Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Buying car out of euphoria, peer pressure was a big money mistake

Eng. Geoffrey Moturi is the founder and CEO of Kawangware Finest Ltd, a Digital Media Agency based in Nairobi that deals with digital marketing, online brand awareness and presence, and brand public relations.

I started my business in college. When I was still an Electrical Engineering student at the Technical University of Kenya, I was invited by Dorothy Ooko, the Head of Communications & Public Affairs at Google Africa to an event in 2017 where she advised me to make use of the numbers on my Twitter account to create digital solutions.

This sparked my desire to be at the forefront of giving businesses online visibility to my X account. I didn’t need much capital other than having a good smartphone which cost me about Sh. 25,000, a laptop at around Sh. 40,000 and monthly data bundles of about Sh. 1,500.

It took me about 3 years before I landed a gig. Before the brands and clients know you, you must be ‘an attaché’ to prominent digital marketers who can then say ‘good things’ about you in rooms of opportunities. Janet Machuka the CEO of AfricaTweetChat and Muthoni Njakwe Founder of StedComms Digital Marketing started subcontracting some gigs to me. This gave me some ground to place my foot in the digital marketing industry.

The main challenges in this industry are getting business and client budgets. There are low seasons  where clients slash their budget for social media marketing, which has a trickled down impact on our operations. There are also companies that opt to multitask their employees  in digital marketing which ends up thinning our margins.

I bought a car out of euphoria and peer pressure. This was a vehicle that I didn’t need at the time. It became a liability that almost depleted my savings. I regret that financial decision up to date.

I fumbled a lot, not knowing my niche, when I started. I didn’t have mentors and did not tap into digital seminars and workshops. This is something I would seriously pursue to avoid rookie business mistakes. Certainly, I would have avoid some if the mistakes I made if I had gone for a mentor in the digital business space from onset.

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I believe no amount is small. Right now, I save with a Money Market Fund. I am also a farmer, and concentrate in goat and chicken farming. My farm is upcountry. Previously, I saved using a current account. I changed when I realized that my money was only sitting idle at the bank without earning I interest yet being subjected to monthly service fee deductions.

Be like a ball; when the ball hits the ground, it always bounces back. Don’t be a balloon which can’t sustain excess pressure. Practice delayed gratification because, in the end, you’ll take the yield of the fruits of waiting. The money you have is not yours but you are just a steward of it. Lastly, be good to people when you go up, because you’ll meet them when you are on your way down.

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