Five ways to build a brand that thrives

For a while now, I have been giving advice to the loyal audience that reads this column, and I’m eternally grateful and happy about the progress.

Last week, I was doing auditions for new-generation poets and spoken word artistes at the Kenya National Theatre. I got there at 5.30am and found a crowd there already.

I was really impressed, but what got to me was the fact that I met a young person who had launched a career based purely on the tips I give here.

He had been working at a factory, yet his passion was in film and production. He mentioned the article I wrote about a lady who started doing poultry while she was employed and later quit her job to focus on her successful business.

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He did the same thing and said since he couldn’t afford university fees, he would to go to the local shop every day and pull out Hustle.

With every ‘class’ each Wednesday, he noted down everything important.

To show you that when you work on yourself passionately, you’ll definitely get to your goals, this young man started a film and production company and has two employees.

He is focusing on commercials and documentaries.

I was keen on getting his background story and what keeps him going. We came to the conclusion that it all depends with who you are and what you want out of life.

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And then he asked me what personal habits I have that help me be successful. Here’s what I shared. 

1. Time management

Many times we complain that there’s not enough time to do everything we want to. But if we’re keen enough, we’ll notice that it’s our priorities that are not in order.

It is pretty easy to fix this. Take a pen and a paper, and set your short-term goals and long-term goals – don’t try to work on everything at a go.

This will give every item effective focus, which will in turn yield results.

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2. Learn more

Never get comfortable, and this applies in all types of businesses. Since evolution is still taking place, then everything is relative, from human behaviour to business patterns.

Whatever field you’re in, make sure you are aware of the next explosion so that you serve your consumers better. By doing that, you’ll be in business for a long time to come.

3. Health

I read somewhere that by the time fatigue gets to you, it’ll attract other diseases, so it’s only right that your health is a priority. When you’re not in the right shape, you won’t be able to see your vision through.

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Way back, I used to play football, I’m not a huge fan of the gym. But it got to a point where I was so driven by my vision that I stopped focusing on what matters the most, which is me.

I noticed that I spent most of my time either seated in the car or in the office. So last year I got back to exercising, which I do three times week, and trust me, it has increased my productivity and effectiveness. Plus I make sure I don’t miss my doctor’s appointment. Remember, health is still wealth.

4. Persistence

I have been asked before if I’ve ever faced failure, and I always say, ‘yes’. But again, what keeps me going in the face of failure?

One thing I can point out confidently is that I’ve failed numerous times, which has given me the confidence to face my other goals.

The beauty about failure is that now I have learnt its patterns and I know that persistence is the only cure. I have met a number of entrepreneurs and whenever you ask them what happened to that project they were excited about, most will say they put it on hold.

But if you dig deeper, you’ll find that they saw failure creeping in and decided to retreat to their comfort zones.

5. Discipline and focus

When we were children, you’d notice that almost all teachers would make ‘discipline’ remarks in our report books or report forms.

That’s most likely because discipline takes you a long way, from time keeping and management, to association and how you carry yourself or your brand.

Dignity is part of discipline and sometimes we get deals based on the self-worth we put out. I have had numerous clients compliment the brand just because we’re a disciplined team, and that in turn reflects on the business’ growth.

So go back to those lessons we were taught in primary school on focus and discipline. Those are the values we should uphold in the running of our businesses and brands.

The writer is an award-winning artiste and entrepreneur.

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