Patrick is doing much more than training his sons in business. He’s teaching them about perseverance, diligence, and pursuing excellence, too.
Patrick and his wife have four adult children—one daughter and three sons—and live on the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe. A trained mechanic, Patrick has worked for decades at shops around town. But over the years, a dream of opening his own business has been emerging.
So, in his late fifties, Patrick took the plunge and opened up a car repair and maintenance shop in his backyard.
Business picked up right away, and Patrick quickly outgrew his backyard shop. He began renting a larger workshop in town and hired on his three sons to help him keep up with demand. Plus, he hoped this would equip them to take over the business one day.
With a desire to prepare as well as possible for that day and professionalize his business, Patrick attended business training through our local network in Zimbabwe. He also joined a savings group and received his first business loan.
With this help, Patrick's business continued to steadily grow, and his sons continued to refine their car repair skills and business acumen.
Patrick received a second loan, but before he was able to use it to expand his business, he suddenly fell ill. He was hospitalized for over a year, but miraculously his business did not close. The years he had invested in faithfully building his business and training his sons paid off. They maintained Patrick’s high standard of excellence in all operations.
At first, clients were skeptical about leaving their cars with Patrick's sons, but they eventually learned to trust them as much as they did Patrick.
In 2018, Patrick was finally discharged from the hospital and he dove right back into his business.
Once again, he began dreaming of how to take his business to the next level. His first move was to team up with two other businesspeople: a tire specialist and a car spray painter. Offering multiple services at one location has provided all three businesses with a competitive advantage. They also benefit from sharing costs and accessing one another’s customers.
Today, Patrick still participates in the savings group and receives access to capital. He also continues to train and mentor his sons, who have joined the savings group, too, and will soon participate in business training.
When Patrick isn’t spending time with family or working on his business, he volunteers with local efforts that help people affected by HIV and AIDS.
Just like any Zimbabwean, Patrick's business has been greatly affected by the recent fuel price hikes, fuel shortages, and the multi-currency system. For him, it means that if his business fails then his sons also fail along with him—and this is his motivation to succeed. He is up-to-date with his loan repayments, consistently keeps his clients happy by doing an excellent job, and works hard to innovate and grow his business every year.
By closely watching Patrick manage the business, his sons have learned that diligence and excellence are vital to business success. They've seen the impact of hard work, and the reward that comes when you prioritize long-term sustainability over short-term gain.
Though Zimbabwe continues to face challenges, Patrick's sons are well-equipped to tackle them head on and grow their family business for decades to come.