A Lifestyle of Mentorship
My failed businesses had a purpose after all! Recently, I learned the positive side to all of my failed business projects in the past.
My mother once looked at me as I cried, one failed business followed by another. I had done my research right. I had prepared a super business strategy; I had already contacted some business mentors. Yet still, my businesses did not pick up and failed in the end. I truly learned the art of trial and error with an extra baggage of frustration.
But today, my mother’s words, “My dear child, don’t worry, one day all these things will make sense.”
That ‘one day’ was today!
I met a young man on my way home who camped outside in the cold selling some warm snacks for passers-by. I was intrigued by his determination and the fact that he was the only vendor within vicinity who was actually standing up, waiting for customers. Other vendors had wrapped themselves in warm things as they curled themselves on their chairs waiting for clients.
I’ve got the blood of a marketer so I simply gave-in to the young man for his commendable appeal. What I had planned to be a one-stop trip to buy a roasted smokie with kachumbari led to a deep conversation about business.
He said that he never got the chance to finish school but he’s using what he’s got to earn a decent living. In the freezing cold weather he smiled with excitement over his small business and said that he would like to try out new products. Other vendors had taken up his idea and he needed to beat the competition.
As he spoke, I remembered all of my struggles; all the capital I had invested, burning the midnight oil doing research and coming up with a business strategy, prayers galore and making my family members guinea pigs for business experiments
I could not leave this young man without fueling his passion for his business.
And so I spoke, and asked him questions, provided him with examples and gave him ideas on how to expand his business. He was amazed that a stranger would take time to motivate him!
Well, at the time my business was failing flat on the floor… my friends had no idea about why I needed to make it work so bad, my mentors suddenly went A-WALL, my family honestly just needed a break.
Then I finally learned my lesson today: my business failed not because my attitude or plans were wrong. They simply failed because of that extra push to greatness that I lacked from someone who believed in me.
I know not if I’ll ever meet the young man again, but one thing is for sure – I made sure that by the time I left that young man, he didn’t have questions but ideas to put into action. After purchasing the snacks that he sold, I am glad that he was more determined than I had found him.
~Even if we suffer through challenges, the least we can do is carry the lessons we learn though it all and use them to inspire another person.
This is the true spirit of mentorship!
Storymoja Hay Festival 2013 (19th – 22nd September)
UPCOMING HAY FESTIVAL!!!
The Storymoja Hay Festival is on September 19 – 22, 2013. Mark the Date. You will definitely leave the festival thinking in a whole new way! Imagine the World OR Waza Dunia
Follow Storymoja Hay Festival on Facebook and on @SMHayFest on Twitter for updates on tickets, travel & accomodation, guest authors, pre-fest events and event programming. see also our official website.
HISTORY OF STORY MOJA:
Storymoja Hay Festival is a collaboration between Kenyan publishers Storymoja and Hay Festival UK to create a platform for showcasing great literature, poetry and ideas in the country’s capital, Nairobi.
Out of the various editions organized by Hay Festival UK the Storymoja Hay Festival is the only one in Africa. It is arguably the biggest literary event in East and Central Africa. It is held annually in Nairobi and features internationally renowned creative minds.
Founded in 2008 The Storymoja Hay Festival is a four day celebration of our stories and our culture through storytelling, books, live discussion forums, workshops, debates, live performances, competitions, mchongoano and music.
The Storymoja Hay Festival has grown from 500 visitors the first year, to over 5000 attendees in 2012
We have enjoyed the support of over 50 partners over the last four years, including HIVOS, US Embassy, British Council, Dutch Embassy, National Museums of Kenya, Kenya ICT Board, Google, Alexander Forbes, Oxfam,