In 2004, Eric Kinoti was working as a night cashier in a Kenyan hotel. That left him plenty of time during the day to watch TV and play video games…
Oh, wait… That’s not what Eric did with his spare time! He had a much bigger dream! He wanted to be an entrepreneur!
That’s why Eric used his spare time to sell eggs to hotels along the Kenyan coast. It wasn’t much, but it was a place to start.
By 2007, Eric had saved 20,000 Shillings (roughly equal to $235) selling eggs. He used his savings to quit his job and invest in his business, expanding his offering to include milk, rice, beans and maize. His business was growing; his dream was becoming reality.
One day, a client asked if he could supply a tent for a function. Being a young “can-do” entrepreneur, he found a supplier and provided the tent for a healthy profit. Seeing a need, he withdrew his entire savings of 57,000 Shillings (roughly $670) to form Shade Systems, a manufacturer and supplier of tents, shades, canopies and other related products.
Now, Eric’s business has 25 employees, sells tents in Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda and Somalia, and generates tens of millions in revenue each year.
This is a success story if I’ve ever heard one, but it’s more than that. You can learn valuable lessons about hard work, perseverance, creativity, and recognizing opportunities, but it’s even more than that.
The most valuable lesson you can learn from this story is the importance of believing in your dream enough that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to make it a reality.
That means using your spare time productively. That means saving your money instead of spending it on things you don’t need. That means investing your money in your business to build it and grow it.
I’ve never been to Kenya so I can’t attest to what it’s like to live there, but I guarantee it’s not as easy as the land of milk and honey. Eric didn’t have the luxuries we have here in the USA.
In Kenya, the minimum wage for unskilled employees is $2.39…..A DAY! That’s an entire day’s wages! Yet Eric found a way to save his money and use it to buy inventory for his side business! It took him 3 years, but he was able to save up 100 days worth of wages…and he invested ALL of it into his business! That’s a man who believed in his dream!
Now my question to you is, how much do you believe in YOUR dream? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make it a reality? Are you willing to make sacrifices, to make the best use of your time, to invest in yourself and your dream?
Only 9 years ago, Eric Kinoti was a cashier in a hotel, making a few dollars a day, with a dream and some eggs. He made great use of the last 9 years, maybe better than you have, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is how you use the next 9 years.
Where will you be 9 years from today? Will you be living your dream?