I Lost Sh2.7 Million in a Business Deal with Someone I Should not Have Trusted

May 18, 2020

Diego Ngugi Wilson is the founder and managing director at County Guards Security,  a firm that provides security solutions for individuals, homes, and corporate institutions, and security risk analysis.

Mr Ngugi shares some of the tips and business lessons he has learned, including the value of trust after he lost a whopping Sh2.7 million in a business deal with an untrustworthy business partner.

Biggest milestone:

I am proud that I was able to realise this business and create four county offices in Mombasa, Meru, Murang’a, and Embu within six months.

This was possible through teamwork, a clear vision, clarity on targets, and ability to meet set timelines. Expansion was based on income returns. Don’t tie yourself with fixed expenses that won’t pay you back.

The people power:

Money, wealth and people are intertwined. You cannot make money or build wealth without people.

It is always about the people. This has been our mantra. Talk and be honest and you will find great success. Also, gather as much experience as you can.

I have been blessed to work with numerous firms such as Jubilee Insurance, OilLibya, and Insco Kenya, and gained immense experience. Saying no to failure comes down to work.

What works for me:

I have found power in involving my team in decision-making. I make sure that we all buy into and own the vision.

This ensures we are all committed toward its fruition. Reward workers whenever expectations are exceeded.

Make room for everybody to express their point of view, cultivate the right attitude, and put the customer first. Don’t rush for the money before your customer is satisfied. You’ll lose on both.

Worst money mistake:

Some time back, I entered into a business deal with someone I should not have trusted. I ended up losing Sh2.7 million within three months.

This taught me the value of trust and due diligence when it comes to business. Always treat everyone with caution.

Lend only what you are willing to lose and avoid buying deadstock, especially machinery. I have also learned to have personal goals that run in tandem but separately from company goals.

That means that neither my personal development nor my company’s is left behind. If you’re an employer, grow your employees. Their growth will open opportunities for you which you never thought possible.

If I could go back in time:

I would be keen when choosing my business partners and friends. The worst enemy you can have in life is a malicious friend.

My saving method:

I prefer investing instead of stashing money away as savings. I only set aside some small percentage to cater for my family’s needs and emergencies. The rest of my total earnings go into investments.

My parting shot:

Life is a journey that comes with ups and downs, twists and turns. Be prepared. I have also learnt not to be a slave to money.

Having a good heart is more essential than having lots of money. Strive to be honest, genuine and trust in God.

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