Other Business Ventures
What made me leave the Bank is my vision of myself at age 65yrs. My vision was that by age 65, I will have motivated millions of people around the world and I would be a household name in Africa as one of the greatest Motivational Speakers in Africa. I could not see it being achieved as an employee of a Prestigious Bank earning 6 figures. So I decided to leave and start a TV show. The programme was to be called Wamaitha Suluhisho (swahilli word for solution) show. It was a talkshow that was meant to help people find for solutions in themselves as opposed to outside of themselves as most people are accustomed to.
As part of my planning for the show, I had registered for a Certificate course in a local Private University to study Television Production but after a few weeks, I stopped due to some irregularities in the college. When I made the decision to start my own TV show, I figured I needed to work in a Media House. So I took it upon myself to write to the CEO of one of the large Media Houses in Kenya requesting for an internship of one month with no pay in January 2011. I did not have any leave days left in 2010 so I could only do the internship in 2011 January during my leave days.
Interestingly, when time for the internship arrived, I had already resigned. So I went for the internship and eventhough I had said no pay, I got Kshs 5000 so I left the building happy.
When I resigned in October 2010, I went on to do a pilot (sample) TV programme which I could showcase to TV stations. Because I Knew I had the ability to learn very fast, the fact that I was very unknowledgable in this area did not bother me very much. Well, it should have. I remember the day before shooting the Pilot show, a lady whom I had never met called Pauline called me and told me not to do the Pilot because it was difficult to get to the stations (at the time we only had 4 stations) and she gave me her reasons. But I remembered, the higher the risks the higher the returns so I took the leap.
Oh my God, a very costly leap, It cost me Kshs 500,000 (half a million). Because no Television show wanted to give me a hearing. The common question I would be asked, “Who is Wamaitha?”. Have you ever been shocked. To be asked who you are, and you have known yourself all your life and somebody is asking you ‘who is you?’. Anyhow, when that seemed not to work, I remembered I had an education and I started my Law firm in February 2011, closed down in September 2011 and re-opened in January 2013 and we are still open.
MY FARMING VENTURES
I went to a seminar where we were meant to discover our purpose and those who had discovered their purposes were meant to find out why they were not doing their purpose. So one of the exercises we were given was to write our experiences and to share. So I shared my experience and people laughed. Some of the experiences I have gone through in my attempt to create wealth is farming. I was a button mushroom farmer for 3 years and a quail farmer for almost a year.
When I was a mushroom farmer, I was working in the bank, all 3 years, and whilst farming quails, I had already started my Law firm in 2013.
In the Mushroom farming, I was doing well and infact I had acquired a new name ‘Mama Mushroom’. I was delivering to two of the top restaurants in Nairobi. My plan for mushroom farming is that I would earn more from it than my salary and I would resign and export mushrooms.
However, mushroom farming is very capital intensive and so when I chose to resign (before it brought in more than my salary), I had to make the decision to stop mushroom farming. I spent Kshs 2,000,000 in mushroom farming and I am sure I never recovered even a quatre of it. I, however, learnt alot of lessons though and met new friends (worth more than Kshs 2Million) from this industry. And most of all I practically learnt that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to if you are willing to make the sacrifice. I was also reminded of Robert Kiyosaki’s quote “I have never seen a RICH person who has never lost MONEY but I have seen alot of POOR people who have never lost a dime”.
The quail business in Kenya was booming at one moment and the next after a few articles in the Newspaper, it started declining. At the time of decline, I had 1000 quails. I was not perturbed because I am a strategist and I believe there is a solution to every problem, you just have to find it. Now, most Kenyans had not tasted quail meat and when told that it is the most delicious meat, they would not believe it.
So I decided to get someone to slaughter for me 40 quails every Thursday. I would cook them myself, package them and sell them to people ready made for Kenya Shillings 200 every Friday lunch time and they would buy and they loved it. They could not believe it was quail meat they were eating. So you can guess how many weeks it took me to clear my stock?
I have noticed I love business. It emanates from my mum. My mum also worked in a Bank however she always kept a cow, where we got our milk and the surplus was sold. She always had chickens for meat. She actually started with Pig farming and she would sell the meat. Sometimes she would come from work, they start the slaughtering process of the chickens because she had an early morning order which she had to deliver before going to work at 8am. We always got onions from our Garden, we always had raw and ripe bananas in the garden and during the rainy season we would get beans and maize just for family consumption. When I grew up, I learnt the reason my mum did all these farming activities is because her salary as a Secretary was not enough and as a single mother of four (4) she had to engage in other economic activities to supplement her income.
After the quails, I decided to venture into poultry farming. I did it for a year and a half when I finally succumbed to my daughters diagnoses that I have no gift in farming. I still feel like creating wealth from farming but I have shelved it till I am age 65.
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