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Showing posts from January, 2013

Martha Karua for President

With slightly over a month before the first general elections under a new constitution, I have assessed the candidates for Office of the President of the Republic of Kenya, and I have no doubt in my mind in my selection of Narc Kenya's Martha Karua as my choice. Martha Karua always had a head start in my mind's eye, as early as February 2011, I registered under her Narc Kenya party because she appealed to my vision of a candidate. I nevertheless withheld making my endorsement for the 10 months following, giving other potential candidates the opportunity to surprise me. And while there were a few surprises along the way: Raila's embrace of Kalonzo, or Mudavadi's surprisingly good interview on BBC's Hard Talk, Peter Kenneth's flawless launch for presidency, and even Johnson Sakaja's brilliant defence of the Jubilee Alliance, none of these were sufficient to sway my vote. On March 4, 2013, I therefore intend to cast my vote for Ms. Martha Karua and here

My Chris Rock Moment (sort of)

Is humour important in business? Oh yes certainly! Humour is a great way to break the ice, get people to relax, and build rapport. These are very relevant to salespeople as well are always meeting new people during sales pitches, conferences, cocktails or other events. This week I made an attempt to see how funny I was in front of an audience... luckily it was the very empathetic group of fellow toastmasters and not the Apollo theater. However there were a number of CEOs, senior executives, and businessmen/women there so the jokes could not be that pedestrian. This was my first time to try the jokesmaster role, and I intend to keep taking it up more to polish up on my punchline delivery and deadpan face (Martin Freeman from office UK is my role model and suits my geeky self). If you would like to know more about toastmastsers and how it can help improve on your communication and leadership skills visit the website  or attend a meeting

Competing against Established Businesses

Most of us who were boarders in Kenyan high schools would brave the early morning chill to attend prep; a rigorous educational exercise that was mandatory in some institutions. As sleep starved teenagers, this was a herculean effort requiring an almost superhuman discipline. However when one zeroed in on their objective, the task would seem relatively easy. Over a few weeks while I was in form three, I had an objective of which I devoted my entire capacity to achieve, and woke before the crack of dawn on many mornings to bring it to fruition. Sadly it was not an A in mathematics, chemistry or physics. Rather I would wake up every morning, before all my classmates, to sneak to the nearby shopping centre to buy two crates of the freshly baked bread. You see, then just like now I was a businessman. Even in those formative years of my entrepreneurship I understood the basic concepts of demand and supply. Bread in high school is one commodity that has unusually high demand. Apart from the

Best New Years Resolution Ever

Welcome to the New Year. It’s the second day of the year and if I was you I wouldn’t be too hard on myself if I had already broken some of my New Year’s resolutions. Keeping resolutions is hard, but when it comes to your business there is one resolution you should make, and you cannot afford to break... If your business is like most businesses in Kenya – bar education or retail – at this time you are facing serious cash flow crisis. Consumer spending is at its lowest after an indulgent December and will only start recovering from mid-February. If your customer base comprises of individuals or small businesses, they are prioritizing their personal expenses over business expenses, meaning your invoices get paid last if at all. Facing a similar January a few years back at our co-working space Genius Executive Centre I began January with a number of offices to fill from tenants who’d left the month before. I had read somewhere that when things are at the worst is when you ad