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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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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CINDERELLA,THE LIZARD AND MY AHA MOMENT

As 2016 year started, I found myself watching a re-run of Cinderella , (yes yes I’m one of those) oh how familiar this story is. And every fairytale from here to King George’s kingdom . The beautiful girl is married by the prince and the evil step sisters bite the dust. YES? Of course… And for a long time, I thought most of the fairly tales were about that…love. As a little girl I hoped my prince charming would come in and swoop me off my feet too and we’d live happily ever after in a big castle ( I know allow a girl her moments)

As I watched it, little things started catching my attention. Like this simple conversation :

cinderella

Cinderella: I’m frightened, Mr. Lizard.
Lizard Footman: Oh.
Cinderella: I’m only a girl, not a princess.
Lizard Footman: And I’m only a lizard, not a footman. Enjoy it while it lasts.
[Ella smiles then with a breath of courage starts making her way inside the palace]

   Then it all came together. It was always about being courageous, believing and taking risks. The answer the footman gave was what we may refer to as the pep talk before a big match; Before taking the first step into your happily ever after. Scared as you may be, courage is necessary.                     Have courage,

 I watched as Cinderella’s step-mother squashed every chance she might have had to meet the prince. However, when the time came, nothing could stand in her way. Her step-sisters laughed and mocked her but she still hoped. Something she never lost. she was determined, she held on to her dream, her spirit wasn’t crushed. You should have seen me scribbling down these words right after the movie. My light bulb moment gave me something I think was slowly dying; Hope. I was awakened, in that moment, I saw hope.

In 2016 May you be reminded like I was, to be hopeful, courageous, believe and taking risks. When an opportunity presents itself, no matter how insane it looks or feels, no matter how small, take it and Enjoy yourself.

Happy-New-Year-2016

Now I can wish you a Blessed New Year 2016!!

I look forward to hearing about the chances you took. yes? Brilliant!

I’ll leave you with these words : Have courage,  be kind and all will be well

 

Cheers,

Cynthia Ythera Mwangi

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 organise regular activities to provide effective support to women in technology across the African continent.

source: event Facebook page

‘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

WRITING YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

business-plan      Whether you’re starting or growing your business, you need a business plan. Your plan will provide the road map to achieve the success you want. The question shouldn’t be IF you write your plan, but how to write a business plan that will take your company where you want to go.

Your business plan is essentially your answers to a comprehensive list of questions. The first and most important question is this: where do you want your business to go? Stated differently, what do you want your business to look like in three, five or even 10 or more years? What level of revenues and profits do you have at that time? How many employees? How many locations? And so on.

Likewise, your business plan should answer these questions for a shorter time period, particularly one year. That is, what are your business’ goals for the current year, and what must you accomplish to make the year a success.

Tips when writing your business plan

When writing your business plan and before you start using it, consider the following:

  • Do your research – You will need to make quite a few decisions about your business including structure, marketing strategies and finances before you can complete your plan. By having the right information to hand you also can be more accurate in your forecasts and analysis.
  • Determine who the plan is for – Does it have more than one purpose? Will it be used internally or will third parties be involved? Deciding the purpose of the plan can help you target your answers. If third parties are involved, what are they interested in? Although don’t assume they are just interested in the finance part of your business. They will be looking for the whole package.
  • Do not attempt to complete your business plan from start to finish – First decide which sections are relevant for your business and set aside the sections that don’t apply. You can always go back to the other sections later. Get some help – If you aren’t confident in completing the plan yourself, you can enlist the help of a professional (i.e. Business Enterprise Centre, business adviser, or accountant) to look through your plan and provide you with advice.
  • Actual vs. expected figures – Existing businesses can include actual figures in the plan, but if your business is just starting out and you are using expected figures for turnover and finances you will need to clearly show that these are expected figures or estimates.
  • Write your summary last – Use as few words as possible. You want to get to the point but not overlook important facts. This is also your opportunity to sell yourself. But don’t overdo it. You want prospective banks, investors, partners or wholesalers to be able to quickly read your plan, find it realistic and be motivated by what they read.
  • Review. Review. Review – Your business plan is there to make a good impression. Errors will only detract from your professional image so ask a number of impartial people to proofread your final plan.

 Business plan chalkboard

What to include in a business plan?

A business plan provides direction, keeping you on track and is usually a requirement when you seek finance. Depending on your business type, your plan could include the following sections:

  1. Company Analysis: what products and/or services do you offer now and/or what will you develop and offer in the future?
  2. Industry Analysis: how big is/are your market(s) and how are they changing? What trends are affecting them and do these trends bode well for your future success?
  3. Competitive Analysis: who are your competitors and what are each of their key strengths and weaknesses? In what areas will you have or gain competitive advantage? How?
  4. Customer Analysis: who are your target customers? What are their demographic and/or psychographic profiles? What are their needs?
  5. Marketing Plan: how will your reach your target customers? What promotional tactics and marketing channels will you use? How will you price your products and/or services? What brand positioning do you desire for each?
  6. Management Team: who comprises your current team and what key hires must you make in order to execute on the opportunity in front of you. Will you build a Board of Advisors or Directors, and if so, who will you seek?
  7. Operations Plan: what is your action plan? What are the milestones you must accomplish to go from where you are now to where you want to be at year’s end? At the end of five years?
  8. Financial Plan: how much external funding (if applicable) do you need to build your company? In what areas will these funds be invested? What are your projected revenues and profits over the next one to five years? What assets must you acquire?

 

Was this post helpful, Leave a comment.

Regards,

Cynthia Mwangi

Sources : forbes.com

: business.gov.au

Images : Google

BUSINESS IDEAS YOU CAN START TODAY : EVENT SERVICES

quote-Benjamin-Franklin-to-succeed-jump-as-quickly-at-opportunities-103044

we know how Kenyans get overly excited about events. Weddings, graduations, birthdays, barbeques,baby showers, bridal showers etc. Why not turn that into a business? You know someone who’ll be having a  party and can pay you to handle the logistics. Its not easy, trust me. But nothing ever came easy.

 

Event Services
Photography
With your eye for photo opportunities-at weddings, parties, special events and more-you could be zooming in on profits as a freelance photographer. Be prepared to work weekends and evenings (when many clients will need your services) and to hire an assistant to help you juggle your photo paraphernalia.

Errand Runner/Personal Shopper
Calling all shopaholics: Here’s one business where you can truly shop till you drop . . . without spending a penny of your own! Personal shoppers-who may also perform other errands, such as picking up prescriptions or buying groceries-can never complain about a lack of things to do.

Mobile DJ
As a mobile disc jockey, weddings, parties and other events are all music to your ears. Start jammin’ with a collection of compact discs, a CD player, and a speaker system, then pass on the word about your services to wedding and event planners.

Wedding-Planning Service
Getting married isn’t always as simple as saying, “I do.” There’s a caterer to be contracted, a location to be rented, and flowers to be ordered. So when it comes to making matrimony a more harmonious event for the new couple and their families, wedding planners take the cake.

Event Planning
If your life has been, well, uneventful until now, we have a solution: Be an event planner! Whether it’s a party, wedding or convention, you’re sure to be at the center of all the action when you coordinate everything from room rentals and speakers to decorations and food.

event

 

Limousine Service
With a limo and some insurance, you could be the driving force behind a new business venture. Stretch your market by adding more drivers and cars to your fleet. Then, once you’ve established a reliable reputation, start-driving home your limousine-service sales.

Photo Birth Announcements
For birth-announcement producers, business is booming as fast as the population! Some basic desktop-publishing software, scanning equipment, and the names of new parents put you in the starting blocks; from there, create fanciful photo-cards, including those all-important details: name, birth date, time and weight.

Video Service
You may not win a producer-of-the-year award, but you’ll win the appreciation of your clients when you capture their weddings,  birthdays and more on video. Keep the film rolling at special events, then edit a final version for clients’ own special screenings.

Reunion Organizing
Reunite ’em ’cause it pays so good: Whether it’s one big happy family or one big high school class, reunions can be a joyful-and lucrative-occasion for reunion organizers. coordinate the catering and entertainment, send out the invitations, then sit back and let it all “come together.”

 

Was this post helpful? Leave a comment.

 

Regards,

Cynthia Mwangi

 

source : Guen Sublette runs her writing-and-editing-services business from her home in Redondo Beach, California.

: entrepreneur.com

images : Google