The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘motivation’

Where is Boni?

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Boni* is a street boy whom I met a year ago.
I enjoyed a chat with him as we walked towards a nearby grocery market to buy some bananas for him and friends.
I remember him sharing that despite being a street boy, he will, “Never give up!”
The boys used to stay and nap under some trees along Ngong Road. The trees were their homes.
After an early meeting today at iHub Nairobi, I walked past the same trees that are now chopped, burnt to ashes, abandoned.
No longer tall and green.
No longer a home.
“Where is Boni?” I thought.
But the lonely air responded with heartbreaking silence.

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Lessons from Betty the Bean

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Betty the Bean

So a few weeks ago, I planted Betty the bean in the backyard. She is a special bean because she can produce about 300 beans even in a tiny space!!! I had to search for a safe place for her to grow and I found it. But it took her longer than an ordinary bean to germinate.

I was afraid that she wouldn’t make it. The rains fell upon the ground for a number of days and I kept checking up on her every morning and evening. At last, she sprouted off the ground but some ants ate up one of her food reserve on her cotyledon.

Still, I kept watering her and feeding her some organic manure. Monday morning this week, as I brushed my teeth I went straight to the backyard and saw Betty standing tall and strong with two whole leaves 🙂
She’s now a strong little seedling!!!

In my journey to discovering my purpose, I keep facing challenges that make me doubt if that great purpose is really for me. But even when the time takes longer than usual, even when stormy seasons almost drown me, even when adversity tries to bully me… I still believe that by standing my ground, I’ll break through the tough times.

I’ll soak up the good from all that’s around me and turn it into a motivation to help me get to the next part of the journey.

It’s not easy, but after coming this far, it’ll only be silly to give up hope when everything in me is already showing that little by little I’m almost there.

Do you feel like a Betty bean today?

Be strong, courageous, and believe in your able roots.

Share your ideas: Don’t get too attached!

Sharing ideas attracts opportunities.

Sharing ideas attracts opportunities.

Truth be told, I was almost giving up on my innovation idea due to a number of failures I experienced on the way. It seemed as if not many believed in the vision I had and the gift it could be for young people in modern Kenya but still, I shared my idea.

Last week, I received a call from a journalist at Reuters Africa who wanted to know more about my innovation. With every question he asked and answer I gave, the doubts I had got cleared.

What really amazed me was how he received my contact details from the very first venue & coffee sponsor who believed in my idea. His name is Pete Owiti, founder and owner of Pete’s Cafe & Burrito Haven. He had humble beginnings and represented Kenya well in the world coffee barrister championships where he is acknowledged as a champion. Despite his great achievements, he believed in my small beginnings.
The young journalist is also a Kenyan coffee lover and it’s just so beautiful how these amazing people believed in my little idea. All I had/have is my story and it was incredibly enough.

So don’t get too attached to how your idea is supposed to happen. Instead, share your idea and stay committed to the change you want to see in the long run. You just never know who might be listening and slowly believing in it. Lots of people out there believe in your idea, you just have to help them realise it by telling them about it. Take a tiny step if you must but never give up!

Love & Sunshine

Power of Opportunity!

Viola Davis delivering her speech at the 2015 Emmys.

Viola Davis delivering her speech at the 2015 Emmys.

Dear Reader,

So many things have inspired my life in the past few weeks that I actually struggled to package it in a way that I could easily share it with you. I want to share some of the sunshine I have been experiencing just the way you do the same for me. Yes, I enjoy sneaking into your blogs as well 🙂

Today, I found a way to share the sunshine with you and this amazing woman, Viola Davis, captured it in such a beautiful way. The message is clear and it’s all about the power of opportunity. The goodies in this world are for all of us and you too have the ability to break the barriers and achieve your dreams.

I challenge you to write your name here and read it to yourself in front of a mirror:

The only thing that separates  ___(your name)_____  from anyone else is opportunity. 

Speech by Viola Davis at the 2015 Emmys:

In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me, over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.’

That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.

You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black.

And to the Taraji P. Hensons, the Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union: Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you to the Television Academy. Thank you.

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Be Inspired!

Little loquat lessons

This afternoon, I took a break from studying and decided to call some kids in the neighborhood to pick some plums from our loquat tree in the backyard.

Suddenly, our compound was filled with youthful squeals, laughter and conversations between the kids. It was a great experience to see both boys and girls climb onto the tree and work in teams to ensure that the toddlers below also got their share of loquat plums.
It was also fun to hear them call me, “Teacher! Teacher!”

The natural coordination displayed by the kids impressed me a lot and I wish that adults could learn from them. The older and stronger kids were at the top of the tree reaching for the ripest of fruit. The younger ones held onto buckets at the bottom to gather fruit from the kids at the top.

After collecting enough plums, the older kids ensured that the younger ones had a good amount of plums before they took their bucket shares. I monitored them as they washed their fruit and hands at the garden tap – the older kids helped the younger ones to wash their hands. With wide smiles on their faces and the after-tree-climbing energy, they showed me their new wealth of fruit and said, “Thank you teacher!”
O, my heart just melted ^_^

I am so glad that today, despite the kids calling me, “Teacher,” I really got to be the student by watching the beautiful acts of kindness and impressive team work by the little treasures called children in my neighborhood.

When was the last time you learned a valuable lesson from a child?

My failures, our lessons

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I recently experienced a season of failure in business and so I have come to learn that failure is an ingredient of great success. My attitude towards this has helped me embrace it, learn from it and find ways to keep working on my ideas and dreams.

Today, I enjoyed an inspiring conversation with my house-help about the GES 2015. She told me that she’s been in business before and that she’s been saving up to rekindle her business back in the village so that her daughter can access secondary school education.

I promised to be on the lookout for opportunities that would benefit her and she encouraged me to keep working on my dreams and never give up.

So there we were, two 27-year-old Kenyan women from different backgrounds who’d failed in business yet still encouraging each other.

This brings to life Gena Showalte’s words, “Giving up is the only way to fail.”

#StayPositive 

Bank on being you!

Bank on being you

Bank on being you

One of my mentors is an event planner who’s been in the event planning business for more than 20 years in Kenya. Let’s call her Alice*.

During a session one day, I asked her what an entrepreneur should protect at all times. I thought she was going to mention networks, investment, knowledge/wisdom, loyal staff members…etc.

Little did I expect to hear her say, “your creativity.”

Alice went further to explain that it is what has kept her in business for more than 20 years. Despite her being one of the pioneers in the wedding industry in Kenya, she has faced challenging times as people check-in to her organisation in the name of “learning” yet in reality some are often sent by competitors to copy her mode of running business. Boy am I learning it first-hand as others try to do the same with my new startup.

Over the years, Alice watched businesses come up and crash down as they tried to copy her approach. They got what they wanted so why didn’t the businesses thrive?

Well, her answer to this is that copying is attractive but in real sense more tiresome than coming up with your own ideas. When a business faces challenges, it is the leader’s creativity that often plays a part in salvaging the organisation.

In her events business, Alice was able to always come up with new products, services and approaches that the “copy cats” found hard to keep up with because they only depended upon her steps. Her creativity helped to fuel her vision which helped her branch out of Kenya and into other countries while some of the “copy cats” went out of business over the years.

Moral of the story: You are your best asset because you are the only one who understands your vision 100%. So protect your creativity as this is what every successful person holds as a secret weapon. Look at some of the most successful initiatives in the world then do a background check on the leaders who contributed to their success. You’ll realise that it’s their creativity that helped them spot opportunities in places, things and climates where others didn’t see possible for the success of their vision.

#StayMotivated

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