The past few weeks were super exciting, informative and frustrating.
As you know by now (or not), I launched my very first digital product, namely eBook 52 and digiMagazine (click here for more information). At the same time, I visited Tomas, one of my former interns and operational managers, in the city he grew up in: Vilnius in Lithuania.  

The eBook and digiMagazine were my first attempt at selling a digital product online, which made the process slow at times and very painful. But the good news is that any new process is just like riding a bicycle: once you have mastered the “balance thing”, you can start riding along instead of falling along.

I am especially proud of the action I took to take the products from concept to sales. This is here that I’s like to remind you that the process and new experiences are the most valuable – whatever your sales. It is only by dirtying your hands that you truly learn something. The rest simply is your opinion (which, unfortunately, doesn’t count for less).

Back to Lithuania. I really wanted to see and learn more of his city, its people and, very important, his new gymnasium where he focuses on functional exercising; in other words, true muscle power and freedom of movement without injuring yourself.

Lithuania is to me a pleasing place, but also a place of extremes. In the city you get dynamic, hard-working people at a bargain: The minimum wage is €360 per month (about R5 735), against R21 550 per month in England, while a good corporate salary amounts to about R28 000 per month. Everyone is friendly and most people speak a good English. They offer the fastest broadband services in Europe, of course, and, on the other side of the spectrum, many a Catholic Church (only in the one city). I wonder what the Vatican’s electricity bill is like?

On the other hand, you also get the cowboys. These men drink a lot, drive like Italians (and that is not a compliment) and in smaller towns the roadside toilets are… wait for it… longdrops!

But there was something that Tomas had said that stays with me: The greatest criticism against the Lithuanians come from the Lithuanians themselves. As a matter of fact, there is a joke doing the rounds that, should Russia ever invade their country (which it can do in 23 hours), thousands of Lithuanians will join the Russians to fight against their own country.

This reminds me of Afrikaners who so easily criticise and draw down their own people. Or the old story of  “… cannot stick together”. But you know, it is truly not a foreign or uniquely South African phenomenon.

I believe that people are sometimes the hardest on people that they love the most… Love is not completely blind.

  • The purpose with KLIPKOUERS’s latest eBook and digiMagazine is to be a business resource for people who want to improve themselves or their own business, by people who continuously improve themselves and their own businesses.

Who is Jacques Basson?

After many years on the Kovsies campus (to perfect his pool-playing technique – only half a truth), Jacques started a career in corporate sales and marketing at Coca-Cola in 1999.

Coca-Cola’s management development programme Kusile accelerated my company management learning curve, and after five additional companies and senior roles in South Africa and England at among other Parmalat, Ecolab, Luxottica and Polaroid Eyewear, I started a commercial cleaning business, VanBroc Cleaning (www.vanbroc.co.uk), in 2007, followed in 2012 by a joint venture with a commercial cleaning business in Austin, Texas (www.vanbroc.com).

I currently live in a very small English hamlet called Gadddesden Row (about 30 minutes to the northwest of London) with my wife Chrisna, son Christian and daughter Alivia.

Why Klipkouers?

Klipkouers is the personification of my passion for my people, language and business. I want to help Afrikaans-speaking people to start new businesses, reach their full potential and subsequently creating much needed job opportunities in South Africa. The internet levelled the international playfield.

 

This post is also available in: Afrikaans

Jacques Basson
Jacques Basson
After a wonderful childhood in Riebeeckstad and many years at the Kovsie campus to perfect my pool game (half-truth) and complete a business degree, my corporate sales and marketing career started with the Coca-Cola Company in 1999.
Coca-Cola’s management development programme, Kusile, quickly developed by business expertise and five additional companies and senior roles in South Africa and England later – for among others Parmalat, Ecolab, Luxottica and Polaroid Eyewear – I started a commercial cleaning company, VanBroc Cleaning, in 2007, followed by a joint venture with a commercial cleaning company in Austin, Texas in 2012.
After 14 years in England my family and I moved back to South Africa early in 2018 and we currently reside in Centurion.
Of course, Klipkouers podcast is the new baby in the business family and I need your help raising the child!

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