At the end of April, a friend contacted me asking to meet and discuss a business idea.
Me being me, I was a bit sceptical but decided to go anyway.
By that time, this friend was still more of an acquaintance and the idea was simply that – an idea. Little did I know that this meeting would be the start of a great business relationship that’s still giving me life today.
Now, for you to understand why a seemingly random meeting has become more of a pivotal moment in my oh-so-awesome millennial life, you’ll need to come on a journey with me.
I consider myself a hip-hop head. And while I mean no disrespect to whatever is topping the charts currently, I’m a 90’s baby that still appreciates the power of (actual) lyrics.
Anyway, this friend. He works at one of South Africa’s main digital hip-hop platforms. In fact, they get the most traffic, month to month, in SAfrican hip-hop related searches. So he’s like a big deal.
He introduced me to this other guy, who’s also a big deal in his own right. He founded an arts and culture organisation (Jibilika Dance Trust) that has been doing fantastic work in communities in Zimbabwe through the medium of breakdance and beatboxing. They’ve been around for 10 years and recently went international. Big. Deal.
Now, I’m sure you can see the common thread between the three of us but I couldn’t help but think – what the heck could I possibly bring to the table except for maybe one or two articles. And some humour. And maybe memes. Dudes love memes.
Turns out, they wanted me to come on board as the organisations PR & Communications Manager.
A whole manager guys. I was awed, surprised, shocked even that they would consider lil ‘ol me for what started sounding like a very big ting.
While I have a background in media and I’ve dabbled in promoting content online here and there, I’ve never been in a position that demands I run things from a PR perspective. Zero experience. Add this to the fact that like many millennials, I’m still tryna get my shit together (zero money), I wasn’t sure how I would, or if I could pull this off.
So what did I do? Well, after many back and forths with myself on why I shouldn’t do it, I used the one reason that kept coming back to me to pull myself towards myself.
Why not take a gamble on myself? Why not stumble into something new? Why not test the limits of your abilities? It’s not like I don’t understand how media works, I mean I have a whole degree that shows exactly that; but also, in the world of Google, there are many things you can learn and people you can turn to at literally the click of a button.
I also remembered that if someone from the largest digital hip-hop platform in South Africa and another that founded a now international NGO can have a little faith in me, I could too.
Guys. It was a wild ride. I’m talking months of planning, late nights and cups of coffee to keep me going but eventually, it came together better than I could have ever expected.
The inaugural Zimbabwe Hip-Hop Summit trended at #1 on Twitter for the duration of and after the event. In recent years, there hasn’t been a gathering of this size in the Zim Hip Hop community. And, it served as the beginning of so many opportunities I would have missed if I didn’t at least try. It was a big deal. And it started without the experience or money I thought I needed to have to make something work.
So my point is this:
You don’t need to have loads of experience or money to be part of something life-changing. Of course, experience (and money) helps, but it’s not the be-all-end-all for our generation. It starts with having a little faith in yourself and the abilities you bring to the table.
And you know when you get this feeling that excites you in a way something else hasn’t in a while? That’s the thing that should help you decide whether to take the leap or not. Most of the time, it feels like fear.
Now, this isn’t me saying just go out and apply for anything and everything regardless of your knowledge, but rather find a way to channel what you do know and love and the rest should come naturally.
This little leap of faith will see me travelling for another event soon and if the first was anything to go by, I can’t wait to see what else is in store.
What about you? Have you ventured into something with zero experience lately? How did that go and what did you learn from it? I’d love to hear about it so why not tell me in the comments below?