Flashback to this time one year ago…
Unfortunately, I suffer from selective amnesia and I can’t seem to intactly preserve my memories as well as most people I know. I have had hilarious encounters owing to this ‘defect’ but that is a story for another day.
So last year. Between balancing school, life, work and starting a business from scratch, I am unable to decide what takes the cup in terms of magnitude of achievement.
I have achieved so little so far because the plans and expectations I have for myself are so huge, but I am eternally grateful that I managed to get past the planning stage in most of those areas. The planning stage, anticipation stage, the getting ready to do stage, the procrastination stage. So comfortable, yet so detrimental, but again so so comfortable. Vicious chain of you ask me.
What to do?
This is a list of 5 key things that I think were very instrumental in my growth this past year
Just start. I know this has been said literally over a thousand times and when things are said as often as this one line has, they start to make less and less sense over time. However, really, the only way to swim(or to learn to swim) is by first getting into the water.
I am all for just do it, just start, things will figure themselves out, etc. However, I am not a proponent for doing things without thinking them through, absolutely not. I suggest you obsess over details. Read widely, watch as much content as you can on the topic, ask questions, think, analyze, turn your topic inside out. Think through all those things that matter as far as that task goes, and all the things that matter to you, personally, in terms of values, compromises and expectations.
List all the pros and cons you can think of, the risks involved… Do a proper SWOT analysis of all your ideas, plans, fallback plans and yes, plan to fail. Anticipate to fail.
3. Decide Already
After planning and thinking and obsessing, it’s only fair to yourself that you put out all that good work, somehow. You don’t want to be stuck forever at the talking stage with the love of your life, I don’t see why you would then choose to not embrace your ideas and solidify them.
4. You’ve got a cushion!
This should have probably topped the list but, no worries. This goes two ways. One, as a student in the university, you have the advantage of being able to save and invest your pocket money without risking you being deprived of your basic needs. You have the liberty of asking for help from parents/ guardians from time to time and getting a little more than enough cash out of them, if you’re lucky. Not all the money that you get is to be used on luxuries. Unless of course, you decide it is. It is good, to once in a while spoil yourself, but it should be within your proper means and under control.
Two, in case you started and you’ve just hit rock bottom, or you feel you are fast approaching there, you can always ask for a boost from the parents; your parents don’t want to see you fail. One plus one. A subpart of this second point – when you’re past the initial stages, and you are doing quite well and you feel the need to expand, you can easily obtain assistance from your folks.
I know somebody is going to start wondering what in the world I am talking about, obtaining money from a tough talking Kenyan parent like that. Knowing very well you need a mixture of mathematics, at least 2 sciences, art, tears, mothertongue and lots of prayers to get a single coin out of our lovely African parents, I’m just saying it’s easier to get financial support now, more than ever. You will never be able to get your parents to give you money as much as they will/do while you’re in college. Think about it.
5. Legitness and your gut
They go hand in hand. Obviously, whatever you set out on should be legal, moral and legitimate. That goes without saying. Pyramid schemes= scam. Okay? Whatever shape or form it takes, I’m yet to see it hear of a pyramid scheme that is not a scam. Don’t be the one to test out this theory.
Find something that you like and enjoy, something reasonable, something legal. It cannot be that hard to get at least something, right?
When it comes to your gut, listen to yourself when you’re researching on and thinking or talking about this task of yours. I know we’re told trust your heart but take your mind with it, true, but do not underrate the importance of what your gut tells you.
Those 5 things are quite a bit of a concoction of ideas and lessons learnt from across all aspects of my life this past year, touching mostly on starting my small business.
Ultimately, discipline and hard work should be core principles for anyone in whatever field of engagement, who desires progress. Progress is success.
What are the things that have been instrumental in your growth this past year?
As it turns out, I wrote this all the way back in April 2020, but forgot/put off publishing it until now. Procrastination says better late than never, and I totally agree, (for now)!