Mwenda Thuranira is the CEO of Myspace Properties, a real estate firm that specializes in the provision of commercial and residential space and property management and investment consultancy.
Surviving real estate: The real estate industry is currently troubled. To stay afloat, we have re-strategized and are offering a niche service country wide dubbed ‘The Mini Mall Concept’. This is a Sh. 20 billion project. Despite the challenges I have had in raising the amount required for the project, I am glad that we are now in the implementation stage. The ball is actually rolling. Getting to this stage has taught me the essence of dreaming big, staying focused and persistent. Everything becomes possible when you put in hard work and meet the right people.
On building business and wealth: Diligence and perseverance has been the key. Team members are also must-have ingredients in the success of any organization. They ensure that company policy, strategy and goals are achieved. I have also learnt that combining the right talents and a positive work environment works wonders. The quote by Henry Ford rings true; nothing can be made except by makers, nothing can be managed except by managers. Money cannot make anything and money cannot manage anything.
Surviving money mistakes: I have made many mistakes in my career. But I always take the lesson at heart and the failure as a stepping stone to better outcomes. I have started ventures which were not successful but I now know that I’ll always be on the right track if 7 out of 10 ventures break even. Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Pay attention to details, verify information, and do background checks. Never be in a hurry to sign off, and listen to your gut feeling.
If I could start all over again: I would be more discerning of business associates and friends. I would never offer free services to build my brand. Way back, I offered value but did not receive value in return. I would pay more attention to details. I would also venture into business much earlier than I did.
My saving method: Previously, I used to save what I could. But now I have a structured approach to savings. I save a percentage of my earnings and also invest in real estate and the stock exchange. I pay myself first whenever I get any income.
Hacking entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurs are often portrayed as happy and free risk-takers with the freedom to control their own time, operations and income. But I am happy that I was able to acquire skills from industry players. These skills gave me a glimpse of what to expect when I started my company. This does not mean that I knew everything. Looking back, I have no regrets on venturing into entrepreneurship. I am a master of my destiny, I have the privilege to create employment, meet dynamic people and visit many places around the world in my endeavor to grow my company.
My parting shot: Make things happen! Be diligent; achieve a little goal every day and you will be surprised at what you will accomplish when every month ends. This means that you must progressively work daily. People are great assets. They have information that could change your destiny. Build good relationships with everyone and maintain honest and respectful business networks. Also, a fool and his money are soon parted is not just a cliché. I have learnt that I am a product of those I surround myself with. There are many people ready to spend your money, but few ready to help you make it. Be wise.
This feature on Mwenda Thuranira was first published in the Saturday Magazine. The Saturday Magazine is a publication of the Nation Media Group.