I learnt the hard way to trust my gut – Susan Kaittany
By CAROLINE OKELLO | 3 weeks ago
I wake up at 6am and head to the gym. Working out usually takes about an hour. During this time, I listen to podcasts, my equivalent of morning reading.
My current favourite podcast is The Mindset Mentor. I love it because it always reminds me to train my mind to think a certain way.
A lot of us put so much effort in training our bodies to either stay fit or simply feel energised, but we tend to forget about our minds. Your mind can rule you, making it a hindrance to achieving your goals. Minds also need training. Just changing how you think can make a difference.
When I get to work at around 9am, I have meetings with my managers and from there the day takes on a life of its own. One thing, though; I never stay late at work. I’ll be out of the office at 3pm to spend time with my children, touch base with their tutors and help them with homework.
After they go to bed at 8pm, I read a book or watch a movie to unwind. I’m currently reading Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene. I am a curious person and always fascinated about people and what drives them.
Evenings are my favourite part of the day, when I get to just kick back and think about what I have achieved for the day and what I hope to achieve the next. Usually I’ll have a cup of tea on hand or light my fireplace.
As a mother of two, an 11-year-old and six-year-old, and a businesswoman, I understand the importance of taking time out for myself in order to perform at the top of my game. Working out helps me to recharge. I also play a lot of tennis.
I love spas and after playing tennis I get a massage, at least once a week. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends. Travelling, another activity I immensely enjoy, is currently on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has shifted my outlook. I have been forced to slow down and enjoy the small things. Most of us have been living a fast-paced life, forgetting to smell the roses, as they say.
I spend more time with my children now. In business, it has forced me to be more creative in how I run things. I have had to embrace technology more.
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My biggest advice before you start a business is to save. The first two or three years your business will mostly be taking from you, and it will need a lot of support from you. I believe it is better to delay your dream until you have a plan in place rather than starting blindly.
Also, it is good to start something out of passion. But passion without a plan is just that. Make sure you have a business plan. This will help you understand what you are hoping to achieve down to the numbers. You cannot make projections out of thin air.
Besides, it is one of the things a bank will need should you approach them for financial support. Believe in your idea.
No one from outside is likely to tell you how it is a wonderful idea and that you should definitely go for it. If anything, you are likely to face detractors.
It is important to put structures in place from the word go. Do not wait for your business to grow in order to build structures because you are leaving it open to a lot of loopholes.
There are moments when I did not trust my gut. I doubted myself and ended up paying for it in the long run. In business, for instance, there are instances when I have delayed firing someone when I have had valid reasons to do so.
You go back and forth with yourself, telling yourself this person has a family and so on. If the issue was theft, they continue doing so, and you lose in the end. I have learnt to always trust my gut.
I'm motivated by challenges, in life and in business. Solving one challenge pushes me to solve a bigger one. I see business that way. It is like solving a puzzle. Life would be awfully boring without challenges. And if you are doing something you love, it adds to the motivation.
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