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Wilson Ngugi: I trusted a friend and lost Sh. 2.7 million in 3 months

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Friendship and Business: Diego Ngugi Wilson is the managing director at County Guards, a firm that provides security solutions for individuals, homes, and corporate institutions, and general security risk analysis.

Biggest milestone: I am proud that I was able to conceptualize this business and create four county offices in Mombasa, Meru, Murang’a, and Embu within 6 months. This was possible through teamwork, backed by a clear vision of what we wanted to do. Always know your business targets, embed them with the solutions you want to offer, and work within timelines. Expansion must at all times be based on income returns. Don’t tie yourself with fixed expenses that won’t pay you back.

The people power: Money, wealth and the people are intertwined. You cannot make money or build wealth without people. It is always about the people. This has been our mantra. Talk to people, relate well with people, be honest with people and therein, you will find great resources that will ultimately materialize into wealth. Also, gather as much experience as you can from different areas. Personally, I have been blessed to work with numerous organizations such as Jubilee Insurance, OilLibya, and Insco Kenya, and gained a wealth of experience and an attitude to say no to failure. But, saying no to failure comes down to work. As a sage once said, the dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.

Form One dropout who forged his way to top government, UN, media jobs

What works for me: I have found power in involving my team in decision making. I make sure that we all buy into the vision, and that we own a piece of the vision. This makes us all feel indebted towards bringing it to fruition. It is also important to reward workers whenever expectations are exceeded. Make room for everybody to express their point of view, cultivate the right attitude, and put the customer solutions first. Don’t rush for the money before your customer is satisfied. You’ll lose on both.

Worst money mistake: Some time back, I entered into a business deal with persons I should not have trusted. I ended up losing Sh. 2.7 million within 3 months. This taught me the value of trust and due diligence when it comes to business. Always treat everyone with caution when it comes to money. Lend only what you are willing to lose and avoid buying dead stock, especially machinery. I have also learned to have personal goals that run in tandem, but separately from company goals. That means that neither my personal development nor my company’s is left behind. If you’re an employer, endeavor to grow your employees. Their growth will open opportunities for you which you never thought possible.

If I could go back in time: I would be keen when choosing my business partners and friends. The worst enemy you can have in life is a malicious friend.

My saving method: I prefer investing instead of stashing money away as savings. I only set aside some small percentage to cater for my family’s needs and emergencies. The rest of my total earnings go into investments.

My parting shot: Life is a journey that comes with ups and downs, twists and turns. Be prepared. How far you go ultimately determines which station you end up at. I have also learnt not to be a slave to money. Having a good heart is more essential than having lots of money. Strive to be honest, genuine and trust in God.

This feature was first published in the Saturday Magazine. Saturday Magazine is a product of Nation Media Group. More info email: [email protected]

Copyright @Nationmediagroup

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