This morning, over my cup of coffee, I tuned into a discussion with a financial planner. A couple of minutes into the conversation, I started wondering, what happened to the Magic of South African people?
South Africa is home to many first’s in the world in financial services, such as critical illness cover. It is estimated that in 2018, 1.5 million critical illness policies were taken out in the United States of America alone, and it all originated in South Africa.

We have a world class payment system and our financial services companies are very innovative and have products that is being distributed worldwide, yet, nowadays whenever there is a shift in what we do, we feel inferior to the rest of the world and we want to rely on experts from other countries to “teach us” the difference.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to learn from the others, but why are we allowing our judgement to be clouded by others? Why do allow our innovations to be dampened by what happened around the world? Why do we think that international subject matter experts are so much better than our local unknown hero’s?

South African’s have a certain magic in ourselves. We do so many great things, but we doubt ourselves. We look for the approval of others, instead of just being our magical selves and doing what we do best, change the world. There are so many success stories form within our own depth as South Africans. It is a tough time, but its time that we revive the South African dream. A country that can change the world, a country that has much more to offer than our beautiful nature, a country that has to potential to change the world, be the leader, yet we choose to follow.

Today, I want to challenge each of my colleagues in Financial Services. Get your ideas flowing, talk about it until people are tired of hearing you, be the change you want to see. Have the courage to think that you are better than the best, to know that you have South African Magic within you to change the world. Look at where we have been and be proud to celebrate how far we have come this South African Heritage Day.

Whilst South Africa celebrates freedom day today, I have been thinking what Freedom really means to me. We are a few days away from a staged release of our National Lockdown, many making ironic jokes about us being in Lockdown on Freedom day.

As a young financial planning professional, freedom to me means that I have the ability to run a business and work for an income without any restrictions. I am proud to say I am South African, a country that has been through so much. The reality is that we all have some scars from South Africa. Mine is a continuous one that is u able to heal.

As a professional, I have to continuously review my options and determine where I see myself and what I need to make it possible.

Every year when I review my strategies, I realize that I have so much to offer, so much to give, but the ones needing the help does not realize they need it, and those that realize that they do, seems to be intimidated by me.

I have a diverse range of skills, because I am a firm believer that I can achieve what ever I want to. I have a unique talent for learning and my #GallupStrenghfinder confirms this.

With so much knowledge that I am eager to share, is often questioned because I am a white young female, at least that is how I perceive it to be.

One factor that I constantly have to ask myself is whether or not, I want to leave my home, the place where my dreams were shaped and my foundation was laid, in order to ensure a better future for myself.

This year I again came to the conclusion that I am staying, there is simply no place like home, and this year I am choosing Freedom day to place the stake in the ground.

Freedom does not mean we can do as we please, neither does it mean that we should all be treated equal, because we are not born equal.

I recently am watched a series named “House of Cards”, and Kevin Spacey, as the President of the USA, said in a speach, “if you want a job, you will have a job.”

This got me thinking, what does freedom really mean?

I have revised my sentiment to say Freedom means that if you are willing to, and you have the right intentions, you should have the opportunity to make a difference using your skills, knowledge and talents. It should not be about your age, race, background, or gender.

Every business that has been successful has identified a shortcoming and fulfilled the need. That to me is simply a different definition of making a difference.

If you do the right things, for the real right reasons, you are free, no matter what. You just need to choose to be the one that puts your hand up every time, even when you are ignored. Your agility is what will set you apart in the end.

May you be blessed this freedom day, there are many changes awaiting us in the near future, you just need to want the opportunity enough to be able to see it.

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