A Practical Approach To Life's Challenges Results In Greater Success.
By Philip K. Olesitau, Business Consultant. 25th January 2017.
The seeds of life success or lack thereof in life is often determined by our approach and the choices we make early on with great input from those who have the greatest influence on our lives including; parents, mentors and Associates.
Take for example two businessmen, Njoroge running an electronic shop in River Road and Kamlesh running an Autospares shop along Nyamakima road. Both men take their sons to Kenyatta University (KU) for a degree course of their choice. Kamlesh's son commutes daily from parklands while Njoroge's son lives in a small rented bedsitter in Kahawa Sukari.
Before joining college, Kamlesh's son, Patel used to spend the days at the Autospares shop, a routine he continues over the weekends when he is not going to college. Over the vacations, he even takes over the management of the shop from his father. Njoroge on the other hand believes that River Road is not the place for Kimani, his university going son, so he should instead focus on getting his degree and thereafter get a good paying job.
The two young men graduate aged 24 and 25 years and go their separate ways. Patel, the younger of the two now takes over the running of the family's Autospares shop. Kimani hits the road, looking for the job of his dreams.
Two years later, Kimani gets a first level job as a bank teller and work on it for one year. After twelve months with a meagre income, Kimani gets frustrated and decides to go back for an MBA Finance to improve his CV and hope for better job prospects.
In the same 12 months period, Patel has gained some leadership and management knowledge and skills supervising a workforce of ten employees in two shops; five in the original shop and five in a new shop at industrial area he helped his father establish. He also made international business trips to three countries to source for cheaper and new unique products.
In his interactions with fellow business men during trips to source business stocks in China and India, he meets a Chinese business man who is trying to market some software and computer accessories and parts manufactured in Chine and Singapore. He develops strategic partnership with this new business friend and agreed to be sole distributor in Kenya. After one year of distributorship, business is good and Patel sort and found a suitable new business partner to scale up the shops into a company with international trade links.
At first, the company is operated from the backyard of the industrial area Autospares shop for two years before relocation into it's own premises and compound. In another three years, the company has expanded to Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu with its headquarters in Nairobi premises.
Both men are now 28 and 29. Kimani has gotten a junior manager position with coca cola after graduating with his MBA. Patel is the managing director of Oriental Construction Supplies International, very confident and experienced in making business deals. He is overseeing and coaching a sales team of 25 that now approaches several hundred retail hardwires across East Africa to do presentations and convince them to take up the quality portfolio of OCSI products.
When he moved to head OCSI, Patel passed on the Autospares shops, now five across Nairobi to his younger siblings.
Kimani is now driving a saloon car on loan and is always on the look out for greener pastures. Patel now drives Toyota Land cruiser V8 and is mainly seen lunching out in the best hotels in the city. Most of his lunches are also business dates with construction companies executives and procurement managers that he gladly pays for. During one of the luncheons, Kimani bumps into his former comrade Patel at Pan African Hotel when Kimani was running a staff end of quarter meeting. They exchanged pleasantries and caught up on their different career paths. To cut the long story short, Kimani ends up becoming one of OCSI's managers with slightly better pay package based on strict deliverables.
Now, we all can clearly see where the real entrepreneurship and skills building classes begin, and that a strong foundation is all our youth requires. Not only during our youth but every milestone of life. You can start a better, practical journey today to be a job creator rather than a job seeker. To be a better product or service developer and not just a consumer. To be an innovative current or new problem/ challenge solver and not a whiner.