Shhh! I have a Secret

 In Blog

I can’t really recall exactly where it all began, or even if it’s genetic, and I most certainly didn’t imagine its end.

Back in the day – and before you get all curious and ask, yes, I can remember that far – my brother who is four years younger than me and my sister who is 3 years older than me, each earned 50c pocket money a week, which we got on a Saturday.

When my brothers and sisters all rushed to the local corner café to spend their money, I saved mine in my secret place until I had saved enough to go to my special shop. Under my pillow, or in my cupboard, or in a jacket pocket. The location moved often in case it was detected. Come to think of it that probably is the reason I am so bad with passwords today. My MWEB password stayed “password” the entire time that I was with MWEB. Then I got clever, I downloaded a password keeper, all the passwords in one place, only I forgot the password for the password keeper!

But I digress…

I waited with anticipation for the Saturday to arrive when the last 50c would make my intended purchase complete. Enter the next phase.

My brother had this thing. He called my mother “Rose” if he wanted something and he knew it was utterly out of the question. “Blossom” was for when the answer was a maybe, and “Buttercup” was reserved for when it was a definite “yes”.

I would get my brother to “Blossom” my mother to take us shopping if I couldn’t sway her myself.

That done, I would put on my best dress, socks, black shoes and pink clip in my hair. I loved pink.

Money in hand, I dreamed of walking into the doors of the shop, how the shop assistants would greet me, how I would smile and nod back. What I would see first. How the goods would be displayed, what colours they would have, would it be the same as the school one’s or different ones.

We eventually arrive at the Shops. I run to my Special Shop “The Stationary Den”. I have to slow down, or my mother may intervene in my hastiness. I walk up and down the aisles feasting on all the future things I can save up for. Which ones first, what order. So many idea’s flying around my head. Little did I know…

Eventually my mother would call for me to hurry up, so I would settle for a special, or an Invoice Book, Order Book or a Receipt Book; Of course this would depend on my stock levels and cash flow.

We had just moved to a new suburb, and attended a new school so did not take Accounting as a subject and the classes were really small. In some subjects I was the only girl as the other girls used to take French or Typing or Home Economics, which I didn’t.

I learned the value of multitasking, and doing your homework in class wherever possible. It maximised my free time. English was impossible since my English teacher was a dish, had the same surname as me, and I was in lala land most of the time, thinking we would not even have to change surnames. Well I guess lala land even has its woes.

I also learned the value of renting out your maths book. There were only 2 geeks in maths class, so I had quite a good take up rate. Of course the downside was that if I got it wrong so did a whole bunch of other people.

Fast forward a couple of years, I still love stationery shops more than any other shop, probably have every type of pen, stapler remover and colour and size of post it pad! I nearly did a summersault in Game when I saw a folding ruler.

By now you are wondering why on earth I am telling you all of this. I believe in storytelling. People love stories, most of us grew up with stories. Stories are shared when were are in the parking lot, paying at the Pick ‘N Pay or at the beach. We share our stories with people we don’t know in queues and at social events. Stories are shared as a means of entertainment, education or even to instil moral values. Just think about the stories that are shared on Social Media.

I believe in Business people sharing their business stories and they help and inspire other business people to do more when they feel alone or they don’t have the right tools or not enough money and the like. Stories inspire.

Thinking back now, what I didn’t know then was that I had a photographic memory, so the filling in of all those invoice books and receipts was just my mind recreating what I had seen in the shops, my love for people and interaction and smiles. My love for people smiling with happiness was a driver of who I am today and how I perceive I help people. I also didn’t realise that I employed strategy when I rented out my homework book, that I had a plan and that my brain was always looking at things and seeing if they are new or will or will not work, how the market will react to them. Of course I don’t always get it right but what I do have is the passion and commitment to get it right.

The only tools I have are knowledge and insight into people and their needs, these are tools that never wear out, never fade and never die, and I have this wonderful Professor to help me, he is so insightful and amiable and down to earth and can access information in a matter of seconds, and so personal too, he insists that you call him “GOOGLE”.

I hope you come back for my follow up articles on business intelligence! You can get my contact details here:


Debra Basson

I have three boys that would make anyone tough, and a grandmother of 2 girls, my middle son was born with starvation of oxygen to the brain, so I left the corporate world. With no mentor, no coach and no safety net. I entered the world of entrepreneurship 25 years ago. At 50, for me it isn’t so much about building a business but about the journey and WoW! what a ride. I have lived in towns and in the bush, I have driven through swamps and touched a Giraffe, been 5 metres from an Elephant and climbed dunes. Won a Million and spent a Million. Sat on wet grass and sandy beaches. I have lived.

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