By Brian Murithi
During my high school days I had a friend of mine who had a rather funny character. He would pass his Business Studies exams with such ease you would think he is the custodian of the marking scheme besides the teacher. But his success on the subject would be overshadowed by his failure in Mathematics. He literally lived in a world of abject poverty as far as mathematics was concerned. His teachers wondered why he was so poor at Maths and he never seemed to be disturbed by that. Then he told me the underlying fact behind all this.
My friend attributed lack of interest in the mathematics subject. He told me there was no point of forcing himself to study something he did not like. Ironically, he knew how to calculate interest rates whenever monetary questions came to the mathematics exam he hated. Interest is created by fascination. It is created by love for something and that love for something and like the Swahili say, love is like a cough, you cannot hide it.
If you have an interest in something you will make it big. I like to compare our interests to a romantic relationship between men and women. If they like each other, they spend much time together ignoring anything that threatens to break that relationship. The relationship takes over everything like time and money but then nobody between the two gives a hoot about that because the vision of the relationship supersedes everything. If you love the business activity you are undertaking, you spend much time thinking of solutions to the problems facing the business other than complaining about the challenges faced, just like lovers think of solving relationship issues and boosting each other’s confidence with compliments.
After interest comes research. If something makes you happy you will want more of it. Many times after watching a movie, I Google about the cast of that movie to see more of them while in action. Mrs. Doubtfire movie made me want to know more about Robin Williams the lead character in the movie. In a business, research is key, research keeps you on top of your game and makes you know how to counteract competitors in the best way possible. With the rise of Google and YouTube, research has been made easy and the social media sites have made things easy for us since one can join a WhatsApp group or like a Facebook page of business people that have made it in business. This also happens in a relationship where the lady has contacts of friends of the man and the man has contacts of the friends of the lady. This is to make sure that you know more about the significant other without having to ask her about it.
Time is a resource many people don’t see. Time can make or break a business and a relationship as well. It is argued that for a relationship to grow the two lovers must invest their time in it. Lack of time in a relationship leads to a breakup since there is a change in priorities. Similarly, in business, you must put your time in the enterprise least the business will fall. When you spend more time in the business you will avoid paying for the costs that are brought about by the mistakes you make in it. Time gives you a chance to learn from the mistakes and perfect your art as days go by. This familiarity with the business is what employers like to call experience, to the dismay of would be ‘employees’. If these employees perfected their art then pitched it at the right time to the right people, employment would be more of a partnership with the employer rather than a master-servant relationship since it would be a symbiotic relationship where you both need each other. Time gives you the chance to weather the storm together and bond becomes stronger to the point that you cannot do without the other, like the famous Tom and Jerry cartoon.
Time gives life to opportunity. Standard Oil, thrived at a time there was no electricity and went on to give rise to the richest man in the world at that time, Mr. John D. Rockefeller, since oil was the only source of light at night, the only competitor to the moon. At the time electricity was invented, the opportunity went away and JP Morgan was the man to beat since he seized the opportunity to light up America with electricity. JP Morgan and the Rockefeller families are the richest in the world courtesy of turning a problem into an opportunity.
Our lifestyles create opportunities yet to be explored. Stephen Hawking has been able to achieve his potential as a result of the research in medical science. Whatever it is that your hands find to do, do it with all your might. Interest time and research create a vision that is too big for money (read capital) to ignore. Best of luck.