Podcast 90: How to defeat apartheid. An interview with Anthea Rossouw

How to defeat apartheid. What’s that have to do with running a private practice? You’ll see.

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PoP Culture meet Anthea Rossouw

IMG_3313Anthea Rossouw was named “The Dreamcatcher” by the dying patriarch and community leader, Moses Kleinhans, from the township of Melkhoutfontein, Stilbaai where her family had a holiday home. Moses named Anthea “The Dreamcatcher” in recognition of her efforts to spearhead a socio-economic transformation to improve the lives of Melkhoutfontein people ravaged by the effects of economic and cultural deprivation caused by Apartheid.

Under Apartheid, social integration -and interaction between black and white cultures was prohibited by law. This bred mistrust and hostility on both sides. Commercial fishing, Melkhoutfontein’s only sustainable source of livelihood, had all but dried up by 1990, when Melkhoutfontein was proclaimed one of the most destitute communities in South Africa. Tourism, to Anthea’s mind, was the path to the future. And social entrepreneurship was the vehicle. Her commitment to break down the barriers–actual as well as emotional–to the economic benefits and the peripheral advantages of tourism would eventually take years. Her dream was a model of sustainable and responsible community based tourism, in which tourists would learn about the richness of cultural diversity within townships that would in turn create paths to mutual understanding, trust, and respect.

The Dreamcatcher of South Africa Website

What you’ll discover in this private practice podcast:

4:29 How to provide worldwide global relief for poverty

5:59 Why she’s known as “The Dreamcatcher”

16:32 What Anthea needed everyone to know

19:44 How she created social services to fight apartheid

28:02 How to avoid what you are told to do

35:38 Creating a new South Africa with Nelson Mandela

 

Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC

Joe Sanok Private Practice ConsultantJoe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant.

Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI.

To link to Joe’s Google+ .

Here is the Transcription of This Podcast

How to defeat apartheid An interview with Anthea Rossouw

This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, Session 90. Welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. I am Joe Sanok. I just recorded the entire intro, and for some reason, it didn’t record. So here I am again saying the same thing, saying all the awesomeness as before. A second ago, it was an awesome morning, and it’s still awesome. It’s still awesome. I’m not going to be all mad over that. It was only like five minutes of my life I’m not getting back.So today, it’s just a good day. I was thinking about how this morning, I had two cancellations. They cancelled within 24 hours, let me know. It’s summer time in Northern Michigan, post-Cherry Festival. People are busy doing other things, and you know, maybe you’re experiencing that, but that’s why I think it’s really good to get a few side projects going to keep a list of your ideas of blog posts, of E-books, of E-courses you could be creating, maybe launching a podcast. I just got an email from my friend, Janine, who she just said, “I just got a podcasting mic,” and I can’t wait to tell you guys about what she’s going to be doing with her coming podcast.

And you know, to have these side things going on that you can kind of chip away at when you have a no-show, when you have a cancellation, when you find yourself at your office and you’re like, “Shoot! I guess I could just go home or I could keep making progress in my business,” and that’s what today is, my next session. So I’m recording this at 11:30. My next session isn’t till 5:00, and that’s just a quick half-hour session. So maybe I could go home and hang out with the girls, but I took a three-day weekend anyway, so that feels just kind of lazy. But yeah, have some projects that you’re working on.

Well, today’s sponsor is Brighter Vision, and Brighter Vision makes amazing websites. They are such a great alternative to therapy sites, therasites, therapy sites. They are the world-wide leader in therapy websites. In the last six months, they have created 200 therapist websites, and now, probably even more after they became a sponsor of Practice of the Practice. And what I love about them is that – so when I do consulting, I almost always will include what’s called a SWOT analysis. It’s strength, weakness, opportunities, threats. We look at what are all the opportunities, what are people in people’s community doing, what are other practices doing, what are they ranking for with keywords? We do all this backend research and just show this like 20- to 30-page document of what they can do to improve their website, to improve their site ranking, to improve their business, because most people really are making decisions about counseling online. They are going to a website, they’re checking out your social media. Unless it’s a personal referral from like a doctor or a pastor or a friend, almost always, it’s online. It’s Psychology Today, it’s going to your website, it’s reading about you, it’s googling depression symptoms and then you have a blogpost about that, and then like, “Whoa, this person gets me.”

So having an awesome website is so essential. So I almost always start there when I’m working with clients that I’m doing consulting with, and what’s awesome about Brighter Vision is that I rarely have much feedback. Usually, it’s just how the person phrased something. It’s moving a few things around. It’s rarely a design critique. It’s almost always, “Okay, let’s figure out how to get you blogging more. Let’s figure out how to do this more,” or that more. It’s rarely, “Oh my gosh, your website.”

So that’s what I just love about Brighter Vision is they do such a great job, and they’re only 59 bucks a month. And if you go to brightervision.com/joe and use promo code Joe, you will get your first month for free, and I think it’s well worth checking out.

So today, I get to introduce you to someone that’s really cool. Her name is Anthea Rossouw, and Anthea, she came to Traverse City from South Africa for the TEDx Conference here, and she and I sat down in my private practice office, and we just talked about South Africa. She was born and raised and educated in South Africa. She lived through apartheid.

How to provide worldwide global relief for poverty

She did so many things to just help people heal, help people have jobs, she created businesses, she’s going to be talking about providing world-wide, global relief for poverty and how she learned concepts in South Africa that just apply world-wide.

And to me, I think it’s really important that we think outside of just our private practice, because what are we teaching? What are we discovering? What are we helping people with in our private practices? Those are usually values that extend well beyond the four walls of our private practice, and I want to expose you to people doing unique things that maybe aren’t in the private practice world. They’re not just teaching you about marketing, which is important, or things that just help your private practice, but that genuinely are like just out there doing something to help the world be a better place, because those voices, to me, just really resonate. And I think if they resonate with me, they’re going to resonate with you.

Why she’s known as “The Dreamcatcher”

So Anthea is known as The Dreamcatcher in communities across South Africa, and not like The Dreamcatcher like we think of in the States, but The Dreamcatcher as in “capturing Nelson Mandela’s dream for a better life for his people in post-apartheid South Africa.” She’s doing some amazing work there, and I’m just so excited for you to meet her.

So without any further ado, I give you Anthea Rossouw.

Anthea Rossouw, welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast.

AR: Thank you very much for inviting me. I’m so honored to be here.

Joe Sanok: Oh yeah. Well, welcome to Traverse City. Sorry it’s so rainy for you.

AR: It’s okay, it’s okay. As I said to somebody today, one thing that I don’t do is weather. So it doesn’t worry me what the weather chucks at me because I can’t do anything about that. I concentrate on the things that I can.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. That’s such a good perspective. So I know that you’re here in Traverse City for TEDx. You’re going to be speaking tomorrow at that, and before we get to kind of your talk, I want to just hear a little bit about your work. As I was on your website, you’ve done so many things. I didn’t even know where to start because you’re just making such an impact in South Africa. So maybe just give us an overview of what you do, and then we’ll go from there.

AR: Yes. Well, Dreamcatcher was started 25 years ago before apartheid was dismantled, and I’m actually called Dreamcatcher in the communities, but in their language. It had absolutely nothing to do with the Dreamcatcher in the Northern Hemisphere, because the gentleman in the community who gave me the name and moniker of Dreamcatcher actually asked me to be their Dreamcatcher to take them from abject poverty and to give them a reason to wake up in the morning.

So that was just over 25 years ago. And so most of my adult life, I’ve been involved with poverty relief and working at local level; local community engagement. I soon realized that once I started this, I would have to abandon all aspirations of a career of my own, and one day in the future, I would pick that up. So I became a life-long volunteer, because the challenge which I had to come and do, there was nothing like what I had been doing before. And I’ll give you a perspective on that now.

The way it started was that the patriarch of one of the communities, which I found out later was one of the most destitute communities in South Africa, an average family income, family being about eight people, of less than a $100 a year. That would be their income. They lived off fishing of the ocean, and that is how they sustain themselves.

Through the (indiscernible 00:08:05) Saga, which we call it, where international fishing trawlers were given license by the then apartheid government to actually fish, they trawled the ocean. And so the communities that had been living for centuries, just taking what they needed from the ocean, lost their livelihood and their sustenance.

So they became extremely poor, and what happened was, this gentleman came to my husband, who had passed away a couple of years now sadly. He was a dental practitioner (indiscernible 00:08:41) a surgeon. He used to do things like that. And so that was his career. We were in the little town. We were at a seaside resort where our beach house was, and this gentleman came because they had known that my husband would be able to help, and he had a towel tied around his head, and it was very swollen, and he said, “Please help me because I can’t sleep at night.” But when my husband put him in the chair, he realized that he was in heart failure. So you can’t, your heart is connected directly to your teeth.

And so he could not do anything. He said, “Look. I’ll give him an injection now, and we’ll give him the strong antibiotic, and he needs to go home and come back in a week before I can even intervene here.” So I walked him to my car to take him home, and I had this small Yorkshire terrier, a little dog called “Bunny”, and he jumped into my arm and I walked to the car to put him on the backseat. But Moses got in the backseat, so I said, “Moses, what are you doing?” He said, “No, but us blacks sit in the back of the car and the whites put their dogs in the front. I would not dream of getting into the front of your car.” So I said, “Goodness, no. This cannot be true. Get in.”

Backtracking a bit, I was reared in the Eastern Cape, the birthplace of Nelson Mandela, not far from where he was born. My father, a descendant of Queen Victoria, sending the British settlers to South Africa, and they settled close to East London. So my father spoke Xhosa before he could speak any other African language. And we were reared. We lived on the same property where everybody that was working and cohabiting together, different houses on my grandfather’s estate.

So I grew up playing with older black children on our estate. But my dad was being transferred to a very, very politically partisan exclusive apartheid province, or a state, as you’d call it here. So I grew up intra-culturally and knowing that all people are equal and children of the same God. Having to put us into this province was a huge culture shock for us Drakes. I was surnamed Drake, because my dad went out. He was a master builder. He went out with loads of black workers and white workers and he would help them to build these properties.

And they brought him especially in from the Eastern Cape because he could speak Xhosa because the Xhosas were brought in by many, many, many contractors to build that needed the workers.

So when we went to school, it was a huge shock to us because I could speak Xhosa and I could speak English. I could not speak the local language, Afrikaan. So my mom and dad said listen you kids you need to learn to speak Afrikaan and fast, if you’re going to survive because it was segregated schooling.

So here, imagine a seven-year-old little girl running around speaking Xhosa. In a highly political explosive situation that would have been a nightmare. So my parents put us into a catholic convent so that we would be safe. That we could actually grow and develop. So I grew up with all inter-denominationally, intra-culturally. So I found that province extremely difficult to live in as a child. And then when Moses was speaking to me, it hit me like a stone. Yes, we are segregated but this is reality.

So I took him home. I gave him a cup of tea. Then the antibiotic which my husband had prescribed to him and I made him a cup of tea. I helped him into a chair. I sat with him for a couple of hours, spoke with him and I left. I said, “Okay, Moses. Now in two weeks’ time you need to come back to doctor.”

So just before that the day before the phone at the surgery rang and he said, “This is Moses.” And he was phoning from a pay phone. They did not have cell phones. They had nothing but two pay phones in the community, in their little community. He said, “I want you to know I haven’t slept for two weeks, because I’ve been thinking of you.” And that area is directly under the Southern Cross, the southern most (indiscernible 00:13:12) of South Africa. Then I saw the Southern Cross and as a man that believes in destiny, I survived three shipwrecks as the only survivor. And swimming out to shore, I know why. Because I was the oldest. It was to me too because you are our Dreamcatcher. I’d make the Dreamcatcher. He said this in his language which I’d learned to speak by then.

He said and I must come and see you. So he came. My husband fixed his tooth. You know, officially we didn’t take any money. I put some vegetables and stuff in his basket for him. I gave him a basket. He said can you please when you take me home, I want to drive through my community. I want you to see the conditions in which we are living. You coming out of this exclusive white tourist destination. I want you to fulfill my dream because we have been servants to all these tourists all our lives and especially since we don’t have any more fishing as a self-sufficiency.

What I experienced that day was actually what gave me nightmares at night because if the destitute, level of destitution was absolutely immeasurable. So I didn’t sleep for two weeks.

Joe Sanok: Like what did you see? Like what kind of things did you see?

AR: Well, you know, it was total abject poverty, high unemployment, people that were suffering from tuberculosis, children that were in the streets, young girls that were pregnant, many, many, children just sitting on the streets because the houses were so small and shacks and so it was just there was no clinic. There was nothing there and then he took me into the peripheral areas and he took me into some of their homes and some people were – that the house that collapsed around them they were living in sections of their house. And I realized that here was a community that was in demise, a culture in demise. The life expectancy was very low, the child mortality was very low and I saw a lot of stress around me. Being a student of psychology, I noticed what was going around me in sociology.

And so I went home and I took him home and gave him a cup of tea. He said you know and not the reason why I never slept last two weeks. Is that you are the first white woman who has ever put me in the front of her car, who has ever made me a cup of tea, who has ever put her arm around me to help me into the house when I was (indiscernible 00:15:51) You are our Dreamcatcher. You need to help me. I’m going to die soon. I know that. He said, but this is what you have to do. Just help me before I pass on.

And so I lay awake looked at the Southern Cross like he did again for two weeks and I went into the community with my car a couple of times. I looked around and I engaged people. I engaged them. Moses invited me to their church. So for the first time in my life, I ascended a pulpit because the minister in the congregation said Moses the patriarch has brought us somebody he needs you to meet. And they put me on the pulpit.

What Anthea needed everyone to know

And I explained to him that who I was like talking to you but that I was ready to commit and I had been my – I spoke to my husband and my family and my husband said you need to do this because I can see that you are already withdrawing from a career. And that this is what you want to do.

So if this is what you want to do, go ahead. And so it became my journey. What I did is I went into the community and I worked block by block house by house. I went in. This was the height, the very height of a vigorously – fought about it because people knew that it was moving. They always talk about the moving and there was a lot of aggression and fear amongst whites and also it was important that people held on. They wanted to hold on at all costs.

So it was frowned upon that I went into the community and rode about with a black man in the front of my car. My husband was actually addressed this, to say, “Doctor, your wife should not be doing this” and also to things like that.

So I decided to do my work clandestinely at night.

Joe Sanok: Wow!

AR: So I would go into the township at night. I would be dropped off and they would walk in the dark to fetch me. There were not really many lights around and was quite a dirt road. And I would sit and I would listen. And I would learn and I would live and transport myself into their reality. Out of my comfort zone I took a step back so that I could understand and as they spoke, it was very clear to me that this is a community who did not want to be begging, who did not want to be holding out their hands to receive but whose pride and dignity had suffered a huge blow.

So they had become complacent. They had no idea that they even had a culture. All they knew they were children of a lesser god. So that I would do this at night to avoid the aggression and you know, just the problems that I was picking up in a white community.

Joe Sanok: So like the power brokers of the apartheid, if they had found out what you were doing like what would have happened?

AR: Well, first of all, you’ll be seen as a traitor. You will be seen as somebody that was against them. And we’re having two young children and knowing what could be the future, I decided to have a double life.

Joe Sanok: Wow!

How she created social services to fight apartheid

AR: So I lived in two worlds. And the way in which I realized that I would have to have help was that I actually looked around in the white community in this beautiful environment and resort but I saw through my husband’s surgery that there were many senior citizens or people that were living there particularly retirees that were living in these beautiful homes after they had retired but there was no real social services for them. There was no help when they were sick. They needed a place where they could gather socially. And so to be able to help in the township, I suggested that I would help in the local community.

So that is how I bearded the lion in the den. Instead of moving away I moved closer to the aggressor and giving them what they clearly needed was a place where they could go to service their ageing needs. And I started a service center for senior citizens ageing and physically-challenged people.

Through this, I made a lot of retirees with skills and once that I had that skill set in place, I slowly worked them in to helping me to transform the community. My dad said to me at that time, “You know Anthea, you’ve developed the ability to tell people to go to hell but they look forward to the trip” so without being disrespectful. But what I did is I therefore recruited a couple of people around me who were willing to help me to do the basics.

So going back into the community of Melkhoutfontein was, I was still doing this, every weekend while everybody else was watching football and soccer and whatever, I was there. The whites in the community having barbeques, myself in the community of Melkhoutfontein helping. I am – I recognize the hunger, the malnutrition. I would gather all the food I could and I would cook the food and then I would take it in my minivan to them, and therefore working out what the community needed. I realize that they didn’t have food, because I didn’t have money to buy food. So throwing food at them would not sort out the problem long term. I didn’t have any models to go by, but I realized that jobs were the only thing, and I connected the jobs to the more 40,000 domestic tourists alone, coming into that community for a year to have this beautiful result. So I thought if I can use tourism, I could get more jobs going in the white area, more shops, where people could find work. So I started the local tourism bureau in the town.

Joe Sanok: So it sounds like you started things like you know businesses with the objective of helping the people find jobs and helping get to know the senior citizens, so it was that the business in and of itself wasn’t the point. The point was to use the business to transform the community.

AR: Exactly. So I used that. I knew that I had to create a local economy. So stimulating the tourism and the local economy in a resort town, meant that some people could get work in that town. And also the bureau was there, I could then start promoting tourism to the communities. Now that is where we were running to a lot of problems.

Joe Sanok: Why?

AR: Because white people did not mix on a social level with black people, at all. So for whatever reason, there was this fear that was of the unknown, there was racism. Racism doesn’t die overnight. Apartheid is dead, but long live apartheid. Because the socio-economic pressures that would stay in place. The poor people living in these townships would never get to the beautiful rich town of Stilbaai, simply because they did not have the financial means to get there.

So building a bridge into the community for black workers was one thing. But building the bridge from the whites to support them in their township was another thing and that is where as I said, it was really a challenging time, but I didn’t allow that to put me off. I just knew that the interaction was absolutely vital for the New South Africa.

And so as Mandella was released, the tourism industry in the country boomed. Because people that were in tourism just kept on doing what they were doing and now they were getting rich really fast. There were building more and more lodges and more and more animals to be seen. And yet the people that were supposed to be liberated were staying behind. And that situation exists to this day because of that huge disparity and lack of opportunities to get involved.

So by the year 2000 looking at the millennium goal, the UN millennium goals I also looked at how the environment and how the economy could be impacted upon specifically putting the access to youth and women. So targeting women not exclusively and youth definitely. Some men on board in every community meant that I would develop a strong core. And that took me almost seven years for the communities around to accept that they could develop a small business through tourism, because they had always been servants there to make the transition to being a service.

Joe Sanok: So what kind of small businesses were they starting?

AR: Home stays, food. I looked at what was in the community. And the strength in the community was tolerance amongst each other humanity, wonderful, colorful (indiscernible 00:25:24) culture. Incredible cooking skills, because during the apartheid period, people learned to cook for the freedom fighters on one open hearth on one part and it was just amazing. They would put everything in there, to do – even to bake the bread on top of the food inside.

So I had such incredible meals there. And looking around the houses, I saw that people were willing to sleep together in a room, when guests came or when the freedom fighters came. So I knew that they were innately geared to be hospitable. So using the hospitality, I developed this product called Homestays with Kamamma, Cook-up with Kamamma, walk about with brother and sister, walking about the community, learning to know that that social engagement element.

Unfortunately the tourism industry in South Africa is still run by a very small minority who was still calling the shots. Because tourism by nature of its international way, yourself would not book a trip to South Africa if you hadn’t done it through a person, that had been there a long time. The person who had been there a long time did not know the communities at all. So they only sold what was easy, what was ready and that is what you would be exposed to.

Joe Sanok: Sure.

AR: So, I encountered many, many problems. I joined many tourism bureaus, tourism structures to see if I would get it right. But it just didn’t happen. And so I was questioned, vilified and questioned at many, many levels as to why am I doing this. People don’t want to interact with black people. They only want to see the animosity, they only want to do that and I experienced differently.

So you always go through the self-searching of yourself, questioning yourself. But that answer was answered for me in America, of all places. Because running into a brick wall, I launched this product at a national tourism show. People liked it from overseas, but they would say to me, the buyers, “How do I get to you because my agent that I’ve got a contract with doesn’t want to take me to these communities?”

How to avoid what you are told to do

So I knew it, I would have to create (indiscernible 00:27:38) for that product outside South Africa. Because the gate keepers wouldn’t allow the visitors in. They kept them contained in high end resorts and the (indiscernible 0:27:53). But I know that I’ve never made anybody that survived shaking hands with the lion. And yet that’s all on the checklist. I must do that.

Yet I also know that people were boycotting South Africa, because Nelson Mandella was in jail. So there was this mismatch. How do you come to South Africa after the apartheid was dismantled? Wanting to go and only be satisfied to see the lions and the elephants in these beautiful resorts, but you are completely missing the point of Mandella’s people. So I knew there was a discord. And so I realized that I would have to take this trip, and I would have to go into the world and take the message to folks like yourself who would enable myself to talk like I’m doing today. So I took along one of the Kamammas, one of the women and her husband was learning to be a parson. And I said Mandisa, “Go with me. I would show you how I’d like to introduce you to the world that people who can see that you’re not dancing around with a grass skirt, without a bra. You actually are a sophisticated beautiful black woman with a story to tell.”

So she went with me. I took her to America. And she met up with somebody in New York and then I went to Boston. It was on the 28th of August 2001. And I said to her, “You know, your husband is learning to be a minister now.” And she said – I said, “What is your dream?” She said, “I want to go to the Martin Luther King center in Atlanta.” I was invited to give a keynote address by the tourism authority in Los Angeles on the 1st of September, 2001.

So I said you know but also in Dallas. And I said to them you know, knowing market and knowing people you’re sending me across America from Boston to go and talk for two hours at an airport and then you’re sending me across to Dallas. I don’t think you understand the time differences. I probably will be dead on my feet by the time I get to Dallas.

But at the back of my mind, I thought, “If this is one chance I need to have Mandisa see Martin Luther King’s life and experience and take it back to her husband, I needed to do that.” So I said, “You know what? Let’s cancel my flight to Los Angeles out of Logan Airport. And I will take Mandisa to Atlanta and from Atlanta she can go back to South Africa and I will fly down to Dallas on the first of September.”

And so that’s what I did. I took her to the Martin Luther King center on the 31st of August and on that morning, I’d cancelled my flight from Logan. I flew down to Dallas. And when I got into Dallas, the plane flight the airplane was just circling and circling and circling and I could sense because if you worked with grassroots for so many years, you have to survive so many people’s opinions and oppression and see the recipients of that oppression, you learn to survive on your instinct. So I knew that something was very, very wrong on that plane on that flight.

We went through. They put us down and said, “Well, we have to hold you now into this. You have to get immediately onto this bus and you have to get into the hotel and stay there.” And when I walked into the hotel in Fort Worth, the second airplane was going into North Tower and that was the flight that I knew and it was going already; at the airport I saw this. And people were all over the place in the reception of this hotel. There was screaming and crying. I walked into this and looking up at the monitors, I just saw this happening. At first, I thought it was a science fiction movie, and then I realized from the reaction of people crying and screaming and carrying on, that this was reality happening right here.

I managed to check myself in. When I got up to the room, they announced that people can’t use the elevator. They got to come down in the stairs. Everything is in lock down at the hotel and that people would have to find their own way home. No flights were leaving and that there was a flight that was on its way, the third one, across, and they weren’t sure whether it was going go into the you know, whether it was going to the White House, whether it was going to go into the Bank of America in Dallas, where that was flight was going to.

And that was my life. And at that moment, there was such panic and such fear and I knew that that panic and fear and feelings of abandonment and not having any control was no different from the fear and abandonment of not having any control back in South Africa but on different circumstance.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. So you’d said that so when people stood in the way of what you saw as what needed to happen, the progress, you fought through that. And so you know, a lot of the people listening on a smaller scale in their businesses in what they’re trying to do to help the world, they run into these barriers.

AR: Absolutely.

Joe Sanok: What advice do you have for them to keep going?

AR: Well, the first thing that I learned on that trip was you need to be the victor and not the victim. I didn’t want to run around and say, “Oh, I’m from South Africa. (Indiscernible 00:33:50) and I got no more money” because all the cash machines were drawn. There was no money in the cash machines. So I was stuck with $23.10 in my purse.

So a business that is struggling has got low capital, and at that point you have to realize what do I want to do because it’s up to me?

Joe Sanok: Right.

AR: Take a step back and assess. And I assessed. I said, “Well, all I can do now is not become another burden to America. People don’t even have to know that I’m here. I just have to survive.” And that’s the second thing that I would suggest is that, don’t — talk to people that you can trust. But don’t feel that you are now a victim. Try to find creative solutions for the barriers that you’re encountering.

So I couldn’t draw money, there was no car to go (indiscernible 00:34:40) so I had nothing. So I tried to get on to the first train out of Dallas. It took me five days to reach a destination. It can take you five years to get back on to your feet. But keep moving forward. That’s what I’d like to say and assess every step of the way where you are now and I was – how was I away from a place where I could get back home? How far am I to making a success? And I actually during those five days took stock of my life, and I realized that the product that I was developing in South Africa of intra-cultural contact between people to people was the right thing I was doing.

Creating a new South Africa with Nelson Mandela

The same thing you have to look at your own business. Is that what I am doing, is there a market for it? Do I have to change it? Is there another way in which I can get this business into the marketplace? Are there maybe buyers for my product or my service that I am missing? And that’s what I did. South Africa needed people to people contact. I was just needing to find the buyers. And I would say for any business, you have to just take a step back. You might have developed a set of what you’re going to do with this business. It doesn’t always work that way.

Joe Sanok: Right.

AR: And you need to take that step back and find solutions. I believe that there’s a lot of potential in climbing over the barrier which I called status quo. And if you know that what you have to do you have to change, find a new market, change your product slightly. You’re just the way that you pitch yourself. You have to get over that barrier. You can’t stay there. And then start moving forward and looking around you at where are my enablers? It might be a market that you completely missed. It might be a colleague that could add some of them something of value. It is just that the world is a dynamic place, and the one thing that you shouldn’t do is be a victim. Instead you must be a victor, even in your business. And sometimes it takes a long time. Look at me, 25 years, later.

Joe Sanok: Wow. I mean, I feel like we could talk for hours about all these stories. I’m glad I’ll be hearing kind of you TED talk tomorrow and once that goes live, I’ll link to that on the website.

The question I always end with is, if every counselor in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?

AR: That you don’t know all the answers. You need to be open for them to come to you sometimes. And that if you take a step back and you need to help someone, there may be values in this person that is sitting in front of you that is helpless that they have missed and you could possibly miss because they are talking negative all the time. But if you are to give them the opportunity to think positive thoughts as to how do they see themselves, then guide them towards that.

The women in South Africa did not believe that they could have a product. They were seen as people with no value. Taking them back for the giant leap forward, you can’t always just push forward without considering that. So sometimes your victim has as much ability to find the answers as you as the counselors to give. And sometimes, it’s not an easy task, and you always learn with every person that you help.

Joe Sanok: So it sounds like really just respecting that process, respecting that you’re not the one with the answers. You’re just – can be a guide within that. Wow!

AR: And hoping the person that you are helping to see that. Selling themselves to themselves is probably one of the most important cornerstones, because if you then believe that you can go forward, you as counselor have helped them on to the path.

Joe Sanok: Wow! So much that we could cover even more. Anthea Rossouw, thank you so much for being on the podcast. Her program is called the Dreamcatcher South Africa. I’ll have links to that in the show notes, and I’m so looking forward to your TED talk tomorrow, and thank you so much for taking time with us.

AR: I’m very, very honored and I would like to throw a net of kindness and welcome to you whenever you come to South Africa or any of your counselors. And please make contact with me by the website. I don’t know all the answers. I’m a good listener, as well.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. And do you mind saying that website one more time just so people can hear it?

AR: Yes; www.dreamcatchersouthafrica.com/.

Joe Sanok: Well South Africa has been on my wife and my bucket list and now I’ve just another reason to come. We have several friends that are from there that live in the States. So I may take you up on that.

AR: I look forward to that and all the women that are now offering their services across the country —

Joe Sanok: Yeah.

AR: — will give you the time of your life.

Joe Sanok: Oh, that would be so great and you know, to do something that’s not your typical tourist kind of destination I think to really understand the culture would be just so incredible.

AR: I knew that doing —

Joe Sanok: And thank you for the invitation.

AR: Thank you. You learned a dimension that you didn’t know existed.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. Well, and thank you for your work, helping to fight apartheid and working with people there and it’s just amazing that you took this time to talk with me.

AR: Thank you very, very much.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. I think one of my favorite things in doing a podcast is just that I get to interview these people doing incredible work all over the world, you know, whether it’s you know people that are just teaching folks on how do you improve your website. Like they’re just passionate about that. Whether it’s people that are teaching about marketing or like Anthea who fought apartheid and is creating new opportunities for people, a podcast and a blog and just putting yourself out there, is just such a great way to get to know people that you normally wouldn’t get to know. You know, even I think about in your private practice.

So maybe you don’t have aspirations to do a podcast, but every one of you should be blogging because it’s going to help you rank higher in your community. If you’re not writing a regular blog on your private practice website, you’re really missing some severe opportunities. You’re just leaving money on the table, honestly. And whether you’re private pay or whether you’re insurance-based or a mixture, like people are searching for different terms.

And when you have compelling content, I mean, imagine that you had a private practice owner perspective and interviewed Anthea or you even interviewed everyone I’ve interviewed, just contact them and say you connected with them through you know hearing them on this podcast, imagine if you had all these interviews of just fascinating people to inspire people through your private practice like didn’t even like focus on like depression symptoms or anxiety symptoms but just said, “You know, as a clinician, I want to make the world better, and if I interview people that are doing amazing things in the world, I hope it inspires you through my private practice.” How cool would that be?

Like I’d want to see that person in counseling. Like I want to see people that give me something compelling to live for that would give me something like to shoot for that’s amazing that give me hope. Not just people that know how to list depression symptoms. All you people that do depression counseling, like you do a hard work, but you got to give us something to go after even beyond just, “Hey, I help with depression.”

You know, I wasn’t even going to talk about this. But I just watched this movie on Netflix with my wife. It was called Craigslist Joe. So this guy, if you haven’t seen it or if you have seen it, it’s just amazing. And so I want to have a lot of my students who are like in their 18-25-year-olds, I want to have them watch it because this guy lives off Craigslist and has no money for 31 days. He finds ways to make money off of Craigslist, he finds ways to find shelter, he gets rides, he goes on adventures, he tries new things, like this guy tries so much in 31 days and has so many unique experiences that that 31 days is just unreal. It’s life-changing for him.

And when we create opportunity, when we create stories, when we interview people or write blog posts that show more than just counseling, but actually show like, “Here’s the kind of life you can live, here’s the kind of excitement you can have, the kind of adventure like get away from the screen, like go do something that’s important for the world”, we need you like that is going to be compelling and help your practice grow in just an unbelievable way.

So I hope that you take some action. I hope you write a blog post that is out of the box, that’s adventurous, that’s kind of capturing some of these concepts we learned today. And it would be awesome if you shared that either on the Practice of the Practice Facebook page, tag me an Instagram. You can put it in the show notes, in the comments like however you want to share it, please share it, share whatever you’re working on.

So if you want to check out the show notes, if you want to see Anthea’s TED talk, if you want to get links to her website, that’s all going to be at practiceofthepractice.com/session90 – 9-0. Can you believe we’re already at 90?

And again, thanks a lot Brighter Vision. You guys rock. Perry over there and his whole crew, they’re making amazing websites, and they just have such a strong mission to help counselors have amazing websites.

So thank you so much for believing in Practice of the Practice and this audience; audience please like even if you already have a great website, at least just send Perry a thank you note or something. That’d be awesome.

Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Next week, we’re going to have an amazing interview with Allison Puryear, who is going to teach us all about networking.

Let me give you just a little sneak peek. I don’t think I’ve ever done this. She met 90 new people in 90 days and she’s going to share with you exactly how she did it. It’s amazing.

All right. Anyway, have a great week. Peace.

Special thanks to the bands Silence is Sexy and Zero Project. We like your music.

And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered.  It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher nor the guest is rendering legal, accounting, clinical or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one. See you.

 

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