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Christmas was uneventful. After spending one part of the Christmas eve with family and the rest at the Malindi International Art extravaganza, I was drained. Therefore, despite the different parties going down in different places, I chose to remain indoors.

Christmas came and passed, but what left a mark was the conversation I had with Martin Mutuku on boxing day. Everybody reserves their rights to opinion and I will let you have yours. For me, it was very inspiring. He has helped me set my mind and path for 2016.

The future is Entrepreneurship
He couldn’t stop insisting enough on the importance of starting one’s business. As much as he is employed formally. The people who drive the economy is entrepreneurs. Actually, every country has two main sources of employment: The government and Private sectors. People have the choice of either working for entrepreneurs or decide to be one and employ others. I won’t dive into the advantages and disadvantages of being an entrepreneur against formal employment, course Martin didn’t, instead he told me what it takes to become successful when you have decided to get into business as an entrepreneur.

Be professional
I bet every person claims that they are professional when it comes to their businesses. To a very large extent, most of us are not. Most of us are exploited by our friends and acquaintances. They expect a special rate even in fields that will mean that all the profit is lost. Some go even a step further, they ask favours yet they know that is your livelihood. being professional requires you not to mix business and pleasure or friendship. Of course, there is more to be done about professionalism than just that, but that tends to be one of our biggest misgivings.

2. Time
Time is very crucial when it comes to business. Some kinds of business are time sensitive, that is they thrive more during some time of the year and low during others. As an entrepreneur, you are supposed to be aware of such changes and be able to tap into these opportunities. secondly, as a business person, you are supposed to know that time is very money and very key when delivering both good and services. Clients will judge you according to the time taken for service delivery. Though the phrase takes your time exists, people rarely mean it. Therefore, whenever someone tells you to take your time, know you are already running late.

3. Expand your contacts
You should always look for opportunities to expand your customer base or clientele. This said it is always advisable to profile your prospective clients. If possible, get to know them first hand of their liking and preference. This increases the chances of impressing them. Once a client understands that you understand their needs, the higher the chances of you retaining them and even getting a referral from them.

4. Channel your income sources into other investments
Just as mentioned above, your business might be time-based or not. But the fact still remains. You need to understand you can’t just rely on one business or source of income forever. It is very important to invest your money wisely into other industry. As youth every day you let your cash locked in a bank account is a wasted opportunity gone. I am not a business pro nor is Martin, but opportunities are better utilized when still young.

There is so much that we talked that cannot be put into writing. Here I have given it my best. I hope it gives you a bearing to take 2016 head. I wish you a happy festive season and prosperous New year 2016.

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Komzinski is a Research and Monitoring Assistant at the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT). He enjoys the outdoors and travelling. When not travelling, Athuman enjoys volunteering at the local beach management unit, playing soccer, and coding together with friends planning on their next tech startup project.

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