I found financial freedom in self-employment

Ann Waithira Ngugi, 35
I was employed for four years and was on the same salary throughout, so I got frustrated and decided to quit my job and go into entrepreneurship. Part of the reason for this was that despite the rising cost of living, my static salary made it almost impossible to set any personal financial goals.

Living from salary to salary and having nothing to show for it convinced me to invest my last paycheque in a second-hand business.

The transition to self-employment wasn’t as smooth as I thought it would be as I was entering an already crowded field and the first few months were hectic.

I couldn’t out-compete already established second-hand clothes dealers.

When you’ve exhausted almost all your savings in an investment and there are no quick returns, it can be very discouraging.

However, I stayed put and business began picking up with time. Some of the challenges I face include dealing with abusive customers who think they’re not getting a fair bargain, trying to clear dead stock, going to buy fresh stock and not getting what I’m looking for and order delays.

Weekends are my busiest sales periods. On a good day, I’ll take home Sh1,200, though this can dip to as little as Sh350 when business is slow.

While being my own boss isn’t without its challenges, it is definitely more satisfying than being an employee because I’m able to set financial goals and meet them.

Further, my time is more flexible and I have no one to answer to. 

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