Sunday, March 26, 2023

Anne Minage: I have gotten by without joining chamas

Anne Minage is an accountant, a Kenya Revenue Authority agent and a consultant based in Nakuru. She specializes in book keeping accountancy, financial reporting and taxation and filings.

I started my career as an employee in an audit firm in 1996. I was a clerk and assistant auditor handling accounting and administration clerical work. This was not my initial plan though. After high school, I was to advance to college but due to lack of fees, I resorted to joining a tertiary school where I could study and go to work at the same time.

It took me quite some time to break even given the many challenges involved in consultancy. I had not fully learned how a taxation and bookkeeping business operated when I started service business. I was also very naïve and people took advantage of this. However, coming out of a humble background, I knew that I had no option but to succeed. The fear of failure helped my guard the money I received from my services. I was also very strict on how I spent the money.

Consultancy is heavily reliant on referrals. There are times when I have served one client and gotten over two dozen referrals. This is always a vindication that I am running my consultancy services the right way.

There are tough times and challenges, though. For example, when a difficult client comes along and makes it difficult to execute their demands or get the right pay out of them. This line of business also has its high and low seasons. The filing season of January to June is one of the busiest in a business calendar.

I have not been saving. I have not been patient enough to save. I use the money I have to do what I have planned. If I don’t have the money, then the project stops till I get the money. I have never a member of any chamas, unions or savings plans. I think I need to learn how to save.

None between entrepreneurship and employment is superior to the other.  Both are like conjoined twins; one can’t exist without the other. And when it comes to earning power, there are entrepreneurs who will earn more than employees and employees who will make way more than people in business.

If I were to choose, I would be both an entrepreneur and employee. This would give me the comfort of having a safe monthly income from my job and a supplementary income from the business.

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You must visualize where you want to be before you start your journey. This involves knowing what you want to do with your life, the objectives you want to realize and the passion and work it will take you to get there. I have also learnt not be overly ambitious or greedy.

The little you get, if spent well, can make a lot of difference. Be contented with what you have and have the faith that you will be better if you work towards it. Don’t compare yourself with the Joneses; running against the Joneses is a rat race. If you are an entrepreneur, don’t be arrogant. Business has no room for arrogance.

A version of this profile feature on Anne Minage appeared in the Saturday Magazine. The Saturday Magazine is a publication of the Nation Media Group.

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