Lessons from the workshop- the art of making money

Almost every workshop has something unavailable but is essential for the job. It doesn’t matter what trade you might be, you will always find there is something you need that has not been provided for. For example a boilermaker cannot stop working because he has no spark lighter, she can use a cigarette lighter or a welding machine. Similarly an electrician can by-pass a connection to make things work.

It is not always that certain things are essential in our lives. We tend to postpone because we do not have this or that yet the small things we have are good though not enough to take us to the next level.I have always thought I would invest when I get a lot of money. I have not yet laid my hands on that money and time is ticking on. This taught me to change my situation and to change your situation, you have to shift your position . Get a help use that as leverage. We tend to look at the returns we get and ridicule the 6% return a certain investment might offer. I believe it is better to get that than zero.

I also thought to start a business all I needed was huge some of money. Like the improvisation we do in the workshop, starting a small business might require the same principle. Work with what you have. Do not aspire to be what you can’t be, rather work and aim higher. One step at a time you will get there. Use the resources you have. Maximize the time on your hands.

What kind of business can you do, you might ask. If you are a fitter do you have to go into fitting? Maybe you are a plumber ,do you have to go into plumbing? I would tell you it doesn’t matter whether you are a blacksmith or instruments tech, business is business, the principles are the same. In the following post we will discuss on what you can do with what you have wherever you might be.

Keep discussion, comment or ask questions below.

About the Author

The author is a boilermaker and entrepreneur. He likes helping people uplift themselves. He writes on issues that affect artisans.


Part-time activities: a path to financial freedom

Me and JT Foxx

Me and JT Foxx

This weekend was quite a productive one. I met with some fellow artisans and we shared some ideas on how to free ourselves from our jobs.
I know there are some of us who enjoy working as artisans but don’t you think you would enjoy even more when you start working 4o hours a week. Would not you enjoy even more when you know you have to work overtime because you want to, not because you are too broke.

This can be achieved if you are prepared to sacrifice some of the things you normally do. This year I sacrificed the time I spend on social networks. I am no longer spend time on things and with people who do not bring value to me.
I started a part-time business of buying and selling. At first it was not working, I was losing money. I persevered, learning all the way through. I learned some tricks that I applied in my trading.

I even managed to buy items for R1- yes 1Rand and sell them for R1200. The only cost that would come in between would be shipping cost. You would find I grossed between R400 and R849 in profit.
Then I started diversifying so if one product failed I will still be covered. I started importing from China and the USA and my sales increased to a peak of R5000 a month. Next year I am targeting sales of R20 000 by the first half of 2014 peaking at R50 000 by December

In a previous post someone said if I have  knowledge of something I should share. That was a challenge and I thought what could I share except something I know.

So here is the deal. I will only share with the first 10 people who are interested in buying and selling. I will show them where to buy,and where and how to sell. I only need ten so I can be able to fully help them. When they know they can help others too.
I will give them my free e-book that teaches you how to spot a 1rand item and sell it  for super profits.

So remember it is only 10 people.Start changing your life today. If interested contact me below

What is your conditioning

When we are born we are born free from influence.As we grow up we pick up habits from those around us. We seek acceptance from the society we are by doing what that society around us does. We are moulded by the education system to be what that system requires of you. But that moulding might not produce the best of us.
Have you ever imagined what you are today,might not be your best? Has it ever crossed your mind that you are sitting on an untapped gold mine, which is you. You might be that time bomb waiting to happen- not in the destruction sense but exploding into greatness.
It all requires reconditioning. It needs a total mindset shift. Like a snake,you need to shed off that skin you are in. You feel it everyday,you complain about it everyday but still you carry the burden everyday. It is not that you can’t do anything about, its because you are just lazy to move.

You are too timid to move yourself up. What could you gain if you move yourself an inch further from where you are. There are plenty ways you can change your life. Just drop that mindset, that it can’t be done by me syndrome. If not you who else. It is not about what you are now but what you can be. There is potential, full potential in you. Unleash it, let it loose. Do not bottle the real you inside. The real you is screaming out loud to be freed.

The real you is tired of being a prisoner. The chains you are tying yourself in are just too heavy and painful to bear. Those chains are what you cry about everyday. Instead of hoping for a solution,figure it out,help yourself,then the next guy and the next and the next..

If you were taught to k,eel and beg break the rules, its time to stand up and demand. Why would you beg when it belongs to you anyway. Its yours. You have the authority, not the guy who said what can I do. Once more recondition yourself. When a metal is not to the shape we desire, we roll it, machine it, bend it ,hammer it, we treat it until it comes to shape. Recondition yourself and see a better world out there.

Beware of bogus agents

After so much talk on Facebook one concerned artisan had a chat with Witness Moyo who is charging for his services as a job placement agent. While it is good to be entrepreneurial people must not rip those who are already looking for a job. As an agent Mr Witness should know that placement agencies do not charge the employee but the employer. If he is a genuine agent we urge him to do the following:

  1. Explain why he is charging job seekers instead of employers
  2. Explain how it works from the moment you contact him, how he connects you to the employer and how he takes the administration fee
  3. Why he becomes so defensive or even cuts you off when he is asked about job guarantees after payment.
  4. Give us the number of people he has helped or if there are people who have been helped by him they should come forward and dispel all these fears.

We also urge him not to take advantage of those artisans in Zimbabwe who have never been to South Africa. Life like anywhere else is not easy as people may say it. If he is recruiting from Zimbabwe he must advise them on regularising their stay, organisinng their accommodation and many other logistical challenges.


Below is a transcript between Mr Witness and one welder.

2013-10-17 13:58:21: Johntso: Blaz hanzi muri kuda ma welder
2013-10-17 13:59:35: Witness: Ehee…..
2013-10-17 13:59:58: Johntso: Ndiri kutsvagawo graft Ndiri welder
2013-10-17 14:01:09: Witness: Muripi parizvino
2013-10-17 14:01:11: Johntso: Germiston, jhb
2013-10-17 14:06:07: Witness: Ndokune basa randiri kudira vanhu a u @ wrk???
2013-10-17 14:06:37: Johntso: No ndakamiswa last month
2013-10-17 16:47:44: Johntso: Hamuna kuzodzoka kwandiri mukoma
2013-10-17 16:49:07: Witness: Will chart later drvn……
2013-10-17 16:49:05: Johntso: Ok
2013-10-17 18:12:49: Witness: Email}shane@tqa.co.za imwe saleema@tqa.co.za send yo CV with all yo collage certificates…….but there is an admin fee of $22 u hv to pay…..
2013-10-17 18:15:14: Johntso: Where and when do I pay
2013-10-17 18:37:21: Witness: U pay to me now the job is now……
2013-10-17 18:55:09: Johntso: Am I assured of the job after I paynot
2013-10-17 19:05:12: Witness: U a not serious…….bro
2013-10-17 19:12:39: Johntso: I am but myou know I need assurance or do we sign somewhere
2013-10-17 19:16:50: Witness: Sorry let me guys that a here so they will test tee gud of S/Afrk job thank u 4 yo tme


Check he can’t even spell college. He also is not comfortable being challenged to prove what he says. We might be entrepreneurs but the whole method of communication is not acceptable. Be the jury.

Investing in yourself Part 2

A baker with his assistant. As seen in the ill...

A baker with his assistant. As seen in the illustration, round loaves were among the most common. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


1. Live within your means

There is no better favour you can do to yourself than to learn to live within your means. Many-a times we want things beyond our pockets; maybe a nice home theatre system. a nice smartphone that just hit the market, clothes that are trending and many more tech and new things.Meanwhile we have utility bills to take care of, ever rising transport costs to meet. Every service provider is looking at your pocket and you helplessly look at yourself.When monthend comes you stressing so much, there is tension both at work and at home. Live on what you earn, not what you will earn. aim to reduce your debts and monthly expenses. Save a little each time.

2.  Get a coach

It did not end with your apprenticeship. In life be an apprentice; you do not know everything. Get a coach who guides you, who advises you and who mentors you. I never thought this was a good idea until I met one. Sometimes we are just too reluctant to propel ourselves forward. Coaches are the ignition , they provide the spark so we can self propel.

3. Who do you play with?

Do your friends  have a dream like you. do they see life the way you do? do they add any value to your life or they are a liability. maybe you are always bailing them out. Ditch them or hook them up. Play with people that think better than you. Play with people who build real castles not fairies.

4. Get an extra source of income

Find an extra source of income. it is better to gain a dollar than to spend one. No matter how small the profit maybe it counts.  I have  a few part time activities that can  gain you a dollar, get in touch if you are interested.

5. Rest

By the seventh day god ended His work and rested. What about a mortal like you. do not overwork, rest , take a break, refresh and have time for your family. Never chase money, many tried but never got it. Instead they collapsed  , fainted and failed. you can never win that race. You can only win when you use strategies.

Meanwhile to those in Johannesburg here is a chance to learn more on how others succeeded.  Join  Loral Lanegemeier and hear her speak. Register here

Meanwhile do not forget to complete the survey. Click here to go to the survey.

4 ways you can invest in yourself

Last time I wrote about the importance of investing in oneself. The question I got was how. This is not about  investing in the Johannesburg stock exchange or  your local bank. It is about  improving your value. It is about creating a brand name for yourself , an identity that seperates you from the next artisan. Investing in oneself is all about getting you a job even when you do not need one. You should be head hunted because of the brand you created. I once read that if Bill Gates lost everything within a week he will be earning again. Any company would want him for what he knows. He has already created a brand for himself.
1. Improve your education
            There is always more to learn. If you have a certificate you can study for a diploma, a degree or something different from your field. You can atend refresher courses, one day seminars, short courses, etc. I used to shun learning but when I started attending these one day seminars i saw the value in them. I learnt a lot. Now register for one, improve your education, improve your chances of geting a better  job.
2.  Change your habits
            What takes most of your time that you do not want.  Do you have some habits that you know are always dragging you back.  Maybe it is  a drink that always ends one too many.  Or it is television till you knock off. Whatever it is you have to change it. Plan your day ahead. The hours of work are definite, plan the rest. For example from 7pm to 9pm might be family time, 9 to 9:30pm might be reading time, social networking or anything that comes to mind.You know your day, structure it to make it fulfilling both to you and your close ones.
I was listening to a sermon  on the radio this morning. The preacher said, there are two types of people; those who say ,when they wake up; ‘Good morning oh Lord” and the other one who say, ‘Good Lord,its mornin!” This latter group is the one that wants to sleep forever. Do you sleep until you get tired? Change that habit. Rise early, grab a book,remember good readers make good leaders. Rise early, storm over an idea, build it.
The bottomline is give yourself daily tasks that you must accomplish. Find a way of punishing yourself if you do not complete your daily task.
3.   Doing what you enjoy best.
            We all have a passion for something. Be creative and do what you love most. If you enjoy fixing cars, why not change your hobby into a part time job. If you enjoying fixing things around the home, why not offer handyman services in your neighbourhood. Find that special ability in you, that you can do effortlessly and turn it into a job.
4. Look after yourself
              Be presentable always, groom yourself, exercise ,eat healthy. All this reduce the doctor visits and increase your productivity. Cut or quit smoking if you can. Drink moderately. Dress smart to fit into any category. Most artisans have a problem of dressing. We just dress like we are in our overalls even during weekends. Do not go home in those overalls. You moving with grime smearing it into other people. If in a public transport do you think someone will talk to you when smelling. Remember we build networks from anywhere and when you present yourself badly , it is difficult to bring strong networks.
Until next time when I bring you more ways of investing in yourself.

Why you should invest in yourself

For most artisans the prospects of getting a promotion or upgrading to a higher post are so minimal. From an artisan you can go to being a chargehand and it seems it ends there. Very few can progress further to supervisor/foreman/superintendent depending on the company hierachy setup. A few have tried being engineers and only a handful have managed.
Is taking tradesmanship as a career a wrong path. It is if you do not know have dreams. It is if you always tell yourself you are comfortable the way you are. It is if you always whine and do not take action to better yourself. You should be passionate about making yourself a better person  each day. This you can only achieve by investing in yourself. There are many ways you can better yourself and improve your welfare and of those around you. You have the key that can unlock you from being paid every hour to being paid for what you know. As an artisan you are always paid for what you do. It is not about what you know. You might have years of experience but you are paid the same as that guy who  qualified just yesterday. Or you might find out you are being paid the same rate with guy you trained. And it is very fair because you both doing the same task.
Do not put your years of experience to waste. Get paid for what you know not what you do. If you do not know how drop me an email or comment below and we wil specifically look at your situation and how you can invest in yourself. In the process I will be investing in myself too. Remember investing in yourself means fighting with yourself. There is those inner voices within you that always tell you everything can not be done. There is people around you who always seem to be making your dreams and projects futile. There is your other commitments that require your attention and are a stumbling block to achieving your goals.

The majority of excuses are:
1. I am too old to learn or do something other than work
2. You know with this type of job you never know when you are going to get laid off and how will I finance my investing
3. I have a family to look after
4. There is no overtime by my place so I cant afford  something else
5. I cant just do it
6. It is just not for me, ndezveropa
However there are ways you can tackle all these problems

If  you want to invest in yourself and propel yourself just drop me an email or comment below and lets chat. I have a few tips up my sleeve that you can use .Meanwhile think about how you can invest in yourself. Till next time .