Evelyn Shuku is the operations manager at Hemingways Nairobi, a luxury five star boutique hotel.
Biggest money mistake: Sometime back, I trusted a salesman on an education insurance product that I took for my children. Although I kept making the payments, the funds I gave out were not being remitted. In the end, all the money I thought I had saved for the children went down the drain. I learned to always know where I put my money.
Key to success: The secret is in building routines that ensure you are constantly making solid steps forward. But you have to ruthlessly measure your progress, fix what doesn’t work, revise and adapt, and work hard every day to be better than you were the previous day. Probably without even noticing it, you will end up on the rich corner, and most importantly, be a lot happier in retrospection. To scale the heights in the corporate world, you will do well to build a team of employees through coaching and career development. The success of your team will be your success too.
Saving method: Currently, I save by putting money in an investment account and buying land. Previously, though, I would save by putting my money in a bank account. This was not very effective. The earnings I got were not as pleasing as they are in my current method.
Biggest career loss: My biggest loss in my career has been the failure to instill aim and goals thoroughly. Without well-defined goals, your effort, whether professional or otherwise is bound to be fruitless. This is because your targets will be random, and as a result likely to be in conflict with each other prohibiting your progress. Be specific in what you set your eyes on. Have a measurable goal and set a deadline on it.
Biggest financial milestone: Getting rid of monthly rent by acquiring my own home is my biggest achievement this far. We made a 15-year plan with my husband that entailed the goals we wanted to achieve and how we would achieve them. Owning a home was one of the major things I took on. Looking back, I have come to realize that acquiring assets is of paramount importance. Acquire assets today and they will turn into riches tomorrow. Stop thinking about surviving and worrying about comfort; instead, think about thriving.
If I could go back in time: I would start by creating an interest-bearing account. This would be followed by annualizing my spending in order to get a clearer picture of my goals and intended spending.
Business or employment: Building a business is not the same as having a job. Whereas a job will give you a pay cheque every month end, a business may take months or even years before it take satisfactorily pay you your worth. Before you choose either of the other, ask yourself how far you are willing to go in each pursuit. Go for a business if you are so passionate that you are willing to sacrifice time, money, and effort with the risk that you may never be successful or profit from it. If not, stay on your job, serve your employer and his customers really well and money will also follow.
The side hustle: Running your own side business could be a great source of extra cash. It may also give you a little bit of wiggle room to do what you really want. But similarly, it might not be a very wise move if your current position is already incredibly demanding, or if it stretches you to the brink.
This feature was first published in the Saturday Magazine. Saturday Magazine is a publication of the Nation Media Group.