By Amos Wekesa
After having spoken to lots of people, i can conclude that many people have a feeling that business people or entreprenuers are born.
Some people think people of a certain race or tribe are meant to be better business people..while in kenya last week, i had conversations with drivers, waiters, professionals and lots of them thought Kikuyus are meant to be better business people generally speaking.
Here in Uganda, a lot of people assume, business is meant to be for indians and generally foreigners and a bit of academic failures.
I think anybody who is willing to learn, to sacrifice, to save, to patient, to handle pain, focus is potentially a business person.
I am saying this out of experience. I dont believe Great lakes safaris has arrived(where?) but we have a stage where we are ready for take off after over 15yrs of consistence.
When i look back i see some of the factors that have led to reaching this stage and Grateful to God for that.
I knew at an early stage that if i took on a big permanent responsibility like marriage for example, it would make it difficult for me to do business. Cant tell your children or wife, i have a dream to build a reputable business in future and we are therefore, not going to eat 2 meals a day to save? Nope. However beautiful a woman is, she will not eat love( young men take note) said this before. I was being pushed into marriage from the age of 18yrs and they gave up when i turned 27yrs.
There are many things i have learnt during the entreprenuership journey and still learning. Making mistakes for example never stops and society expectations of you are sometimes different from your expectations of the same society.
Society has for example no limit to how much money or time they need from you, you must set a limit or else you burn out.
Allowing the fact that you have to take small steps one at time. From a briefcase 9 months, understaircase office on rainbow arcade almost a year, working in a garage a year, a small office on Susie house 3 years, 5 years in sizeable office on susie house, just over years 4 in our own….been small steps.
Avoiding big titles helps( start a small thing and you already call yourself these big titles President of this and that), gives false importance. People with false self importance never achieve much.
Must accept that company of people you keep will keep changing. Having clear short, midium term and long term strategies is very critical and these develop along the way…avoid pressures.
Leaving below your means can be such a big asset, told you a single chap starting business, i lived in small single office for a while….even after marriage we leaved in very affordable rented house in nsambya estates till 4 yrs ago. Our highest rent cost was usd 200 per month.
Bought our personal car 4 years after starting a business even then, a small car only upgraded when there was enough pocket change.
When doing business pursue cash flows first and when you get a bit comfortable, then invest in long term assets like land but shouldnt affect your cash flows. If your cash flows are affected, then you will sell your long term assets at a give away price.
The person you marry can make or break your dream. If the person is a money consuming machine then you are in big trouble. I for example married a missionary( if you want to marry a rich muzungu then dont a missionary) but they are very frugal with money.
Trust God a lot!!