woman writing

Dear Entrepreneur

I am writing this letter to express my concern about your business and the way you run it.

Please don’t get so worked up, I can read your thoughts immediately after reading that first sentence and know they go something like this, ‘who does this person think  they are to tell me how to run my business? Kindly bear with me and hear me out, infact I have more questions than answers or suggestions and I hope you will be able to answer them.

Let’s face it; most of us go into business to make money to fulfill our own personal needs and ambitions, right? Don’t get me wrong here please; you have every right to do so. Yes absolutely! But while you’re at it, is it too much to ask that you to look at the greater good as well?  How so? I hear you asking. I am talking about you coming up with ideas that will make profit and at the same time help to transform the world and make a positive impact in peoples’ lives and the environment.  Your business doesn’t have to be a choice between making a living and making the world a better place.

The concept of Social Entrepreneurship aims at creating a positive impact along ‘triple lines’ (profit, people & planet) as opposed to the ‘bottom line’ (profit). It takes into consideration the interconnectedness of all humanity and the environment. If your business is your life, then it should express your highest values, (unless you don’t have any) and your purpose should serve a greater good –something bigger than just you. God didn’t create you to make money, live in Karen, play golf, spend your days away in a spa or drink yourself silly. No! No! No! Your life purpose should express your Soul’s yearning - what some of you call passion- the thing you were created to do on this earth with your unique personality, gifts, and talents. This you do, by the way you make a living and it should matter how you make your money and how you spend it.

Changing the world through business means making conscious choices about how you do business and the people you engage with. Do they exemplify the same values you hold; like integrity, honour, love, compassion and justice? If you sell consumer products, are you concerned about what you sell? That it is wholesome, natural and healthy or are your products full of harmful ingredients that make people sick. As a farmer, do you use chemicals that harm the earth or do you insist on organic and biodegradable inputs? Do you advocate for green products, buy from countries practicing fair trade- to discourage and fight against child labour or slavery or you don’t really care so long as you make your profit?

As a Media practitioner or public relations consultant, do you advocate for or create awareness on issues to do with social justice, inequality or abuse or are you championing the cause of a rogue and corrupt politician who drives people to poverty and dehumanization? As a business or life coach, do you follow through to make sure your client succeeds and is truly empowered or does it end after their pockets get a little lighter and yours a little heavier? As a film producer what stories do you tell and what lessons do you teach?  Do your heroes and heroines teach ethics, honour and good morals or do they glorify alcohol, violence, sex and drugs? Are you a catalyst for social change?

Mother Teresa made a difference by simply being angry about poverty. Her resolve to help alleviate the suffering of the poor, stemmed from her deepest Christian values; that all humans should be shown compassion and live in dignity. Her passion gave her access to the corridors of power and saw her address the United Nations to influence policy makers on poverty alleviation programmes. Likewise, as an entrepreneur you have to believe that your business can be profitable, fun, fulfilling, and can make a difference.

As I said in the beginning, I am concerned about how you go about your business. I have seen you focus on making money in ways that are not so pleasing. You are overwhelmed by all these problems around you and think that there is really nothing much you can do, so you shut down your emotions; you refuse to feel, in order for you to function and do what others are doing. You forget, what you become is directly related to what you do and surround yourself with and this dissonance you feel between the values you hold dear and what you practice is injurious to your Soul.

Once you bridge this gap and start making conscious choices in your business life, believe me, you will start to feel respected, valued, honoured, nurtured, and loved as opposed to what you feel now-depleted, used, hurt, guilty and restless. Aligning your deepest values with your purpose helps to release a transforming process that brings about inner growth and feeds your Soul. So, tonight when you reach home, look around at your loved ones and ask yourself this: did I make the world a better place for them today? Then go further, dig deep and ask again: did I feed my Soul today?

I hope you find the answers, and when you do… I hope you can sleep easy.

Yours Truly,

PS. “Our Soul is like a stream of water which gives strength, direction, and harmony to every other area of life. You didn’t create the stream. God did. But you are the keeper of the stream.” (Dallas Willard).

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Eva Chao Mwazige

 

Eva Chao Mwazige studied communication and Daystar University. She’s an entrepreneur and experienced content writer. She’s currently working on a book and a poetry collection..

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Five Ways of Keeping Your New Year Goals

Well 2015 is underway and with a New Year, a business always needs new strategies to boost work. It is not easy to be consistent with New Year resolutions even on personal level, but there are ways of keeping the momentum which include the following:

  1. Make SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Result focused and Time bound): Being specific is important for the goal to be understood by all involved in the process. Making sure the goal is measurable enables one to quantify success. The goals needs to be attainable as pushing for elaborate goals renders the process of running the business strenuous and the team may be defeated before the end of the year. Results ensure a less politicised situation does occur. Making the goal time bound brings in a sense of urgency needed to achieve the goal in due time. The SMART analogy helps to guide the business achieve goals in a precise manner.
  2. Establish a reward system: Putting in place a reward system for the business can help foresee better results. One example is sales teams who were given targets can be rewarded once quarterly mark-ups have been achieved. Tom runs a company that sells computer software, last year was the first time he put in place a reward system for his sales team. The first quarter few had achieved their targets but as time rolled on the numbers of sales persons who reached their goals grew considerably.  Tom was able to use the reward system to achieve the desired results.
  3. Review the goals: the strategy accomplishing the goal can evolve due to change in the economic status of the country or how the market responds to a product or service. The product you provide could become obsolete due to newer and faster equipment or technology. By having review meetings the team can take stock of the changes taking place and anticipate any need to adjust tactics.
  4. Envision the success: If you can see it, you can achieve it is a motto that helps business in achieving success. Mary who sells cakes had a motto of selling a hundred cakes a day by end of 2014. She did not only achieve it she even surpassed by fifty cakes.  There are many success stories where the entrepreneur saw and stated her vision from the beginning and was able to accomplish it through resilience and determination.  The best way to envision success is to state it. Some entrepreneurs prefer placing a board or chart with a diagram that shows the desired end result.
  5. Acknowledge the obstacles: By accepting the difficulties one is to face ensures the team finds ways to lessen their effects. Some companies merge when it becomes evident that they need one another.  A company specialising in manufacturing paper could merge with one which specialises in making fonts. They can combine forces to cover a greater share of the industry as well as avoid negative market forces.

How do you keep focused on your New Year’s goals? Please share your method with us in the comment section below.

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Nyakio Kiruthu

 

Nyakio Kiruthu left the world of banking after 4years to venture into the world of business. She is a shareholder of Thayu Farm hotel, a family business. She holds a degree in Economics and Masters in International Business which enables her to explore the world of business through a unique perspective.

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