Posted by: thisiskv | September 17, 2012

The Taramo Twins: Entrepreneures in Namibia

Why is my phone ringing at 3 am? I don’t like phone calls. Especially early in the morning from numbers I don’t know. But I’ll pick up anyways. It must be important; it’s 03:02 and the phone has been ringing for two minutes straight now! I reach for my phone and answer with a low and sleepy voice to remind the person on the line that it’s early in the morning over here and the general rule of telephones is you don’t call people when they are sleeping or eating. The voice on the line says “Yo, Kv…”, I quickly recognize his voice. It’s Phil and he sounds kinda worried. “Come pick me up. I’m outside a bar and I don’t know what to do. We just lost everything. The whole company. my reputation, my dream, Everything! Now everyone is going to laugh at us and think we are losers”. I try to calm him down but nothing is working. “Where are you?”I ask. “I’m outside a bar with a pizza sign on it and I don’t know where Drew is…” “Ok, I know where that place is”. “just come get me man. We need to talk.” “Just don’t move bro, I’ll be there in 15 minutes. I’m coming to get you.” I hung up the phone and then I woke up sweaty. It was just a bad dream!

In the morning I decided to call Drew and Phil so I could write about what it means to be entrepreneurs in Namibia. Below are some excerpts of conversations we had, their beliefs and what it takes as young business man who want to give back to the world.

Phil:  We hear a lot of people who work say: “I hate Mondays. I hate my job because it is my life etc.” But dude, what they don’t understand is you never get rid of the Mondays. With this attitude every day becomes a Monday.

Drew: [laughs] Yeah, bro. When you are at a boring corporate job you have several things going for you: nobody really cares that much at the job. Everyone leaves their work at the desk. Everyone takes weekends off. Everyone takes as many holidays as possible. Everyone gets to work on Monday already looking forward to Friday so they can get some beers. [laughs again]

Kv: [laughs] True man. But ja, I believe not everyone of us can be entrepreneurs but we all have a choice to get involved with work that we love. Annika likes working with children so she got a job working with kids. Kelvin likes cars so he got a job in the Transport industry and now runs his own Bus Company. [Everybody laughs at this point]

Drew: Ja, Kel’ does like cars.

Phil:  But the point is you gotta do what you love. You can’t go work in customer service if you hate people.

Drew: Like that lady in Home Affairs!

The twins start laughing again. It must be an insider joke for them.

Kv: So how are you finding it as young entrepreneurs in Namibia?

Phil: Dude, the worries never end. You never sleep. Every day becomes Monday. Every minute becomes 3am Monday morning. Every day there is constant battles and successes to drive you forward. And sometimes it’s two steps forward and three steps backwards

Kv: What are some of the things you guys worry about when running your own business?

Drew & Phil: A lot of things. You suddenly start worrying about:

  • Is every project getting done on time?
  • What else can we be doing for each client?
  • How do we get good investors?
  • Do we go to parties?
  • I know weI have enough cash coming in to pay employees for 3 more months. But what happens then? What happens on month 4?
  • Will our family survive if the business crashes in 12 months?
  • One of our employees today is crying because of something at home and it is affecting her work. How do we talk to her about it? Do we talk to her about it?
  • How do we keep the team motivated?

Drew: But the mind likes playing tricks on us and makes us worry about a lot of unnecessary things.

Kv: Yes-ja.I guess this life is not an easy one. We have to pick up our cross and carry on. It will hurt at first but it gets better. We have all failed more than once. But when we are in the moment it feels like the world is all over. The best advice I have received in this kind of situations is that “It shall pass.” The good times and the bad times- It shall pass. Nothing lasts forever.

Drew: Ja, but I don’t regret this life we chose. I don’t consider getting a corporate job I don’t like. It would be a failure. We have to keep going forward. You know?  The Mondays never end. Maybe you get used to it. Heck, it’s Monday right now! And I have more issues than I ever had. But over time the problems that used to be hard get easier. And the problems that we have today become opportunities. And the opportunities get better and better because you learn.

Phil: going after your dreams is very difficult. A road full of speed bumps and trouble. But it is also the most fulfilling life you can live. So we gotta keep fighting and do what we have to do now. That’s how you make it in Namibia and basically everywhere.

[END.]

*

 “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Eph. 4:1-3

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and
I took the one less traveled by
And that made all the difference.”-
Robert Frost

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