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The sleep secrets of a 21-year-old techie

FINANCIAL STANDARD
By BY LILLIAN KIARIE | October 29th 2013

BY LILLIAN KIARIE

SLEEP SECRETS: Joshua Mutua, 21, is an IT manager at an ICT centre during the day, and the chief technology officer of an online company he co-founded, and a software developer after hours.

Who is Joshua Mutua?

I am a motivated individual with a passion for using technology to transform traditional businesses. I believe if it can be done, it can be made easier through the use of technology.

I am an IT manager at Jimmy Thyaka ICT Centre and co-founder of FindAHomeKenya.

What is your average day like?

My day starts at 7.30am. After saying a prayer, I check my email, answer any urgent ones and then head out for work.

I live near my workplace, so I use the time it takes to walk to the office to catch up on the day’s news through my phone. This is also the time I use to test any online applications I have created on the phone. I get to work at  around 8am.

My work entails managing the network infrastructure at the institution, developing customised software and also serving the community. The institution works on bringing IT services closer to the neighbouring community.

I get home at around 8pm and carry on with my side hustles until around 3am.

What is your side business about? My business is an online company that connects home-seekers to property owners. We charge property owners a small amount to advertise their rental houses or properties for sale on the site.

I am also a developer on the side. I work on clients’ software projects up to around 3am, so on an average day, I get around four to five hours of sleep.

How did you start out?

I started FindAHomeKenya from a hostel room with a few friends at JKUAT. We had tried to get a house to rent but ended up being duped by agents who asked us to  pay before we could view their property. We thought, why not start a business that would allow people to view actual properties, see pictures and get a quotation at no fee?

How are you able to juggle between your job and side hustles?

It is hectic, so I had to bring a friend on board to help out with FindAHomeKenya. I left the position of CEO to him so he could handle the business during the day,  attend meetings, take calls and attend to customers, among other roles.

What is the biggest lesson you have learnt so far?

You can only reach as far as your hand can; God brings the rest closer.

What is your biggest challenge?

I find it challenging to build trust with my clients. They want to pay for a service online and get returns from it as fast as if it were a hand-to-hand exchange.

Parting shot?

Be good at what you do. If you are not, drop it.

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