Buying Land With a Loan: Alice Michira is the co-founder and lead mentor at Mwangaza Africa Consultants, which focuses on business mentorship and coaching, and financial literacy among the youth and women.
Biggest money mistake: My biggest money mistake happened a while back. I was too busy to carry out a site visit on a piece of land I was purchasing through a bank loan, and failed to do a feasibility study on its potential. After the loan was disbursed and years had passed, I tried to sell the land but to my surprise, the value had not appreciated because of its location. The environment was also not conducive for agribusiness. I was stuck with a loan that I had to pay and a piece of land that wasn’t too valuable. This taught me to never invest in anything without an exit plan. Since then, I always engage land valuers and real estate experts who carry out projections on any property that I aim to purchase.
Saving method: I am currently using the government’s M-Akiba bond. I also minimize access to money in my accounts by ensuring that I have no access through mobile banking and ATM. I also save with a target in mind, for example to clear off a loan. Saving through farm produce has worked well too. I buy and stock cereals for a couple of months before reselling them for a profit and ploughing the money plus profits back into more cereals stock. This is something I replicate in other business commodities that I trade in. I will buy when there is surplus, and offload when there is a shortage. I also save through trading in shares.
Biggest career loss: This has been time management. It took me more than 15 working years to finally learn how to take charge of my time. I also learned that failure is the feedback that you are not doing something right and there is a better way of doing it. If you’re in the same position as I was, the solution is to examine your life and analytically determine what comes first, and how you can multiply your time to be more effective.
Secret to building wealth: My key has been following a strict daily ritual that starts at 4:30 am. It involves two hours of prayer and meditation, journaling and planning the key action items that must be done before close of day, and 30 minutes of daily exercise. I got to where I am through time management, networking, marketing my brand, and remaining consistent in what I do. I worked with the bank and I remember my colleagues saying severally that I needed to slow down and not take my roles too seriously! But this was not my narrative. It’s a shame that many people tend to get threatened by their own insecurities when they see greatness. Work on yourself first, believe in your calling, have a clear vision of how your day ought to be, and then go watch it play as you envisioned it.
Secret to success: Having the will and ability to pay for your ticket in the journey to success is the secret. I always say that if you’re the most knowledgeable in your circle of friends, then you need to have new friends from whom you will learn new things in order to move to the next level. Personally, I am still in the success journey, and am very clear on the price I need to pay which includes equipping myself with skills and knowledge, surrounding myself with people with the same targets like me, and working with a mentor who is already successful in business.
If I could go back in time: I wouldn’t change anything. I do not regret any of the things that have happened in my life. I have learned a lot from all the choices I have made. I have lived a very colorful life, full of adventure, and I wouldn’t change any bit of it.