My Dad Spoilt Any Chance of My Rags to Riches Story

…but he remains the number-one inspiration in my Why I do what I do.

How many Rags-To-Riches stories have you read? Who does not love the storyline where poor Cinderella becomes the victor of her circumstances and finds success regardless of her situation? This has always been a winning narrative. Thanks to my Dad, this is one storyline I will never be a part of!

As the youngest of five children, I have never experienced the feeling of not knowing where my next meal came from. I have been taught the very best lessons of entrepreneurship, working hard for what you want in life, and saving for a rainy day wherever possible. To make things even more interesting, I was the daughter born after my sister drowned in our garden. My brothers and sister often joked that I was spoilt because of that fact.

So how on earth is it possible that I did not turn out to be an entrepreneurial success beyond belief? I had everything a daughter could possibly ask for!

Finding My Why

The very first topic of our brand new podcast “The Add+Ventures Roadmap to Rediscover your Business Adventures” is Find My Why. Why do I do what I do? Even though the focus is to help our clients and our current & future entrepreneur listeners to find their ‘why they do what they do’, it was just natural to reminisce the topic of ‘What is My Why’.

My overarching ‘Why’ is to help my fellow over 50 entrepreneurs to keep on going. To never think that their time has passed or that it is time to just sit and do nothing. My inspiration for doing what I am doing, is my dad, Flip Rosslee. Apart from being my own personal and entrepreneurial inspiration, he has certainly inspired many entrepreneurs as the Chairman of the then Alberton Sakekamer and everyone else who came in contact with him. And oh boy, does he have a rags-to-riches story of his own. (Read more about it in one of my previous articles on my dad.)

My Rags-To-Riches In Tatters

If you have been following the Journey to Rediscover Your Business Adventures, you would be familiar with the question: “Have you ever woken up in the morning … lying in bed …. eyes still closed …. and the first thing you can think of is: “Oh shit, I have screwed up!! Again!!”” As mentioned in the beginning, we are drawn to the rags-to-riches stories, but we often shun protegees who have grown up with parents who have provided, when providing was needed. And then one day, this child who has grown up into an entrepreneur of his own, realizes ‘I have not achieved half as much as what my Dad did’. Or worst of all, he achieves success, but everyone believes it is just because of the springboard his dad provided him.

One of my oh-shit moments came thanks to the first narrative. No rags-to-riches story is on the cards for me, but hopefully, we can get an ‘I’ve pulled up my socks after 50’ story coming to you soon. -:)

Why is my Dad the Inspiration for the Add+Ventures Roadmap Podcast

This is a topic on which I am literally busy writing a book, but to keep it short and to the point, I see so many people who believe their lives are over after 50. Their chances have come and gone! All that remains is to make the best of the situation. Or worse of all, there are people who believe you only keep on working because you need the money. My dad felt passionate about providing the highest quality, yet value-for-money accommodation for the single, the divorced, and the pensioners who required help. A passion that kept him going till right into his eighties. In fact, he bought his biggest property for redevelopment the year in which he turned eighty. When everyone thought it was time for him to retire!

Another massive inspiration that my dad left me with is that he kept on being hands-on right to the end. To him, there was no such thing as sitting in his bakkie and managing from the sidelines. Yes, I know the clever business advisors and coaches believe you should not work in your business, but on top of your business. Maybe I am wrong, but I get the absolute creeps if I see entrepreneurs “on the sideline” and not hands-on. My dad taught me that you are never too important to get your hands dirty!

The Day I told My Dad

One of the many qualities I appreciate with all my heart is his example of staying calm and collected. No massive macho scenes. Quite, collected. Almost always in control of his emotions. One specific situation that is edged into my memory and my heart forever, is the day I told my dad my marriage is going south. 14 October 2009. The last round table in Piatto Restaurant in Alberton. (I did believe that choosing a public venue would stop me from getting too emotional.) As I explained the situation to him, he kept quiet. Waiting for me to finish. He took a sip from his Chardonnay. No ranting and raving. His ever-solid advice came through in those first words after the news: “Looks like you’ll have to grow your business.”

The Moral of the Story

Whether we have a rags-to-riches story or not, being an entrepreneur remains a challenge. Yes, it certainly helps to have had such an amazing father as I did, but that comes with its own challenges. Creating your own success is not always as easy as it looks from the outside. Starting out from a privileged environment comes with a whole lot more challenges than are apparent to the naked eye.

If you have a story of your own challenges, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch with us!

And PLEASE subscribe to our newsletter and podcast. Your support means the world to us!

PS: I am perfectly OK with my dad that has spoilt my Rags-to-Riches Story. Challenge accepted!

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