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Chris Kirubi: 5 steps to success in business and career

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Chris Kirubi is known in the business mogul in the business world, thanks to his entrepreneur mind and flamboyant lifestyle. He is currently placed among the top four wealthiest persons in Kenya, estimated at $300 million (approximately Ksh300 billion). He has invested in insurance, property, media and manufacturing.

Although his history does not reveal his family background in terms of economic class, one thing is evident: he grew from being an employee to an employer. Despite his experience, wealth and age, Kirubi’s daily life has lessons we can always learn. He shared some in his column on Capital FM. Here are some gems.

1.Attitude is everything: Most often, Kirubi points out, attitude is the key to success. Kirubi writes that he prefers attitude to skill in hiring an employee. “I have said it time and time again that I employ mostly for attitude and train for skills. If you have a guy without the right attitude, their skills will not help you because they are irrelevant to your business. Most times it’s not the person that is the most qualified that gets the job, but the one who shows the most potential; the one who is trainable,” he says.

The billionaire explains that if your academic merit contradicts your attitude, you might achieve very little for yourself, your employer and the community as a whole. The valuable question you need to ask is, if you were stripped off the various certificates, degrees and accolades that you hold, what are you worth?

2.Go the extra mile: In life, no one will teach you everything, even the teachers and lecturers you pay for knowledge. You have to go the extra mile and learn a new skill by yourself, either by going to a training institution, voluntary service or life experiences.

“As you study and acquire knowledge, remember to train yourself for the labour market. Acquire basic or additional skills that will develop you. Don’t wait to be employed. Use the skills you have acquired to better your livelihood and of those around you,” he says.

HE ADVISES YOUNG PEOPLE, WHO HE DESCRIBES AS THE DRIVERS OF INNOVATION AND CHANGE, TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THIS AND PROVE TO THE NAYSAYERS THAT THEY ARE NOT LIABILITY BUT THE KEY CATALYSTS FOR DEVELOPMENT.

3.Be holistic: Modernism is advocating for specialisation in the job market, but this does not mean that we confine ourselves to a particular knowledge. Sometimes turbulence comes and you lose your job, the only job you are skilled in. Despite being a business man, Kirubi’s inspirational writing ‘Ask Kirubi’ on Capital FM, is a prove that learning an extra skill in life will not limit your capabilities in the professional world.

In fact, it might be an eye opener that will lead you to higher heights of success. Employers will prefer holistic candidates who can cover certain gaps in case the ‘main’ employee is not there.

4.Network: This is one basic requirement for success. Alone, you cannot succeed, as you need others in form of advisers, business partners, customers, suppliers, lenders, friends and even competitors. Having these, you can easily thrive since they challenge you to the right path.

“Africa has numerous opportunities, but remember you cannot thrive alone. If you stand alone, you stand little or no chance of survival. But if you partner, merge your resources with other like-minded people then you will be able to attract bigger opportunities and the investment you need,” says Kirubi.

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5.Never be discouraged: Having gone an extra mile to acquire a new skill, having a positive attitude, being holistic and having a good network does not guarantee a seamless path to success. You might even be faced with bigger hurdles since you are destined for something unusual, something greater. This calls for patience in your endeavours. So many companies, institutions and even potential employers will turn you down, but this should be a motivation for you to go an extra mile.

He says, no one should limit your potential. Show an employer, investor, leader etc. how you can add value and be productive. “The moment you limit yourself then that will be the beginning of your failure,” he says. “Increase the competitiveness and productivity of yourself and that of your generation so that together you can drive the leadership and economic development of your country and Africa. If I don’t invest in your business then move on to the next investor. Work on your flaws and eventually someone will recognize your worth.”