Entrepreneurs share their coping strategies

I asked entrepreneurs to give me one paragraph only of what they were doing to keep focused, encouraged and strong.

Like many of you, I am painfully aware of the ongoing storms that small business owners and entrepreneurs are facing.

I have heard stories of loss, anxiety, discouragement and grief. Yet I am also aware of the small steps of courage, perseverance and encouragement that many entrepreneurs take as they continue to show resilience.

I thought that some of their thoughts, nuggets and words of advice may be of encouragement to you.

Exercise and hobbies

During this time I have been exploring online courses like, learning to build websites, meditation, guided imagery, and trying to understand my mind. With these skills I will be a benefit to myself and society – Nashad Soeker

I love baking. I find it’s an easy way to de-stress and take your focus off things… so during lockdown I have tried many recipes and healthy smoothies. For mental wellness, I listened to motivational podcasts and spiritual music – Benice Ruiters.

Since the start of lockdown, I’ve been cooking and baking quite a bit. Been experimenting with healthier alternatives. I am currently doing a course on the immune system using the ketogenic diet, to improve lifestyles of people with diabetes, hypertension and other common chronic diseases – Shamiela Soeker

Perseverance and opportunities

We have secured a deal with a client that we had last year to help them custom design and produce a cap that will be available in the first quarter of 2021.

The rays of light, at the end of the tunnel, are beginning to show – Nathi Mahlanyana

To survive this pandemic, for cash flow I’ve decided to run a mini tshisa-nyama around my neighbourhood selling chicken feet/chops and muffins just to put something on the table. Thus far the little I make puts food on the table and I still have more to order for the next weekend – Kwanele Miyeni

The Covid-19 lockdown has highlighted that change can happen at the most unexpected times. This has subsequently required us to be adaptable, agile and innovative in order to remain relevant in our industry. In addition, the lock down has given us a new perspective – to be gentle with ourselves, take time to rest, exercise, enjoy more time with family, learn a new skill or hobby and do what feeds your soul – Verna and Craig Christian

Routine and focus

Every day I practise mindfulness by applying the following principles: Start with gratitude, and thank God for what I can be grateful for today. I then pray and think about the people who don’t have the opportunity to do what I am doing.

I then go over my meetings for the day, think about what outcome I would like to achieve, and then plan to make it happen. I keep negative thoughts out of my head, and keep my focus on my desired outcome – Kobus Louw

I start my day with coffee, making my bed and doing a slowly increasing number of push-ups.

I spend time with God. I prioritise my to-do list the day before and work through them in order. And when doing chores or driving I listen to a variety of podcasts to expose myself to new ideas. I am only as strong as my family, so my evenings are phone-free and I work – but often not hard enough – on nurturing my children and marriage relationship – Alan Cameron

Your “Why”

I keep reminding myself about the very reason why I started this business and appreciating that I have kept it going since 2017 till this far, so I can’t give up now and I refuse to be part of the statistics of small business that failed in their first five years of existence – Irmgard Adams

It has been really tough during this crisis as we lost over 90% of our clients and we needed to start from scratch, which was like starting over again.

So to stay encouraged we need to verbally remind ourselves of the “why” every morning before we start, and to stay strong my partner and I would physically give each other a pat on the back for the small things we completed for the day – Kristal Kruser

The focus during this period has been priority management, not time management. I have noticed that there’s a large difference between the two.

I have learnt to prioritise what is most valuable to me and the journey that I am on as an entrepreneur and once I learnt the beauty of this way of understanding, I have managed to do everything that makes me happy, so that I wouldn’t allow our current situation to affect me.

Sales have dropped, but my spirit has not. I have worked on my relationships, worked on my overall business, worked on all the other skills that still serve me and remained spiritually anchored. Saskia Riley


I have recently lost a dearest person, whom I call my second mother, due to Covid-19. I have learned from past experience that when tragedy strikes to brace myself for the aftershock.

I try to cope by keeping my thoughts in line with actions from the moment I open my eyes in the mornings.

This helps me as I noticed that my mind tends to make me stress and worry when I wake up. I accompany my thought process with music and singing out loud to lift my spirits.

This method gets me into action and ready to tackle any challenge – Brian Carolissen

For me to be encouraged I think and pray about what I wish for my day and mostly about where I want to be in the long term.

To stay focused is difficult but I make sure that I stick to my daily plan, even if it’s ruined but at least one or two things must be done .

I put to into practise all I have ever heard of to stay strong in times like these – Yandisa Langa

Steve Reid is the manager of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at False Bay College.

His book Entreprenacity captures the journeys of many entrepreneurs; shares nuggets and tools for aspiring entrepreneurs; helps those needing incubation and coaching; strengthens those needing to pitch to investors; and helps focus on the growth and entrepreneurial mindset. Entreprenacity is available at R100.

For more information, email Steve.Reid@falsebay.org.za