My self-employment journey has been the hardest undertaking I’ve taken on so far and yet; the easiest decision I’ve ever made! There was neither a struggle nor quiver of doubt that this is what I wanted to do with my life right from the time I joined University.
All I dreamed about was owning a huge chunk of agricultural land where I’d set up a piggery farm and cozy cottage houses for my workers, my family and separate ones for my friends when they’d visit. I fantasied about retiring on my 30th birthday and often bent my father’s ear with tales of needing to set up my eucalyptus forest at 20, latest 25 years of age so I’d mint money while I sat on my cottage front porch, sipping my milk tea. This was my fairy-tale.
Every time I heard of a relative doing farming on large scale, I begged my parents to take me so that I could get an opportunity to interview them and study their farms. If you know me, you know I ask A LOT of questions about things that I’m interested in so you can only imagine how long we usually spent at these farms and how far I’d make my parents drive on these escapades.
I was the kid in primary who made and composed handwritten romantic novels and added traced drawings from the Bible (specifically Songs of Songs) so I could sell them at 500shs.
During my S.4 vacation, I washed my parents’ cars at 6:00am every morning for a daily pay of 6,000ugx which I requested be given to me at the end of the week every Sunday evening after dinner. I didn’t like the idea of always begging for money and those follow up questions of, “How many movies do you need to watch in the cinema?!” Or “Are you the Queen of England? Do you need a pair of shoes for every outing with friends?!” I figured if I worked for the money, then he owed me and if he owed me, no questions asked because now it’s my money! This turned out perfectly!
Soon, my S.6 vacation rolled by and I remember pestering my father endlessly to find me a job. He was the C.E.0 of Deloitte at the time and helped enroll me into The Straight Talk Foundation volunteer program. Not long after a few dry breakfasts, I started a sandwich and cake delivery business to the STF staff and most of the offices along Acacia. To this day, STF employees who meet me in different places ask me for their sandwiches and tell me their breakfast woes!
Then entered my University phase where despite my parents’ warnings, I sneaked our home sandwich maker my mum bought during a trip to Nairobi into my university room and carried on with deliveries to the Guild canteen and other popular restaurants within the university.
“Money at your age is not more important than a solid education foundation” My parents said.
I did graduate with a 4.2 GPA with Honors from Uganda Christian University in Social Work and Social Administration despite my entrepreneurial itch that just couldn’t die down.
When University came to a close, I’d leased 3 acres of land right behind Seeta High School using all my business savings and planted a fruit called okra that I was selling to Mashamba Fresh Exporters of Fruits & Vegetables. I was finally on my way to achieving my fairy-tale! Or so I thought! I has so much to learn, ways I needed to grow, sacrifices I need to make and the first lesson I ever learnt was;
Timing is everything! For love, life, happiness, success… whatever it is, timing is the master and we are the students! Mastering the patience of a lion right before the kill is something I’ve had to learn and apply even in my personal life. Whatever I think I know now, I wait it out and align from the back moving forward only when I’m 75% ready. Let’s face it, you can never be 100% sure or ready… That’s why they describe this life as: A multitude of risks. You just have to calculate the risk factor and make sure it doesn’t outweigh the profitability.
I have my own relationship with God that doesn’t need to be justified by anyone outside it. I am in awe of how His love is the very reason I am who I am today. He gives me everything I need to solve all my human challenges and I always make sure I do the best I can with what He has given me and I let the rest be upon Him. Needless to say, I have gone through some of the most traumatizing situations and out of nowhere, glimmers of hope appeared and here I am!
I apologize much quicker. In my world, problems have to get resolved exceptionally quickly whether the turmoil is of your doing or not! PS. I’m nobody’s doormat, but I do understand that an inconvenience is exactly what it is. I like to get to solutions very quickly and that is my personality makeup right now that I wouldn’t have had if this wasn’t a huge part of my work life.
I am always concerned about being fair, honest and doing my best as opposed to being nice. You see, terminologies like “nice” or “sweet” create a people-pleaser tendency because they’re unattainable. I struggled with this need to make everyone happy by their standards and it drove me insane, drained and my business suffered losses that run me seriously broke for almost a full year. The more I gave, the less appreciation I got because I made depleting myself look like it’s no big deal and inevitably, so did the receiver.
I don’t carry baggage because where’s the space? I literally get so consumed with my 100 roles that I have no space to dwell on one single problem. Once I’ve mourned a loss of someone or something, that’s that. Time’s up! I’m already planning what next.
I save much more! Imagine being your own Clerk Kent and Superman. Nobody is coming to save you but you! I’ve always had a saving culture but I’ve had to up my game tremendously.
My observation skills are on a whole other level. Seeing through the BS if you may. If you really mean it when you say you want something to work, you’ll do everything within your power to see it through. No half-arsing your way through and running scared the minute your tests show up. This is my number one SI unit for judging anybody I surround myself with. I don’t really mind what you say, I’ll 100% watch what you do about it.
“What we say is who we want to be. What we do is really who we are”
I’ve learnt to pack in my emotions. I’ve been the girl who’d burst into tears in public if I was upset and ridiculed myself for being so emotional almost immediately. I’ve wished I could reset the moment I run off stage overwhelmed with emotion while crying in between my speech at the Paple Rayn Turns 2 event but alas! I’ll remain forever mortified at my lack of restraint I displayed. Now, I’d prefer to say nothing until I’m ready to express my thoughts in a calm, proper manner without it being a scene. A lot goes wrong, terribly wrong in the most unexpected ways, I have to be the voice of reason, the power puff girl and the one who says, “Here’s how we’re going to fix this”
You don’t have to earn someone’s love. Love is a choice someone will make regardless of your flaws like Jesus does for us every single day! How extremely wonderful it is to know that all you have to do is be exactly who you are and wait for someone who sees all your little cracks as mere spaces for light to get in! You do have to earn trust and confidence someone places in you, but real love is free flowing. It just is. I’ve loved entrepreneurship even before I knew what it was. After all my losses, wails of exhaustion and confusion, I can tell you without a doubt that is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life and I love it! I know… I should be talking about the love of my life as in a man… but until I really went through the ringer and still chose this life just as hard as it chose me, I must say I had the wrong concept of it all. There’s this consuming, happy emotion that just flows without you even trying. It’s just so… Foxie!
I really don’t want this to be a long post because it’s family time so I’ll end this here for now and try to do a part two! There’s just so much I still want to say!
I wish you all a merry Christmas and a splendid new year!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Tonic William (0770700735 / 0700162790)