Esther Passaris on How She Made and Almost Lost Her First Million

October 2, 2013

Businesslady and politician Esther Passaris some time back granted Standard newspaper an interview. She revealed how she made her first million, and how her housegirl spoiled the day.
Here’s how it went.

At what age did you make your first million?
At 25
How did you get started?
From the time I was a teenager, I knew I was destined for greatness. I wanted to make my own money and be a force young ladies could reckon with. I got into manufacturing at Sharper Images in my early 20s, which made me one of Coca- Colas’ first authorized suppliers in the region. I worked extra hard at this. I had to build my reputation and also prove wrong all who thought that a young woman like me could not scale great heights.
What was it like when you made your first million?
I remember receiving a cheque from Coca Cola for over Sh 1Million. I was so excited. All the way to the office I kept pulling it out and confirming that I still had it. I could not place it anywhere when I got home, so that night I placed it under my pillow and slept on it. It was a beautiful feeling; a feeling of contentment and accomplishment.
What happened next?
I planned on cashing it later, so when I woke up the following morning, I left it tightly tucked inside my pillow case. As I was going about my normal work activities, I called my house girl to check on how she was doing. She informed me that she was just finishing up the laundry and went ahead to tell me the she was washing my bed sheets. I was petrified.
I asked her if she had seen anything inside the pillow cases and she innocently said that she had washed a” paper” that had been in the pillow.
What did you do?
I started panicking and I rushed back home where I dried the cheque, but it had by now been completely defaced. I went back to Coca Cola and had to explain my story. They wrote me another cheque and this time round I took it straight to the bank.
What did you do with this money?
I saved some and used the rest to expand my supplies. I was tempted to buy a pile of fancy clothes and jewellery but figured that it was smarter to use the million to create more millions in the future.

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