Rapelang Rabana I Computer Scientist, Entrepreneur and Keynote Speaker

Rapelang is an advocate of self-love, reflection and awareness. She believes that who you are as a person shows in the success of your business. Recognised widely, this stellar young South African woman is respected for her inspirational and transformative work with Africa’s youth. We are honoured to share her valuable insights here: 


Rapelang_Rabana1 My Definition Of Success | When I was still at university, my idea of success centred around building a successful business. It seemed there would be one moment when I would be ‘made’ and will have arrived. Along the way… it became evident that that will never happen. That there was no destination, there was no miracle moment… and it was the quality of the journey you go on that determines the most important things – my state of consciousness and whether I was living my purpose. 


I Am Driven By | I love the process of creating things and making them a reality. So, what inspires me most is the extraordinary privilege of seeing something you have worked on manifested into reality, after it all started with just a thought. It always makes me smile, that all we had the beginning of our first company was a thought – and how incredibly powerful human thought, the imagination and discipline can be, when backed by persistence. 


The Difference Between Good And Great | The key differentiator is whether that person is following their calling, if they are doing something they believe is part of their life journey… or whether they are just doing a job, or doing something because they believe that is what they have to do. Not everyone operates from the realm of understanding that life is about choosing… about putting your will out there and spending your life making it a reality. Not everyone realises that by not choosing, life chooses for you and that is never the ideal outcome. Those who become great are deliberately creating their life path as opposed to allowing life to happen to them. 


The Characteristics Of Success | Firstly, entrepreneurship is far more a personal journey than it is a business journey. The extent to which you are willing to grow as person, has a direct impact on your business because in the early stages so much of your business is about you. I believe that true success comes from operating from an authentic space and being true to your own goals and aspirations. If you try to behave like someone else, you deviate from that authentic space where your real power lies. Understanding of self, what truly motivates you, what your strengths and weaknesses are, building self-awareness are critical qualities. This is a skill available to anyone who seeks it – its about reflecting, reading, listening to yourself, exploring your hunches or ideas even if they don’t seem like much, trusting your own journey.
Secondly, you will need a lot of perseverance to keep going. No matter how prepared or smart you are, the real test is in the ability to keep going. As an entrepreneur, you will give and give and give so much of yourself, and after that… give some more. If you don’t know why you are doing it (which comes back to understanding of self), you will battle to make the kind of long-term commitment that will see you through the challenges.


Lessons I Have Learnt | That business, entrepreneurship, is not some intellectual or mental exercise – it takes everything of you to make it work – it is a life exercise. The more congruent the business is to who you are as an individual and what you value, the deeper your capacity to persevere and outlast. 


Rapelang_Rabana33Dealing With Doubt | It is important to be close to the people and things that anchor you. For me it’s my parents, my family, my close friends to have a laugh with. Being reminded of who you are, and regardless of the circumstances that someone thinks you are great. It is about maintaining a good health and physical strength, mental strength through healthy living, exercise and meditation. Negativity comes from the mind which is affected to large degree by your physical health.
As an entrepreneur, the challenges are daily, sometimes multiple times a day. I don’t remember even a week in my life that has been without fear or self-doubt. I consider it part of the process, part of the journey and its just about learning to manage yourself.


Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | I have been reading a lot of books by Eckart Tolle and James Altucher of late as their life philosophies are empowering and affirming. Most other reading I do is on the internet to keep up with trends and new ideas.


I Am Inspired By | My parents have been the only significant role models in my life. They came from poverty, completed their education against all odds and continue to work hard everyday.
They have taught me and demonstrated to me the power of hard work, excellence and perseverance. That your daily actions create your reality and you have every say in how your life turns out. 


Rapelang_Rabana22The Legacy I Would Like To Leave |  I am not sure yet. For now, I am happy to be an example of what hard work and excellence over a period of time can achieve.

 

 

 

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