If there is one thing that has irked me the most about young Kenyans, it is the general tendency among many to ‘get rich quick’, no matter the means.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to succeed, desiring to be the best at something, or wanting to acquire better things for yourself. It would be incredible if more and more people could achieve all that and more. The problem is the methods people are willing to use to get there as quickly as possible.
THERE IS NO SHORTCUT: No matter how hard you may try, there exists no ‘get rich quick’ scheme that will make you strike it rich, fast. It simply doesn’t exist. Too often we try to accelerate the process. I’ve seen people attach themselves to other’s projects (as brokers) in the hope of riding a positive wave.
I’ve seen people ask for ridiculous amounts of money to ‘start up/grow’ their small business. I’ve seen people pitch ideas of corporations; entire groups of companies – in the hope that we wouldn’t realize what the real hope was, and best of all – people pitching us exactly what we do; “We’re in the same space so we can definitely grow together”.
The problem with all of this is that you are easily spotted. When it’s clear that you add no value to a project, or you’re just in for a big paycheck, you’ll be axed faster than you can imagine.
TAKE THE STAIRS: In life, we’re confronted by many ‘escalators’. Maybe it’s someone who can be bribed to ‘speed up’ a process, or something similar. Many times it can be very tempting to just say YES and move along. The question becomes; how far are you willing to go with your YES? Where do you draw the line once you’ve crossed it? When you take a wrong turn to get to the place you want to go to – you create more and more problems for yourself, always having to turn around and head back – or end up at the wrong destination.
Look at corruption and shortcuts offered by others in the same way. It’s a wrong turn in the journey of life to your destination. It can derail you entirely. Take the stairs always. It will take you longer, but you will get there without having done things that would affect your character and integrity – irrespective of whatever you see around you.
Ask anyone who has succeeded and they’ll tell you the same thing. “Before every successful person there are many unsuccessful years.” We like to think that people just dropped from the sky with money in their pockets and no one else can succeed like that because they didn’t have the same exposure or ‘blessings’.
That, respectfully, is nonsense. We make a ton of excuses to justify our own failings in light of others successes. “He must have stolen it”, “She must be in Government”, “They were born with it! That’s how they are rich”. All sorts of crazy stories will surface purely to excuse our own lack of ambition, determination, or inability to cease opportunities when they present themselves.
The truth is, everyone who is considered successful has put in YEARS of hard work and made many personal sacrifices along the way. It’s not glamorous, it’s not glitzy. This reality – 8 hour work days, 6 days a week. That’s what my week looks like. Very rarely will a lazy attitude with your head in the clouds lead to success.
When you’re planning the years ahead, map out the best case and worst case scenarios for your life. See where you could be if you worked very hard, DAILY with what you have – and see where you could be if you do not put in the effort. The choice is yours. I guarantee you there is no golden ticket to wealth. It is years and years of hard work with little reward at the start. Success belongs to those who are willing to put in that work – no one else.
By Heshan De Silva