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Sunday, August 31, 2008
Credit to Maishinski. Check the link above for the original source...
Our guys back home have mob talent - but they simply don't know how to make money from it! So they get frustrated and throw stones at the police (blame government) or each other (blame other communities)... :-)
Many of us in Diaspora have experienced intense global competition - and as a result, we have gained useful knowledge that we can share with our fellow Kenyans to help make them successful as entrepreneurs or employees.
We have our part to play in Vision 2030, and we may even realize its objectives in 2020 if we can get as many Kenyans as possible to be successful and self sufficient.
Lesson 1: Know your talent & develop it. Have some general knowledge about your area of specialization - but be EXTREMELY good at one thing (e.g. Database Tuning / Financial Analysis / Applications Programming etc). Dont try to be an expert in everything - just the one thing you enjoy the most.
Lesson 2: Believe that you control your own destiny. Don't expect handouts from governments, politicians etc. Be a go-getter. Get one good suit; get appointments with potential business contacts; discuss our product/service with them and land some deals.
Lesson 3: Market yourself. Whats your unique selling proposition? Why should someone pay you for your talent? The answer to that is the value of your talent. Dont do what "river-road businesses" do (i.e. At XYZ enterprises river-road, we specialize in everything, cleaning, building, painting, computers, typing, ironing, babysitting etc) - no one believes them!
Lesson 4: Know some basic business:
-ACCOUNTING; Break even points, cash flow statements, balance sheets, P&L.
-LAW; contracts, sale of goods, forms of businesses, licensing;
- MANAGEMENT strategy making (five forces/value chain etc); HR issues etc
- SELLING, ADVERTISING and MARKETING - and the difference between the three!
- ENTREPRENEURSHIP - how to start and run your own business..
Lesson 5: Read. Read. Read. Read. You dont have to go to college to learn accounts, management, entrepreneurship, etc. Cultivate a reading habit.
Lesson 6: Stay curent. Go online once a week and visit Bloomberg, FT, Investopedia, Bdafrica. Approx 20 mins - 20bob. Reasonable cost/week to stay on top.
Lesson 7: Be CONSTANTLY on the lookout for new ideas or opportunities that can be turned into money makers. For example if in the budget they talk about ICT villages in upcountry - see whether that's something you can do. If the minister announces that Matatus will be parked outside CBD - consider a coffee shop near the station. If CBD is to be a pedestrian city in future, think of possible tourism opportunities and start working on proposals... if Fibre optic is coming, think of online sales, remote software contracts, shareware, value added services, IT consulting, BPO etc etc.
Lesson 8: Protect your intellectual property. Never give out source code for free. Never publish your invention/discovery without getting a patent first. Share your business - not your IP. IP is too valuable!!!!
Lesson 9: Don't give up. Read about successful business people. They all have failed in their initial effort. The only thing is they failed smartly - and learned from their failures. Failing smartly is about planning for eventuality of failure so you can minimize its financial impact! Always test your business idea at a small scale first. If it's an area you don't know about, volunteer to work for a future competitor for low salary so you can learn the nuances of the business and survival tricks before you start your own...
Lesson 10: Watch the Apprentice Season 1 (Donald Trump): You will learn that its easy to get rich legitimately. If you really want something you will get it. The episode where the guys made $1,000 selling lemonade really stumped me! The simplest of businesses brought in Ksh 67,000/= in ONE DAY!!! Why? Because the candidates put their ALL; they put their best efforts to win. No handouts from IMF, CDF or YDF - just plain simple brains and hard work.