How to spot opportunities and grab them
SEE ALSO :The 4 rules that give you the edgeLast week, as I was waiting for a business partner in a hotel, a fan approached me. Good thing my guest was caught up in the hectic Nairobi traffic, so I had some time to spare. We started chatting about my music and the music industry in general, before we dived into the weekly articles I write. How did I land the job and how did I know I could be a business columnist? The opportunity To answer these questions, I have mentioned several times how important it is to have the ‘opportunity’ eye and if you strongly feel that you don’t have that eye, then get someone on your team who does. I remember Rose Kwamboka, one of the editors, had been on my neck about an interview that was to be published in this Hustle pullout. At the time, I had decided I wasn’t doing any more media interviews, plus I was on a crazily busy schedule that I was forced to postpone the interview, but not for too long, lest they decided to do away with the article altogether. So the next time she called, I had time to talk to her.
SEE ALSO :Cornering the marketWe had a conversation. After the interview, I told her that I have a pitch and would like to set up a meeting to present it, to which she agreed. I put on my lucky suit, my accessories and I was ready to wow them. As they say, the rest is her story. This goes out to all the ambitious young entrepreneurs, if you have the opportunity to mentor, do it. It not only enhances the understanding of your business, but is also a way of giving back. Imagine if I didn’t do that one interview? All the knowledge I’ve passed on through this column wouldn’t exist. The pitch
SEE ALSO :The dark side of entrepreneurshipMy pitch sought to answer the question: why try and squeeze all the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years into one article, yet I can impart knowledge through a weekly column? The meeting was done. Mind you, I was treated like any other writer and asked to submit an article for review. After the submission was approved, I got an email explaining my working terms and here we are now, at 100 weeks of inspiring generations. There is an article where I talked about constantly looking for new ways to improve your mind, the same way car companies are always working on new models. I saw a self-driving car the other day while the owner was in the car watching a movie. Same thing with phone companies, they’re constantly working on the next model. Diversify But what has also fascinated me about phone companies is that, over the years, they have branched out and acquired shares into other businesses or built an array of products that are not phone related. Apple’s first product was the computer, then they saw a need to build phones, then moved to iPads, then diversified into music and other products. What that simply translates to is that you should never get comfortable. When your business is doing very well that is the right time to diversify. Don’t, however, stretch yourself thin for that will mean sub-standard delivery, which has killed so many brands. Roll out new products only when you are ready. I decided to write for Hustle because I have my rest days on Mondays, which is a relaxed day to write. So the first thing I do every Monday morning is write and respond to questions from my readers, and then plan my week before getting into ‘Netflix-and-chill’ mode. As I say this, a young guy from Ngong comes to mind. He says that every Wednesday he learns and takes notes from my articles since his parent didn’t have money for school fees. I dared him (through the articles) to start a business. Now months into his clothes-selling business, he’s his family’s breadwinner. Such stories give me hope and courage to keep writing. Let’s push for the 200th article. The writer is an award-winning artiste and entrepreneur.
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