You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.
– Woodrow Wilson
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Female entrepreneurs in Kenya face a lot of challenges while doing business and a very high percentage of them end up giving up on doing business. Many succumb to family or social pressures and choose to get married (if they are youth and/or single) for financial security; and for duty (they are told that is what is expected of them). Some just decide to believe that business is a man’s activity and it is too difficult for them. There are even Kenyan women who tell other women doing business, especially when going through tough times, that they should give up on business and find other alternatives. However; there are the select strong, focused and motivated women who continue to be entrepreneurs and persevere in their journey. Having faced (and still facing) many challenges in my continuing journey of entrepreneurship in Kenya; I understand how tough it can be. It’s not very easy to find other women who will applaud and motivate you in your choice to do business. That is why it’s important to be self-driven and motivated. Today however, I’ll be that person ^_^, I want to give you five reasons why I am proud (and therefore you should be too) that you are a female entrepreneur in Kenya. I’ll tell you why you’re so awesome and should keep going because you will only get awesomer (yup – it’s the kind of day where I’m just making up words ^_^)
* It means you are courageous and have a strong character
For anyone to choose to be an entrepreneur (and stay at it), they have to have a strong character. A person who is self-driven, self motivated and is not discouraged easily. This means that you are a woman of great strength, faith and dedication. You are not afraid to take risks to better your life and the lives of those around you. You may be afraid of uncertainties that lie ahead, but you realize that fear should not drive your decisions. You conquer that fear and do what you have to do because you realize it is necessary to achieve success. That makes you such as super woman – you go girl!
* You are a great example for youth out there to look up to, especially girls
Female youth in Kenya need positive women leaders to look up to. The leaders don’t have to be political, work in NGOs or be famous. It can be just a female entrepreneur who works hard not only to be successful in business but to influence the lives around her in a positive way. That just describes you – you can inspire people just by what you do everyday in your life. You can inspire youth because you work hard, you don’t give up, when things are tough or when you fail, you find the strength to keep moving and stay positive. Youth need to see regular women in their area doing just that and they themselves will ask or tell themselves – ‘Even we can do that”, “Why can’t we do the same, we’re no different than her?” So keep up the good work, keep going, stay strong and positive. You don’t know who you are inspiring out there. Somewhere near you, there is a young girl who wants to be just like you – because to her you are super woman ^_^
* This is an opportune time to be an entrepreneur in Kenya
The Kenyan economy is growing and doing very well; it is one of the top five thriving economies in Africa. I believe that it will only get better. So if you are a startup entrepreneur in Kenya, if you continue working hard and working smart; you will be successful in time. As a female entrepreneur, you should be proud to be working in such a growing economy and aspire to better than the day before; for you will achieve success as well. You will also be a pioneer in an economy that is very male-dominated in business. You will be in the group of women that continue to grow and inspire many in business. Now isn’t that a great legacy to leave? You should definitely be proud of yourself lady ^_^!
* You’re creating employment for youth and other women in Kenya
Female entrepreneurs are also necessary in the Kenyan economy because they create employment in their areas. This is good especially for youth and other unemployed women who turn to crime and other negative activities to make money such as prostitution. Therefore by starting and running a successful business, you are improving people’s lives and helping them in their journey to success in their lives as well. That is a truly noble and inspiring thing; you should give yourself a pat in the back – you’re just amazing I tell you – AMAZING!
*You are on your way to financial freedom
Many women wish to be financially independent; but it is not an easy task anywhere in the world, especially in Kenya. Most female entrepreneurs decide to work hard to be successful in order to achieve financial freedom. There are many reasons why it is important and different women have good reasons to be worried about financial freedom. A large percentage of women choose to get married to achieve financial security through spouses they identify to be financial secure. This leads to unhappy marriages and possibly infidelity on both sides. Another reason can be that women can get married believing they have found a perfect and loving spouse for themselves. However; they find that they are unsatisfied and unhappy in their marriages, but cannot leave because they are financially dependent on their husbands. I will be honest a scenario that is rather personal to me is when one spouse dies in the marriage (such as the husband) and the widow is left to take care of her family. My dad died while my siblings and I were still young; fortunately my mum had a secure job but the quality of life still changed considerably. The financial burden can be quite a strain on the widow left behind if they are only relying on a monthly salary. I’m sure many female entrepreneurs have their reasons why they pursue their business goals in order to achieve financial freedom. I am here to tell you to persevere in your journey, be smart and you will be successful. You will definitely achieve financial freedom my fellow entrepreneuress! (my new fav made-up word ^_^)
So to all of you female entrepreneurs in Kenya, be proud of what you are doing. You are amazing individuals who have the strength of a lion; the roar of a tiger and you will conquer all your challenges and come out as Queens of your world! Work hard, work smart and stay motivated; when you fall – get back up and keep moving. Stay awesome and be the best of yourself that you can possibly ever be. I am proud of you and proud to be one of you as well ^_^.
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The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.
– Vince Lombardi
As an entrepreneur, one makes goals that he/she would like to achieve in a certain period. It could be that you want to earn Kshs. 500,000 a month of passive income in five years or that you would like to own land and build a mansion in a certain area in Kenya.
Whatever your goal is, it requires certain steps and activities in order to be achieved. These goals that people make are the main reason why most become entrepreneurs. However, the journey of being an entrepreneur is not an easy one and sometimes one faces challenges that pull you down; financially and emotionally. This can make one de-motivated and that could spell trouble for any entrepreneur and his/her business ventures. If one is de-motivated, he/she does not work hard to achieve the goals set and it leads to failure. The obvious thing would be to ensure that you stay motivated, especially when dealing with tough challenges. There are many ways of staying motivated; here are five effective ways that I have found to keep me motivated as an entrepreneur, while going through the various challenges that I face.
- Reminding yourself why you decided to become an entrepreneur
Whether you are running a business as a lawyer, baker, writer, photographer or any other industry you may be in; you are bound to face challenges in your daily grind. These daily challenges could cause you to lose focus on your vision. It becomes a rote routine where you wake up, go to your business to work, face different challenges and go home at the end of the day even less motivated than the day before. These days pile up and two or three months down the line, you start doubting yourself and your business. When you realize that is your state of mind, you need to make sure you get out of that mind set. If you continue thinking that way, you will give up. You need to sit down and remember why you started the business in the first place. Read your business plan and the mission and vision you had for the business. Let it give you the drive you need to keep going. If it helps, write it down and stick it somewhere you can see it everyday. Remember your reason for choosing to become an entrepreneur daily to keep your motivation up. I have found that to be a truly effective way of staying motivated.
- Reminding yourself of the goals you wish to achieve
As I stated above, most people have certain goals they wish to achieve in a period of time they set for themselves. For most people; they wake up to go to work or their businesses in order to achieve these goals. If you find that you are discouraged or disillusioned, it’s good to go back to your list of goals. It could be one or two goals that simply state where you would like your life to be in five or ten years. Remind yourself that in order to achieve those goals, you need to take positive and successful steps in your everyday activities. As you make decisions daily in your business life, keep those goals in mind. These goals will motivate you to work harder and more passionately in order to achieve them.
- Reading inspirational and helpful e-books, blogs or books on successful entrepreneurs in your industry
Most successful entrepreneurs are usually very helpful individuals who like to share their journey as entrepreneurs, to success. Great examples are Richard Branson, Kim Kiyosaki, Jeff Koinange among many others. Most of these entrepreneurs share their advice, business tips and challenges faced through blogging, writing and publishing e-books and/or books. I find that reading from entrepreneurs in the industry my business is in, as well as reading about other female serial entrepreneurs, motivates me. Their insight and advice will motivate you to be a better entrepreneur and to keep going in your ventures as well.
- Working hard to be the best in your industry
If you’re a fiction writer and you have been writing for a while and publishing your books for some time. You then discover that there is a new fiction writer in your genre who has been publishing for some months and is gaining a lot of popularity. This information could de-motivate you and discourage you from continuing to write. This can happen to an entrepreneur in any industry, maybe if you are an online marketer or run an advertising agency. Instead of taking the situation in a negative way or feeling discouraged, you should work hard to do better in your business. It could be that the fiction writer has the same skill you have but is a better marketer, or has better book covers. It could be that the online marketer is using newer and more effective software to collect data and therefore market their client’s business more effectively. It could be that the marketing agency is using better visuals and more effective marketing methods. In whatever industry you do business in, you have to stay updated. Whether it’s on best practices, new methods of operation, marketing or human resource management – you have to stay informed. If there is a new kind of software or website that is helpful in your industry, you get it and learn how to use it to better your business. Instead of being de-motivated, work harder to be better. Keep experimenting, researching and trying new things. It makes you feel confident as an expert in your industry and that is good for your business as well.
- Don’t stop, just keep moving
Sometimes certain aspects or new projects in your business might fail. This is a blow to your confidence and often times, to your business financially. Some entrepreneurs can feel as if they don’t have a choice and may even close their businesses. When you’re in a situation that seems impossible, it’s best to just keep working. At this point, most people stop working on the business, they give up and tell themselves that they can’t continue anymore. I have found that constant progress is more effective. An example, such as loosing a few clients in your business should not drive you to close your business. You can decide to do a survey to find out from your clients why they chose to leave your business. You can then source for new clients with your new information. You can also decide to find a strategy in which you can get back your lost customers by offering incentives or discounts for them. The point here is not to give up and stop working. Just keep moving, keep working and find more efficient and positive ways to keep doing business
In whatever you’re doing how do you stay motivated? Feel free to share below.