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The satisfaction of being my own boss

By Paul Kariuki | June 12th 2019
Nelly Wakhungu, 30

I worked as an accountant for three years before I quit due to poor pay. I was back to being jobless, and as I tried to figure out what next, I thought the best way out would be to be my own employer.

I had a business idea, but procrastinated in executing it for fear of making an unwise decision that I would later regret.

They say procrastination is a robber of opportunities, so I dug deep and found the courage to start a shoe business that I registered as Aston Shooz.

But before that, I worked briefly in a friend’s shop who was in same business and who later proved influential in connecting me to suppliers in Dubai.

My business deals in a variety of shoes for men, women and children. I work from a store located on the fifth floor of a Nairobi building, and to get a steady stream of customers, I use social media platforms.

I also rely on referrals. I have signed up to numerous fashion social media groups to reach more people. However, not all group admins are accommodating.

Some won’t approve of product placements or will delete any product marketing posts, which necessitates the use of sponsored adverts.

Further, online buyers are skeptical on whether you’ll deliver what you promise. Doing business in the capital city is also challenging.

Rent for business spaces is high, and you can’t stock everything in a limited space.

Competition from other importers who can import in bulk and give better discounts can also be tough to navigate.

All I can say is make use of a good business idea when it presents itself and when it seems viable; it just might grow into a business of great repute.

Also, young people shouldn’t be rigid in their job search, but take what comes their way as it will move them to the next step.

As a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Nairobi, I have come to see that academic papers don’t determine one’s future; rather, the secret lies in applying the knowledge you gain.

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