I was raised by parents with little money but loads of love. Parents who instilled confidence and self belief at an early age. They led me to believe and embrace that I could do absolutely anything.

Having matriculated with outstanding marks, I was faced with the challenge of not having the resources to go to university. I remember starting my first full time job a week after my matric exams. I worked and studied as and when I could afford to. The reality is, the lens through which we see life, will determine whether we buckle under pressure or we emerge as diamonds. Following the example of my parents, I continued to excel in the various secular environments I was employed. From the largest radio station in KZN, East Coast Radio, to the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, The largest vehicle manufacturer in SA, Toyota and then, one of SA’s largest gaming and hotel companies, Tsogosun.

In 2019, I left Tsogosun and forged ahead with my own company, ICommuniate. Within six months ICommunicate, had secured an enviable array of clients. Wipro an international company, Butcher Block a regional franchise and eventually Forbes Africa.

How did a young lady, with limited access to tertiary education, manage to land positions in these giants of our South African Economy and then as an entrepreneur manage to be successful within such a short space of time.

Perseverance, dedication, determination and a refuse to die attitude are the embers, put together that created a blazing inferno.

6 March 2020, ICommunicate, was the event manager for the Forbes Africa Leading Women Summit, a conference and gala dinner that saw women from across Africa come together and enjoy disruptive conversations that would lead to innovation. The day before was also the day COVID-19 was announced in South Africa.

8 May 2020, was the date our next major, international conference was scheduled. Our client Tumelo Ramaphosa, had created a platform for thought leaders from the US and Africa, right here in SA. We had just started discussions about running a series of master classes throughout Africa for another organization. So 2020, was going to be the year, Lisa Sukdev and ICommuicate, focused on key, iconic projects, was going to establish itself as a fore runner, in South Africa and Pan Africa.

Covid-19, disrupted the plans we had established, the clients we had secured and forced us into what could have been our premature end. I had a choice to hide under the covers until Covid passed, trust me it was very tempting. With a child in his final year at university, having just bought a new property, drying up of projects and funds were bloodly scary.

I had to re-evaluate. I had to diversify, I had to find a way to survive. If my parents example was anything to live by and if I was going to impact my son and the people around me, in a way that brought hope and inspired change, I needed to get it together.

I decided to use the time and resources I had to maximize the positive impact I could create. I knew that I would need to stay top of mind with my market and educate them about the opportunities for brands during this low touch economy.

I knew that I had to be relevant, relatable and authentic. If I was going to survive and then eventually thrive, I needed to embrace this new norm and drive demand for me. If nothing else transpired, at least I would have given hope and help to someone that needed it, in a time when kindness and compassion were desperately needed.

I started sharing videos, Rantings of a confined woman. I shared relevant information, freely. Information about marketing , COVID, as well as current affair. As I continued to share,  people reached out to me more and more. I realized that during this pandemic, I was living my life purpose. I was impacting people and effecting positive change. Through my minute initiative of real words of encouragement and motivation, I was helping my community and the people I influenced.

I have always been solution driven, I acknowledge the problem. I feel the emotion and then I choose to move. Stagnating and wallowing in what I feel for to long, will yield nothing positive. I consciously and sometimes with great difficulty, continually find a way to do and be better. If I can encourage you to do anything, it would be to emulate that attitude. Covid is here, only God knows for how long. Adapt, innovate and keep trying, no matter how many times you may fail. With the dawn of each new day, is the opportunity to try again. Try to love a little more, be a little kinder, be a little more responsible, try to make your home and your sphere of influence a just a little better. YOU CAN!

Author: Lisa Sukdev – iCommunicate

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