For today’s aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start new ventures, takes a lot to compete in this landscape becoming an entrepreneur requires planning, strategizing, and even risk-taking.
In our last After Office Hours we had the opportunity of having one entrepreneur who has been in the game for quite some time, he started 7 ventures and he failed seven times. While things might be looking up now, Roy Gitahi, Founder at Work shared that it wasn’t that easy.
He put together his entrepreneurial learnings in a letter to a younger self (younger entrepreneur and her what Roy shared in a letter format:
Dear younger self, so I am 48 now and I am writing to you to share a few nuggets of wisdom gathered over time.
I know your thoughts are around entrepreneurship, relax! you will probably fail more than enough times.
In fact, through the period, you will set up seven businesses and all the 7 businesses will fail.
Hang in there in your 40s you will probably start something for the creatives in the Arts and Sports sectors, and things will start looking up! You will get into better and bigger partnerships.
You will also have the privilege to speak to a bigger audience on entrepreneurship and you will look back and know it was all worth it! Just give it time!
You will also get a chance to speak to an audience of young and aspiring entrepreneurs at Nairobi Garage one day and you will remind them of the lessons gathered over the years.
Here is what I will remind you dear younger self, always be sincere to yourself. At times life as an entrepreneur will work against you!
You are not the problem, could be the structures put in place by the Government or any other institutions. Don’t be too hard on yourself. One day things will work out.
If you can, seek employment first before venturing into any business. While at it, keep the networks you create.
Employment opens opportunities for you, employment enables you to learn about structures and ways to govern a business.
These lessons you will carry with you & will allow you to build your empire in the future.
Dear 25-year-old, in your entrepreneurship journey always remember that you only need one person to believe in you, the rest will follow.
I remember being part of a team that pioneered a leading internet provider company and it only took one company to believe and buy into our vision. That’s all you need!
On people, always remember networks are great, but always be careful about the people you have in your inner circle, those you let know of your next moves, plans, and so on.
You see most people are with you for what you can offer, and when you can’t offer that, they will definitely stop.
You see, I experienced that when I left Cisco, and so did my friend Bitange Ndemo, as shared in this article here.
Remember, Kenyan culture is such that people attach value to friendship, but most friends value you for your influence. Don’t get to attached, stand up, dust yourself off and move on!
All in all, it is a beautiful journey, take chances, take risks, no matter what you do younger self, keep moving..one day at a time…one day you will make it!
48 years later, today you are looking quite different, both inside and out. You probably did not expect to turn out this way; you would be surprised but proud at the same time.
I know I owe you many wishes and promises you made to yourself along the way. I know I still have to take you places you have not been before. Continue moving forward without forgetting about yourself. Cheers to you: past, present, and future.