It has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? “20/20” is the famous saying for sight and for fore-sight. I knew 40 years ago that I would be 65 years of age in 2020. It wasn’t important then; just a notion. But, here I am today at 9 0’ clock in the evening punching out a blog to some readers who I hope may read it and internalise a little of what I have to say. Surreal really, like a radio announcer talking into a mic with one million people listening [so his Ad agency tells him] but actually, on Talk-Radio, only the people phoning in giving him any indication if what he is talking about is even heard. That’s the life of a blogger.

So, this blogger is angry tonight as I‘ve just seen that Jabu Mabuza has resigned from Chairman of the Eskom board. I didn’t bother to read any further but first I hope this was impulsive and that his buddies in the ANC will stop sipping their champagne in the poorest province in SA for one minute to consider that they have just annoyed to the nth degree the man who turned around Telkom to being a player in the communications industry despite the fact that its mainline business would never be able to compete with WiFi, locally or globally.

You see, the Digital Age is the antithesis of the telephone business. He saw that and positioned Telkom for the future. From R7.50 to R75 the share price rose under his leadership (please forgive me if I have some of the details wrong or I’ve overstated the facts.) Bottom line, he oversaw the success of Telkom, it’s separation from the Post Office, and then left the company to manage Eskom. He then had the guts to stand in for the 10th CEO when he resigned in exhaustion and was to return to his Chairman role after de Ruyter took up his new CEO role in the organisation. Can you imagine being de Ruyter going home tonight brimming with new ideas on how to turn Eskom around and the Chairman who appointed him resigns?

So, who’s to blame? The ANC. That the deputy president can tell the public that the Eskom board “lied” to the President when they told him the 13th of January would be the next date for load-shedding, is a disgrace of the highest order. Imagine any corporation, battling with the ineptitude of the corrupt past, that tells the Commander in Chief it will deliver a certain outcome but then fails, being told that it “lied” to the CIC! How the donner could Jabu or anyone else have guaranteed the outcome given the cockups that mark Eskom’s national disgrace? Really! But for the deputy president to insult such a strong, committed man with this rubbish is just insufferable for All of Us. Inexcusable!

So, that off my chest, I spoke to the real Commander in Chief today. No, not Donald Trump, not General Solly Shoke, the head of the South African Defence Force, not President Cyril Ramaphosa, but our own MD, Vincent du Preez. He got me going on 2020 and he said something like this: “Get going. 20 new deals, 20 new consultants, 20 new goals, 20 new Rm deals, 20 extra deals per month. WHATEVER, just take 20 and make it happen!!!”

I want to take that theme and challenge you to 20 Do’s and 20 Don’ts. 

The Do’s:

  1. Find 20 reasons to succeed not 20 reasons to fail.
  2. Find 20 new estate agents that learn to trust you.
  3. Never go to bed without 20 calls to new customers per month.
  4. Set a goal for 20 registrations per month.
  5. Get 20 more registrations per month.
  6. Find 20 reasons to be grateful.
  7. Write down the 20 reasons to be grateful and read them when you’re not.
  8. Execute 20 things this year that contribute to business – just 2 per month.
  9. Be ahead of your target by 20%.
  10. Increase your team by 20%.
  11. Improve the motivation of those around you by 20%.
  12. Challenge 20% of your competition to Top Salesperson of the area.
  13. Lift last year’s performance by 20%.
  14. Be 20% more positive.
  15.  Be 20% more energetic.
  16. Take 20% of your income and save it for retirement.
  17. Improve your relationships with those you love by 20%.
  18. Make a list of 20 things you want to do before you become too old to do them.
  19. Improve your income by 20%.
  20. Let 20% be your minimum increment when it comes to anything meaningful in your life.

Shew! That was a mouthful, but here are 20 things you want to avoid in 2020:

  1. Negativity in general.
  2. Negative people.
  3. Negative Press. This is a real tough one for me because I’ve had to cull Daily Maverick to remain somewhat positively sane. I get enough bad news every day on Google and N24 and BizNews to keep me going for a month.
  4. Negative predictions. Even mine!!!
  5. Negative colleagues. The only time you want to listen to negative colleagues is when you feel you could uplift them. You cannot live on commission and negativity at the same time.
  6. Contradictions. Today the World Bank told SA that we would grow at 0.9% this year. On the same day, Bank of America said they would buy SA stocks as the JSE is set for a rebound. You make sense of that and then invest your money wisely!?
  7. Self-doubts. If you think you can or you can’t, you’re probably right.
  8. Your own capacity. Think yourself up, not down.
  9. Listening to others. Bless them, they mean well but at the end of the day, you’re in charge of your life.
  10. Distractions. Every one of them.
  11. Negative self-talk. Your worst enemy is inside. Let me repeat: Your worst enemy is inside.
  12. Over-sleeping. I have not read it, but Robin Sharma has written a book called The 5AM Club which seems to suggest early rising is an initiation for success. I’m excited – I rise early.
  13. It happens to others. Nonsense! It can happen to you. Siya Kolisi has left an indelible mark on each of us in the last few months. He said, “I trained to be ready for opportunity when it came.” Let’s face it, which part of that may we not understand? Keep going.
  14. Corruption pays. It doesn’t. And that even includes extended smoke breaks at the expense of your boss. It’s theft of time and you will be the loser.
  15. Denying family responsibility. Don’t allow your work to steal from your family. The one lasts while the company is successful, the other, for eternity.
  16. Don’t compromise. Of course, you have to deal with the intricacies of the business world, but at the end of the day, your integrity will grow old with you.
  17. Don’t ever think the world owes you something. Bill Gates settled this matter; the world owes you nothing. What you get is what you work for and what you work through is what you get.
  18. Life is easy. Stop thinking that. Life delivers upon your effort as a general rule but allow for deviations. They’re not bad luck, they’re life. The way you deal with them is what matters.
  19. I can do it alone. Yes, you may, but is it what you want? Take a loved one/s with you. Take a team with you and even a whole business. In the end you’ll be better for it. Shared is better, I think.
  20. I can’t do it. YES, YOU CAN!

This has been one of my more impromptu blogs. I’m sure I’ll get into the detail of the property industry and what 2019 has left us to deal with in due course. But for now, let’s let the ring of 2020 mean something to us. It sounds like a fresh start, a little bit of positive quirkiness in our lives. And what we know is that we have everything we need to succeed otherwise, how would we have got this far? Be positive, be committed, be focussed – you ever know what may be around the corner just waiting for you to grasp and run with.

Successful 2020 in every sense of the term.

Thank you, Vincent, for being an inspiration.

Yours in Property.

Jack Trevena
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