Im always wondering between BMW and Mercedes Benz which one I love more..anyway for those who’ve never read my other ‘ME ATs’, I promised myself ill own a bemer by 25, coming out of highschool I wanted to drive my first car at 21, its been crazy trying to achieve that though, so am I driving a bemer…umm No.,do I still want it? I think I’ll good in it, so whats the most important thing iv been able to achieve? Lessons..real lessons.
This post is dedicated to people like me, my younger self in high school and all my peers with dreams, this are my big five lessons so far..enjoy
IF YOU ARE NOT BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS OF YOUR DREAMS IN YOUR EARLY 20s THEN YOU MAY NEVER LIVE YOUR DREAMS AS A YOUNG MAN
I did my first job interview under a tree in a park, I was 20, still fresh out of highschool not so long ago, I wanted an opportunity, a challenge, I wanted to learn, it was an advertising job with a publication newly launched in Kisumu called Nyanza Weekly, my then new friend Vicky had recommended that I apply for the job purposely to learn about print media business. I met Vicky at a venture capital firm some where in Tom mboya estate in Kisumu when I was fishing for a guide to help me start up a classifieds magazine idea I had (I’ve since moved away from print media manenoz but yea..) She told me to write a business plan, when I went back with my well thought out plan she picked it, put it aside and asked whether I’ve ever sold media space before, my answer was no, thats when she recommended I apply for the advertising job, oh and she was also kind enough to let me know that what I’d presented to her wasn’t a business plan but a write up of my idea, how sweet, didn’t have an idea of how to write that thing.
Back to my under the tree interview, I some how got shortlisted with my highschool qualifications, the company was small, new in the market owned by a few investors from Nairobi, heck it dint even have an office, the chief editor of the newspaper my first boss in the corporate world Shem Suchia was I presumed also the accountant, marketing and operations manager- energy galore.
Before Suchia gave me my first corporate job with no salary or allowances, he told me, ‘young man you’ve made the write decision, because if you don’t start working on your dreams now, you’ll be old, bitter and stressed, agonizing your wasted youth’. Today I see a lot of bitter, stressed up old men. And well, I’m where I’m suppose to be.
SCHOOL DOESN’T TEACH YOU TECHNIQUES, IT TEACHES YOU THE CONCEPT
I dont know how I knew this, but I’m also the biggest critique of the 8-4-4 system, I think it should be banned. Its churning out robots not capable of critical thinking and trashing creatives, what a system.
A lot people go through school without understanding its exact roll in their lives, most people do it for jobs so they can pay their bills and drive around in a Subaru, now that there is no more jobs being generated by the economy the bots are busy betting while slowly digressing to crime because they don’t know what to do with themselves, nobody trained them for lack of jobs, nobody explained to them the current and future economy of their country, how to read the patterns, political policies, current trade blocks and international treaties, how that affects the price of the matchbox they use at home or the chumvi they put in the mboga, they have no connection whatsoever with the economic realities other than being victims.
You wanna learn the techniques of doing anything? Do that thing practically 90% the other 10 you can get from class Simple.
YOUR NETWORK DETERMINES YOUR SUCCESS
Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying simply because you father is an MCA who went to school with the manager of a local ‘unga ya mtoto’ distributing firm and he gets your lazy ass an office assistant job there makes my statement true. What you need to have are people I call a ‘TEAM’, these are people who understand your journey, some of them have seen you when you had nothing but dreams, BIG dreams, they saw you when you worked 16 hours on a job that paid you 50 shillings a day, they’ve seen you put together that application letter, they’ve seen you come up with that creative concept, they’ve seen you fired and hired, they’ve seen you deliver on that job, they’ve seen you grow. They know what you can do, they’ve introduced you to their friends and families, they’ve invited you to their parties, weddings and corporate meetings and events.
They’ve grown your network, now you know CEOs and bank managers, lawyers and secretaries, Members of parliament and governors, now you know watchmen and cleaners.
You know who to talk to when you need something done, when you want a gig, a contract, a ticket, a job, name it. Now that is what makes you successful, Enough said.
BE BIGGER THAN YOUR DAY JOB
The most important person in the organization you work for is the investor, I’m sorry you have a PHD and have consolted for world bank for over 20 years, if its not your company you are not that important.
For the fellows who work in government, maybe this is foreign to you but for us in the private sector, times are hard, most companies are slowly coming up with productivity models for renumeration against workers unions advise, this they are doing to make their investments performance predictable in an increasingly volatile market, again they don’t give a shit about your university credentials, apart from the fact that its a formal process for recruitment, its all about KPIs, you miss your targets and your days are numbered, all that matters is whether the investor is happy.
So what’s my point? They’ve got to be more to you than your day job, do your day job well and compete yourself but also make yourself a brand, the best of the best that your field has to offer, something you can use both at your day job and your side hustle, something people know you for.
Build a business, consult for companies and kick ass at your day job too, diversify but deliver. Be Bigger than your day job.
Finally people enjoy life, its freaky short, before I realized it, I’m 25 now, I still have stuff I need to accomplish but I have to leave in the present, no matter how hard you are pushing yourself try and have a Budget for fun, go out with friends, watch some movie, go to the theaters, play some basket ball, swim, hang out with your fling or whatever they are to you. Call you mum and dad find out how they’re doing.
Drink yourself numb, puke, drive fast, scream, get caught by cops peeing at a random parking, its all good just ensure you balance.
HAPPY 25 TO ME” 😉
By Felix Gordon, via Facebook