The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
Alan Knott-Craig’s glass is always half-full when it comes to South Africa. It’s an approach that has paid off, with Knott-Craig successfully launching innovative companies where others fear to tread. In this article, the entrepreneur and author reflects on a very tough year and explains why it wasn’t as bad as we had all feared in the early months as the Covid-19 virus spread around the globe. Knott-Craig is confident SA will recover fairly quickly from 2020. He shares his biggest personal lesson of the year: believing in yourself and your decisions. It’s about getting back to basics, taking one day at a time and putting your full effort into your endeavours, says the author of Don’t Panic – a book that highlighted the virtues of SA in the late 2000s when many were contemplating emigration. – Jackie Cameron
2021 will be a great year
The single biggest lesson I’ve taken from 2020 is to just believe.
It has been so difficult to predict the future. The rules keep changing, the playing field keeps changing.
The only way to make progress is to blindly step forward, believing you’re on the right path.
Believing the world will not end.
There have been many economic and health casualties in 2020, but far less than the doomsayers predicted.
If you’d listened to the gloomiest predictions, especially after the April stock market crash, you’d be sitting on the sidelines during a year which has in fact gone very well for all industries, except tourism & hospitality.
Turns out 2020 wasn’t 1929.
It wasn’t the start of the next Great Depression.
Good companies didn’t go out of business.
Millions didn’t die.
Donald Trump wasn’t re-elected.
Good companies traded through the crisis.
The healthcare system carried us through the year.
The government implemented sensible rules like face-masks and hand sanitisers.
Lots of job were lost, and many families are struggling, but the core hasn’t broken.
The core is our economy, comprised of well-run companies and opportunistic entrepreneurs and hard-working families.
This core will bring back jobs and tax revenues. This core will help the government keep its infrastructure promises. This core will grab the opportunities presented by the coming economic boom.
In spite of the current negative media cycle, next year is going to be great for South Africa.
The USA and Europe will print money, the Rand will strengthen, commodity prices will continue to rise, China’s economy will continue to steam ahead, South African companies will continue to generate cash, our pension funds will continue to invest locally, property prices will recover, entrepreneurs will continue to find opportunities, the government’s post-COVID infrastructure stimulus will kick in, companies will start hiring again.
Eskom’s load-shedding is becoming a thing of the past, removing the hard cap to economic growth. Our economy can finally start growing again!
The trick is to just take it one day at a time.
Don’t make too many plans, don’t create expectations.
Just get on the playing field and try your hardest.
And just believe:
2021 is going to be a great year.
- Alan Knott-Craig is a successful entrepreneur, best-selling author, and founder of Project Isizwe, an NGO that deploys affordable public WiFi to rural communities across Africa. He is also the founder of HeroTel, a broadband operator operating throughout SA. Originally from Pretoria, he studied at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (formerly UPE) and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte in 2002. Between 2003 and 2017 he co-founded and/or funded 27 companies in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector in Africa. He was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009.
- Alan Knott-Craig: The world is not dying; it’s resetting – and it’s exciting to watch. BRILLIANT!
- Could SA by some miracle dodge worst of Covid-19 curse? – Alan Knott-Craig
- Alan Knott-Craig: Getting your mind around why it’s possible to be optimistic about SA
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