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Local Marketing Goes Global…

I can’t believe the blessings I’ve had in my life, this year in particular. I have met amazing people, helped a lot of great small businesses grow and been able to teach hundreds of entrepreneurs about social media marketing and search engine optimization. And the year is only half over!

But the most amazing thing that has happened this year is a trip to South Africa. My mom has had a big year with his real estate investment business and when the real estate coaching company that has helped her do so well, JT Foxx, announced they were hosting their first ever Mega Partnering Africa and she took all of us to Johannesburg for the event and a safari at the Kapama Game Reserve.

Rhino Crossing!

Rhino Crossing!

This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip and to have been able to be there, in Africa, with my sons, my husband and my mom and step-dad. We spent the beginning of our trip on safari at Kapama, a private game reserve about 6 hours from Johannesburg. Being that it was a private reserve, we saw animals just driving through the reserve to get to the lodge. As we drove in there was a giraffe there to greet us, almost as friendly as the staff. We were treated like royalty (as are all their guests) and had truly an experience of a lifetime. The animals were right there, right next to the vehicle and we were able to observe them in their natural habitat. In this picture you see the rear view mirror of our vehicle so you can tell that the rhino was about 6-10 feet from the front of the car, and eyeing us carefully. This was the first big animal we encountered and honestly, it was a bit nerve wracking to say the least. But the calm and confidence of our driver put us at ease and we quickly got over any fears and enjoyed the experience. The boys learned so much about all the different animals and their habitats. Such valuable lessons we learned from our driver, Freedom and tracker, Ringo.

During my entire visit to South Africa, I was struck again and again by one basic concept. It seemed that in almost every way, life in South Africa was the opposite of the US. Some were very obvious, like driving on the other side of the road and being in the opposite hemisphere from the US, their seasons are opposite as well. Their currency, the rand, is roughly 100X the dollar so that felt a little like being opposite. Also, of course, in the US we have a white majority (depending on where you are, naturally) while there is a black majority in South Africa.

But regardless of how different day-to-day life is there, for me it came down to similarities, not differences. Every person we encountered there was happy that we came, gave us a warm welcome and demonstrated their South African pride. Regardless of where a person lives in the world, isn’t it true that all people really want is to be happy. The entrepreneurs that I met at Mega Partnering are all looking for the same thing that entrepreneurs are here: more customers, more interaction online, investors, cheap advertising. The difference is that because of their recent past, they are somewhat behind where we are in the States, but this allows them to leap-frog over some of the less productive phases and move right into really effective marketing. Just about everyone I met let me know that there is a strong need for social media education. They just haven’t had the knowledge come into the country just yet and they are starved for information. I am hopeful that I will be able to go back and teach them what I know, help bring their economy farther into the 21st century.

What a blessing that I was able to take this trip. It was a life changing trip for me and my family, one that will certainly remain a highlight for many years to come.

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