Chris Kirubi is arguably one of Kenya’s top billionaire entrepreneurs. Today, Bizna chronicles the key lessons and wealth secrets that Chris Kirubi has learned and shared in his journey to the top.
“Each time I have an interview, I am always asked how it all began and what I went through in my past. Many people think that I did not struggle at all but little do they know my struggles and poverty were my driving force. Poverty was my motivation of working towards who I am today. I have invested into many things and I have lost a lot of money. But I never gave up. If I can make it to where I am, you can also make it. And I am still struggling; I don’t feel I have made it. I go to Harrods and I buy the best pair of glasses. That is the best money can buy. I want you to aspire to that.
I came across an article titled, ‘If you’re poor at 35, you deserve it? Painful isn’t it. I mean it’s not easy to accept that you are totally responsible for lacking sufficient money and being unable to afford a standard considerable life. What struck me was the advice the author was given by the only friend who believed in him and his idea. He was told, “If you want to do it, just try it. If things don’t work out the way you expected it to, you can always revert back to what you were doing before”.
This is what gave the author the urge to do it anyway because he knew he had nothing to lose but his pride and in any case if it failed he could always move on to something else. This man, Jack Ma, went ahead and founded China’s biggest online commerce company. He knew that regardless of failure or success, the experience in itself was a form of success. Now this is the same mindset I had when I was starting out. I was poor and knew that I had nothing to lose but to try my best because I was ready to rid myself off poverty and change my life. I was thirsty to make my life work, to experience luxury and become self-sufficient, turning my struggles into a success.
People say I am one of the richest people in Kenya, but that’s not my concern. I mean, they say I am a god of sorts, but I don’t agree. When I look around at my companies and see the number of people we have employed, it gives me joy. It is more satisfying than having all the money in the world. I employ more than 2,000 people. Suppose each of you employed 100 Kenyans? Would we have no jobs? Pursuing your dream to become an entrepreneur, an employer and a creator of jobs; this to me, is the meaning of true development.
Success is not a bed of roses. It requires a lot of hard work, sleeping hungry, lack of sleep because you have to keep thinking and worrying, waking up at night to do things and also being let down by your so-called friends. Sometimes people don’t understand your goals and your ambitions.
Every successful person has a story of how they endured hardships in order to get to where they are. You cannot afford to sit and feel helpless because of your situation or what you have been through. The best thing you can do is to use your sufferings as your driving force. When you are poor you have an opportunity to gain lots of experience because you start struggling very early. I am who I am today because of the struggles in my life. Have the desire and ambition to gain that experience and change your life otherwise you will continue sitting in poverty waiting for the Government to come to your aid. I have come to know that the struggles you are in today, develop the strength you need for tomorrow. Strength to endure tougher times and to create your success story. Similarly, find people who can come to your rescue in the moment of a dire situation in life.