Frustrating Business

Business can be very frustrating.
I don’t even think this is a reserve of African business, or even Kenyan business, I know that many business men and women go through tough and frustrating times. I have gone through several cycles of frustration but I think this is the most exasperating of them all.

You see, when you go into business, one has many hope and dreams of success and freedom. You are finally free form that irate boss, whose decisions can be made by a 5 year old and whose mood swings have made you research on hormonal imbalance, You dream of financial freedom, to finally make the money you feel your effort is worth, because it doesn’t matter how hard you work, your salary will not change much……if you are lucky you might get a bonus which usually is a measly percentage of the money you have made the company.

What many of us don’t realise is that when you become self employed you practically transfer all the problems to yourself, and when you eventually hire, then you add on the employment problems if your team as well. Anyway, I digress, this post is about my business frustrations. Suffice to say, my dreams and expectations have not been met. I traded one boss, for several. You see each of your client becomes their own version of that irate boss that you left, so the more clients you acquire, well, the more bosses you have. Each demanding equal and undivided attention. That right there is the meaning of multiplication.

I have also found out that the financial freedom dream is still a few blocks away. As my business has grown so has its needs, and so if even if the billing to your clients increases, so do your expenses, and that is damn frustrating. I think I have also done many things right, I have tried to create the ideal work environment for my team with weekly motivation meetings and opportunities to express their creative sides. I have chosen to teach and mentor as opposed to being a slave driver, and what do I get in return? A team that loves to come to work ( I hope) and one that delivers bare minimum. sometimes the minimum is so bare that I can’t find it. Don’t get me wrong, they execute work given extremely well, they just have been unable to bring in new clients, and that is damn frustrating.

Then of course there is the business environment in Kenya, it seems to be buzzing especially with the recent visit of the president of the free world , Barack Obama. But somehow that has not increased the number of briefs from our clients and even when we get them, the profit margin is so low that sometimes the thought of a salary is alluring. Have I even talked about taxes? Then of course there is the “tenderpreneur” culture that is the new phenomenon. I applied for the Youth Access to Government Procurement (YAGPO) certificate two years ago, I was 32 years old then and I knew that I had a chance to serve my government with our services,but you all know how it is in this our motherland. Safe to say that certificate inspite of our furious tendering and being pre qualified by several agencies has yielded to nought.

Anyway, it is time for a reincarnation, because you cannot give up on your dreams, as they say if at first you do not succeed then you gotta rise up and try again. I am ready to try again because if I don’t, then I will be even more frustrated.

What has your business experience been?

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