Society & Success

Tough decision on closing side hustle

A frustrated man. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH
A frustrated man. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH  

I am back in the office and frankly I wish I were back at home or better still in the village. A few months ago, the CEO formed a crisis management committee whose main responsibility was to “ ensure that there would be minimal disruption to the business operations during the election period.” It actually was a very good idea and it seems that most employees do recall the effects of being caught unawares in 2007. 

After a few meetings, I felt that we were prepared for any eventualities. Just last week, the CEO decided to publish the list of the so-called ‘critical staff’ who would need to be around during the electioneering period. I was pretty certain that I would not be on that list so imagine my shock when I saw that I was required to be around the very Wednesday after the General Election.

Come Wednesday morning, I drove to the office and I must say it was quite an enjoyable experience. There was virtually no traffic and the parking lot was also empty since most of the employees had chosen to take a full week’s leave to exercise their democratic freedom.

Things were better in the office, lots of peace and quiet without the usual human traffic moving up and down.  The only downside was that the tea ladies were away so I had no chance of getting my usual breakfast serving of mandazi (local pastry) and pancakes.

I spent most of the first hour looking at social media, which as expected was abuzz with all manner of commentary and analysis. My university WhatsApp group had the most activity with a few members trying to outdo each other showing off their analytical abilities. At a certain point, I felt that some of the comments had become too tribal and I decided to quit the group.

After reviewing my social media activity, I decided to take a look at my progress against my yearly plans and targets. I opted to look at my personal goals since I had my official mid- year review just a few weeks ago.  I started by pulling out an Excel spreadsheet, which I had prepared at the start of the year to track my spending and savings against target.  Since I had time on my hands, I went into great detail to look at how I have been progressing week on week.

My analysis demonstrated very clearly that I have been spending way above my budget and therefore need to change my ways if I want to reach my goals.

I then started reviewing the numbers for my side hustle. Based on them, all I seem to be doing is pumping money into my business yet the sales have not been coming in.  In fact, I have had to take out two Sacco loans in the last six months to try and shore up my business. 

However, when I looked at the sales figures as reported by the shop manager, I realised that I was just throwing money down the drain.

I therefore have to make a tough decision to shut down the side hustle since it is not bringing me any serious money. Of course, I will have to consult Shiro because she will take it very personally if I make such a major decision without consulting.

I had just finished my review when I got a text alert from the company advising us to go work from home since the security situation was looking a bit dicey. I welcomed this opportunity to leave the office and go home and maybe watch a few movies with the children.

Just as I was leaving the office, I received a call on my phone; it was one of my university classmates who also belongs to the WhastApp group. He asked me, “Jose, why did you quit the group?” I told him, “well, I did not like the direction it was taking so I opted to stay away.” He spent the next few minutes sharing his political views before finally saying, “do you feel like grabbing a beer?” I was quick to say yes for this was music to my ears.