Crossroads in my career path

Going into business is sometimes a daunting project, even at the best of times. You are leaving all that’s familiar…and laid back – the monthly pay check, hours spent making decisions (whose overall effect seemed like somebody else’s business and not yours, in case of any losses), stopping in on friends for that Marketing pitch, lazy Fridays where some take off early from work under the guise of out-of-office business deals etc.

Safe… that’s what employment was always about. A safety net…this new frontier called ‘CEO/Boss’ is now unfamiliar territory. There’s business lingo that comes with the territory…requires you to be on top of things..studying industry trends, hob-nobbing with people who, given a choice, wouldn’t exactly have fallen into your set of close associations over evening drinks, getting to and staying at the office at the oddest hours when the most of the populace are snuggly cuddled under warm sheets, making tough calls that no one else wants to take the slack for…it’s no longer your call perse. Uncannily, just like the employee, you are also somehow still subject to some rules, albeit  a slightly modified set.

But let’s face it!  How long can we honestly keep at the same job before feeling like we want to be our own boss? I know our parents generation easily got the Commendation for ‘Longest Serving Employee’ after over 30 years service under their belt!!! That’s an entire lifetime it seems…of burying yourself in someone else’s dream and ambition. Do we even have the security that goes with investing that amount of time,energy and effort in someone else shindig anymore? Who will keep looking out for you long after your 50s? And can you imagine the handsome severance package for an employee of that standing now? I would want to imagine that we are a faster paced generation, with lots more diversity on offer to select from, now that technology has opened up wider horizons for us. Gone are the days when everyone clamoured to be a doctor, lawyer, architect, teacher or nurse… choice professions indeed, at the time. And then proceeded to grow roots on the job!

We have the widest selection of careers to pick from…ladies who are ‘tuk tuk‘ drivers, matatu conductors (makangas), mechanics to reckon with, stay at home dads (if that can be called a profession), female caddies, male nannies etc. The list is endless…and apparently, it can all start from a simple thing as a Hobby- that activity or interest that is undertaken for pleasure, typically done during one’s leisure time. How harmless can that be? Let me just pick one thing that I enjoy off the top of my head and see how to go about making it profitable, isn’t that right?

And so here I am faced with an impending decision that is at once both exhilarating, while also daunting. Where shall one start looking for new business? A Partnership or Sole Entrepreneurship? What are the hidden loopholes I need to watch for? Does one have the required capital, after all, they say it takes upwards of a 3 year circle before I can consider breaking even!!!  One had better have saved up some tidy sum to counter any unforeseen challenges/hiccups/misguided decisions. And to add to all that, I would immediately feel the effects of every decision I make…no more idly spending monies on the eye-catching handbags, grabbing that cab to work on a whim, roping in friends for an un-budgeted for Friday hangout at Java…man, this business thing needs a second thought.

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Christine is passionate about working with high achieving women who are not where they want to be. She teaches them how to communicate with Confidence and Clarity towards Personal Fulfillment, Living Passionately and impacting their world. An Events Consultant at Sauti Events & Audio Consultancy (https://www.sautieventsandaudio.kbo.co.ke), and Motivational Speaker with FINE WOMEN Motivational Forum, she is an avid reader and enjoys making friends, travelling, the theatrical arts and cookery. "Entertainia" is her middle name...

  • Naomie

    Stepping out into your own business is a different kind of brave, that most of us lack so you are already a step ahead of the rest of us who still long to go into our own businesses. I think your only problem is you are lacking some faith. The minute you start worrying about little things like what people are thinking about you and whether or not your pitches are boring them the list will be endless. You also have to realise that you don’t know everything so there’s a lot of learning on the way, but they are mere stumbles which you can do you research on or find someone who knows. Unfortunately businesses take time to grow and you should accord it the necessary time, it won’t happen overnight, no business ever became successful overnight.

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