Caroline Mutoko is one of the most renowned media personalities in Kenya. Her rise to the top has not only astounded many but has also been a source of inspiration to many more young Kenyans. This inspiration could not have come at a better time than now! Currently, youth are being urged to move from their comfort zones (in career or business) and do more to achieve personal greatness and success. She shared her bits of career and entrepreneurship wisdom with us:
Over the years, you have built a successful career without necessarily venturing into entrepreneurship, what has been your secret?
If you had asked me this question five years ago, I would not have had an answer that would have made sense. But over time, I have come to understand that it is based on three things. These are focus and purpose, being deliberate and intentional in what you do, and doing more that is required better than is expected.
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Be Your Own Boss – does it mean everyone must quit employment and start a business to be successful?
Being your own boss starts by mastering yourself. You can never lead anyone if you are not able to acquire this skill. In the same vein, by no means should anyone believe or assume that they must quit their job to be an entrepreneur. Lead where you are and bloom where you are planted.
Where are Kenyans going wrong?
There is a glaring lack of dedication, patience and a true pursuit of their dreams. The journey to realizing goals and dreams is always missing. In fact, it seems that youth have shunned the idea of hard work. They talk about the hustle but don’t seem to understand that hustle doesn’t mean selfies at an event.
Hustle means work. It is pitching an idea to ten people and knowing that only two will come through if any, yet still be willing to pitch to another ten. It means being up and working when everyone else is partying. It means working for 16 hours while others work for eight. Nevertheless, I don’t blame them. This is because it seems that everything they see on Instagram or Facebook is hype, which they have bought into.
What advise on making and managing money would you give to your younger self, say at 25?
Save, save more and save now! Then invest, and travel to learn!
You are quite emphatic on GRIT – (Greatness Requires Internal Greatness). How can the Kenyans develop it?
To begin with, the youth need to understand that GRIT is the ability to kaa ngumu na plan! It is not emotional, and neither does it catch feelings. And to develop it, you must start now! Decide that you are committed to staying the course of what you say you will do no matter how tough it gets.
Can you start a career in radio when everyone else thinks it’s a fail? Can you stick it out and make it an inspiration? Can you walk away from that and a start a digital career and stick with it until you are the ‘SI’ unit of the same? That’s GRIT!
What more do you think needs to be done to nurture budding careers or youthful businesses?
I think real stories of what the journey to prosperity takes need to be told more. They should be used to challenge and inspire. Forget the flashy cars and fancy watches. Let us marvel at the journey, the pain, the tears, the commitment, the focus the fortitude and the GRIT!
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What’s your parting shot?
It will get harder before it gets easier. But if you stick with it, it will get better for sure. You have just got to make it through the hard stuff first. And once you do, just like flying, it will be wonderful.