Kenyan Apprentice challenger an inspiration

When I think of Liza Mucheru-Wisner, I see a young successful entrepreneur, mother, wife and future Apprentice. I learnt about her engagements to during her visit to Kenya and I couldn’t help but think about some of the character traits that our young entrepreneurs can borrow or learn from her.

I knew Liza when she was young and even played golf with her in Muthaiga. A great golfer I must say, and even represented Kenya a couple of times in various tournaments; thus her competitive nature and determination I believe, got her to where she is now despite losing her mentor and source of motivation (her father). Unlike many, this was not a stumbling block for her but stepping stones that elevated her to be the best she can be.

As I look at her life I cannot help but draw comparison from her athletic nature and business life to how she transformed some of these athletic abilities and traits to work for her as an entrepreneur. You are probably asking what I mean by this… As an athlete, there are certain traits she developed and used to her advantage as an entrepreneur thus achieving success.

Borrowing this example of an athlete there are certain parallels we can draw. First and foremost, athletes practice and hone their skills in what interests them or what they want to do. They face fierce competition sometimes winning by the smallest margin, establish small and long term goals, strategies and tactics, achieve some of these goals and targets, deal with success and most times recover from failures and setbacks among others. However you must agree that for them it’s all about hard work (with the long hours training), perseverance, determination and teamwork.

I believe these are some of the things Liza has applied as an entrepreneur and contender in the Apprentice. You will always face competition but how you go about handling it, how you develop your strategies and achieve them will determine if at all you will go anywhere or at least move up the performance ladder.

I once heard that success relies on the ability to continually move performance to higher levels thus, what you achieve this year will never be good enough next year.

You need to go back to the drawing board, re-think your strategies, create goals and standards that will help you move onward and upward, creating an unrelenting demand to find new means and methods to ensure the delivery of performance curves that can seem tantalizingly, or even impossibly, out of reach.

When you do this you realise that you are preparing yourself for the business world that neither waits for no man nor sympathises with them.

I am sure you have watched at least one episode of the Apprentice and know that it’s one hot oven particularly when you get into the boardroom. Therefore as a business leader and entrepreneur, Liza’s ability to reach this far was because of her competitive nature and ability to thrive under almost inhuman pressure.

Bear in mind that the key to sustained excellence we see from athletes and business leaders is their development of mental toughness. They excel when the heat is turned up and are able to stay focused on the things that really matter in the face of a multitude of potential distractions. They are able to bounce back from setbacks with a determination and intense desire to succeed and most significantly they are able to maintain their belief in themselves in the most trying circumstances.

You can never go wrong if you believe in yourself!

W.D. Wattles, the author of the famous book, ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ once said that it is your concentrated purpose (determination) to reach what you want, your faith that you WILL reach what you want and your doing successfully everything you have to do which keeps you moving towards your goal.

Finally, if at all there is one thing you should learn from Liza’s story, it is not to give up but rather be tough and courageous in whatever you do in life. She persevered based on the adversities she endured, focused on the one thing she was interested in and that took her to meeting one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs Donald Trump. So do what you need to do, to get where you want to be.

To the Kenyan youth, do not let us down! This country has produced many great men and women and will continue to do so if you take charge and produce excellence that the world will recognise. May you follow in the footsteps of CNN Hero 2010 nominee Evans Wadongo and continue doing that which you are cable of doing to achieve success.

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