Those of you who have subscribed to the Afri-love mailing list will have already witnessed me getting all soppy over my Asilia team. Those intelligent, witty, passionate people who I have the honour of spending the majority of my week with. My business partner, Andrew, and I have learned that finding the right people is possibly the most important thing you can do for your business. People who not only have the skills but also, the right attitude. After all, skills can be learned but, the right attitude is indispensable and makes everything else possible.
So why is a team so important? Here are the top 5 reasons from my experience:
Adele Dejak is one of my favourite entrepreneurs because the woman is constantly innovating. Whether it's perfecting or incorporating new craftsmanship techniques; creating new fashion accessory collections; branching out into clothing and interiors; collaborating with all manner of artists, designers, photographers and; the list goes on and on and on.
Her vision, energy and determination are extremely inspiring.
One of the best decisions I've made in my entrepreneurial journey is having a business partner. We've laughed and we've argued. We've been charged with excitement and been on top of the world, and we've also had our fair share of set-backs and disappointments. The consistent thing over the past 3 years is our appreciation for the fact that we've gone through all these things together. When one has been discouraged, the other has dragged them from the doldrums and kept the vision and motivation alive. As business expert Mike Southon mentioned at a talk he gave at our London office space, one of the most important things an entrepreneur can do is find a foil.
Here are my top 5 reasons why:
I've extended the deadline of the contest to Sunday 1st December, midnight GMT. I know you all know some amazing entrepreneurs – here's an opportunity to share that knowledge and get them some exposure. I can't wait to be inspired!
My father, Paul Kitololo, has been an entrepreneur for all of my life. At the height of a successful career in the corporate world, he gave up the regular paycheck, the company car and, in many people's opinion – his sanity – in order to start his own tour company. Over the next 3 decades, Private Safaris grew to be one of the most prestigious tour companies in Kenya and East Africa. I remember spending my Saturday mornings at his office as a child, busying myself on his secretaries typewriter (creating my 'zine). I am still in awe at how my father successfully run the company while also: participating in or chairing several associations and boards; managing the Kenya Special Olympics team; writing a novel, Shortcut to Hell (published in 1983); making it to every single one of my parent-teacher evenings, as well as sports days and plays and; generally being so involved in my life.
Today marks the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week and Entrepreneurship Month on Afri-love continues. A reader, Tolu, recently got in touch sharing that his brother had started a publishing company (Akasha Publishing) and written his first book. A lot of the discoveries I make and the content I post here, is thanks to readers writing in to share something or someone that they think will be of interest to me and others. Tolu inspired a thought (thanks Tolu!) – what if were to ask you all to nominate your favourite entrepreneurs? So, here we go:
Nominate your favourite entrepreneur
The things I love most about being my own boss:
1. I come and go as I please
Meaning, I have a flexible schedule where I can fit things in my week days that I would otherwise have to relegate to super-early in the morning, the end of the day or the weekend. Whether that's running an important errand; getting in some exercise or; meeting somebody who just happens to be in town for only the day!
In the end, the work has to be done and, being that I'm full aware of my business financial obligations, I'm not lacking incentive to ensure the work is done. However, I love having the freedom to choose when, where and how I do it.