Sunday, May 24, 2009

Self Employment?...Why?

Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to start and build my own business as opposed to be employed. I was always advised that actually "it is better to work for 5-10 years THEN go into business for yourself if you still want to do so". The reason given for this is often that one needs to gain experience before they start a business. I was also told that starting a business is very difficult and it is hell finding capital and every mistake costs you money and so on and so forth.

I disagree with this notion for a few reasons:
Firstly; one of my reasons for wanting to be in business is I want to rely on myself. I want to build something that is going to sustain me and my family in comfort irrespective of economic situation and other external factors. I don't want my fortunes to be tied to the decisions that somebody else makes.

Secondly; I didn't do that well in school. Never have. I am average student at best. This does not in any way reflect how intelligent I am. I think that some people are just not made for this formal schooling thing. Sometimes I wish I skipped the whole uni thing and jumped into the business struggle straight out of high school. Ofcourse, despite not setting the halls of uni alight academically, that period was fantastic for me in terms of exposure and helping me to form many of my ideas. Ironically, I am a fantastic employee. Somehow, my competitive juices just start flowing when I am in a work environment.

Thirdly; I feel like the whole "work for sometime and start your business when you're more secure/have more experience/have more resources" thing is a myth. It may work out that way sometimes but that course also comes with its own speedbumps. I have watched people who have done that and still struggled for a couple of years to set up their businesses, I have seen 'experienced' people also often need a learning period after coming out of employment.

I in no way expected my chosen course to be easy. I am fully prepared to struggle, fail, fall and make mistakes, have periods of self doubt etc etc. But I think that the experience gained from taking this course will serve me well. My course is basically a wager that by the time I am 35 or 40, I will be further along the road to self sufficient success than the guy who worked for 10-15 years and decided to quite at 35 or 40. I guess only time will tell, but I'm glad I am in the driving seat.

Importantly, I also want to struggle now, while I am young and before I have a family to cater to. I want my learning curve to be over and done with by the time I have sons, daughters and a wife to look after. I would rather go through this struggle today than 10 years from now when any failure or mistake will affect not just me but others who rely on me and who look up to me to provide for them.

All the above arguments do not even factor in the practical reality that it is now harder than ever to get a good job in Kenya.

Anyway..coming up soon, I will talk about some of what I have seen in trying to go on this path and what I have decided will be my CSR when I do take hudumabora inc. to the bigtime (Actually this post started as that but I got carried away with background).

1 comment:

  1. All the best senor KW with your venture. I still think combining self-employment with employment is the best deal. In my experience anyway...