I must admit 2017 was one hectic year, but it was also full of blessings and most of what I envisioned transpired.
One thing I always try to put across to the various audiences I address is to always be thankful.
Have you seen that meme about appreciating what you have? It has one guy who is on a wheelchair just wishing he could walk, while the guy who can walk is wishing for a bicycle. The guy with a bicycle is wishing for a car, the guy in the car wants a plane. Whatever you have, there’s someone who wishes they had it, too. Be thankful.
When we were growing up, the festive season meant everything to us. There were the parties, new clothes, decorations, games and the Christmas spirit to look forward to.
But my mother always insisted on having a plan. She would say: “if you don’t plan for the rain, then plan to get wet”. For her, planning was everything.
By the way, at the rate I’m going, I should write a book titled Business Lessons from my Mother – she may not have known it, but she passed on knowledge and great business pointers that have influenced my journey. She was a life coach.
Let’s look at her situation critically. She was raising three boys without a permanent job. She was a fruit vendor, and the most expensive products she sold were Sh5 bananas and avocados.
So how did she manage to feed three boys, pay rent, clothe us and, the most complicated riddle, pay school fees on her income?
For her, it all came down to planning. But there’s a thin line between planning and implementing, and this is where most entrepreneurs fail.
We are great at planning. There’s that initial spark of motivation and inspiration that we get when we read articles like this one or similar ones. We can’t wait to get our ideas down on a vision board.
But the main concern that I have is that we have a generation of planners but not implementors. And that’s where we fail. This is where the various entrepreneurial breeds are separated.
The argument most people bring up on why they didn’t achieve their dreams regards time. Either there’s no time to implement their plans, or they don’t think it’s the right time to start.
I believe that planning should be a motivational tool for the young generation of businesspeople.
In my case, if I have a launch, for instance, on March 2, I put it into my planner. And every day when I wake up, I see a ‘days countdown’ on my vision board and on my phone and on sticky notes on my desktop. These serve as a constant reminder that I need to implement the launch.
So I get on the phone and call my team, and loop them into a conference call. I then ask them how far we’ve gone with what needs to get done, and we figure out our progress.
There’s also another emerging factor – getting a vision coach. Basically, this is someone or a group of people with whom you’ve shared your vision and they believe in it.
You can take it further and make them a part of the vision. Remember some articles back I talked about teamwork making the dream work?
Most young business men and women are afraid to share their vision, yet when you get the right people on board, you get better results. I started out as the bearer of my brand, and later on involved friends who believed in the vision as much as I did.
This meant I got more input in the planning and execution of ideas, and a year after this collaborative effort, sales and brand visibility went up.
The King Kaka formula states: why get 100 per cent of Sh100 when you can get 50 per cent of Sh10 million? When you have a team behind you, the projections are usually way beyond what you plan for as an individual.
Anyway, with all that’s going on, my mother managed to sell these Sh5 fruits and raised her family through planning and execution. We managed to get the education we deserved and now I’m teaching the next generation of believers and planners.
With all the excitement that we have right now, let us learn to save and collaborate. Basically, resolutions are just plans, which most of us don’t end up following, and you can spot the difference when the year ends. Don’t just be the planner, execute.
Anyway, I’m having lunch with my mum today – I’m planning to write that book after all.
The writer is an award-winning artiste and entrepreneur.