It was very dehumanizing. I felt very low and for some hours, I was a public failure. It felt like I had let my family and those who invested in me down; a great disappointment to all those who had banked on my success. That very evening, I started pondering and soul-searching. My business was doing poorly and I was definitely stressed; wondering why me! And so the traumatizing question was actually well intended.

“How can you, an engineer, a very skilled professional, quit your good-paying job to come and hawk soap!” my friend (and former colleague) asked me. I had just invited him to have a look at my business and perhaps see if we do it together.

The truth is, I had not seen my future in employment and my hopes for living my dream were dwindling. From college, I had not intended to be employed beyond 5 years but nothing clear was coming to mind that I could do to sustain myself. I had been informed by a friend on campus that one is not in Nairobi until he/she is out of the university and that in Nairobi you’re always spending whether you’re earning or not. This was very accurate. And so after my graduation and having been in employment for over 2 years, I chose to do what almost everyone does; enrolled for a Masters degree. Though grudgingly, I could not figure out exactly how adding more degrees could translate to more money in the pocket. I registered for a Masters in Information Systems at the University of Nairobi. I loved the course and learned a great deal.

I had finished year one when I finally got a business I could do. After something like 5 months of struggling with my business, I attended a training session that opened both my mind and eyes. Not because it gave me an answer, but because it provoked my thinking. At this stage, I was a research student at the university, and in essence, that meant I should be better placed to seek solutions to pressing problems. Besides, I had a physics background which is purely analytical. So when the speaker challenged us about business problems, I could connect. He repeatedly said, “How is it possible for a clear-thinking human being to have the same problem repeatedly over a long time? It means something is wrong with you, not the system or government but you! Even if it were a knowledge gap, wouldn’t you register for a course or look for a book to read or someone to teach you so that you address your business challenge?”

In truth, when business isn’t giving the results we want (or expect), we develop a tendency to blame the system, blame the government, blame the economy, blame blame blame … everyone else but ourselves. I was in that exact mode; I blamed the poor performance on the cost of products, lack of time, the team, etc. But it soon dawned on me that I was the problem. I had to start being candid with myself and find out the exact problem. That was when I developed the formula for problem-solving which I use and teach to date.

My problem was a skill gap in selling. I stood one day in the warehouse and saw people buying products in bulk, exchanging money in tons. I saw contemporaries earning great bonuses, many of whom were barely schooled. I swallowed my pride, admitted my problem, and embarked on a life-long study and exercise that would completely transform my life. I have practiced and taught this essential life skill for 12 years and am proud of the results. I gained freedom the day I began to hone my selling skills. Many people today Live their Dreams because of this.

Today, I know for sure, that whenever you see a depressed entrepreneur, or a business starting to retrench staff, it always boils down to sales volume. Every boss wants to give sales targets but not doing much to develop sales capacity. It is not motivation that is required, it is training. Motivation without training is the recipe for disaster because if you motivate someone headed in the wrong direction, he only arrives at the wrong destination earlier.

The beauty is, Live Your Dreams Enterprises Limited has packaged an excellent course in selling at a very affordable investment and you will be happy to register for it.

Thursday, May 25, 2023
so true
Tunes Written by Otieno P.P.
Alongside is a Responsorial Psalm for Ascension Sunday.
God goes up with Shouts of Joy