Lies we believe

Lies

We think differently ,we come from different backgrounds and this dictates our actions everyday.Every person has their own “Reality” based upon the inner drives.Sometimes have found myself getting caught up in other people’s realities which disorient and disable me in the process.The same realities give us our personal definitions of success and happiness.

Recently I met  a lady who was making a speech about the lies we believe in.She went on to explain how she enjoyed dancing when she was growing up and how she liked it,how the people enjoyed and always invited her to dance in the events and special occasions 

One day she went home to find her whole family waiting to confront her about the dancing that had become like a hobby.They told her that she was embarrassing herself and the family and that the people lied to her that she was a good dancer.She believed them because they were her closest people  and from that day she refused any offer by anyone asking her to dance,later in life she realized her dreams were cut shot at a very tender age

Listening to that story I kept asking myself …How many lies do we believe just because they are coming from the very people that we look up to. How many times do we stop in the middle of the road because someone who is working with their realities told you that you are not going the right direction.How many times do we confront our children to stop an hobby simply because we didn’t do it ourselves 

Part of the reason we continue holding to our beliefs or things that we were told  is that we don’t like being wrong. Once we’ve formed a belief, we tend to look for more evidence to support that belief and to discount contradictory evidence.

I echo the words of Zat Rana who said .Maybe we should start seeing the world like nobody else, ask the kind of questions that nobody else is asking.The questions that generally begin with one word: “Why..

The best part is that we are not all meant to be living in one shared reality.Diversity is dynamic and so like someone said we just need to demonstrate love wherever you go and sometimes love means being silent or walking away.

How can we lighten her load

When women are economically and socially empowered, they become a powerful force for change. In rural areas women are more likely to depend on farming for a livelihood, unfortunately they rarely have access to the resources that would make their work more productive and ease their heavy workload. As a result, it is not just women who are held back, but also their families, their communities and local economies.

Cassava

I met this relatively old mama (a Swahili word to mean woman) in Rabai Kilifi County walking with a load on her head despite the scotching sun, to sell her mihongo (a swahili word meaning Cassava). She had walked several kilometers with just one desire, to meet someone to buy the Cassava so that she could buy food for the family and pay school fees for her grand children. After a long day she is also supposed to go back till the land, fetch firewood and cook. This is something she does on a daily basis for her and her family to survive. Looking at her you would agree with me that, the Labor intensive and time-consuming activities further hinder women’s ability to improve their income-earning potential.

What I loved about her is, she loves what she does and does it with a big smile, the same reason why she goes back to the land to till and harvest more. Unfortunately technology has not reached her, while we enjoy every bit of globalization and technology this woman representing many others in rural areas, still work the old tradition way, with few chances of succeeding. Women play a key role in agriculture and they need support to adapt to the new technologies and to seize emerging opportunities. They are not looking for ways to change what they have done for years but they want partnerships, systems and policies that can favor them to continue doing what they love doing (farming) more efficiently with greater results.

Cassava 2

After a good chat I decided to buy the Cassava from her, am shocked she is selling at a throw away price. She sold me 5 large Cassavas at $0.5.A quick maths will show you that  by the time she finishes selling everything she is carrying on the basket, she will be having close to $4.If you divide that with her 6 family members, it  will translate to $0.6 per day per person. You can almost confirm the UN report http://bit.ly/2vg2SSN that more than 700 million people, or 10% of the world population, still live in extreme poverty surviving on less than US$1.90 a day and majority are living in Sub Saharan Africa.

Assuming there was a value addition in the same Cassava she was carrying, considering that it is a multipurpose crop, drought resistant, with products ranging from coarse flour to high-tech starch gels, the price will go up from $4 to approximately $20, which will give her an opportunity not only to feed her family but also to save to take little children to school, help her big daughters further their education to become more productive in the community and have better  living condition that she had.

These 3 attributes can help you live a balanced life as an entrepreneur

Blog BalanceLately I found out that am gaining some weight, “well it’s not a bad thing to add some extra kgs once in a while”,I keep on telling myself!…But what I am not confronting is that a few things need to change.. hey sounds unconvincing right! As an entrepreneur sometimes you end up having a crazy lifestyle that does not resemble a normal human being. There are days you will find yourself sleeping past midnight and waking up before everyone. There are days instead of taking a vacation to unwind you are thinking of the next project and going for vacation almost feels like wasting resources. There are days you will opt to use public transport rather than investing in a car because you are building an imaginary empire that never materializes.

This kind of lifestyle in the process brings a lot of imbalance, however when you are able to get the right balance, it helps to make you work on the optimal level. While interacting with different successful entrepreneurs I have learned a few tricks that I thought I could share here. While this might not work for everyone, putting into practice one or two might be a game changer in 2020

Wake up early

AlarmWhen you wake up late you feel sluggish ,waste a lot of time trying to figure out what to do. Did you know that by getting up just two hours earlier every single day, you gain 14 more hours in the week and 62 each month? Imagine the kind of progress you can make with that extra time. On the flip side, If you wake up early and use that time incredibly well, it can help you achieve a lot and plan your day .In the process it can help you get a still mind to enhance your spiritual life as well as help you put a positive mindset that increases your mental health. This can also give you time to do some exercise to energize your physical health. For you to achieve this you also need to regulate your sleep, meaning you need to set a specific time when you go to bed.I still struggle with this.

Have Limitations

 I will echo the words of Blaz KosThere is an optimal amount of investment needed for everything we do in life. If we invest more, we’re wasting resources or hurting ourselves. If we invest less than necessary, things don’t go into the direction we want. The big challenge lies in the fact that limits aren’t always in line with our instincts and emotional needs. That’s why we need self-discipline.” He says that…… You may not feel like exercising at all. But because you know all the benefits of exercise, you can decide to exercise at least two times per week. Your may love your work, but to keep long-term productivity, you can set a maximum limit of 50 hours of work per week and a minimum of 40 hours and so on. Your soft limits may be very limited at the beginning. You push but you get tired really fast. Don’t worry, just keep it up. Everything is like a muscle, you build it up with time. It’s better to do something every day, but in smaller quantities, than doing something once a week, trying to compensate and pushing too hard. That is how things accumulate, have been guilty for this for a very long time.

Personal Development 

GrowthPersonal development is about pushing ourselves to try new things, overcome boundaries, and further our understanding. It’s about always achieving the next level of excellency, and being proud of what we are able to do. Every time we learn a new skill, we have an extra string to our bow.According to an article published by Business 2 Community in part it said“the idea of becoming a better person and being happier is seen as some silly activity. But, in reality, we all want this and we resist it because we shy away from personal responsibility.If you were not fortunate enough to grow up around people with mindset directed towards success, personal responsibility and abundance, you are carrying around heaps of stuff that can thwart your professional success and keep you working through the natural fear, doubt and anxiety most of us experience. We can only adopt more empowering beliefs when we make a conscious effort to do so and this requires self-examination, study and finding tools that help us make this mental shift”.

What are you considering changing as we conclude the year 2019…..,do you think a small habit started today can change your entire life in the coming years.You are more than able ,go for it.

You are ready to go organic right! …What no one tells you

OrganicLately some words are flooding the market ,literally causing people to start heated debate on health and how they should take care of themselves ,blinded by the so many go natural,embrace organic products,eat clean phrases,the list is endless causing Panic all over.Organic being one of those words and yes we are almost going  organic everything,I have just been wondering… at what point do we tell the difference between real organic and the fake one,does anyone really take time to tell you. How about those treated with chemicals and pesticides which nobody talks about and we find them all over the stores and supermarkets labeled Organic.I don’t know how many of you have gone through some experience good or bad or have been wondering what to choose from so many options available.

HairRecently I decided to go “organic” on my hair with all the fuss about keeping it natural, I come across some products labeled natural and organic 100% ,forgive my ignorance but with all my excitement of trying things out, I took everything ,from oil to moisturizer to  hair food to spray name them, within a week my hair started falling off.It was a nightmare

The interesting part is that, most people will use organic and natural interchangeably which might not be the case……. From my little understanding “Natural” on a label means that it has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives right…. .Organic on the other side refers to the methods or materials used to produce the ingredients for example …without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics, artificial growth hormones and stuff like that.. Imagine getting a combination of the two in a product, hey..you are on a health spree !!…apparently that was not the case with my labeled Organic and natural 100% it was a true meaning of disappointment

I believe we can change the whole narrative, by becoming true to ourselves and others. Be genuine, authentic and  willing to protect our planet.While everyone knows that companies are in business to make money, today’s consumers demand that the brands they buy from embrace a larger purpose.If you prove you are also there not only for profit but for impact, the customers won’t see you as just another business,they will see you as a genuine solution to a need they’ve had all along

By the way am not just talking about health organic products only,to echo Patricia Somers who said ,“when most people think of living organic, they think of food”. This means that you buy foods that are free from fertilizers and pesticides. However, you can live a more organic lifestyle in other ways too. You can use cleaning supplies that are made up of organic products, you can reduce the amount of waste you produce, and by finding ways to travel around without leaving a huge carbon footprint. Put simply, living an organic lifestyle means doing your best to live a healthy lifestyle while also doing your part to take care of the environment.

I wish to review this in near future probably if I get your views on how we can genuinely handle this issue of health,environment,eating clean,going natural yes and before I forget I need to mention Organic  too our buzz word that

 Personal growth best tip to move your life forward

psx_20191118_175336How many times have you felt like you seriously needed to improve on something and become a  better person, but drained by the thought of you not moving ,maybe because of a weakness that keeps coming and showing up every time you are prepared to take off and when you are about to reach your full potential and live a fulfilled life, suddenly Boom!Failure! all the energy goes and suddenly you remember you still have a weakness to work on and the cycle repeats itself…..always trying to improve.

The other day I was working on a project that took forever to see the light of the day….I had this to do……., that to work on…someone to see, somewhere to go …the list is endless. At the end of it all I was disappointed with myself and  felt like I wasn’t disciplined and probably I would have just focused on one thing and leave everything else aside…. So I thought to myself ……What next ?I started wondering ….Well, maybe it’s a weakness I have ,which I need to work on so that I can stay focused and set priorities right. Interestingly  I started working and reading on how to stay disciplined,how to stop procrastinating etc…. but before I finished I realized I still had something else to work on, the cycle didn’t seem to end…..sounds familiar right..

I got into a conversation with my mentor Bindu Krishnan this morning, as usual after our main business agenda was done ,the story of  a weakness that am working on….something I want to improve on….shows up uninvited of course. After listening to me carefully she mentioned something that changed my whole perception about Personal development and growth.She said “Personal development is not focusing on what you do not do well,it’s a waste of time.Focus on your strengths.Use your talents in every aspect of your work and you will see yourself moving”.

She recommended this  book Strengths Finder by Tom Rath  and I thought I share it here so that we can swim against the current, get exposed to ideas that let us expand and refine our guidance system, to avoid  getting stuck with the system of concentrating on improving our weakness that has been handed to us over time and missing to utilize our true and full potential.

 

The other side of Entrepreneurship

EntrepreneurshipJourneyWhen you are tired of routine and seeking for some thrill and adventure, entrepreneurship always seems to be the next option available. However, for every wonderful thing that comes with being your own boss, there is a challenge to overcome. If you’re considering striking out on your own and trying your hand at entrepreneurship, it’s essential to go into it with the knowledge that there will be many challenges – both great and small.You have listened to everyone telling you why you shouldn’t do it but now you are convinced it’s the right thing to do and you are ready to take that leap of faith. Big congrats!! You’ve officially joined the defiant group of risk-takers and dream chasers.

But wait a minute! did you pause to ask yourself What is it like on the other side of the fence? What should you be prepared for when shifting gears? When I decided to leave my full-time job where I was comfortable working in hierarchies and structured environments, I felt like had gained freedom and luxury of time, but the truth is, once you leave the comfort of full-time employment, working for yourself involves an incredible amount of self-discipline. Building something from scratch requires planning, which includes getting the actual work done, to working behind the scenes to ensure operations, marketing, and finances are running smoothly. Remember in the initial years you will be doing the work of five people all rolled into one.

It is fine, if people don’t believe in what you have started now, remember your foundation is not in what people think about you now, it is your mindset and the perspective you have towards the world, having an emotional well being, learning and unlearning as much. Ask for advice from people, but take whatever they say with a pinch of salt by sieving what you are told. Remember to talk to people in a similar space you are operating in because it allows you to have a much more big picture of the market or the problem you are trying to solve, don’t forget to dream big, but start very small.  Choose a business plan that has a very small overhead and start-up cost, which will allow your business to grow gradually.

Entrepreneurship is about risk but you can reduce it gradually by doing research on the market you are entering, your competition, and every other aspect you can think of when it comes to a particular product or idea. The more you know about the possibilities, the better you will be able to guess the outcome. Don’t quit your day job before you’ve assessed the risks, explored alternative options and still truly believe that going out on your own is the right thing to do.

Finally, accept advice from those who have been there and take notes when an entrepreneur you admire is speaking/offering pointers. Just remember that no amount of reading or research can truly make you successful until you’re willing to follow your dreams and take a leap of faith. As someone who has made drastic changes in her career, I can safely say that the biggest risk of all is not taking that leap when you see it. Regret is a feeling we never want to have. If you feel it in your heart and soul, then go for it with all that you’ve got. Trust me, you’ll never look back!

THERE IS HOPE FOR WOMEN AND YOUNG GIRLS IN DIGITAL ERA

“As women we have the potential and we have the ability to be whatever we want to become in this world.” I want to become a Doctor, I want to become an engineer, I want become an IT specialized “are a few of the dreams I listened as every girl got a chance to express themselves during one of the engagement I had. It’s time we ignite young women’s passions and interests in a male-dominated society. Boosting their self-esteem through leadership and building up their skills are among the most important ingredients to support their vision.

One of the key approaches to the challenges young girls face today which are proving to be obstacles to their achievements is to help them familiarize themselves with technology through digital literacy. This will provide practical skills that they can use to access information and will further ensure they do not miss out on the available opportunities for personal, professional development and innovation of the digital revolution, as we continue to make efforts to bridge the existing digital gender gap.

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One of the initiatives that we decided to do was to open a center Abetec Business Solutions http://bit.ly/2psl0k9 in peri –Urban area where internet is a challenge and give women and girls an opportunity to access the computers with internet. To learn, find opportunities, connect with the rest of the world, transfer the knowledge to their communities and help in developing the society. Since January we have been able to train 100 youths on basic computer skills and internet usage. Out of the total number 80% are girls a good indication that young girls are taking initiative towards their development. Our long term goal is to help them become engaged in social entrepreneurship that will give them a chance to solve pressing social challenges in their communities.

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In her remarks Shelly Esque President, Intel Foundation and Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Intel Corporation on the Web and Women report “The Internet gender gap is particularly salient in developing countries, with very real consequences”. She continues to say “We know that many women who use the Internet derive profound benefits through it, including economic and educational opportunities, a community of support, and career prospects. As the report  http://intel.ly/2o8jGCI indicates , expanding Internet access for women would also provide a significant boost to national income”

On our side as champions for change we need to closely work with girls and women to challenge gender stereotypes and achieve long-term change. Other challenges that exist are like, access to affordable internet and digital tools like smart phones, laptops, Computer equipped Centers. We can actively engage other stakeholders to work together to find ways of supporting the girls and women gain access. For example Out of a training of 15 young girls in one class I engaged, 90% had no access to internet,80% had no email addresses,60% had phones which they couldn’t access internet and 95% had to travel miles to access a computers. Despite all this challenges they had a lot of confidence an indication that the young girls can grow up free from gender prejudices and become actors of their own empowerment in all spheres of life and empower others too.

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There is also need for mentorship program initiatives that are primarily targeted towards young women. During the evaluation after one of the training, what come out strongly was need for personal development programs,80% of the girls were not sure why they had chosen the courses they wanted to pursue in college and what career path they wanted to take. This makes Digital literacy a priority again; the excitements that come from their faces after the training was a sign that they are on the way to self-discovery and that was very encouraging.

An Interview with one of the participants

  1. Have ever gone through digital training before……………………..?                                    NO
  2. What do you think should be included early in school curriculum…………………?       Personal Development, digital literacy & Entrepreneurship
  3. How will use the skills acquired knowledge from the Digital literacy training……………….?

    I will be able to access information, to interact with other people and to learn


 Photos Courtesy of Alex Muli