As I sit back and analyse this year looking at how far I’ve come and the challenges I’ve scaled I get a surreal feeling. 

I cannot think of a worse start to a year than 2016. I usually set clear resolutions and targets for where I want to be and what I have to achieve in the ensuing months but this time was different. 

I learnt that someone I loved dearly who had been  a solid rock and father figure over the years was dying from cancer and they had less than a month to live . They were dark times. The sad news came 11 days into the new year and for the first time in my life I felt alone. 

People I’ve known all my life didn’t even send a message of condolence. I had to sit down and face the world all alone. 

Apart from being a beacon in my life, the person I lost was my mentor and business partner. 

The previous year hadn’t been kind to us on the business front. We lost a lot of money and leading to his death we were  trying to carve out a new plan. 

Essentially the timing couldn’t be worse. The storm always comes when you’re least prepared. 

So there I was, left to carve out a new path by myself dealing with meagre resources and shattered faith and confidence. It was fucking scary. 

I thought about a conversation we had when he said to me, it’s time for Mike the Man to emerge. You have all the necessary experience to be great but you have to step up. Reminded me of my favourite Game Of Thrones scene when the grand maeister tells Jon Snow to kill the boy and let the man be born. 

Only difference is I had to do it  all alone with no safety net or voice of reason to consult. 

I dug deep, I put God first and credit him for staying faithful this whole year even though I always stray. I confronted each and every one of my personal and business weaknesses. 

I decided to build my life bouquet with the flowers closest to me. I read a lot. Over 15 books and counting. Mostly non fiction. I sold some of my property to fund the market research for the new business I was working on. I worked out consistently and watched my diet. 

Slowly but surely I ploughed back my confidence. I looked better and fit. I remember flirting with the idea of getting into a relationship and when I picked up the chick in question for a lunch date , I caught her gawking at me a couple times. I still haven’t managed to get back to my physical state from those months since the winter came through and smashed my gains. 

But anyway my vision was finally shaping up into something tangible though I was still a long way. 

Financial management and interpersonal management in business were by far my greatest weaknesses and I’ve made decent strides to iron out those kinks though I still have a long way to go. 

So with all the focus I slowly put together a robust business model. It was finally taking shape and I tried to make it as personal and objective as possible, learning from others and seeing things from other people’s perspective. 

I’m grateful for all the people who were patient enough to lend an ear and help me progress. 

God’s timing is always perfect and each and every time I reached an impasse or roadblock he always provided a detour. 

I’m eternally grateful for my Muzukuru and best friend Munya who provided massive support in more ways than I can count. 

It’s been a crazy journey for me. I’ve grown a lot. I’m smarter, more adept at decision making. More confident and fearless. I’m a tougher negotiator and love the aura I’m bringing to every new interaction. I’ve learnt to trust in my own council and make room for other people’s views. 

If anyone would have told me I would be in this position back in January, I’m not sure I would have believed them but the Lord does work in mysterious ways. 

I’m ready to put what I’ve been working on into the world. It has my DNA written all over it. 

It might be a flop or it might be a success but what I’ve enjoyed the most is the journey and process of self discovery and growth it has provided me. 

For what is life if you cannot celebrate the little things. 

As difficult as things have been this year in my country, 2016 has given me a reason to dream afresh. God willing, those dreams may actually see the light of day.

The greatest challenge of my adult life stared at me and I stared back. Brought the best out of me and I like who I’ve become over the past few months.

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