Tenchwill Solomons, was able to attend and participate in both competitions. Tenchwill is 24 years old and runs a building and construction business called “Born free Construction”.


I spoke to him on Friday about some lessons that he learnt from the two experiences.



This event was launched late in May and culminated in the announcement of the top 11 on the 25th June.

He placed in the top 11 (out of 58 initial entrants) and went on to win prizes with a value in excess of R20 000 ( Cash, Marketing support and a tablet with 36Gigs).    Yet more important were the contacts and lessons he has learnt along the way.

He reflected that the training impacted on his thinking and has helped him focus on building his business sustainably.

He also acknowledged that the focused training demanded quite a bit of himself and his time, and he learnt invaluable lessons about himself and the construction industry.   In addition, being exposed to other participants has broadened his horizons and added more options in his thinking.


Poster and Pitch.

This annual activation event had two categories:   New ideas/businesses and existing businesses.

Tenchwill entered the existing business category, and placed first out of 22

He is highly grateful to have won R10 000 towards Born Free, and also received a FNB cell phone, financial advice and data. He actually was not that confident of winning.

It is interesting to note he attended the day after having an external proposal turned down. He was thus not at his most confident, or optimistic.   (There is a lesson here about being in the game, irrespective of how you feel)

His actual experience was that he found the day inspiring, with loads of young people just like himself, at various points on the entrepreneurial journey. In addition, the 11 adjudicators appeared to be engaging and positive with all the competitors present.

Once again, he made great contacts for further leveraging his business in the days/weeks to come.


His final words of advice?

“Participate!  If you believe you are building something purposeful and valuable for the future, you will push through, even when it gets tough”

He graciously also acknowledged the role of support that the CFE had in both instances.


Here’s to choosing to ……engage. Whether it be at home, work or in your business, huge value accrues to you when you live engaged.



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