I was watching a video of one of my online mentors, Gary Vee, advising a group of young people the other day. One person had a really interesting story, which I believed most of us can relate to. He’s 22 and his dilemma is that he is not interested in medicine, but that’s what his parents are insisting her study. Gary asked him what he wants to pursue that would equalise the doubts he has, and he said what he wants is to own a hospital, not be a doctor. But he was afraid lf letting his parents down. Without a second thought, Gary asked him to quit the course immediately. But I could see the young man’s hestitation and hear it in his voice. Back home, it’s the same story, just a different setting. I run a certain empire foundation, and last week we set out to walk from Nairobi to Nakuru to raise funds for sanitary towels for girls who miss school. We got a positive response from the public and the media. We walked for six days, and it’s amazing what the human body can do when pushed. One of the highlights of the walk was a stop we made at Laikipia University. That whole time, I hadn’t seen or tasted ugali, so while walking around the school, I saw a group of students and asked them what they were having for dinner. The last time I was that excited about ugali was during my month- long in USA tour. So when dinner was ready, the students came for me. While we were eating ugali and sukuma wiki (kales), we started talking about a few realities. We were at least seven guys in the room and a similar question to what Gary was asked came up. I asked them what they really wanted to do if given the chance, and five of them gave a totally different answer from what they were studying. I know I’ve talked about this before, but I realised just how many young people are not doing what they love, but what is ‘safe’.
How dangerous is that?
If you’re playing it safe, you’ll never realise your potential. One of the students said he’d tried comedy but failed. On further interrogating these amazing young people, I squeezed in a few potential ‘success’ starter packs. One thing we have to get clear about is that it’s not bad to play safe – but why kill a dream which could make you more happier? I brought up the Gary story because one of the students I was interacting also had an interest in running a hospital business; his passion is to own multiple hospitals across Kenya. So what I know is that you need business licences to run a normal hospital, you don’t have to be a doctor. So we held a ‘how to own a hospital as an entreprenuer’ discussion. My methods may sound like business fairytales, but the problem we have as young people is that we’re impatient and we expect so much after little sacrifice.
Research and plan
Before anything, you have to know who you are. As much as I advocate researching your market, I always and the fact that you should research your limits and threshold so that you know how much you can stretch yourself.
I put a team in everything I do because it’s worked for me on every business that I have set up. The importance of teamwork is that it brings efficiency and milks opportunity. A team will give you a different perspective of everything, even though you’re the vision bearer. Some-times, though, a team might have to be exited, which isn’t a bad thing since everyone has different strengths.
This is where the foundation of your ‘hospital’ shall be laid. And by foundation, I mean start going to wholesalers to find out how much drugs cost, and by the time you get to the retail chemist and clonic, you’ll know the profit margins. Start with the capital you have and for safety, pick the best-selling products and start. Learn the mapping of the trade so you can create a network that works. I’m not saying it will be easy, but I know patience is a vital element. You don’t need an office, you don’t need land to register your company and start. Start from the basics, grow step by step, and before you know it, you’ll be living you dream. Keep your dream big, but emphasise the small steps.