Life is what happens when you’re making other plans
So you think you’re in charge of your life, right? Wrong! Apparently, it’s all about THE BIGGER PLAN… the one that’s set out for us long before we know about it…
Let me paint you a picture. So you think you’re starting an online wine business, and that it’s all plain sailing. You apply for your Liquor Licence; it’s May 2017, and you have been busy with various parts of this ambitious process since the end of 2016. You’ve been proactively pursuing the licence since January 2017, so it shouldn’t take too long, surely?
…and then you wake up one morning, it’s July 2019, and you’re writing a blog post whilst watching the sun rise in the African bushveld…
As the sun paints the treetops and grasses orange, lighting up everything in sight, you hear the franklin cackling to me (your bush alarm clock). “It’s time to get busy, time to get busy!” But first, you take stock of what’s been going on, what’s made it possible for you to be the only online wine business you know that’s not actually online yet – no live website, no daily wine sales. Why is it taking so long to really get this business off the ground?! What am I doing wrong?!
- Liquor License? Check, but it only came through on 23 October 2018 and cost an exorbitant fee when all was said and done (doing things legally and through the right channels is hellishly expensive and time consuming in this dear country of ours).
● Shop front to facilitate Liquor license? Check. It’s in the middle of nowhere because I never wanted a retail shop to keep retail hours and although my license allows me to trade 7 days a week (and long hours at that), it was NEVER the plan to sit in a shop all day, every day to sell the odd bottle of wine or Savannah. Besides, we all know that boutique wine shops open in great, upmarket places/retail outlets, and then close about 3 to 5 years later because they didn’t work out. So it’s the shop rental in the middle of nowhere (low rental), as a grudge payment each month, that allows me to trade legally and we pick up a little bit of local business from time to time. At least I am allowed to have a website for my shop, so I am officially above board!
● Web designers? Check. At last! I found a good team of young ladies who are in the know and efficient in their trade – but not before paying some serious school fees. ‘Third time lucky’ they say! I don’t want to talk about the money and time lost using dudd/freelance ‘web designers’ who have ‘loads of worldly experience’ and ‘good references’ and let you down! It’s too revolting to discuss, so we’re moving along swiftly!
Queue the Talking Heads lyrics from “Once in a Lifetime” – ‘How did I get here…? How do I work this… This is not my beautiful life…’.
So what’s the problem? Well, nothing really, I mean, I am happy and busy, healthy and loving my job, it’s just that thing that happens when you had other plans.
Now that I have the right ‘website-making-people’, I now have zero (as in ZERO) time to get them the content they need to finish up and activate this temporary site which has been in progress since April 2019. And to add to the complications, some other life challenges have held me up (all outside of my own personal control), so it’s time to adjust back into the attitude of gratitude, and be grateful for what I do have:
- A wonderful full time job in the bushveld, managing and running my brother and sister-in-law’s bushcamp, with an amazing team of staff who are the best, and whom I adore! I get to watch the best sunrises and see the most glorious sunsets every single day, and listen to the lull of lions and nightlife as I drift off into a deep slumber! What a glorious thing to have happened to me – the family property has and always will be my happy place, and the job is easy for me – busy, but easy. I love it here!
● A fantastic, special and reliable man on the ground running my shop for me, John, who is now fondly dubbed ‘John Plonk’ for obvious reasons.
● Regular, local buyers who like the physical position of the shop, and who come in frequently to support MsPlonk on our endeavours while they quench their thirst.
● I am possibly the only online store that doesn’t have a website, yet is actually still operating successfully (albeit minimally) with loyal and regular wine buyers, who have known me for years, and who buy and request wine even though I don’t send out my monthly specials or reminders anymore – there is simply no time for it. This makes my business unique (*fat grin*)
● Losing all my contacts off my brand new phone, database and system when my third laptop was stolen in a year and cell phone soon after, is only unfortunate in that I have to rebuild it, and didn’t back it up properly – school fees again! Time MUST be made for that but the biggest challenge now is that my capital is depleted and I am trying to keep this baby floating on good luck and passion alone.
● I sold my house and started a business – not the cleverest thing to do in an economy and country in crisis, but, I have Faith, and believe that ‘fortune favours the bold’, so here I am, believing it will all come together, sooner, or later, as it should.
Richard Branson says (a very successful man), he lives life in ‘flow’ – well, I am going to do the same, and will try to trust the process, even if I get some mud on my face along the way. Looking good is overrated anyway, being happy is more important. So, while I sip an old classic; Simonsig’s Kaapse Vonkel on the old, open Landy, watching yet another outstanding sunset in Africa, I decide: I will NOT give up on MsPlonk, I just need to manage my time better. Bare with me fine folk, thanks for the support and for believing in me – it’s coming together – slowly but surely! Because… as they say, ‘Life is what happens while you’re making other plans!’