Warren Buffet once said, “No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant”. The math adds up right? LOL!!! I tell you for free, in business, it takes TIME!!!
Today I sat around a table of three great entrepreneurs (who happen to be my relatives) and the main topic of discussion was the lessons we have learnt over the time we have all done business. That if we knew what we know today, our journey would have been easier and the stressful part shorter. In the advent of Nakumatt having empty shelves, and banks and media houses retrenching hundreds of their workforce, it is delusional to think or believe businesses are built on brick and mortar. Indulge me here…an example of Nakumatt (who we all hope and pray will get back to its feet because, hell! It’s Nakumatt! It’s our Walmart or Carrefour or Tesco this side of the Sahara. And while other multinationals enter our market and our own chains like Chandarana Foodplus grow, we must believe better for Nakumatt and wish them well, regardless of their reasons for destabilizing).
We all know the story of a small Indian owned business known as Nakuru Mattresses which became the anchor of malls like Westgate, Junction, Village Market among others. Employing over 5,500 people in over 65 branches. A business which has among many other challenges faced demolition of some branches, fire, terrorism just to name but a few catastrophes. Nevertheless, it always sprang back. This business has been in operation for more than ten years. I want to believe they are still learning and will spring back up. Time.
Coming back to our businesses, and I will give an example of my own. When I opened my doors on the
20th of July, 2013, I had a vision, mission and strategy which I had no clue would be shaken by so many adversities. It is like a man’s faith that is tested by several temptations daily. From having to get extra space to accommodate my clients, to changing the business name and rebranding, to losing employees and dealing with government agencies (you know who…), my boat has been rocked by serious waves and tides. So many and grand that have given me countless sleepless nights. The same boat however has been steered by relentlessness, dedication and passion that is unquestionable. It is the only reason four years later we are still open.
If I was to open a business today, the only reason it would be more seamless, is the experience and time it has taken me to build my first. There are no shortcuts! Ask Mr. Kinuthia of Interconsumer who sold his business for over 10b to a multinational. Blood, Sweat and Tears my friends.
But one thing I guarantee you, that TIME we take to get better, is a TEACHER and a HEALER. We learn from personal mistakes and get courage to take on anything. We have to do TIME. It’s the business sentence by the highest court of the business land. It is our orange jumpsuit for years.
So do your time, and when you feel like you are just about to break and throw your hands in the air, at that very moment, your breakthrough comes. Necessity is the mother of invention. And as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, it is darkest before dawn. But doesn’t dawn always come? If Nakumatt is still doing time, who are you?