Sam Jim Mwanyasi is the chairman and founder of Spectrum Network Group of companies with interests in Finance, Risk Management, Construction, and Business Intelligence.
He shares some of the lessons he has learned from his entrepreneurial journey.
- You will know your business is on the right track if investors of good reputation are willing to partner and grow with you. This is one of my greatest milestones. It shows confidence in our brand. This has made it possible to establish partnerships in and out of the country. I have managed to grow professionally, besides enhancing customer experience and shareholder value in the group.
- I am not a believer in saving. Every coin I make somehow slips between the fingers and goes back to business. So rather than saving in the traditional way, I do investments that have an element of saving. Rather than put money in a fixed savings account, I prefer putting it into an insurance or pension scheme for the future. My wife is a better saver, and I ride on her saving culture for that rainy day.
- It is better to make hay while the sun shines. I would have started some of my businesses earlier than I did, especially the microfinance one. I would have furthered my studies instead of doing music and other pursuits that never paid as I’d have wanted. I am now time-constrained. Nonetheless, I still consider myself a student of the universe. Always open to be taught, ever ready to learn!
- You must know when to terminate a bad business. I have over the years found myself winding down or closing small companies I started because they were making losses, did not return the projected profits, or because of partners who did not honour their part of the deal. These kinds of business decisions are inevitable in the pursuit of success. I got a preposition in a mining deal, where I was to make Sh5 million and ended up losing over Sh2 million instead. Later I learnt that the deal was concocted to defraud me.
- The journey of entrepreneurship has twists and turns. Start from where you are, with what you have, with whom you have around you. You don’t have to be great to get started. Many people let the sheer lack of capital deter their dreams. It should not be so. A good idea without capital is better than good capital without an idea.
- There is no silver bullet when it comes to building a career, business, or wealth. But the traditional core values of honesty, integrity, accountability, and diligence are highly valued by clients. One very invaluable asset we have is our customer experience. I always remind my team that clients don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. My personal experience has taught me that nothing comes easy or overnight. Even the most innovative and brilliant of ideas were painstakingly created and nurtured over time. Persistence and tenacity are key. Many Kenyans, do not have the patience of the farmer. Be like a farmer; till the land, plant and wait for germination, nurture the plant and wait till it yields.