Managing Editor Wangari Kimani Advertising Executives Nahashon Mithanga Contributors Wangari Kimani Herbert Karani Design and Photography Frederick Rukungu Nahashon Mithanga Special Thanks: Retirement Benefits Authority of Kenya Distribution & Circulation Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd. Published by: Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd. P.O. Box 24329, Karen 00502 Copyright Information Esteemed is a bi-monthly magazine published by Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd. Views expressed in the articles and contributions are not necessarily those of the publisher. All rights reserved. While every reasonable effort has been made and precautions taken to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the content herein, neither the Esteemed team, nor its advertisers, nor printers can accept responsibility for any damages or inconvenience that may arise there from. The views expressed within the publication are those of the authors exclusively and not necessarily those of the Esteemed owners. Any material sent to us will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and may or may not be acknowledged as receipted. This material will also be subject to scrutiny for unrestricted editing and commentary at the discretion of the Editorial team. All content, including adverts created by Esteemed are Copyright of Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd. and may not be recreated in part or in whole without prior consent of the publishers. Copyright ©
te o e N For all those who ever went to school, the first
m day of class was one they would give anything not to exle co perience again. It felt like stepping out into a whole new and the people who normally hold your hand are W world abandoning you to strangers. Even if you fall, mama
won’t be there to kiss you and make the pain go away. The best that can happen after soiling the very immaculate white new shirt or dress is to stand up, dust yourself off and continue walking. At the premier of Esteemed, it gives us great honor in the editorial team to bring a good read to the table after years of contemplation and mark timing. Great Talent and inspiration precedes the content so it is a sure thing that Esteemed will live up to its name. While most of us are at different levels of life, the one thing that remains constant in this changing world is our need to prosper, make money and acquire great wealth; always keeping one step ahead of the other and in our sunset years, to look back on our lives and see the fruits of our labor living beyond us. The team behind Esteemed researched and generated a magazine for working professionals and entrepreneurs – persons who are just starting out on the stimulating path of wealth creation and success achievement or just want a change or a new challenge.
Contents Entrepreneurship vs. Employment Josim Interview Page 3 Business Principles Page 4 Investing Wisely Increase your income with lost weight Page 5 Perspectives Challenging the Esteemed You Page 6 Quiet Time Page 7
We have featured interviews with people who have walked through quagmires, stepped on hot coals, gone through life’s storms and made it through to shine amongst us. We also have a column dedicated specially to help the upcoming business world movers and shakers to restore “honest scales” in their areas of conquer. There is a lot within the pages of Esteemed that will not allow you to keep it down until you are through with each page. We look forward to hearing from you – your comments, suggestions, criticism and applaud is welcome. Should you also require us to feature someone in our interviews section, please let us know and we will be glad to give you another good read. Liz - Managing Editor
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Entrepreneurship vs. Employment
Josim (K) Ltd. - a story of persistence & passion
hen a friend asked me to accompany them to Josim (K) Ltd for a car check up, I thought it would be “just another garage or service centre” where you would find mechanics covered in grease and halfbuttoned overalls that look like they have never seen a detergent or water since being purchased. What greeted me can only begin to be compared with what some of the large vehicle service corporates are just starting to grow away from thanks to vision, strategies and ever growing targets. Josim is set up in the backyard of Nairobi’s infamous shopping centre, Nairobi West, about 20 minutes drive from the city centre off Lang’ata road. It is a private company whose directors partnered for a venture they had shared passion and vision for. Esteemed had the honor of speaking to John and Simon about their “baby” and this is what they had to say: (S - Simon,, J - John, E - Esteemed)
E: What is Josim and what is your core business? S: Josim is a business enterprise that was started in February 1999 as a partnership between John Magunga and I (Simon Mwawasi). Josim’s core business is Vehicle Security. That basically covers Alarms, gear locks, car identity systems and soon, we look forward to providing more advanced security options to our customers. J: Due to increased customer demands of a one stop service shop, we have also diversified into mechanical work i.e. vehicle servicing, key cutting and lock repairs, sales and fitting of car accessories as well as spray painting – body works E: What constitutes who you are today? S: We used to be work mates at what is today, one of our competitors. We used to work as technicians earning very little. So one day we began talking and actually realized that we had more to offer customers if we were our own bosses. J: We realized that to grow our business, we needed each other. You know two brains are better than one. We started with sharing ideas and decided by working together we will cover more ground. We then decided to create a partnership. Out of this agreement and with only Kshs. 20,000.00 as our starting cash capital, came Josim Auto Select Services right here in Nairobi West; and we only had four cars to work on (that belonged to friends) and two staff i.e. the two of us. E: What has it taken to get to where you are right now? S: Initially, the very thought of failure and being forced to go back to employment was enough to keep us away from giving up. The thought of what little income we were getting from working hard for someone compared to what we knew we could get if we were self-employed was a very big catalyst to our efforts at making Josim grow. We began by being door-to-door salesmen for our service, asking those who opened their doors to us, if they would like someone to attend to their car in terms of car security. Then one day John met with someone from Uganda. J: For us, this was the break we needed. Operating from a fellow mechanic’s premises, at a price of course, we fitted a security system on the gentleman’s car and he went away. Soon after that the Ugandan got in touch again with us through a telephone bureau phone which we used to give as our contact. He wanted me to go to Uganda to fit some alarms on a fleet of vehicles. This was a test for us because between the rent and normal daily running costs, the Kshs. 20,000/- was almost over. So buy borrowing from some friends and family, we were able to raise enough money to buy the alarms and I left for Uganda. The job gave us a major boost and we were able to repay the money we had borrowed and the balance we invested it into the business. We moved from the premises to a new location in the same vicinity 9 months after we began the business. We decided not to change so much because our few customers had just began knowing our location and shifting to a totally different one would have been a big blow for us. We were able to land on our feet because of a two year contract we signed up for. This gave us a steady income and we were even able to employ more staff to help us with the jobs we had. S: Before we became established, we used to do everything, clean the premises, marketing, management work – book keeping, mechanics, install the alarms, customer reception, everything was on our shoulders. J: Today, with 25 employees, our service capacity on week days is 15 cars per day with weekends – Saturday being highly busy. We also had to shift location again due to this increase in business. E: What are the driving values of the business? S: What drives us at Josim are values that we cultivate into our staff from day one. (1) 360° feedback. Without this feedback you cannot tell if your customer is happy or if our staff are well equipped for the job. Feedback compliments our market research as we are able to know what our competition is up to and what we should be embracing as customer oriented solutions.
J: (2) Acceptance of Challenges and (3) Breeding of Patience. We do not believe in saying something is difficult or impossible if we have not even tried it. We do not give false promises to our customers about getting a problem solved but we try our best and more often than not, it does generate some positive results. (4) We are all equally important. Each person has something to contribute to the success of the business. S: (5) Outstanding workmanship – If we treat our customers wrong and unsatisfactorily, they will not tell others that we are good. If we treat them well, they will not only tell others, but they will also be loyal customers who bring us repeat business. As managers, we also go out there to see that the work being done on every car, is the best that Josim can offer. (6) Value every job that comes in – a lot of people look down upon the small incomes. At Josim, every job is important, whether it is changing a bulb or replacing a wiper blade, or re-spraying an entire car, it is all about the customer. (7) Take care of your workforce and they will take care of your customers E: What are some of the challenges you are facing? J: Financial – some of our customers whom we have offered credit facilities have a huge amount of outstanding debt which if paid up would be a big boost to the business. S: Professional/ Academic – we are technical professionals but when it comes to running your own business, you need more skill than that. We do not want to run the business to the ground. J: Competition – It is growing every day and we can only keep ahead if we know what they are up to and if we offer our customers a level of service that they cannot get anywhere else. J: Rent – this is eating into our income in a very big way. S: Infrastructure to access the premises – The roads leading to our present location are not smooth and we hope that the responsible authorities will repair as we are losing customers who may not want to drive Amid the smiling, we them their cars over such potholed roads.
could tell that this interview was also a trip down memory lane for the two men
E: Are there any plans for expansion outside or within other parts of Nairobi? J: There are plans. As you know, a business move has to be well calculated for it to have any level of success. E: Where does your family fit into the picture? S: Right from the word go, our families have been very supportive; with advice, spiritual support and financially.
E: For people who want to pursue a career in the business, what would your advice be? S: Have – Passion – this will keep you there even when the money stops flowing; Patience – it will keep you strong and hopeful even when things don’t work out as you planned them; Determination – it will keep you fighting. E: What is the biggest investment one can make in pursuit of his/ her dreams? J: Start with what you know. Understand, learn and know the dynamics of the business you are getting into. E: If you were to relive your life all over again, would you do anything differently? (Both answer the same) While everything else remains the same, we would invest in some business studies E: What are the advantages of a partnership over sole proprietorship? S: Business Continuity in one person’s absence J: Capital boosting – capital resources are more compared to if one was alone S: Shared ideas because everyone thinks differently and that increases the viability and performance of the business. E: What are the major challenges of a partnership? S: Disagreements on principles – for instance, he (nodding off in the direction of John) may want us to invest in something but I express my reservations about it, and vice versa. J: Financial – The point worth noting about challenges arising in partnerships is how the partners resolve them. Amicable resolutions mean they (the partners) can work through the future. E: Employment vs. Entrepreneurship? How do the two compare and what is more viable in our current society? (Both gentlemen are in agreement of this point.) S: Entrepreneurship. It brings out the entire potential in the individual as you have more room for exploration. J: In the current economic environment, entrepreneurship has its rewards, if you do not work at it, there will be no success. E: Any regrets on your journey so far? None whatsoever. It has been challenging but rewarding so far. E: Where do you see your company in 2010? J: We see ourselves having expanded by leaps and bounds.
Dishonest dealings behind your partners back can be disastrous for the business. Page 3
Undiluted but Simplified
John’s and Simon’s success has been and continues to be fuelled by several factors. The most important of these factors are the underlying basic principles of partnerships no matter the industry in which they are to be found. We expound on these principles below. (Source BizStats.com) Have The Same Vision: For a partnership to be successful, all parties involved must agree on the same strategic direction of the company. If one partner wants to build a national chain of retail outlets and the other would just like to earn a decent living, the business will fail in no time. Set a clear agreed course for the business that meets the needs of both partners. Define Business Roles: A winning business partnership capitalizes on the strengths and skills of each partner. Divide business roles according to each individuals strengths. E.g. one partner may be strong in marketing, operations and finance, the other sales, human resources and leadership. Avoid the 50-50 Split: It may seem logical and fair to split the share of ownership into an equal 50%. However, this ownership structure can impair decision making in the future. Instead of having decisions stalemated, consider a 49% to 51% split. If this is not possible, an outside board for bigger issue disagreements can help your company from being deadlocked on decisions. Hold A Monthly Partner Meeting: A strong business partnership is built on an open communicating relationship. Meet on a monthly basis to share grievances, review roles and provide constructive criticism.
he road to entrepreneurship can be lonely. Greater rewards may result from forming a business partnership artnerships offer more freedom for business owners with shared business tasks and the potential to earn greater profits partnership business can be a relationship disaster or a positive experience
Create A Partnership Agreement: It is simple to set up a partnership because no legal documents are needed. Partnerships are often an oral agreement between two or more parties. Potential problems can be averted down the road by drawing up a legal partnership agreement.
Pointers to picking your partner in business
– knowing that your partner will have your back and you will have his/ hers – in good times and bad times
Have it on
paper – if it relates to the business, put it on paper, that way, even in your absence, professionalism comes first to all and second none.
gray lines –
personal is personal and business is business. The two shall never walk hand in hand to a beautiful sunset – especially when emotions come into play.
is a partnership not an employer – employee relationship – when you began, both of you brought something equally important to the table, respect each other’s contribution, even in a 80:20 partnership. You can’t make 100 without the 20!
Openly – Argue, consult, agree, concede, retreat, bet, haggle and reach a consensus. It is the only way to appreciate each others thoughts and values.
Contents of a Business Partnership Agreement What should be covered in a good business partnership agreement? According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the agreement should include the following: Amount and type of investment by each partner e.g. partner A brings in a cash capital of Kshs. 5,000.00, the second partner brings in a capital of baking equipment. Type of business – one partner may be good with marketing skills and the other excellent at baking. The two can open a small bakery How profits and loss will be shared Partners’ pay and compensation Distribution of assets on dissolution Provisions for changes or dissolving the partnership Dispute settlement clause Settlement in case of death or incapacitation Restrictions of authority and expenditures Length of partnership
Building a small business can be more rewarding and profitable in a partnership environment. Consider a business partnership structure when you have someone to compliment your skill set and add value to your company. Partnerships can work when the right foundation is laid in the beginning.
To advertise here, please contact our advertising team Tel.: 0733 609 771 E-mail: email@example.com
Investing wisely Wealthy at the treadmill A lot of people are beginning to realize how important their health is and they are willing to pay a tidy amount to maintain a long, healthy lifestyle. A professionally managed gym or fitness centre offering affordable service would no doubt then be a recommended source of income.
Your implementation of this idea should entail a thorough research on several areas: 1. Location 2. Capital Required and its source 3. Target Clientele 4. Employees required 5. Employees Remuneration 6. Resources needed once the centre is operational (Equipment, Furniture, Stationery, e.t.c.) 7. Governing laws and regulations 8. Licences required 9. Expected income levels 10. Marketing Required 11. Level of service to attract and maintain your clientele 12. Viability of the idea and potential for growth 13. Lifespan of the business 14. Competition 15. Security 16. Insurance 17. Service Rate i.e. what will you charge your clientele compared to what is charged by competitors or in the market 18. Business name 19. Service Offered 20. Layout/ Structuring
The biggest investment you will make for its success is the research and work you put into it. Tips for the self-starter: 1. Stop procrastinating. You can start today 2. Be committed. Be willing and ready to put in the time and effort that will be required to get your business off the ground and into the sky 3. Know your game. You will be offering a product or a service. Does your target clientele want it or need it? Do you love it? Because if you do, it will keep you going even when the money well dries up. Be good at it. Are you good with baking? Talking to others? Work on that. 4. Be a good learner. One who is not afraid to ask and learn from the contributions of others. Information is power. You do not know it all but by talking to people, you will be surprised at what you can learn. 5. Learn to manage your finances and human resource element. Both can make you or break you.
NB: Publishers Disclaimer: The publisher is not engaged in the business of rendering financial, legal or other professional advice. If such advice and or information is required in relation to the investment idea highlighted herein, the services of professionals should be sought. No responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of material in this publication can be accepted.
Writing your business plan With this first edition of Esteemed, we will begin a series on creating a business plan. If you keep at it with us, we endeavor to create a presentable business plan that will help launch a successful business. What is a Business Plan? A business plan is the road map for your business. It is a document that details the point of your beginning, what you see the business going through and what you envision it to be. The business plan acts in two dimensions â€“ one as a blueprint for your business and second as a tool for financial sourcing. Generating a business plan in essence brings ownership of your business closer to the heart than it already is. It enables people including the owners to clearly see the business as a whole and not abstract ideas in the mind. Generating a good and workable business plan takes time and hard work. It is founded on the premises that failure to plan is planning to fail. A business planâ€™s content will highly depend on the much research you do for the business. You should also remember that the plan is not a static product. It is and should be a dynamic document that is not thrown into the archives after one year in business. It will change with the diverse operating environment. For instance if you are starting a hotel and the regulations set by the public health act are changed two years after you have began operations, and they are seen to overly affect your business, then you will have to alter your plan accordingly. Another good example is â€“ assuming that after 8 years of operation, you reach your ultimate goal as laid out in the plan. Does it mean then that you will not grow further. You will need to review the document and that will give you the direction that you should take from thereon. Before we get to the next area of business plans, align yourself to the business you have in mind and begin researching on it.
Perspectives Time Management
Challenging the Esteemed you Predetermined Ends. Are they for real?
by Herbert Karani
Too Much To Do, Too Little Time
M. Scott Peck once said, “Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”
One of the laws that are discussed in philosophy is the “law of determinism vis-à-vis the law of free will”.
Herbert takes us through the intricacies of time management. The most common form of stress that we experience is the feeling of being overwhelmed with far too much to do and having too little time to do it in. In fact, “time poverty” is the biggest single problem facing humans today. We simply do not have enough time to fulfill all our responsibilities. Because of a million and one reasons – budget constraints, demands by family members, company downsizing, traffic jams, emergencies and so much more, all of which appear to be indispensable to the smooth functioning of lives, businesses and careers. Well, you can change to the confession Enough Time, Enough Work To Do. You can achieve this by: Becoming a Time Management Expert. It’s probably the one skill that you can learn that will give you a “greater return on investment” as you become extremely knowledgeable and experienced in using time management practices. Be Eager to Learn & Never Stop. The most foolish person of all is either that one who feels that he has no time to learn about time management or, even worse, one who, while being overwhelmed with work, feels that he or she already knows all that he needs to know about the subject. You can study time management and take time management courses for your entire life and you will still never learn everything you need to know to get the most out of yourself while living your life and doing your job in the most efficient way. The ability to set priorities. Since there is never enough time to do everything that needs to be done, you must be continually setting priorities on your activities. Naturally, we all tend to major in minors and minor in the majors to give in to the temptation to clear up small things first. After all, small things are easier and they are often more fun than the big, important things that represent the most valuable use of your time. However, the self-discipline of organizing your work and focusing on your highest value tasks is the starting point of getting your time under control and lowering your stress levels. The ability to concentrate single-mindedly on one thing at a time. Discipline yourself to start on your most important task and stay at that until it is complete. This will relieve much of your stress immediately. Developing this rhythm requires that you start moving and keep moving at a steady rate. Make the decision and take the bold step to start managing your time. There is a famous saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with but one step. Although it may take tremendous amounts of energy to overcome inertia and get going initially, it then takes far less energy to keep going. The faster you move, the more you get done and the more effective you feel. The faster you move, the more experience you get and the more you learn. The faster you move, the more competent and capable you become at your work Stay on Course. One of the simplest and yet most powerful ways to get yourself started is to repeat the words, "Do it now! Do it now! Do it now!" over and over to yourself. If you feel yourself slowing or becoming distracted by conversations or low value activities, repeat to yourself the words, "Back to work! Back to work! Back to work!" over and over. We all have setbacks but not all of us go on after this. Be among the few who do. Herbert can be reached on E-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
he beauty of philosophy is that it makes one think.
Nothing contributes so much to peace of mind as a steady purpose, a point on which the soul may find its intellectual eye. It is by designing a concrete plan for achieving your goal and beginning its pursuit at once whether you’re ready or not to put it into action. Efforts and courage are NOT enough without a purpose and direction. A higher level of purpose, dedication and mindset enables you to accomplish so much more than the average person. Presumably in our Kenyan society we are more inclined to think that financial independence comes courtesy of factors such as family background, education, intelligence, influential contacts, or some other such factor. What, however, has been discovered and is now supposed to take root in our minds is that the major reason for success in life is a particular attitude of mind. How do you achieve this? Develop Long Time Perspective. Highly Successful men and women in this generation and those most likely to move up economically are those who take the future into consideration with every decision they make in the present. For instance your family doctor is among the most respected people in your home area because he or she invested many years of hard work and study to finally earn the right to practice medicine. But from that point onward, these men and women are Sit down today and write out a description of your ideal life ten and twenty years into the future. This automatically develops longer-time perspective
some of the most respected and most successful professional people in any society. Measure the Potential Future Impact. Did you know you can tell how important something is today by measuring its potential future impact on your life. For example, if you choose to buy a house and pay by mortgage for the rest of your working life, the result of that is that even after retirement, you will still have a house to call your own and your children will never struggle or lack for shelter. To measure the impact, determine the results of your actions and what you gain if you act according to a particular plan. look at everything you do in terms of its long-term potential impact on your life. Do more things that have greater long-term value to you
Practice Delayed Gratification. Economists say that the inability to delay gratification (the natural tendency of individuals to spend everything they earn plus a little bit more, and the mind-set of doing what is fun, easy and enjoyable)-is the primary cause of economic and personal failure in life. On the other hand, disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem and personal satisfaction. The long term comes soon enough, and every sacrifice that you make today will be rewarded with compound interest in the great future that lies ahead for you. develop the habit of delaying gratification in small things, small expenditures, small pleasures, so that you can enjoy greater rewards and greater satisfaction in the future
The argument in favor of determinism is that everything that happens has been pre-set to happen and nothing we do can change or influence its occurrence or lack thereof. If anything, even our actions geared towards a particular end were pre-set by a higher power so we have no control over the happenings. On the direct opposite end, the proponents of free-will say that we all have choices to make. That everything that happens is as a result of some choices made by someone. Whatever law is stronger, or whichever law holds more water is a matter for the philosophers to argue and convince their audience. Overtime, what has really come to be seen is that we do have some control over our lives. For instance, if an employed person chooses to save Kshs. 1,000/= every month for a holiday at the coast, he/ she will have that; if one chooses to live daily on the monthly salary awaiting the next paycheck, there will be no monies on the side, even for emergencies. If one chooses not to work, it will mean that at the end of the day, there will be no income. In the same way, if in one’s working life, you choose to save up for your old age through a pension scheme, it means that at your retirement age, you will still have a steady income to get you through the sunset years without great hassle.
7 Reasons why you need to save for Retirement Courtesy of
Retirement Benefits Authority of Kenya Traditional systems of old-age security are breaking down. Are you sure that your children will take care of you when you retire? Advances in medicine and technology are making people live much longer after retirement. Wouldn't you like to maintain or improve your standard of living when you are retried? Contributions to registered retirement Benefits schemes are tax deductible. For example, if you earn Shs 50,000.00 and contribute Shs 5,000.00 to a registered scheme, your PAYE income tax will be calculated on Shs 45,000.00 and not Shs 50,000.00 yet your contribution of Shs 5,000.00 still belongs to you. If you are a member of an occupational retirement Benefits scheme, then your employer also contributes to the scheme, thus effectively increasing your gross earnings. Investment income earned by registered retirement Benefits schemes is tax-free. No withholding tax on interest or dividends, no income tax on rent etc. If you lose your job your retirement Benefits savings can be an invaluable nest egg.
By yourself to rejuvenate Quiet time
by Wangari Kimani
"The Universe is no respecter of persons --- only principles." Gravity is a great principle of the universe and regardless of who you are... regardless of your intelligence... regardless of your wealth (or lack thereof)... you are subject to the law of gravity. Step off the edge of a building and you will get the exact same result that I get if I step off the edge of a building. Success is the same way. It's no respecter of persons --- only principles. To ignore the fact that success is no respecter of persons --- to work yourself to the bone in ignorance or disregard of important principles --- is the quickest way I know to sabotage your success Wise words to get by: One comes to believe whatever one repeats to oneself sufficiently often, whether the statement be true of false. It comes to be dominating thought in one's mind. - Robert Collier
Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire. - Dale Carnegie
Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs. - Dr. Maxwell Maltz
The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by obvious realities. We need men and women who can dream of things that never were. - John F. Kennedy
We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. - Marian Wright Edelman
We must overcome the notion that we must be regular... it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre.Uta Hagen
It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference. - Paul "Bear" Bryant
The principle of the Law of Attraction is that whatever you are seeking in the Universe is also seeking you. - Vic Johnson
It's not what you are that holds you back, it's what you think you are not. - Denis Waitley
If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. - Lewis Carroll Poetry of the heart SMILE - Author Unknown A Smile costs nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor, but that he can be made rich by it. A Smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature's best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone, until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile; Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.
Inspired by the one who owns cattle over a thousand hills
hen I read the word of God and I look at the people He chose to do His work, I am amazed. Look at Noah, when God told him to build the ark, the man was 600 years old (in the current generation, this is not possible especially when you consider that anyone above 100 years is extremely old). He was the only one found righteous in the sight of God when God wanted to finish the world because of its sin. Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Joseph, Samson, David, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, Job, Esther, Ruth, Sarah, Hannah, Rahab, Mary and many more of these great men and women. None of them had anything to offer the world and they have their names living until today because God saw that they had the potential to do His great and mighty work. Even they did not consider themselves worthy and capable of such great jobs. They just did what they did average. But when they got the revelation of God, they stopped being average and common; and what they then accomplished, was more than anyone could imagine. For each person who made a great accomplishment in the bible, they had a personal meeting with God where a divine revelation was made. None of them just woke up one day and decided to do the great deed. There was a divine assignment. For many of us today, we think that divine assignments ended with the biblical times documented in the bible. But they did not. They are still as alive as we are. I keep asking one question every time I find myself wondering if I will make it to be a successful person who does the will of God and one who has a purpose and destiny. The question is – if I worship and have faith unshaken in the same God who made the waters of the Red Sea part ways for the Israelites to cross over while escaping the Egyptians, what makes me think that that same God cannot bring to pass that which I am trusting Him for? It is good to know the bible stories and the miracles that took place because then it reminds one that we are not dealing with “powers that be”. We are dealing with the Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth and Giver of Life. In our path to success over what He has revealed to us and in what we are pursuing, be it employment in a government office, self-employment or philanthropic works, we need to remember that we need to rise above mediocrity and perform at higher levels of excellence and perfection. Even in our businesses, what is so special that removes you away from the rest of the pack? It is time we stopped doing business like everybody else. Point of illustration – if you keep going to sample services in different restaurants and you find that out of five that are in the same lane or block they are all offering the same standard of service, will you bother to go back? Won’t you start diversifying out of that lane to see if those further afield have something different and better to offer? And that is where most of us lose our very dear customers. We get too familiar with them and stop treating them as special, hoping they will understand that that’s just the way things are. As one preacher said, mediocrity creeps in when we believe that we have it all.
Excellence in your business and life should not be an achievement; it should be your character. A reference point by which people can refer to or describe you. And how do you achieve that level of perfection and Prime status? 1. Commit all to God. Prime to everything else is the understanding that nothing is possible without God. Failure to include God in all your plans and committing them to God is a recipe for extremely slow movement to your success, if not failure to get there. God gives us the talents, gifts, and resources; by His grace, doors that would previously be closed to you are opened. By committing our plans to Him, His favor precedes us and we are able to achieve more than we even imagined. 2.
Work hard and smart. Ever watched a wind vane, It is important as it gives us the direction of the wind and that is why it is placed so high up with no barriers. Unfortunately it just goes round the same pole, never gets anywhere but it is seen to be working. Now a lot of us are exactly the same. We are working so hard and not getting anywhere because we have got no particular direction we are going to. Working smart allows God the opportunity to answer the prayers we make concerning our success and it allows us to utilize the gifts and talents that God put in each one of His human creation.
Stop being afraid. I once heard someone say that fear aborts God’s blessings for us and it also keeps us away from God’s blessings. If Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group of companies) had been afraid to risk his life while crossing the Atlantic airborne, that bit of history would probably still be unwritten. Get out of your comfort zone and just worth noting is that those who dared to be blest by God dared to risk everything they had and the rewards were beyond their imagination.
Don’t be a cry baby. Just because things don’t work out, don’t grumble or beat yourself up about it to the extent that you think that you can’t try again. Learn from your mistakes and keep moving. Fall down, get up, dust yourself off and walk again. Develop a spirit like that of an alley cat. It goes out there fights for its rightful place, it is scratched, hurt and bloodied. It then retreats to its corner and nurses its wounds and before long, it is back there again. At some point the rest of the cats just don’t see the point of fighting anymore with one who doesn’t give up. Refuse to get frustrated.
Love and appreciate yourself. Personally I have accepted, I am not a party animal! Any gathering beyond 10.00 p.m. can sure be better without me because my eyes get a life of their own, they start acting droopy and the safest place to be is my bed. That I have accepted. Anything to the contrary is punishing myself and inconveniencing any company I may be in at that hour.
Accepting what you are not is not a weakness, it is a strength because it is in this acceptance that one realizes what they are good at and they can develop it rather than fighting a losing battle with what they are not.
Esteemed Magazine takes this opportunity to congratulate the Kenyan Team for doing us proud. Truly, the cross country home!