• The only reason we don't see opportunities is that we call our businesses side hustles.
• We hardly give them our full attention because they are simply side hustles.
Friday was a turning point for me.
Never before have I ended a year on such a high note. Some 70 students taking Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management at the University of Nairobi converged at the Nairobi Safari Club for a networking gala dinner.
It was the first of its kind. An idea that looked to insurmountable at inception but we witnessed its fruition as we bolded, dined, talked, listened to music and got sharpened by great minds. Above all, the project's special purpose vehicle, as we call it in Project Management, was ably led by a woman of substance, Tilda Maina. We had three key speakers including Dr Bwibo Adieri from UoN, Dorothy Matheka from Philips, and the indefatigable lady, Dr Esther Muchemi all of whom are successful in their own fields.
Dr Bwibo was one of our favourite lecturers in the first semester. He took us through a unit called Project Planning, Design and Implementation. The entire class must have scored A in this unit. Besides teaching, he has a pet subject he kept rubbing onto our brains so we wanted to hear for the umpteenth time these truths of life — never live in a rented house, never park a car outside a rented house and the worst of it all, Bwibo warns, never park a big car outside a rented house.
These profound truths by Bwibo haunt me every day. I am a victim of the three cardinal rules. Luckily, I now have self-awareness. Sorry, I digressed. Back to the comrades' pioneer dinner. The other guest, Muchemi's gems struck a core in me, especially when she said, "as I walk to my Barclays Plaza office every day, I see opportunities even with my eyes closed."
This statement struck me like a thunderbolt. The only reason we don't see opportunities is that we call our businesses side hustles. Consequently, we hardly give them our full attention because they are simply side hustles. Later in the dinner, one of the converted students who is a banker dropped a bombshell when he said he was going to tender his resignation letter the following Monday so that he begins looking at his side hustle business as his MAIN hustle. This was our altar call. A banker resigning!
Esther said there is no side hustle in life. Even the Bible warns us against serving two masters. The confession by the banker was profound. Esther's story of grass to grace is aptly captured in her book, Give me my Mountain.
I need to hear more of Esther's blunt realities, hopefully, I too will be converted if not convicted.
Ashford Gikunda is a MA student in Project Planning and Management at UoN