Yesterday I had the good fortune to meet with a man who inspired me with his simple story and so I shall share it with you, dear readers. 🙂
In the mid 90s (that’s ages ago, eh?) Paul was in his 30s and had a wife and kids. He was unemployed and lived in one of the poorer parts of Nairobi. Life was a daily struggle. Paul did not mind going days without a meal but it broke his heart to think that his wife and kids could sleep hungry. Paul always always made sure that he did whatever he could to ensure that there was a meal on his table every day, even if it meant walking across Nairobi to get 70 bob.
One day was particularly dry. Paul had walked the city since dawn but had not made a single cent. Dusk was fast approaching and he did not know where his family’s evening meal would come from. He decided to visit his aunt’s house near industrial area to see if anything would come of the visit. Paul’s aunt gave him Kshs 70 and told him to “learn how to fish”.
As fate would have it, when Paul was leaving the house, he saw someone buying old newspapers at a neighbor. He immediately thought, “I can do that.” That same day, and using that same Kshs 70, Paul bought some old newspapers and sold them in town. Back then, he bought 1 Kilogram of papers at Kshs 5 and sold it at Kshs 15. After that day, Paul fully immersed himself in the business of buying old newspapers and selling them. His days were spent walking from door to door asking for old newspapers. He used to walk his way across the entire city of Nairobi!
And guess what? His hard work paid off. He built upon his small successes, little by little, and now he owns a company which has its head offices in the leafy Westlands. Paul’s advise for all our unemployed youth to stop sitting around and waiting for a job. According to him, every single one of us has something to offer the world and we all have the ability to become business owners.
What are you waiting for? Stop making excuses and do something!