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Masiyiwa Says No Joking Allowed In Business

Econet founder, Strive Masiyiwa has encouraged entrepreneur’s and business people to stop the habit of any silly jokes when conducting business.
Writing on his facebook page, the billionaire encouraged joking only to be done with friends or when you have known each other with business colleagues to be able to earn that kind of joking environment.
By Ross Moyo
Masiyiwa said,
“Pause: Joking around can cost you…
When I was a young entrepreneur, I travelled to Asia to meet a very serious group of investors with a member of my team who was very smart but had one weakness; he loved to joke around. For the most part, it was harmless and it usually put people at ease.
”As we sat down to start our meeting, my colleague made a joke that was funny back home, but our host did not find it funny; actually they were not amused at all. It was a disaster!
The problem with jokes is they don’t always work when you are dealing with people from other cultures, or even with people of another generation. It is very, very risky and can take away any chance of raising capital or finding serious partners.
”Ever since that incident, I realized that joking around with people should only be done after you have gotten to know them better. Personally, I don’t like joking around and I avoid being forward and familiar until the other side has shown me their comfort.
”I will never forget the offense taken by a senior Nigerian business leader because a member of my team addressed him by his first name on our first meeting. He ended the meeting!
So here is my advice: If you like joking around, sharing jokes etc., just remember that in the world of #SeniorClass entrepreneurship it can be like carrying a banner saying: “Please don’t take me seriously!”
Masiyiwa went on to encourage business minds to be business minded and serious, adding
”When you meet potential investors, do everything you can to signal, “I’m serious; so serious that you can trust me with your money”.
”Leave the joking to your friends at home. Stay focused, even when making comments on a platform like this one, because you never know who is reading, or who will look you up online in the future.”
“Be careful what you say; everyone has a different way of seeing it”.
Ross Moyo

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