Experts have indicated that our lives will never go back to normal. A global crisis of this nature has and will continue altering life — business or personal — as we know it, says Mthunzi Mbali, vice-chairperson of the Direct Selling Association of South Africa (DSA).
“It is therefore important that we begin preparing ourselves for the inevitable change during our time of isolation and lockdown. Who we become after this crisis, is entirely up to us,” he says.
Many have used the lockdown that resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity for self-improvement or personal development.
Mbali says we are currently presented with an opportunity at a fresh start, at redefining ourselves, and it matters for our future what we decide during this period.
“It’s almost as though the world has been silenced for this season. Those working from home and even those not working during this time are rethinking their lives, their futures and starting to dream of possibilities,” he says.
A number of institutions have been offering free online courses during this time. Mbali encouraged individuals to make use of these courses as well as basic research to acquire skills — such as crafting good presentations, sales pitches, goal-setting and planning, interpersonal skills, budgeting, business basics and online and offline communication skills — to prepare for life after the lockdown. One can teach oneself nearly anything online, he adds.
“These are skills one can use in any industry – and most importantly, these skills improve our perception of ourselves, boost our confidence and give us hope. We are living in a time where high doses of hope are needed. When we improve certain areas of our lives even in the midst of a crisis, we communicate that we believe beyond today and that fuels our hope for something better on the horizon,” he says.
Some South Africans have felt a threat to their traditional jobs as a result of the pandemic. Recently, experts have predicted 1 million job losses locally. Legitimate alternative ways to earn an income will be sought by many at the end of the pandemic, says Mbali.
“This is therefore the time to start gearing up and setting our sails for the direction in which we wish our lives to go when this is all over.”
Self-improvement, says Mbali, is a key strategic intent of the direct selling industry.
“A lot of what we do is mining people’s potential and showing them what they are capable of. Of the many testimonies that come out of the industry, many focus on how transformative being a direct seller has been for individuals who learned what they could become just by working on themselves,” says Mbali.
“There has never been a more opportune moment to reflect on that personal discovery.”
“Those who see the opportunity in these challenging times will be able to hit the ground running when this season passes,” concludes Mbali.