See the World Through My Eyes

Posts tagged “Business

Of Power, Light and Kenya

Hey, are you like me? Do you experience a power blackout every once in a while? Do your lights flicker every now and then? I bet you have had a casualty at one time due to these power fluctuations that have become sort of a normal thing these days. I’m taking about electrical appliances.Unfortunately, it’s one of the things we have to live with as a third world country. I hope you don’t expect this problems to end soon, I guess you have an idea of how long a minute it will take. There are so many reasons why this ‘thing’ is here to stay; at least for a generation or two. Some will say it is corruption, others will claim negligence while others just choose to accept that our energy companies are just hopeless. Life has to go on nonetheless.

So today, I was reading the paper as I got my shoes polished when I spotted an ad. Interesting. No. Embarrassing. KPLC have rebranded! How comes no one told me? Well here is my take on what I think of this rebranding. I’m not a public figure but I am confident that my opinions will reach the right ears. I am a shareholder so in reality, I own a piece of this utility. My little share gives me all the rights to comment on how this re-branding will affect my power supply and most important of all, the chances of our people in rural areas ever getting connected to electricity. If you happen to know someone who knows the culprits responsible just pass my love will you?

I am a designer by profession and in my opinion, the re-branding of KPLC is an epic fail. Why? Have you seen the World Food Program logo? Google it. Why the hell does our most significant utility have to ride in an identity that denotes a food relief aid agency? I’m not saying this in bad taste but I think they would have done it better. The logo does not carry any symbolism and worst of all, it DOES NOT communicate. What happened to the days where communication was simple? When did illusionism become part of the corporate communication process? I believe strongly that if your mission is to sell a red dress and make profit, you have no business in  splashing your billboards with images of a different item hoping your customers will ‘get it’. Get me?

I have heard complaints from the people at the bottom of the pyramid. People who have absolutely no knowledge in advertising and corporate communication strategy. They say that the new look is scary.  I agree. I urge KPLC to ran a poll to dispute my claims and shame me publicly if I am wrong. In fact one of my shareholder friends is fearful that the company is being privatized or sold off. I have also learnt sadly that this rebranding is supposed to be in line with vision 2030. To quote KPLC’s press statement:

The Kenya Power & Lighting Company has adopted a new name and unveiled a fresh look in line with its strategic plan and Vision 2030.”

Now Vision 2030 is a very tricky subject. I am starting to think that some of us understood it differently especially KPLC. I expected them to begin by first streamlining their operations. Have the flaws in electricity delivery gone away or at least gone down? I beg to differ. I have even been monitoring my prepaid digital meter and it’s a sad affair. I pay more for electricity than I used to with the old system. I was about to celebrate that by going digital, my electricity  bills would go down and my share price would go up but no! The share remains dangling at plus and minus 3 while the greedy gadget keeps draining my pocket like an ungrateful brat. I don’t mind paying more if it means someone in Turkana will get connected at my expense but to put my money in a bad re-branding? You need to refund me.

Over the next few weeks, the public will struggle to comprehend what KPLC is turning into and this will have an effect on the share price. Seeing that the milk is already spilled, my suggestion is for the company to step up it’s public education on the re-branding; this I will allow my money to do. The success of any company is also determined by public goodwill. In addition, let’s focus on the important things first. I’m talking about, streamlining our communication and public relation. (I have to commend your presence on Twitter by the way. The person behind it should get a raise.) In addition, let’s try figure out a way of making the rural electrification program as affordable as possible if not free because the potential for business in this category is huge. I also pray that like the rest of the world, we will unveil a green energy generating solution that will ensure we achieve vision 2030.  KPLC is a company of the future and we should treat it delicately if we want to achieve the goals of Vision 2030. As for the agency behind the re-branding….HOW COULD YOU??!!!!

‘How to Pray’ for Dummies

Have you ever lost your Debit Card to an ATM? You typed in your password and seemingly followed instructions to the letter and still the greedy machine swallowed it all without even producing the money you requested? I know you cursed the bank, the machine, the bank CEO and most of all yourself. You cursed yourself because for some reason, you think you should have guessed it would happen. And from that moment, everything that day went downhill despite hoping that it would only get better. You tripped and fell on a flat pavement at lunch time. You stood up brushed the dirt off your shirt and said another silent prayer for the rest of the day. This time, angrily. Only kids are supposed to fall on flat surfaces! In the elevator, you involuntarily farted. That’s it! #DEAD

We pray for different reasons. Mostly, we pray to ask for help. It’s a human thing. We could be different in the sense of what we believe in, who or what we pray to but in the end, we seek to be answered in one way or another. And when our prayers don’t get answered, our faith is shaken. When this happens over a long period of time, we lose our faith. When we lose our faith, we lose our spirit [The little silent voice within us that tells us where we came from and our destiny]. We become animals.

On the other hand when our prayers are answered, our belief is strengthened. Our hope is renewed. We become thankful and want to spread the word so that others might experience what we are experiencing. We start believing in things unseen. Impossibilities turn into possibilities. What I know for sure is that there are many people who believe but very few can show the positive results of their beliefs. So could it be that we don’t know how to pray?

By now you’re asking what qualifications I have to teach people on how to pray. I have none. When was the last time I went to church? Let’s see… maybe 3 months ago, maybe more. I am not special in any way and I feel sad every time I think of the things God has done for me versus what I have done for him. I’m a ‘work’ in progress. I am thankful for the many things that I have experienced through prayer. I’ll share my secrets with you. This is not a lecture and I will say again that I have no qualification whatsoever. The only thing backing me up is, what prayer has done for me. I am a blessed man I tell you. Everything I’ve ever prayed for I have received. And for the few things I am yet to receive, I am gladly waiting for. If ever I fail to receive one of the things on my list, I know it will be for a reason. A bigger plan and purpose. I feel strongly that by reading my findings you will be enlightened. You could be a preacher or even the worst villain, it’s all the same. Praying is talking to God and as with any conversation, there are ground rules. Pay attention because I will tell you just one of the rules that I think is the most important. Important because it determines the outcome. There could be other rules but this one is essential. Walk with me.

God does not owe you anything. You heard me right. He doesn’t. That’s the main thing that you need to understand because I am pretty sure you know it already. Just because you prayed for a car doesn’t mean you’ll get it. Just because you wish your oppressive boss would die doesn’t mean it will happen. If that were the case, there would be no war, hunger or even starvation. The world would be a better place just based on the fact that there are more good people than there are bad people, I believe. You on the other hand are alive because God wills it. You owe God everything. When you pray, you should humble yourself and be ready to accept the answer God will give you. Why? It is for your own good.So God will definitely give you an answer. It just depends on how you choose to receive it.

So how then do you interpret the outcome of your prayers? I will give some practical and familiar examples. Would you give an infant a razor blade just because they cried for it? Would you skip immunizing your child just because injections hurt? Why not? It’s sad to see a baby cry in all it’s innocence. In the same breath, it feels good to be able to provide your child with all it wants. Anything that will make it happy. Clearly, if you listened to the desires of the child you would end up killing its fragile life for giving, or failing to give for the wrong reason. One more question. how then do you explain to a baby who still speaks goo goo gah gah why you had to treat it the way you did? So there you have it. When you pray, understand that God will answer according to his WILL. Not yours. He alone knows the master plan because He made it. So if you prayed with an honest heart and didn’t get exactly what you wanted just know that THAT is still an answer. On the other hand if you got what you wanted after praying, always remember to give thanks because you are still in God’s plan. This realization has been my motivation. That is why I can confidently say, ALL my prayers have been, are and will ALWAYS be answered.

It’s sad that in our time we’ve had people promising you returns if they pray for you. Some even pay in exchange for prayers. They say plant a seed by sending money and reap the benefits. I don’t dispute any concept but at the end of the day, everything depends on God’s will. What God gives, he gives for free.

Next time, I will give you the anatomy of a prayer according to my findings. Ofcourse it will depend on how well this article is received. I could be wrong. Write  to me and tell me what you think.

Dedicated to the one person who in my blog poll, said that God does not exist. Just pray that you’re right.

The Rich Notes

By Jimmy Mwangi

I have to start by commending all the writers who contribute to this blog. Finding a way with words is one of the most fascinating elements of a human brain. With Words, you get along. You’re peas in a pod. Like peanut butter and jelly. Big Up guys!! Amazingly talented. Well having read a very beautifully articulated piece titled ‘Pick Up the Phone !‘, a few thoughts have been lingering in my mind. Well, lets see how well it goes….

The CNN reporter in the background announces … another increase in poor nations aid. The World Bank said yesterday that it would almost triple lending this year, to help prevent ‘HUMAN CRISIS’ in developing countries and maybe turmoil in financial markets… I’m sure we hear this everyday. its sad that its even become background noise and we fail to realize that what they are actually describing is US! …. Machiavelli said ‘the reason why there is no change is because the people who stand to loose from change have all the power and the people who stand to gain from the change have none of the power.. what he actually described was the global structure of rich and poor in today’s society!

Would you call yourself rich?

If your answer to that was not a yes, then you are in trouble! For over 40 years as a country, we’ve been asking ourselves what causes poverty? As much as there are various challenges linked to the increased difficulty in the prosperity of Africans, I believe one major issue has contributed to the now created system of economic and personal slavery. Something that has colonized our minds and continues to plummet this country. We are actually the biggest problem! All along, we’ve been asking the wrong question. what we should be asking ourselves is what causes Wealth? Hold that thought though, don’t be too quick to think that by wealth I mean money.

Let me introduce you to a very simple idea. One that has changed my thinking in the way I work, in the way I do stuff and in the way I operate in society. How do we explain when some things don’t work the way we assumed? or better still, how do we explain when some people seem to achieve all the things that seem to defy all the assumptions? For example, why is Apple so innovative? Year after year they seem to be more innovative than any of the other companies within their category and yet, they are just a computer company. They are just like anyone else. They have access to the same talent, same consultancies, same media? Why is it that they seem to have something different?

Why is it that the Wright brothers achieved the discovery of controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air  flight, while there were certainly other teams that were better qualified, better funded and in better positions to achieve this? There is something else at play here. As it turns out, there is a pattern, all the greatest leaders and organizations of the world, think and act in the same exact way and its the complete opposite to anyone else. This whole idea comes from one of my most favorite speakers and orators Simon Sinek through a simple concept he calls ‘The Golden Circle.’ Its probably the worlds simplest idea.

3 things. The Why, The How, The What! This simple idea explains why some individuals or organizations continuously inspire while others aren’t. Let me explain the terms really quickly. Every single person on the planet understands what they do. Some know how they do it. Whether through certain proprietary processes etc. Unfortunately very few of us understand WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO. By why I do not mean to make profit(money). Thats always a result. What I mean is: what’s your cause? What’s the reason you wake up in the morning? What’s your belief? Why should anyone care? As a result the way we think has always been from the clearest thing (The What) to the fuzziest thing (The Why) whereas inspired individuals or organizations regardless of their size always start with THE WHY! let me give you an example.

If Apple were like everyone else, here’s an example of how a communication message from them would sound:

We make great computers (The What)

They are beautifully designed, easy to use and user friendly (The How)

Wanna buy one? (The Why)

Completely uninspiring don’t u agree? and thats how most of us think. “Hi my name Mary and I work long hours with minimum supervision. I am self driven and I am a go getter. Please hire me”. The culture that has formed the roots of entrepreneurial journeys in this country does not inculcate such beliefs and therefore continuously end up not contributing to growth of our economies. Politicians with their 10 point plans continue to fill our screens with nonsense that is taking us absolutely nowhere. Some of the relationships we find ourselves in have no basis or reason for existence whatsoever. We say what we do, we say how its different and expect some sort of influence or vote. It’s simply uninspiring and unsustainable.

So here’s how Apple actually communicates;

Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently (The Why)

The way we do this is by making our products easy to use, beautifully designed and user friendly (The How)

We just happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one? (The What)

Totally different huh? Inspiring? All we did was reverse the order of information. What is simply proves to us is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. We create influence buy building a ‘cause’ not by selling a reason. Individuals who are driven by a cause shall manage to build influence and success in whatever they do. Companies that sell their cause, will succeed in building influences.

I am a firm believer of Building Passion in whatever we do and this is where its starts. Starting with ‘Why’ may just as well be the first step in personal prosperity as Africans. It might just as well be the first quantum leap to breaking out into wealth which in my translation starts in the mind.

Whatever personal aspirations we have, whatever entrepreneurial aspirations we have, lets build purpose into it, maybe its time we started killing our ‘Mental Poverty’…. Lets build Wealth!

Have a Wealthy day!

Pick up the phone!

It’s been a while since I blogged. The death threats and insults from my readers were too much to bear so I am back on the job. I will behave. I will update. I will work harder. If I am not careful, I might just end up being the biggest blogger on the planet!  Precisely what I wanted to talk to you about today. If I am not careful, this might end up being the shortest post I have ever written. Not because it’s a Monday and I am in a lazy mood but because my message is simple, clear and requires action. I am speaking to you. My conscience.

The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is ‘the move’. The successful people simply make a move. The unsuccessful people never make a move. They think about it and sometimes talk about it but at the end of the day, do nothing about it. Let me explain what I mean by taking you on a ‘what if’ journey.

What if you were born a genius but without hands, feet, ears and eyes? Would you understand the world as you know it now? Would beauty still appeal to you like it does now?What if you woke up and you couldn’t remember your name, your family or even your closest friend? Where would you begin? What if you woke up one morning and realized you’d been in prison for twenty years on death row? How would you explain your shock and how you got there? What if you didn’t have a job? Would you be still be waiting for evening to rush to your local bar for a beer? What if your great-great-grandparents were alive? What would they warn you about? What about the children of your future, what will you advise them about life?

Sometimes I take stock of my life and I can’t help thinking that there are only two columns on my balance sheet. Opportunities and opportunities-never-taken. The latter haunts me because it is a constant reminder that my life would be a lot better than it is right now, had I made a move. What if I had picked up that call I ignored yesterday? Would it have changed my life? My mentor Mr. Manu always says, “The universe is ever trying to reach out to you to make you successful. If only, you would answer her call.” That gets me thinking and suddenly, I am thankful that I chose a career that wasn’t considered a profession 8 years ago. It was a ‘bad choice’ but it puts food on my table and I have been able to help others through it. What if I had chosen a career just because my parents wanted me to? I think I would be a drunk by now.

Why do things happen the way they do? Do you think your long lost friend called you last night by mistake? Why has that business idea been troubling you for the last two years? Why did you get a promotion? Out of hundreds of pedestrians, why did the beggar choose to ask you for a coin? We see the signs, yet we ignore. Everyday we all get a ‘call’. However, it takes a very open and conscious mind to notice a ‘call’. There is a receptor that is inbuilt that receives a signal so that by answering ‘the call’ we can discover our true destiny. When you see an opportunity, you should know that this call is for you. Life is giving you a chance. God is speaking to you. If you will only answer.

I finish by urging you to carefully observe the most successful people in the world today. Most of them have a very simple and straight-forward story. They simply answered the call.So go on, make a move! If you’re not careful, you might just get very successful.

I am writing this under heavy inspiration from one Beato, who recently answered the ‘call’ and started a financial consulting company. Her venture is a few days old but watch carefully as it unfolds into success.