She has seen some matatu operators spreading themselves thin by plunging into running private schools, milk cooling plants and even wheat farming when their transport businesses began making a good return. But Karani says this is not the way to get rich.
Dorcas Mwangi, a loans officer with a leading bank, suggests that the habit of starting mpango wa kando, clandestine affairs, by some men and women when their investments begin to prosper could be a major but unrecognised hindrance to wealth creation.
“I have no scientific data to back me up on this claim but in many cases of loan defaults, there is a frequent element of secret lovers getting into the picture,” she says.
Mwangi likens the habits of taking on of secret lovers and their associated cost of maintenance to that of impulse buying of things that really don’t matter in people’s lives; both habits are anathema to wealth creation.
This phenomenon is sometimes so bad that banks are often unable to repossess collateral registered in the secret lovers’ names in the event of loan default due to the legal technicalities involved, adds Mwangi.
To succeed in business, people must be prepared to both ask for favours and give them in return. If one is determined to create a business, he or she needs to understand that they will need to work with others at least for some time.
Yet some people adopt a sour relationship with all their potential clients and partners once the shillings begin trickling in. They wrongly attribute their success to their personal cleverness. Such an attitude can hold some people’s ambitions of creating wealth permanently.
Successful entrepreneurs often take the suggestions and advice offered by others if they have merit. But when they presume that they know everything or that they cannot learn anything from certain people, they are doomed to fail.
As one strives to get rich, he or she must improve on how he or she thinks, speaks, feels and acts. Once these changes become one’s habit, the rest will be easy.