April 26, 2017

I guess I’m a bit scared that the third floor is slowly creeping. All the same, I’m so proud of the path I’ve trod. Blessed to have the least I deserved. Grateful to have trudged the slippery roads & safely landed on the other side. Maybe not always a safe landing, but I landed all the same. I have just recently vividly experienced being between a rock and a hard place – with work. I told my boss that was my isolation phase because I had been too silent and seemingly aloof. He labelled it ‘loss of the initial vitality I blew the doors to Africa118 with’. It’s still there boss, I promise.

I work in Westlands, it’s walking distance from Nairobi CBD. I constantly take the walks to connect the bus home. I see them all; I pretty much see it all. The weight of the heavy load they carry from work. The unfinished businesses that will keep them half awake. I indulge in their thoughts “should I quit or stay”? Is it really worth the USD 2 I get paid by the hour? And has it really come to working for my rent & food. I see those on the other side too. Half hanging from matatus, dropping people off the wrong stage hoping the cops won’t catch a glance. They are a bit cold, hearts frozen by the lawless figures. I see them stopped and stripped a part of their hard earned coins. They willingly give, it’s barely robbery. They only fit into the system and we know what a system is – a set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole. It’s so complex that it is entirely incomprehensible. I hear the cops got a target on how much they should collect by the end of the day, albeit for their seniors and not themselves. On one end of the continuum, there’s a willing cop who’s following orders, the other end has a recipient who’s not willing to break the norm. I will pass by the 3rd cluster roasting maize by the roadside. I always get this joke, what washrooms do they use if there’s none in sight? I see their hands blackened by coal; I see no dirt attached to it. They charge ksh. 10 above the usual price I pay for roasted corn at home. But it’s en route CBD, they need bus fare to go back home anyways. I haven’t actually seen their faces to read their thoughts because I’m always staring at the roasted maize not willing to pay 10 shillings more. And No, it’s not being stingy. It’s being aware of something called a budget.

And that’s where we start reading today’s post. Coz it doesn’t matter whether you are making 5k an hour, a day or a month. If you can’t account for your money, you won’t account for time, your purpose, your life. I know I take life a bit too seriously by being too analytical. I know what analytics does. I know half of that from Google. Because when companies invest, they want to see returns. We know what constrains businesses – advertising is. A billboard charges a minimum of Kshs. 120,000 per month. I’m thinking that’s inventory cash for a small business. Being on T.V to compete with the likes of Coca-Cola/Safaricom for air time is a bit intimidating. Radios, Newspapers? I constantly ask my audience “when is the last time you read a Newspaper” I get 2 or 3 hands up out of 100 plus. What’s missing with Newspaper ads is access to the targeted audience. The thing I love most about online marketing & advertising is that a simple meme does the job of bringing thousands to a web page. I don’t necessarily need 1000 bucks to advertise, I only need to mark market trends and make sure I am not on the bench. What every business needs to ascertain clearly is visibility on the net. When you type in keywords (words or phrases searchers use when looking for your product or service online) in your industry, are you the first on search results? Do you know that you can optimise your page, right from your loaded desk to make potential customers find you (Search Engine Optimisation)? The desk that can speak better for your business than any PR guy. It knows the hours you put into extra time, it knows your sweaty palms when you are half way through that report/proposal & the pressure is accelerating. It knows it came in after your business broke even when you ordered it online and paid via Mpesa. (Kwani Mpesa is not yet recognised by Microsoft Word’s dictionary? It has that red line underneath implying I misspelt the word???) #smh.

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