THE DECLARATION

25-beautiful-sunrise

We all have morning rituals be it reading the Bible/Koran,praying,reading a book, listening to music or even a particular song, hitting the gym, podcasts. Here is something I added to mine,  The Declaration. A Poem by Robin Sharma 

 

The Declaration

Today, I declare I am strong and brave, not timid nor weak

Today I declare that my past will no longer limit my future and just because I couldn’t achieve something yesterday doesn’t mean I won’t do it this day.

Today I declare that I’ll honor my talents, express my gifts and reveal my creativity to everyone around me.

Today, I declare I’ll be loyal to my values, respectful of my mission and fiercely focused on my dreams.

Today, I declare that I am a maker, a giver and a visionary.

Today, I declare that I will always be part of the solution and never part of the problem.

Today, I declare that when I fall, I will certainly rise and when I’m in doubt, I will persist.

Today, I declare that I will cherish my health, feed my mind and nourish my soul.

Today, I declare that I am surrounding myself with people who are smarter, faster, stronger and better than me so I am uplifted by their models and inspired by their examples.

Today, I declare that I set the standard in my work, am becoming the icon of my industry and a legend at my craft.

Today, I declare that I adore my family, am grateful for my friends and am an encourager to all those who are blessed to cross my path.

Today, I declare that today is MY day. My time to grow, excel, laugh, love, win, believe, persevere and serve, knowing that I am truly the leader of my fate, the owner of my results and the hero of my destiny.

 

Good morning!

Regards,

Cynthia Ythera Mwangi

 

Image courtesy of google.

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THE 4TH WANGARI MAATHAI MEMORIAL

wangari maathai

September 25, 2015 marks the fourth memorial anniversary of Professor Wangari Maathai passing.

On this day the Green Belt Movement (GBM) will lead a people’s march to encourage communities to raise their voices on climate change and the natural environment.

Approximately 500 community members and partners will march in Nairobi starting from the historical Jeevanjee Gardens through Moi Avenue, Haile Selassie Avenue, and Uhuru Park and then to Freedom Corner where participants will be addressed by various speakers.

A similar march will take place in Western Kenya, Kitale where GBM has trained Community members as Trainers on Natural Resource Management.

That’s the way I do things when I want to celebrate, I always plant a tree. And so I got an indigenous tree, called Nandi flame, it has this beautiful red flowers. When it is in flower it is like it is in flame.

Wangari Maathai

WOMEN IN TECH AFRICA LAUNCHES KENYA CHAPTER

WOMEN IN TECHAFRUCA

Date: September 10th 2015

Time : 6pm – 8:30pm
Theme: Women Leadership and the African Technology Dialogue
Target Audience: Women working in the technology sector and technology thought leaders across Africa
Location: iHub Nairobi,4th Floor, Bishop Magua Centre, Ngong Rd, Nairobi, Kenya

We would want you to invite you to attend

Speakers

Wambui Kenya – Managing Director – Africa at ThoughtWorks

Amrote Abdella -Director, Venture Capital & Start-ups, Microsoft Africa Initiatives

Linet Kwamboka CEO at DataScience LTD (Nairobi)

Amanda Gicharu Kemoli Co-Founder & Program Director Tech Republic Africa

In context of the theme we would l these ideas:
The Climb: playing to your strengths for career leadership
How do we support the entrepreneurs, how can we invest in the businesses that African women want to build/are building.
Entrepreneurship in Africa
Failure and Career Growth

Women in Tech Africa has membership of over 500 women in over 30 countries in Africa and will be launching Chapters in South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Canada in addition to Ghana by December 2015

About Women in tech Africa
In order to identify and learn from other Women in Technology across Africa, Women in Technology across Africa spear headed and run the first Pan African women in tech virtual meet up which brought together over 150 women in technology roles across Africa and was featured in CNN.
The success of this process resulted in an established a formal Pan-African Network of Women in Technology to organize regular activities to provide effective support to women in technology across the African continent.

source: event page on facebook

‘IF I KNEW THEN’ THOUGHTS FROM RALPH LINSALATA

RALPHAs promised here’s more from the Harvard business school’s class of 1963, here is a special edition from Ralph Linsalata

 

Ralph T.Linsalata

On leadership

Outstanding leaders:

  • Recognize opportunities and see trends before everyone else
  • Develop people at all levels
  • Clearly and passionately communicate the company’s vision, goals, and core values
  • Live those core values every day and in everything they do
  • Continue to learn from and listen to others without regard for their level in the company
  • Accept the responsibility for all decisions — not just the successful ones
  • Maintain a positive can-do attitude, no matter how difficult the circumstances, but are honest in describing the situation
  • Focus on the priorities and do not get distracted by self-indulgences and needless low-priority items
  • Make all the people in the company feel that their roles are important to its success and that you appreciate their efforts

On Business :

It is easier to make the correct decision when you have extra cash. If your company is short of cash, it is easy to make the wrong decision, although sometimes cash shortage is a fact of the job.

A strong team around you is critical. Loyalty of your direct reports is important, especially if you have earned it.

Never use the pronoun “I” except when taking responsibility for a problem or mistake. When success occurs, it should always be “we” or “they.”

Communication with all employees is critical. Strategies must be explained repeatedly — as many as 20 times — before most people really understand them.

The right culture is also critical. It takes a long time and an exceptional amount of effort to change a bad culture. Most companies fail because they do not have the right culture.

All competitive advantages last for a very short time. You have to be paranoid to stay as the leader of a successful company.

Great companies invest in their people. They encourage people to achieve the seemingly impossible, knowing they are allowed to fail so long as they make intelligent decisions and do not put the company at significant risk without the consent of their management.

On Marriage and family

  • Tell your spouse and children that you love them every day, no matter how you feel.
  • Do not bring your problems home with you.
  • Realize the joy that comes from helping your spouse and children excel in their fields of interest and enjoy themselves.
  • Develop within your family a sense of obligation to help others.
  • Spending quality time with your family — not just time — is critical.
  • Choose a spouse who will understand and support you, and one for whom you will do the same. Life is much better if you can help each other grow and expand your knowledge, experiences, friends, and capabilities.

On career :

  • Find an industry that gets you excited and a company that places excellence and integrity at the top of their list of core values.
  • Identify the areas in which you can truly excel. What you do well is not work — no matter how hard it is and how many hours are required.
  • Learn everything you can about your company, its industry, and your job. Understand both the details and the big picture.
  • Always be willing to help others, because many will later help you.
  • Befriend and work with the best people, because they will make you better.

Life’s Lessons :

Put your family first and, when things go wrong at work, put the problems aside and enjoy time with your loved ones. Family vacations are the best times you will ever have.

If you find an industry and position that you like and are good at, stay in it until you have achieved significant success, even if it means you have to join a less-than-first-tier firm.

You will have the most enjoyment working with people who are smart, of high integrity, and committed to achieving something substantial.

Never stop learning, and be willing to take a risk in your career.

Success is highly dependent on many variables — not just you. Do not fool yourself that you can do anything and turn around any product, project, or company without the right people and resources.

Constant and honest introspection and visualization of what you want for your future are important.

Almost everyone has good intentions and excellence within them, if they’re put in the right position and given the opportunity to learn and develop.

On Happiness and success :

Happiness and success are defined by the importance of:

  • Your family
  • A few true friends
  • Being one of the best in your field
  • Enjoying what you are doing and feeling a purpose beyond having a job
  • Focusing on your objectives and priorities
  • Giving back to others not as fortunate as you
  • Never forgetting who helped you get to where you are

On Wealth :

In our society, it is difficult to not consider wealth as a yardstick of success. However, never consider wealth as your number one-measure of success. Achieving outstanding knowledge and performance should be your primary goal. If you achieve this, the wealth will come either financially or through respect and recognition by others.

Turning Points :

What did I learn from the turning points in my life? Look for great colleagues, role models, and teachers. Be certain to understand the opportunities relative to the risks, and how the risks can be avoided. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and act accordingly. Play to your strengths while you work, but work on your weaknesses.

 

About Ralph T. Linsalata

Dr. Ralph T. Linsalata, PhD, is a Founding Partner of Media Advisory Partners, LLC. Dr. Linsalata was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Planning & Development at Novell Inc. He joined Cambridge Technology Partners Massachusetts Inc. in December 1999 as its Executive Vice President, NEWCO Investments. Dr. Linsalata served as Chief Executive Officer of Lexidata Corporation, Silc Technologies, and Envoy Systems Corporation. He served as Executive Vice President of Cambridge Technology Capital and Cambridge Technology Capital Fund II. He served as Senior Vice President of Venture Investments at Novell Cambridge Technology Partners and Novell Technology Capital Fund I, L.P. He was a General Partner of Lightspeed Venture Partners and Investment Banker of Laird Technologies, Inc. He served as Chief Executive Officer of GestureTek, Inc. He also served as a Chief Financial Officer of Applicon Incorporated, and sales and finance positions with IBM. Previously, Dr. Linsalata served as a Senior Vice President of Hill Holiday Advertising, Inc. holding positions as a Strategic Consultant and Managing Director of that company’s interactive group since March 1997. From 1994 to 1997, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Weston Corporate Development, Inc. Dr. Linsalata served as the Managing Director of Hill, Holliday Interactive Group, building web sites for clients moving to the “New Economy“. He served as Senior Vice President of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Inc. Initially at Hill, Holliday, he helped build the Strategic Consulting Group, which was involved in the development of brand building and brand management strategies. Dr. Linsalata has extensive experience in venture capital and private investments as well as senior executive experience in venture capital-backed technology companies. His prior experience includes roles as General Partner of Weiss, Peck and Greer Venture Partners, L.P.; Vice President of General Electric’s venture capital subsidiary; investment banker with Laird, Inc. Dr. Linsalata serves as Director of Telogis, Inc. and Redleaf Group, Inc. He served as a Director of Amperion, Inc. He holds a B.S.E.E. from Case Institute of Technology, an M.B.A. from Harvard University, and did post-graduate work towards a Ph.D. at New York University

 

Sources : http://www.bloomberg.com

: hbs1963.com

 

Have a blessed day,

Cynthia Mwangi

YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS SERIES : JOSH SIMON

JoshSimonCPEWe all want to make it young, set ourselves apart. But what are we doing toward that?

Josh is a guy who has been entrepreneurial all his life, he had little businesses as a kid, worked doing what he was passionate about through college and has continued his progress after graduation.  I’m excited to share his story with you today.

Remember, these interviews are designed to motivate and inspire, and show how you can be successful at a young age.

 

1. Tell me about yourself?

Josh: Growing up I had a fascination with the building process and was captivated by construction projects. I’d walk down the street from my house to construction sites so I could experience the energy first hand. As soon as I got my driver’s license at 16, I started driving workers and materials to and from construction sites. I knew my career would be in real estate development.

So when I was 18 I had an opportunity that brought it all together. A particular development project was budding and although I had never navigated the entire process before, that didn’t stop me. I pulled together all of the pieces for a successful ground lease deal with the national restaurant chain Chili’s. When everything came together seemingly effortlessly, I knew that I had found my calling.

In the commercial real estate world, I’m one of the youngest principles in the country that is leading a nationally focused development company. My firm, SimonCRE, was established in 2010 and has quickly built an exceptional reputation for service and bold business decisions. I’ve been in the industry for a decade, starting on all days, April Fool’s Day in 2004. Since then, I’ve leased and developed millions of square feet of real estate across the country from our headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.

 

2. What was it like to start a company so young, when others are still in school or figuring out life?

Josh: I always new that success came from a couple of things – real life experience and getting ahead of everyone else. Doing the “normal” thing never appealed to me. So at the beginning of my freshman year of college, when most of my fellow classmates were getting used to dorm life and living on their own, I was searching for internships. Using my contacts, I landed an internship in real estate development, which was exactly where I wanted to be.

Things just clicked because I was completely focused on what I wanted to do.

 

3. What was the biggest risk you ever took? Do you regret it?

Josh: Going out on my own in 2010 was a huge risk because the market was still in a tough place and many people couldn’t understand why I would tackle it on my own. The biggest risk was being 25 years old and taking that leap of faith. Not having a ton of real world experience and saying that I could do it myself was really risky. But I was young and it was the right time for me. It was the best move I’ve ever made.

 

4. What about a failure – tell us about a time you failed at something.

Josh: I’ve started other small companies that weren’t successful because I tried to be everything to everyone. From those experiences, I learned that a business takes more precision than a spaghetti-on-the-wall approach. It needs to focused. Understanding that serves me well every day.

 

5. If you could make one change, what would it be?

Josh: In general, many people are afraid to say no. I would encourage them to say no more often – especially professionally. When you are successful, people look to you for insight and leadership. This often leads to invitations to sit on a board of directors, or help with a specific cause or spearhead a certain initiative. When you’re spread too thin, you’re of no help to anyone. Be intentional about what you do and do it well.

 

6. When did you make your first million, and do you think it changed you?

Josh: I was 25 years old when I earned my first million. I don’t think that it changed me much as a person, but there were a couple of day-to-day things that happened. I became a little more protective and aware of myself and I enjoyed life a little more.

 

7. Being younger, how are you currently managing your money (investments, professional help, etc.)?

Josh: I have a couple financial advisors, an attorney and accountant. My CFO and I look at everything together. Since I work in real estate, my investments are what I do, so I’m pretty hands-on. I also like to surround myself with people who are more experienced than I am – both with money and in knowledge.

 

8. Entrepreneurship or college for today’s high school grads? Which do you think is more important?

Josh: Depending upon your discipline and definitely in my college courses, I didn’t learn a lot from textbooks that I now use on a daily basis. A true entrepreneurial spirit isn’t something you can teach. Two entrepreneurial skills that are extremely difficult to learn in class are salesmanship and how to effectively build relationships. But college is important developmentally. It’s a great arena to meet and connect with people that aren’t in your normal circles. Some of my best friends today are my fraternity brothers whom I met in college.

The university atmosphere helps you grow and communicate more effectively. Those skills will guide you through your education, require you to ask the right questions, get the right information.

 

9. What advice do you have for young adults when it comes to money and entrepreneurship?

Josh: As far as money – live below your means. Save money from day one and continue to always put money away. Lots of people in their 20s don’t save a penny, and come to regret it later when they’re playing catch up.

For entrepreneurship – find something you’re passionate about and go after it. Hurdle over the roadblocks and be laser focused on what it is that you want. Also, continuing education is important, as is relationship building and networking within your industry. You never know where your next deal may come from.

 

By

source :  http://thecollegeinvestor.com/12216/lessons-real-estate-mogul-josh-simon/

http://simoncre.com/about/our-team

20 MUST READ BOOKS

When 2014 started, I vowed to read more books than I had the previous year. 8 months down the line, my little house is filled with books -besides my school work books- and I’m enjoying every bit of it. I never understood why some people never understood what seemed obvious, but with a little help, I’ve come to appreciate our diversity in the way we see things. The gems hidden in some of these books you can’t learn in school or from interacting with other people, you have to source for yourself. To grow yourself.    

Here are my top 20 books so far. Some that I have read, and others I plan to read.

1. First Things First by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill
First Things First can help you understand why so often our first things aren’t first. Rather than offering you another clock, First Things First provides you with a compass, because where you’re headed is more important than how fast you’re going.

 

2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Even though this book was written in 1937, it is still relevant for understanding what outstanding business people do differently from the rest of us. The author interviews hundreds of successful individuals and identifies common behaviors and traits amongst them.

 

3. How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Every day you will have to excel at working with people. Not only will you need to work as a team, you will also need to convince others to believe in your business. This is a mandatory guide for anyone that needs to influence people to advance in their career

 

4. The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
This particular book is all about breaking through limiting beliefs that hold you back from truly having the freedom you want and deserve.

 

5. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
The need for more vulnerability is huge. We put on armors and never take them off to let people in or to be the person we want to be.
But if you’re vulnerable you can experience love, joy, empathy, creativity, and gratitude. We need to get naked again.

 

6. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
   There is a blur between how we live our lives and how we run our businesses, and if we want to achieve our ideal lifestyle, we need to be cognizant of how to build good habits in both.
7. Growing a Business by Paul Hawken
Brian Hamilton, the co-founder of leading financial analysis company Sageworks, says that he still refers to Growing a Business. Like growing a plant, the book shows founders how to develop businesses steadily. He advises against growing a business too quickly or borrowing a lot of money in the beginning.
8. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
For anyone wanting to figure out how to make something go viral, this pillar of marketing is a must-read.

 

9. Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon
New entrepreneurs are often creative individuals. This book literally helps you “steal like an artist.” It shows you how to find ideas you want to implement and re-appropriate them as your own.

 

10. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
This classic touts the principles of spending little, being comfortable with uncertainty, and pivoting quickly when direction must inevitably change course.

 

11. Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Rather than give you a how-to guide for starting a new business, Rework asks entrepreneurs to answer the most pivotal question first: why is what you’re doing so important? It helps you find that niche and develop a service or product that will serve this niche.

 

12. The Business of Belief by Tom Asacker
What makes someone want to buy your product? What motivates them to click and follow through with the ‘Add to Cart’ action?
Tom Asacker tackles the question of belief and motivation in a book full of inspiration and a-ha moments that make you want you to read it slowly to savor the wisdom. Read it when you need to be re-inspired or when you need to see an old problem with new eyes.

 

13. The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns
How would you like to be the obvious choice among your competition and land new clients sans slaving over impressively time-consuming proposals?
Deemed as a go-to book for creatives by Karley Cunningham, the Win Without Pitching Manifesto will show you how to run your business to be more lucrative and gratifying.
Read this if you’re feeling stuck in a rut with client work and want to see your business with new eyes.

 

14. Resonate By Nancy Duarte
After seeing Nancy Duarte speak at WDS, it was obvious to everyone in the room that she had discovered a genius formula for crafting everything from blog posts to keynote speeches that create movements and incite passion.
Read this book, if you’re looking to start or refine your remarkable speaking career.
15. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman
This literary piece explains the propaganda model of the media which critiques the relationship between the mass media, corporations and the government. It’s a good read since the power of mass media these days influences all factors of the society.

 

16. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
Some points of this popular novel is a somewhat related to the previous item since it also talks about popular culture and the influences of the media. This epic encounter between a dying sociology professor and an erstwhile student had such a strong positive influence on readers that it was turned into a TV movie.

 

17. Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
To put in simple terms, this Malcolm Gladwell book emphasizes how spontaneous decisions which are made in a blink of an eye can sometimes be better than the ones which were carefully planned and thought about a million times. It also mentions about how people have an instinctive ability to mind read. If that doesn’t intrigue you, then what could?
18. Half of a yellow sun By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda has achieved several noble things with one stroke. She has furnished literature with simple, elegant and sharp sentences and a (albeit horror) story beautifully woven together in paragraph after paragraph. She has also written a history of the Igbos during a certain period of time. Finally she has presented a literary monument to love and relationships and hope and human dignity. Her characters – – their lives, their triumphs, and their failures – speak to the enduringness of love and truth and the dominance of the human spirit.
19. The Power of Less by Leo Babauta
Like most self help books, this one helps you simplify your life by targeting on the habits that are keeping you from moving forward. Leo Babauta’s principles maybe a little difficult to follow but with an open mind and a drive to declutter, a simple lifestyle is not impossible.
20. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
The Road Less Traveled centers on the role of discipline as the main ingredient for a holistic disposition which he describes as “the means of spiritual evolution”.

 

Love,

Cynthia Mwangi