The path to business success is littered with risks and failures
Posted Tuesday, May 22 2012 at 17:27
Having walked from Arusha, Tanzania to Murang’a as a child, SK as he is popularly known proceeded to endure great poverty in central Kenya before finding himself on the road again to the USA.
He got on to a bus in Nairobi and travelled by lorry, boat and on foot across Uganda, Sudan and Libya, crossing the Nile and the Sahara in the process.
From Benghazi he crossed the Mediterranean to the UK before landing in New York only to cross another continent to Seattle, Washington state, where he said he lived in poverty before coming back with a number of degrees and diplomas.
His business challenges since he came back have been many and are reported often in the media. He does not show any sign of giving up.
I tell this story of one of our own to illustrate that the journey to business success is not always easy. You may have many other similar stories to tell.
You seem to be going through the first serious business challenge in your young life and in my view you must not squander the opportunity to learn from it. It will be a wasted experience if you do not learn from it.
Why did you go into business in the first instance. Was it, for example, driven by your desire to be rich or did you also want to help the people of the village you were born in. These two positions are sometimes mutually exclusive.
You should next examine the location of your business. Was it in a place accessible to farmers who wanted to sell you maize?
Was it near the markets where you were expecting to sell the flour? Did you have a regular power supply?
What about the structure of the business, did you have adequate capital and expertise ?
In other words, to what extent had you formally studied the business environment.
What about the people you went to business with. Did they share the same values as you or did they go into this business for reasons you do not subscribe to.
Is it for example possible that they were ready to give and take bribes and you were not? There are many important questions you must ask yourself and it might be help to seek out a friend or relative to help you learn from this experience.
In business different people have different stories of how they overcame adversity. What they have in common is that they learned from their experience.