“Our character is often most evident in our highs and lows. Be humble at the mountaintops, be strong in the valley, and be faithful in between.”*

Running a small business is challenging and fulfilling and frustrating and full of risk. But it is so worth it. Even when you have one of those days that makes you want to throw in the towel and head to Bali.

Keep going. It is worth it. You are not alone. It is worth it because you are part of a community. You are part of something bigger. You are contributing to the country’s economy. You are supporting families. You are providing a service. You are supporting yourself, and maybe your family if you have one. You have chosen a challenging path. But one that is worthy of a life well-lived.

And you are not alone. In South Africa, small businesses continue to make a significant impact on the economy. According to recent statistics, as of 2023, South Africa has over 2.5 million recognized small businesses. These small businesses play a crucial role, contributing approximately 45% of South Africa's GDP and employing around 60% of the country's workforce (Stats SA, 2023).

Running a small business will test the very fiber of your being. It will exhaust you and elate you. It will disappoint and it will show you what you are made of. It will track your ethical code and your set of morals. The way you react when the going gets tough will show all you know who you are, with great authenticity.

Compare the life you lead running a small business - on your own terms, with a lot of responsibility, as the decision-maker - spending your lifetime working on something that has meaning for you, even if that meaning is to put food on the table for those you love, and not necessarily to change the world.

Compare this to being an employee in a large company, where your role may sometimes feel lost in the machinery. Our working lives form a large portion of our days and years. We want to fill those working years with richness and imbue them with meaning. Spending our time with a focus in mind.

So, if you are part of a small business - remember this: everyone has good times and bad; every business has highs and lows. Hang in there, as long as you feel it is worth it in the bigger picture.