From Zero To Ten

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It’s important for the long-term success of any diet that you vary your meals. The success of any business is in staying grounded and focused on your vision

By Catherine Kuria

There is something unique about good brains. It makes an individual charming.  It is even better when those brains are put to the task. The ability to think outside of the box and start living the life you have always envisioned for yourself is pure bliss. Living instead of merely existing is possible.  More often than not, people moan about the unfinished business in their lives.

Why not take charge of your life and improve your current state? Step up and be the entrepreneur, doctor, author or artist you have always dreamed of. They say that failure is just but a state of mind. It can be done if you choose to rise up to the challenge and forge ahead. Clinton Mutethia may be just a small town boy, but he has big dreams of being the next Bill Gates.

He is a student at the Technical University of Kenya (TUK). At only 23, he owns and runs a carwash, sells animal feeds and is also a vehicle dealer. He ventured into business after completing high school in 2014. His mother had an agro vet shop where she sold agricultural products and animal feeds. He developed an interest in entrepreneurship through watching his mother ran her shop. In September 2014, he got employed at a carwash opposite his mother’s shop in Kenyatta road. A couple of months later, the carwash owner sold the business to Mutethia.

One afternoon while relaxing in his agro vet shop, he got a call from his friend asking for help in selling a car. After two weeks of spreading the word, he was able to close the deal on the sale and received his commission. That got him thinking about his surprisingly good sales skills. He decided to source for capital to start his car dealer shop where currently he has 10 vehicles for sale. He uses the OLX app to meet potential buyers and also advertises his cars on social media platforms where he has amassed a massive following.

Business Growth

Some entrepreneurs are interested in building a business from the ground, maintaining control and determining its direction. Others prefer to perfect what is already built, streamlining processes and refining operations.  Mutethia perfects what is already built. His carwash business picked up fast and by December 2017, he had generated a revenue of Kshs.300, 000.

He has employed 2 other young men who run the carwash on his behalf when he is at school. “I’m a grounded person and a perfectionist. I knew that if I wanted my business to grow, I had to be religious about my work,” he narrates. Before he started dealing in cars, he was rarely active on social media. Now he has made social media his best marketing tool and is reaping the benefits of having a huge online following. He finds time to balance between the three businesses and school and never delegates the managing task to anybody.

He notes:  “I’m not comfortable having somebody else do my work when I’m perfectly capable, but that does not mean that I do not trust people.”  His car dealing business however is not doing so well.  “It is difficult to convince clients to purchase certain types of cars and some of them end up swindling you,” he laments.  He says that he manages to sell at least five cars per month.

His personal mantra is ‘push, push and push’. This is the same phrase he applies in his businesses. Even after going through some setbacks, he continues to push forward. He plans to expand his agro vet business to a wholesale supplier of feeds. He also wants to purchase big and improved car washing machines to give customers a feel of ’heaven’.  In ten years, he wants to start a car firm where he will be able to get a license to import and sell vehicles locally.

Unlike most of his age mates, Mutethia   does not depend on his parents for a penny. He earns enough to cater for his school fees, house rent and affords fuel for his car. He even pays school fees for his younger sister.

Delicate                                                                                   

His main challenge is finding a perfect balance between school and work. His academics have slightly been affected because he is constantly on the move looking to close business deals.  “Car washing machines are very expensive to maintain. They break down easily and that costs the business a lot of money to get them fixed,” he points out.

Car deals are very hard to strike and on dry months, he may fail to get business. This demoralizes him but he thanks his   dad for cheering him up.  He quips that his dad is as strict as an Irish priest in the seminary. He keeps him on his toes but offers some great advice.

Advice to young entrepreneurs

Mutethia   says that his biggest motivation is to keep challenging himself. He treats life like one long university education, where he can learn more every day. You can too! There is no doubt that running a business takes a lot of time and resources.  The most ideal   way of being   satisfied in entrepreneurship   is to follow your dreams and passion. You rarely get disappointed.

“Take the risk because we never know the outcome of our efforts unless we actually do it. It helps to know that I won’t regret failure but I would regret not trying at all,” he says. Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right. Believe that you can succeed, and you’ll find ways through different obstacles. If you don’t, you’ll just find excuses.

He quotes the founder and CEO of Tumblr, David Karp who notes that:  “An entrepreneur is someone who keeps his or her vision clear at all times.”

He further  says   that  it  is  important  to  keep  the  company  of  good people because it  shapes an individual’s character  and  contributes to his or her overall success. “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already successful in the dream you are pursuing, “he advises.  “Overcome your fears and take the bull by its horns; fearlessness is like a muscle, the more you exercise the stronger it becomes,” he quips.

 

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