Meet Agricultural Engineer, Dairy Trainer & Motivational Speaker Miriam Mapako

Miriam Mapako is an agricultural engineer and dairy trainer specializing in mastitis control in dairy parlours. She is also a personal development transformational speaker and thought-provoking content writer.

“My job is to impact individuals to be better version of themselves by helping them to see that, with the right mindset and attitude, anything is achievable in life,” Miriam told The Weight She Carries.  

There is so much to unpack about all the awesome work she does. So we asked her to tell us more about her entrepreneurial journey.

Let’s talk about your professional background.

I am a hands-on person and love problem-solving. I worked as an agricultural engineer at Tanroy Engineering in Msasa from 2009 to 2012, which specialized in manufacturing post-harvest machinery. I further developed myself personally from 2013 to 2017 with courses in medical missionary, nutrition and healthy cooking, and competency in sign language. In 2018, I joined the dairy industry, which I continue to work in today.

Why did you switch from the harvest to the dairy industry?

Besides being in love with what I do, it was for the money. I saw more opportunities in the dairy industry. There was stiff competition in the post harvest industry and business was going down.

I train dairy staff on effective hygiene and correct milking in the parlour to control mastitis, which is a common disease that causes economic loss in dairy industries due to reduced yield and poor quality of milk. Mastitis is an inflammation of one or more quarters of the udder tissue in the mammary gland caused by microorganism infection.

How do you balance your lifestyle being a farmer, speaker, and writer?

Time management is important to balance work and passion. Work-life balance is mandatory to avoid straining yourself and is good for your mental health. It was not easy for me at first. I struggled.

Being a hands-on person on the farm, I listen to audio books and material on motivation as I work to enrich and develop myself. I also walk with a small notebook and pen. When I am not listening to audio books, I write down ideas as they come to my mind. And when I am relaxed, I expand my ideas and create content.

I am often invited for a speaking engagement, which, in most cases, I am told in advance so I have time to prepare. If it’s short notice, I have to work extra hours at night to prepare since during the day, there will be less time to sit and prepare. Sometimes, if there is need, the time I am supposed to speak is adjusted to my availability.

What do you think are the challenges faced by women in your field and how these can be overcome?

●Giving orders to men in a male dominated industry – This was my greatest challenge when I was in the post-harvest industry.
●Women face sexual harassment – I have seen these on several occasions.
● Identity crisis – I have seen most women faking who they are just to please men.

●Be authentic, be yourself, be confident, and set boundaries – Don’t be afraid to speak out.
●Be principled, value yourself, and don’t waste yourself on temporary pleasure – Don’t solve a temporary problem with a permanent solution.
●Don’t be manipulated.

To that one woman who needs to hear this: Sometimes in life, because of the choices we make, we may think we are cursed or have bad luck. There are women who think they have bad luck, generation curses, or are cursed. Sometimes it only takes one firm decision to change your life.

I believe with personal development, knowing who you truly are, knowing your values, being principled, setting goals, visualizing what you want in life, daily affirmations, programming your mindset to think positively, daily meditation, and gratitude change your life.

Whatever you want and believe you can achieve is possible. If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hands. You have the power to create the life you want.

My advice is to know WHO you are and WHAT you are. When you have a dream and a vision, your job is to start walking. As you start walking and communicating, you will start attracting people around you that will help you make it happen.

Write down a list of skills you are good at, reduce that list to the skills people will pay you to do. Then further reduce that list to the skills you enjoy doing. Focus on those ones and make that your business.

What is your advice to women who want to venture into farming and personal development?

●If you want to be successful in life, you must be intentional and be determined to succeed. There are challenges but when you are intentional and hungry about what you want, you are unstoppable.
●Like any other business in farming, you have to plan everything. You must be able to account for every dollar used to see how your cash is flowing.
●Find coaches and mentors to help you in your desired field. Network with other people in your field. You will always need others no matter what field you are in. Attend workshops as they help you interact with other farmers and share experiences.
● Never be ashamed to cry for help when you need it.
●Have a vision of what you want to achieve, set goals, and write them down.
●Be intentional about what you want to achieve.
●Never be afraid of failing and never give up. When you fail, change your approach not your goals.
●With personal development, you must be principled and intentional. It takes courage to start personal development. You have to choose your circle of friends wisely and surround yourself with people with a positive mindset. In some instances, you may even lose some friends.
●Time management and discipline are a must as you have to engage in activities that develop you personally such as exercise, meditation, and reading books. You must be prepared to invest in yourself by taking courses, buying books, eating healthy, exercising, and taking nature walks.
●A mentor, coach, or accountability partner is needed to help you in your personal development journey so you will have someone nearby to encourage you and mentor you in goal achievement.

“I am WHO I am and WHAT I am is an agricultural engineer with a passion to motivate and inspire for the purpose of personal development transformation.”

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