Dear Dalitso

Everyday lessons for tomorrow

Lessons about Loss

February 6, 2024
Letter #34

One of the inevitable lessons about life is that one day you will lose money. It could be due to negligence on your part or someone else’s fault. But it will be your loss, nonetheless. Some losses are too big and some insignificant. The lesson is the same on all occasions. We live in a world where we don’t know everything. You can do everything you know and do it well- but still lose some money. That my dear Dali is called life.

Today I experienced a loss like that. I did everything not to lose but still, I lost. What to do when you lose money? Reflect and quickly move on. I usually bundle all my losses into what I call ‘school fees’. Let me give this one a context. I am in the middle of a big project far away from the city. I have never done anything at this scale, but it has to be done. I have a set of advisors- my usual circle. Maybe this is where I need to elevate my game. We sought the services of a borehole siting team- they did their job. Sent us their invoice which we queried but still have to pay. Then we brought the borehole drilling team- they drilled. No water. But they have fulfilled their contractual obligation. A loss for us. A big one.
Perhaps I could have done better in terms of the siting contractor. But they have done this job before and done it well.

Let’s face it- you can never prepare for all situations. We had a similar situation years ago. We had an amazing tomato crop in the greenhouse. Our harvests were good. At least 1.4 tons every week. COVID-19 hit. Lockdowns. We had nowhere to sell the tomatoes. A big loss. We could have never planned to the level of predicting a global pandemic.

What have I learnt:

·      Losses are part of business life. They make the profit sweet.

·      Learn to accommodate the inevitable and accept it as part and parcel of business.

·      You can recover from the loss of money unlike say the loss of life.

Get a grip. Have a perspective of life. Be thankful that it is not as bad as it could have been. You are still here. Get up, dust yourself, and try again. You will recover all.

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