It all started in November 2009. Boda boda operators in Kitengela got tired of frequent arrests by traffic police and the squalid conditions of the houses they were living in.
“The police were arresting our members even for small traffic offences and this angered us since we were losing motor bikes in the process. We then saw it wise to start a saving plan to help us pay for the fines as well as to improve our living conditions,” says Aloise Mwai, the group’s chairman.
The group came up with three goals: Planting trees in Kitengela town to help reduce dust; building themselves houses; and buying motorcycles for each member. They have bought motorcycles; tree planting is on-going and they are in the process of completing houses for members.
Power of action.
This is the power of action. No matter how small it is, action is the most important of all powers in success. My physics teacher, Mr Pundo taught me that it is easier to accelerate from 60 to 120 mph than from 0 to 60 mph because momentum’s already on your side.
And the same lesson applies to business. You may have all the knowledge in the world, but if you do not take any action and apply that knowledge, there is no use of it. When you act, you gain momentum and start seeing new opportunities.
Take Apple for example, the multi-billion-dollar company was at first just a small idea that was executed extremely well and consistently.
Under-value the small stuff
It is in the daily, consistent application of the small stuff that success is built. It’s in the small stuff that the foundations for growth are secured. Yet we always under-value the small stuff. It is a hard, slow and unglamorous slog, but it is imperative.
“It was not an easy task saving Sh100 per day. It was a sacrifice that forced most of us to give up on leisure activities and focus on saving,” says John Ndegwa, a member of the boda boda group. They each started saving Sh100 per day in 2010.
When each member’s savings hit Sh60,000, used the money as down payment and bought a 50-acre land in Millennium area in Kisaju, Kajiado County, at Sh15 million. Today, the 100 members are beaming with joy, since they are the proud owners of what they are calling Ngasemo estate.
Dream backed with faith
You know why majority of people never reach their full potential and excel in life? It is because they do not have a dream backed with faith and if they did have, they never take any action.
If you see an opportunity, just grab it and get started. Don’t wait or somebody else will do it before you.
Successful entrepreneurs have always been quick to take action on chances they identified.
Just like the boda boda riders, most young entrepreneurs have no business experience. They have not been confronted by business challenges and they do not know how to solve intricate business problems. But experience and competence are probably the most important characteristics investors want to see in an entrepreneur.
When you start a small business, you will gain experience and improve your business skills.
Zig Ziglar once wrote: “The major difference between the big shot and the little shot is the big shot is just a little shot who kept on shooting.” Keep active and things happen, stop and they don’t.
You might make a few business mistakes and experience a few business failures but don’t quit. The entrepreneurial process rewards only those who stick to the end. Good luck.
This article first appeared on outdoorsafrica.co.ke, Mr Canute Waswa is the MD of Outdoors Africa.