WHY REJECTION IS GOOD FOR YOU

Rejection. I love that word..said no one ever! It reminds you of that feeling you get when someone says no to you. A horrible crippling feeling. The kind that makes you want to crawl into bed and never get up.

Where has this come from you ask? I had  a conversation about my perfect studio set up with a friend of mine on Monday. It went something like this.

Me: I think this set up is brilliant, I’d love to have it.

Vincent : Why not ask for it?

Me:  We both know that’s not going to happen.

Vincent : What gives you that idea? Did you talk to the relevant people and they said no?

Me: Not yet, but……

Vincent: so you are assuming you can’t get it, and you are not even willing to ask? What is the worst answer? A no. Right. Then? Will the ‘No’ be imprinted on your forehead?  Will we all hear the ‘No’ echo through the walls? NO! The worst thing you can do is deny yourself the chance to know the actual answer. If the answer is NO, Ask why. That way the no makes sense. Again, you could get a yes. Then what?

To prove his point, He went ahead, talked to someone and I might just get it.

He didn’t get a No, He got a maybe.

See where I’m going with this?

Immediately after that he shared Jia Jiang’s video.

I watched it once, twice,thrice. And a few more times the following day.

We want to be better people, fearless people. Gladiators. The kind you read of and watch on TedX with amazing stories. How do we expect to be these people if simple things like walking into a boss’s office to asking for something scares the hell out of us?

Jia Jiang and Vincent got me thinking. Next time…I’m not going to be scared.

Why, because I’m walking away from great life lessons.

Here are 7 I thought make sense.

  1. Becoming a better person. If your outlook on life is positive,you’ll learn from what you’d perceive as failure.
  2. Appreciating success more. Imagine getting a yes after 5 Nos.Its an amazing feeling right?
  3. Being more resilient. The strength to regroup and come back again isn’t for the faint
  4. Re-evaluating yourself and your plan. If your initial plan,didn’t work. write a new one, find a new angle. heck find a couple.
  5. Getting another chance. Tomorrow, You’ll go back stronger,better.
  6. Helping others. Your experience becomes a great lesson to someone.
  7. Being more courageous. Something that doesn’t come easy.

 

Happy watching.

 

Cheers,

Cynthia Mwangi.

 

 

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HOW TO BOUNCE BACK LIKE A BOSS

This year, like every year…I sat down and wrote down my resolutions. Yes…I did. I called myself for a meeting, we sat down me, myself and I. In this meeting, a few things came up:

  1. Despite writing down my resolutions every year, I usually accomplish about 40% of them, so something has to give this year.
  2. We are past saying ‘I’m young and I still have time’.  Not even the next minute is promised to me. So grab every opportunity to grow.

So I decided, sorry WE decided, that we’d be doing our resolutions quarterly. * insert cheers here*  I know, WE are pretty excited about it, however the pressure to deliver in 4 months is real.  Between working with my team and working on my vision of Cynthia Mwangi, there is really no time to waste.

But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48

(David Muriithi, thank you for this reminder)

That being said, A couple of months back I had the pleasure of moderating a panel during  ASENTI 2016 at USIU. And it was important for me to find out as much as I could about the panelists. One of them was Chris Mureithi, who had been featured on Engage Talk –  The bi-monthly Engage platform focuses on the power of engagement to foster learning and transform minds and lives.  I watched a few more but I loved Beatrice Imathiu’s story.  She took me on a journey of her life. Her highs, her lows, her really highs and really lows. It cant get more real than this.  We Fall. We Rise. We Soar. She had it all but she dared to want more.

A few things I’ve learnt about bouncing back like a boss :

  1. Have a strong support system. (She was kicked out, out of love you know) It will get you through tough times. We are not islands.
  2. Celebrate little wins, appreciate the good things in life. Be grateful for what you have constantly, you’ll notice not everything is going wrong.
  3. Look for growth opportunities constancy. You don’t want to be caught in a failure rant. Keep yourself going, no matter what happens.
  4. Failure does not  reflect who you are.
  5. Trust the process.

Happy watching!

and being the Kenyan I am, Happy new year!

 

 

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WANT TO MAKE A MILLION IN ONE DAY?

millionaire

Its been a minute since I shared something, I feel very guilty considering we are already half way though the year!

While I’ve been away, I’ve had the pleasure of being part of an amazing group of young women under 30 who are armed to the teeth with information and passion to make a difference in their lives, and the country. Most are entrepreneurs running  or have partnered to run businesses.

I like encouraging people to venture into business, growing their talents and making money while at it. Let’s be honest, white-collar jobs are not what they used to be. Who knew you’d make money off running someone else’s social media accounts? who knew you’d one day get paid to go around restaurants rating food?

Majority of those working now have been in that office for a minute, so as you train, whose job are you planning on taking exactly? Companies are downsizing and even shutting down. So where are you getting that job?

Here are a few eye opening facts we’ve seen this year.

As applications for the second cohort of Tuskys internship programme came to a close on June 30th, the reality of joblessness in Kenya became more apparent. According to results of the applications, majority of applicants were masters and undergraduate degree holders seeking to intern at Tuskys, Kenya’s second biggest retail chain in terms of turnover.

“The fact that even holders of Master’s degrees are looking for internships is a pointer that we have a huge role to play in filling in the skills gap,” said Tuskys CEO Dan Githua. “It shows that experience is as important as academic qualifications in the employment market.”

But it also shows how desperate the jobless market has become with thousands of graduates chasing fewer jobs in the market. So few that candidates are resorting to applying for jobs and opportunities they are overqualified for to increase their chances of being considered.

http://www.businesstoday.co.ke/masters-degree-holders-scramble-for-tuskys-internship/

An unsettling fact; 80% of unemployed Kenyans are below 35 years.

“The challenge of youth unemployment is compounded by the fact that 90% of all unemployed young people lack vocational skills, said Sicily Kariuki, cabinet secretary for youth and gender affairs in the Ministry of Public Service. “Addressing youth unemployment therefore calls for innovation, investment and commitment among all stakeholders.”

Unemployment is a major challenge that affects youth across Kenya. Approximately 800,000 young Kenyans enter the labour market every year and youth unemployment is estimated to be as high as 35%, compared to the overall national unemployment rate of 10%. Furthermore, 80% of unemployed Kenyans are below 35 years old.

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/mar/02/tackling-youth-unemployment-in-kenya-through-public-private-collaboration

future mill

I’m sure most of you have read this in various WhatsApp groups and fb posts.

If your boss paid you 30,000 every month and you saved all that money without touching a coin, you would need to work for 36 months to get 1 million.

But if you convinced an organization like The UN to give you a printing job for only 5000 umbrellas and you made Ksh. 200  from each umbrella that  would be  5000×200=1,000,000. In only 1 day.

It becomes crazy if you want to become a Billionaire. Say your boss pays you 1 million per month and you saved all that money without touching a single coin, in a year you would only have 12 million and you would need to work for 84 years to get 1 billion (How old are you??).

However, there are 40 + million people in Kenya if you supplied salt to 12 million of them once per month making 10 bob per packet, it would only take you 1 year to be a billionaire.

A lot of people may punch holes in this, however what is key here is the lesson.

Times are changing, I’ll tell you this, companies hire people who can perform more than one task. The disruption is real, and its happening fast in Kenya and in Africa. We need to shape up and catch up fast.

My two cents on this:

  1. On top of what you already studied for, add a few more skills, that always wins.
  2. White collar jobs aren’t what they used to be, if you are below 30, you fall under the  entrepreneurial generation so get off the couch and do something.
  3. With Africa becoming a ‘continent of interest’ you don’t have to think going abroad will save your life, now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities coming in.
  4. Tender-preneurship is a thing now, jump on it.
  5. Take advantage of the youth,women tenders already set aside. If you don’t, who will?
  6. Nothing will come easy,that we all know, so brace yourself for tough times.However, it will be worth every minute.
  7. For the record, Farming isn’t shady.

 

Have a beautiful thought-provoking day 🙂

 

Cheers,

Cynthia Ythera Mwangi

 

 

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‘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

‘IF I KNEW THEN’ FROM HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL’S CLASS OF 1963

If I Knew Then Advice on careers, finance, and life from Harvard Business School’s Class of 1963

Nothing beats a website that has tones of advice on career, life, love, money. I stumbled on the Harvard Business School Class of 1963 website. It’s worth every minute.

hbs

Here is something from Charles Ellie.

You have the talent and capability to create a great life for yourself and for our society. The opportunities are numerous. The need for leadership is compelling. You live only once, and life is short. So your choices matter greatly.

Don’t waste your chance to make important contributions. Work on important opportunities and problems. Be an ethical exemplar and committed leader. Become a recognized expert in your chosen profession. Reach out to and concentrate your time with the best people in your profession. Avoid those who are OK or less on values, character, and ethics.

Choose a career you really enjoy. You’ll make ample money doing work you like with people you admire. You’ll be able to provide your family with everything of real value, so why give up joy for dough?

Find a firm that understands the real value of good ethics.

You may consider starting your own company, ideally with one or more friends you trust and admire. If anyone can talk you out of it, let them — because it’s only when you know you must do it that you’ll have the determination to overcome all the obstacles and challenges and have the persistence to figure it out and make it fly.

If you decide to go ahead, give it all you’ve got. Building your own company is the greatest freedom you can ever have — and it’s fun!

Charles “Charley” Ellis founded Greenwich Associates, a strategy consulting firm focusing on financial institutions, in 1972. The firm’s clients include commercial banks, investment banks, securities dealers, investment managers, and insurance companies in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Charley also holds a doctorate in finance and economics from New York University and has authored several books and articles on finance. He served as president of the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts for more than twenty years and has taught finance at Harvard Business School, Yale, and several other institutions.

 

Source: hbs1963.com

Picture  : http://poetsandquants.com

 

Have a blessed day,

Cynthia Ythera Mwangi