Isaac Hunja is the chief executive officer at Sky Garden, an e-commerce service and product distribution platform that targets small and medium enterprises.
Biggest money mistake: Not saving and investing from the first day I launched my professional career ranks as my biggest financial mistake. At some point, though, I got the opportunity to take a financial management course that turned my financial outlook around. It showed me the value of a shilling and how much power it holds.
Building a career and business: Your work has to speak for itself. This is something I learned from my late grandfather. He would tell me from an early age: ‘You have to try and be extraordinary in everything that you do!’ And as I grew, I understood that this means I must put my best foot forward not matter the challenge. To build a successful career or business, you must first recognize that challenges are inevitable. They might seem insurmountable at first, but they are nothing but doorways to higher success. Personally, I have taken the leap many times in my career and I don’t plan to stop any time soon.
If I could go back in time: I would take more risks. Yes, they are scary, but they’re what you grow from. You’ll never learn anything by staying put in your comfort zone. If the opportunity makes you nervous, it is probably because it has something you should go for.
Saving method: I prefer to keep a budget and ensure that I stick to it. Also setting goals and targets on where I would want my finances to head over the next one to five years allows me to set aside the right monthly percentages of savings needed to realize them.
Secret to making it: Through my career, I have discovered that you must learn from your mistakes if at all you want to make it. You must strike a balance too. You can’t just ignore them and move on. Neither should you allow them to derail your progress. Always understand that every career or job has its highs and lows. But once you learn to take a blow and still keep moving, you’ll be on your way to making it.
Getting seed capital: We have been fortunate to receive seed funding from investors. And the secret has been in building a growing platform that does what it says it does. This is the primary thing that an investor will be on the lookout for when you go hunting for capital. The work and the team behind it have to speak for themselves. Most importantly, your numbers need to support it all.
Biggest milestone: Starting Sky Garden is my biggest milestone yet. It has grown from an idea, a website, a couple of power points, to a business that is actually delivering positive social impact. I started it together with four of my friends. The number of sellers whose businesses we have grown astounds me. Currently, we have over 3,200 sellers who are using our platform as their preferred sales channel.
Entrepreneurship vs Employment: We are all searching for fulfillment. There are those who will get it through entrepreneurship while others will get it through employment. The trick is to know what ticks for you. And it is that thing that will not take an alarm to wake you up for. You must love why you do what you do and the reason why you got into it in the first place. For example, I could not say starting this company is my biggest milestone if its resolutions didn’t make me happy and contented.
This feature on Isaac Hunja, the founder of Sky Garden was first published in the Saturday Magazine. The Saturday Magazine is a product of the Nation Media Group.