Looking back at 2016’s lessons

barbara mckenzie kendi sapepa lessons
It’s crazy to think what a difference a year can make, @Kendibone_S shares her lessons Click To Tweet

As we stroll into 2017, I wanted to take a look back at it, and see what has stood out as really important lessons learned in 2016. First up, we have;

Listen to your inner voice

As cliché as it may sound, sometimes when working on certain projects or people, there is often a small voice telling you to say ‘no’. Yet whether it doesn’t make sense financially, does not suit your brand or just a personal reason, we often agree and suffer the consequences of it.

I have slowly started getting used to saying ‘no’ to making clothes that do not complement my brand or my brand’s style. After reading how saying no, can be one of the best self-care, I’ve been slowly getting into saying it more.



Don’t be a lone-ranger

Although I work best when working alone, I have come to appreciate how much collaborations can help and grow your business. Learning to mingle with industry leaders, influential people and chatting to some —even if it’s just to ask a question— has really made a difference in my business’s growth and reach.

Working with both like-minded people and “unlike-minded” people, helps you see things differently or in some cases, build on what you already have. Simple things like collaborating with a start-up courier company can help you lower your costs and help them grow their client bases and develop their track-record.

Make your customer service your best marketing tool - @Kendibone_S Click To Tweet

Value your clients

They are the lifeblood of your business. Make your customer service your best marketing tool, simply because it is far more organic and real. A referral from a trusted friend is far more effective than a paid for Facebook advert.

Not to say that one should not participate in paid advertising, but when you cannot afford it, your customers will do it for you, free of charge. And when they can’t, you simply engage in some referral-based marketing and offer discounts and free gifts for every new clients they bring. This is totally worth it and far more effective.fierce gif


We as entrepreneurs often spend each and every waking hour slaving away at building our businesses and often forget to take care of ourselves. Like in emergency airplane situations, you are instructed to put on an oxygen mask on yourself before you can help anyone, even children. One must take care of oneself before they can take care if their business.

I started practising self-love recently, when I painted my nails after months of not making time to do it. Self-love need not be extravagant, it just has to be something that makes you happy. Something as simple as buying yourself an ice-cream cone and taking a walk or giving yourself a half-day from work, can go a mighty long way.

Get uncomfortable

It’s crazy to think what a difference a year can make. I started off the year with just my clothing brand and its online store, but the tail-end of 2016 I had an actual walk-in boutique that opened early December.

Before this I had fears about the cost and implications of opening a store, possibility of zero sales, being unable to cover overheads, and for a long time was paralysed by it. But as the famous meme says, the magic happens outside the comfort zone.

if-you-believe-lavwemThere are those who are happy to not try anything and that’s all right, but for those who dream and wonder if they would be successful at something, just do it! It’s okay to fail, it says you tried! Most of us are very quick to drown ourselves in the negatives and consequences of taking a chance, that we barely come up for air and say; “but what if it does work?”

As the next famous meme goes; “What if you fly?” We need to train our minds to be selective in the kind of thoughts that we allow into our heads, we need to be as selective of those thoughts as we are with our selfies, clothes and so on. The mind is a powerful thing.

We need to train our minds to be as selective of thoughts as we are with our selfies Click To Tweet

And with that said, I look forward to starting off the year on a high note.