Would you make time to attend an entrepreneurship workshop or class? Furthermore, would you part with a few coins to register for the event?
If your answer is yes, then probably we are on the same page.
On January 31, 2020, I attended my first entrepreneurs’ event organized by Centonomy. I must say, I was not disappointed. Imagine listening to people who have achieved success in diverse fields such: photography, fashion; learning from accountants who run telco companies, beauty product lines; and learning ways to earn money. This is part of what Centonomy had to offer on this particular day, and this was an illuminating experience.
Below I have outlined some of the lessons I learnt from the speakers in this session.
Mr David Macharia
Founder/CEO Versatile Photographers
Mr. Macharia was the first speaker of the day, and his journey started from finding moles on his father’s farm at a fee to being a photographer.
What was interesting to me was his clarity and the willingness to go beyond. He is ruthless; his philosophy is that business is a competition. This led him to cut out his competition in the mole hunting venture by pricing his services 50% lower. He developed a hunger for money leading him to opt to invest more time in his mole hunting venture by looking for running operations during his holidays, earning money while his peers were playing.
His path into photography is equally interesting. In his day, a photography company, Kodak, agreed to train him to take pictures with no pay. After learning as much as he could, he then chose to seek great photographers with an intention of knowing what they were doing different.
His method was quite astonishing as he looked for old newspapers and magazines and got the contacts of those photographers. He got his mentors and slowly began building his empire. Now he advises that you have to create a structure and scale up. Remember, business is all about people and finding ways to make your business visible.
CEO & Founder of Marini Naturals
Can you look at the ingredients of a product, set out to find them, figure out the ratios, and ultimately produce it? Well this is Michelle’s world with Marini Products.
Having identified the product she wanted to sell, Michelle asked for help both financially and in having users try out her products. She says that her parents supported her with some money that she coupled with what she had in her savings, put it in a Sacco and after three months, took a loan that got her way into the product line. She says that everyone starts from somewhere and that she is not self-made but self-reliant.
What struck me the most about her was the fact that she was so confident about her journey and the thick skin she had to amass along the way with all the name calling that you would get from her would be buyers and social media. But she has a message for everyone dealing in products: that your customer will tell you if your product is shit and not necessarily when it is good.
Founder and Creative Director at New Level
Nancie’s great desire to get her own money is unmatched. She started blogging in 2010 and later realized that she can sell clothes.
At first, together with a friend, they went to Gikomba Market and bought a few second hand clothes. She mentions that they made a record ksh 14,000 from her first sale. This was a great start and they divided the money equally and partied till it was over. The cycle would then start again the following session until she realized that she needed a shop.
She opened a shop in 2015. To add on the mistakes she was committing, she said she was not keeping records of her accounts. She also overstocked and started her shop in fifth floor where she thought she would have monopoly but the irony was, no one came to her shop. She reckons that online work can make you lazy, and believes in making small steps every day.
With overcoming all her challenges and growing, she now runs a cool business and blogs so much. You may want to have a look at her here.
Group Chief Executive Officer at SAMCHI GROUP LIMITED
Accountant by training and salaried for ten years, Esther believes in herself. I must say that her self-belief is contagious. She has developed her clarity and focus (focused on one business for 10 years) over the years.
She says that you have to understand your assignment what your end game will be. She does not believe in over analyzing things. For many of her ideas that did not work, she says you leave the idea; it is the idea that failed, and not you. Honesty is key as an entrepreneur as is seen in this interview.
“You are either a borrower or borrowed. It is either uko na madeni ama madeni iko na wewe.” She says. In fact there is no side hustles for her. You only focus on one business. You need to set up a team quite early, document processes, adapt technology very fast, before risk fights you, fight the risks, you have to remember that there is a time when you will have to deliberately scale down, lose some market share to build a better foundation and even close the business when it does not work.
She believes in kingdom financing and mastering the model (internalize the process). You have to build wealth and detach from it, build your boldness and demand what is yours. She goes forth to challenge others that, you need to identify your mountain and ask for your destiny.
FOUNDER, CEO AND LEAD TRAINER at Centonomy
Imagine advising someone about money when you are broke. This was Weceke’s call and she says you have to agree to follow the prompt or call. During her starting years, she says blessings were untidy, uncomfortable and unstoppable.
She remembers acknowledging her circumstances and advises the same. Further you have to follow your call until you are convicted. Her journey is more than 10 years. You also have to allow a change of direction that is not limited to your skill or resources and keep in mind that when you are convicted about your call, you will get irritated with your pace especially when things are working slowly. “It is important that you isolate yourself from your business. I could not be trainer, the marketer and the planner at the same time. I have limited skills, and to bring in more destiny helpers to cover the skills I did not have,” she says. “A mistake we do is forget to pay ourselves,” she continues, “remember you have to feed yourself and your family. Start paying yourself”.
In as much as you have to be bold, she advises that you should not forget that boldness takes time. You have to do what you have not done before and improve on your product innovation (she had to develop other trainings such as centonomy campus edition, entrepreneur classes, and flexible training hours, just to name a few.) If you do not take a rest from your business then you better consider going for one. She had to go for a holiday in Las-Vegas, to enjoy and think through her business. She says that business is about people creating an environment where people thrive, having a good structure and that when you grow in the business, your role becomes offering direction.
It was an informative session, though very short. Although this article is a reporting of what I captured, you may what to check out more of these with Centonomy. Good luck.