Lessons From An Entrepreneur

Lessons from an entrepreneur

We have made it through the first quarter of 2021, and as April ushers in the second quarter of the year, I find it to be the best time to reflect and set intentions for the next three months. The first book I share, I hope will assist you in reflecting on the first quarter of the year. I hope it will assist you to be kind and gentle with yourself, to be honest and make the changes that you deem necessary in order to attain what you intend to achieve.

Published in 2019, Searching ‘Through Dustbins: an authentic account of the  birth of a business’ is Abed Tau’s smartly paced collection of the  multiple realities and lessons of his entrepreneurship journey. He introduces us to his five businesses and the lessons he has learnt with his business partners,   which include but are  not limited to; starting and knowing your why, forming relationships, listening and being authentic, failing and letting go.

 Abed in giving an authentic and personal account has made this a  relevant and practical read. The use of simple language, relatable analogies such as marriage, cricket and pinky and the brain allows the reader to truly appreciate  what the book is about; which is the hard work, the determination, the ups and  downs that come with the bravery of following your dreams.

What makes this book one of my go to reads and one that I highly recommend, is that its authenticity and the lessons shared go beyond business, it is a book which shares valuable lessons that I believe anyone can apply on their path in  achieving their dreams. Here I share just a few of my favourite lessons that I hope will encourage you to make this book your next buy.

The lessons:

Lesson 1:  from the title of the book

Often, the title of the book determines whether or not a person will buy a book.  The title is the readers first impression, it is the creator of anticipation, expectation and even disinterest in a book. This book had me at “searching through dustbins.” The excellent use of imagery propelled me to read  and see  how the author would connect the words  ‘searching through dustbins’ and becoming an entrepreneur  or whether this would be an account of how he literally searched through dustbins while he tried to start his different businesses.   

“I’ve heard so many friends and acquaintances say that they believe they’ll find their passion in entrepreneurship; or at least a sense of purpose and meaning. While that’s entirely possible, the truth is that you’ll have to search through dustbins to find it. And you’ll face a lot of rejection in the meantime.”  

Many of us are anxious to be fulfilling our purpose and leading meaningful lives, we also feel pressured   when we watch those of our peers who have found and are living their purpose. The lesson is to appreciate  that the search for your purpose   is not  a linear process, it is a journey littered with  trials and errors, rejections;  yeses and nos. it is a lesson on patience and perseverance.

 Lesson 2: from chapter 2

One of my favourite chapters  is titled “why do you do what you do?” a simple yet loaded question.  Anyone who has been to an interview in the legal profession (and any other profession) has most probably been asked “why did you study law or why do you want to be an attorney/advocate?”  Abed, highlights just how important your why is and for me, emphasizes  the importance of being able to answer possibly the most dreaded interview question.  In his words “it’s critical to know why you want to start a business; and that why must be so compelling that it keeps you going during tough times.” The lesson is that any journey or career path you choose will come with challenges, if you don’t understand why you have chosen that specific path or if your why is not aligned with who you  truly are,  it may be difficult to overcome those challenges. However, understanding your why will give you the will power  to keep going.

Lesson 3:  from chapter 9

In Chapter 9, titled “Success: what does it look like?”  Abed encourages the readers to define success for themselves. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want to be successful, everyone I know is committed to being successful, in their careers, relationships, and parenthood amongst others. The lesson is twofold, first is to  acknowledge that success will not look the same for all of us; second define success for yourself and set the goals that will lead you to achieve your definition of success.


“Searching Through Dustbins: an authentic account of the birth of a business” may have been written with the entrepreneur in mind but the lessons shared in this book are for all of us. All of us need to remember our why,  define  success for ourselves and  continue to be patient and persevere through our different journeys.  There are many more valuable lessons shared in the book that I continue to apply in my own life, so I encourage you to read this book and learn from an entrepreneur.  In the words of Abed Tau “Happy Searching!!”


Nthabiseng Motsie is  a 29 year old second year Candidate Attorney, currently serving her Articles of Clerkship at a boutique corporate and commercial law firm.  She obtained her LLB degree from Witwatersrand  and has an Honours and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Sociology)  degree respectively.

She has recently passed her board exams and looks forward to Admission as an Attorney. She is passionate about dispute resolution which entails focusing on dispute circumvention, risk management, advising clients on the correct and beneficial strategy to resolve disputes. Her intention is to practice and specialize in  all forms of dispute resolution including but not limited to, litigation, mediation, arbitration, and negotiation.

She is an avid reader, not only because reading is the main work of a legal professional but mainly because she believes in the power of books to impact and change our lives for the better. She appreciates the way authors are able to express some of our own thoughts,  teach us different life lessons and provide a joyful escape from our own realities.  Some of her favourite books are, ‘I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai’, ‘The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo’, ‘Maybe you Should talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb’ and  ‘A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson’.

She hopes that through her contribution to For Women in Law, she not only instills a genuine love for reading but also share books that are assisting her as she navigates and finds her place in the legal profession and continues to grow as a black woman.

“I hope the joy that reading brings me, will find you and that you may find and read books that bring you Joy. Blessings!”

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