Last week Wednesday I invited some entrepreneurs from KCA students and some of my Twitter followers to have a round table session with me. Time and time again, I like to sit down with young people to hear what they are doing, the challenges they have undergone to get to where they are and also give them an opportunity to ask me anything they want. I was really impressed with the gentlemen and lady who I had to entertain for about 90 minutes.
One gentleman brought me a gift, I think it was a Nyatiti (the musical instrument) and for sure I will not forget him. Young people, if you are going to meet your mentor or a prominent person then make sure you create an impact. Make them remember you and have you at the back of their minds in case they may need your services. It’s very strategic but it works.I am sure very many have got jobs and business opportunities this way so it’s possible.
I met Esther Ndegwa during this round table session and take it from me, she is very smart and is destined for success. This lady took a risk and ventured into a part of the industry that no one really focuses on. She has a company that focuses on Post-Construction cleaning.
Now, I’m in the property industry and I can tell you that more often than not contractors hire a few casuals for this particular service knowing that there will be a company coming in to handle cleanliness after or each tenant would clean their space. This lady however, took a clever approach of not just being like any other cleaning company but made sure that she is known as the expert in post-construction cleaning as well as other cleaning and maintenance services. Esther took a calculated risk to create a good reputation and give herself an edge over the other cleaning companies when it came to pitching for maintenance later on.
Unlike Esther, when I was starting out I had no clue what I was going to do but I was determined to be my own employer. I had met a few friends who I assisted to sell insurance and I became very good at it. Eventually, I became a Director in the company and when time came for them to go back to their country, I bought one of their companies. I wasted no time and seized that opportunity using the credibility I had built.
Walking away from a job is not easy and requires a lot of planning particularly with finances. However, if you have built a good and credible image then many people will sell you. But if you have a bad image then people will keep away and warn others to do so.
Esther did not have enough starting capital but she didn’t make a pity party out of it. She had already done a few jobs for other people and used her savings and credible base to start out. Like I always say, Save Save Save, and save even some more! This money will come in handy one day.
Use those savings to generate more money so that eventually you have enough to start out your dream. And when you start, are you out to make a good reputation or just concerned with driving sales and making yourself rich?