Are you a woman? Have had a white wedding? Or planning one in the future? I’ll let me you in on a simple view to life that’s going to make you a better woman. And so, if you are married and are penniless today or any day from today, you have no one but yourself to blame.
It’s a fact that the African woman will or would have planned her special day according to social and economic positions she finds herself. Perhaps she can’t afford the wedding planner, most can’t.
And so I’m thinking; anyone who ever got married and had been involved in the planning of their own wedding, honeymoon, deciding the wedding theme, picking up rings, choosing a pastor, the venue, organising guests, the cake, the dj, cows, grooms & bridesmaids, leading your respective family during the lobola negotiations, controlling your fiancé on how and where to spend money and also keeping everything inline with the wedding theme to the last detail.
If you look at the above statement, there is enough proof that people who plan a functional, successful wedding on their own can become entrepreneurs and manage what it is, a business. For example, a theme has got a lot to do with the couple’s taste, likings, creativity, feel, affordability, experience, risk taking attitude, and a whole list of personality features. These characters are likely to be seen in an entrepreneur and their business. Entrepreneurs must know how to manage a business and a wedding is exactly like a business, there’s a need for management.
Imagine if I were to give you an assignment to find the definition of what is Management? I am sure every book and definition you’re going to find will define management under the acronym: POLC. This stands for Planning, Organising, Leading and Controlling, and all these are mentioned in the third paragraph. Also look up the definition of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur can be defined as the person with the ability to create an enterprise where none existed before (Niewenhuizen & Strydom, 2007). It is the person who produces a combination of ideas, skills, money, equipments and markets that form a successful enterprise.
I would actually be inclined to believe that there are different levels of entrepreneurship and allow me to explain them. For the man on the street who sell from a kiosk or a door-to-door business might be one level of entrepreneurship, the second level of entrepreneurship is where you have the normal business practices to a point where the business really thrives in the industry and employs approximately 100 employees with a turnover of 05million per annum. The third level of entrepreneurship is where you have a business operating on an annual turnover of between 05 and 30million. The fourth & last level of entrepreneurship is when a business makes a turnover of 30million and over 100million per annum, also employing over 80 000 employees. (These are called corporate or industrial entrepreneurs).
Let’s focus at the second level of entrepreneurship. In the Southern Africa, these are called SMMEs (Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises) people of all ages, especially woman are encouraged both by the private sector and government to establish these kinds of businesses in hope you alleviate poverty and create youth employment. Most of these businesses don’t really have all management functions like Marketing department or IT, Finance, Customer Care, Production, or HR department. Everything is dependant on the owner and/or owners.
Let’s assume the husband and the wife are business partners or owner/managers. Then who does the marketing? Have you ever seen a woman who is about to get married? Or perhaps they’ve just got engaged, and have this big & beautiful diamond ring on. I don’t think the fiancé in question would lounge around the couch on weekend, watching television and doing nothing.
Practically (and please I am not the one to blame), she will be out there organising a coffee meeting or some sort of get-together with her “girlfriends” and all they talk about is the man, the future husband. Don’t you think that makes a great marketer? A marketer’s job is to make sure that people know about the product, familiarise them with the product or service. That’s the actual wedding and the husband; how sweet and charming man he is and very handy around the house. If they bought your story, which by the sound of things they will—then what? It’s a definite that they’ll cancel all their plans and come to your wedding, and then your marketing is sorted, simple as 10-111.
As always, the husband will become the CEO, COO, FCO, slash Head of Production (this is where issues of reproduction are buzzing above your head all over the doorways. Making children and expanding the family is the most important thing to any man alive), Strategic HRM and IT specialist (who protects the family against the viruses and any other threatening actions or dangerous behaviours onto the family, family value systems, culture, and the norms). Whereas the wife becomes the Marketing manager slash PRO, Production manager (making sure that you produce high quality products), Administration Officer, Business Analyst & Advisor, Business Development Manager, HR Practitioner, Customer Care (offering the best hospitality to her guests whenever they drop-in from the mother-in-law or father-in-law, this or that in-law without appointments) and the list is endless.
Then we talk of “manpower,” the children. These are your seniors and juniors hard at work, sometimes they make mistakes, they do as they please, they abuse company’s resources and as always someone (a parent) needs to manage them and resolve their disputes, and I bet with you there will be lots of them. And who does these interventions? HR Practitioner (the mother, the wife). She will then have to report back to Strategic HRM and together reach consensus as to how they’re going to deal with the juniors (subordinates). Say the verdict was: They get grounded and that they will not have lunchbox, pocket money or they will not be allowed to watch TV after 7:00pm making sure that they miss all their favourite TV shows for the next three weeks until they correct their mistakes and behaviour. In the corporate world, we call this suspension without pay.
Of course at some point they’ll do the boss proud (the father/CEO) and he will then take them out for dinner or lunch (we call this staff bonding or Christmas party for some organisations). Both the father and the mother are responsible to lead their children, also by educating them on what’s right and what’s wrong, how to behave, and basically all those value systems, the norms and of cause their culture.
Then it comes a point where children have learned under your arm and now they feel they’ve grown enough to be on their own. You know what we always say to our bosses when we leave the company? “Thank you so much sir/Ma’am for giving me the opportunity to work for VW Company. I have the best memories working for the company and that I will always miss this place and my colleagues. I feel that my decision to take up this new job is the great opportunity for me to explore and learn more about XYZ job or the industry.”
Most bosses, oh well, the good ones, if you’ve been a good employee to them, they’ll buy you a nice little present to send you off to your new job or company even your mother, in this case your HR Practitioner/Marketing manager/PRO/Ops Manager and a Client Care will throw you a brief farewell party. I actually want someone to sit on the other site of their computer and argue with me that our parents did not do this.
It’s amazing how we live this life without being observant enough to realise that what we’ve always wanted is just under our nose or yet we’ve been there; done it all, but we just don’t open our eyes wide enough to see opportunities that can make us millionaires and billionaires. I say; if you’re married or once got married and had planned your own wedding, you can start your own successful business and run it like no body’s business!
These are just my thoughts, my inspiration I want to pass to all the women, especially women from developing countries who are encouraged to create jobs for themselves and others. It is also my way of helping you look at life in a light-hearted way and be able to laugh at it because at times can be such a burden and I’m sure it does mock at us when we plunge deeper on the ground falling out of failed plans.
“To achieve the impossible, one must think the absurd; to look where everyone else has looked, but to see what no else has seen!” – Unknown.
By Ngoako Jay Morokolo