THE BLAME GAME

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Everybody is having the exact same discussion these days. We are talking about the economy, corruption, individual bar soaps for the price of rent, high interest rates, bank collapses, debt, lack of leadership etc.  Very easy to get into a doom and gloom frame of mind.  I sat around one of these discussions recently and I was fascinated at how the blame game is on.  After a couple of rounds of the game (you know where every so often someone puts a different twist on the same point in an attempt to look well versed and intelligent), it is very easy to go home and start filing for citizenship of other countries.  However I posed a question to this particular group and asked them if they had the same problems they have this same time last year.  To most they agreed. Fine, last year a bank didn’t go into receivership but they still had debt, they were still struggling with spending and expenses, they still had not taken the time to learn where to invest, they were still blaming other people i.e. employers for not paying them more money, still consumed with figuring out how to impress those around them. I am not in denial that certain things happening can make one afraid.  I am not in denial that as a country we have a lot of work and repair to do in certain areas. Yes, current events are affecting us economically in one way or another.

Our leadership is well…umm…. not enough space in this column to talk about that.  But with this particular group of people and I am sure many people and groups who are having this conversation, current events have only given them an excuse to do what they were doing a year ago.  Nothing! If you have been doing nothing and continue to do nothing, you honestly do not earn the right to sit around and complain.  If interest rates went to two percent and corruption like yellow pox got eradicated, you would still do nothing and find something to blame. History has always shown that in challenging economic times there are people who thrive.  I can guarantee you they didn’t play the game blame and do nothing. Vent, acknowledge the facts and then get up and do something rather than having the same discussion every day. You can use your lunch money and pay that loan faster, you can manage expenses and invest in the stock market, you can test that business idea out, you can re-engineer your business you can invest time in learning something new, you can train to run a marathon. Something! Whatever we do let’s not blame our way into nothingness.

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I Am Me (Introvert) Now..

 

I am only the me that you see

Standing here,
Average everything.
I fall somewhere on The Pitt- De Niro spectrum.
I’m not very assembled
But I ain’t Delicate
My Voice isn’t profound,
Nor too shrill.
No noticeable scars,
At least not that you can see bruh.

are-you-shy-introverted-both-or-neither-and-why-does-it-matter_source_stocksy
Just,
Average everything,
But average is only flesh deep,
The real tattoo is
Underneath the outer sheath,
In this load,
This concrete reef
of hardened,
Crystallized,
Ensured,
Covered up…
Darkness.
It’s a poem.
A poem I’ve been composing inside for a long time,
But it has no words.
It has no words,
So I can be the me that you see.
Let me ask a question.
Have you ever taken a 2-Liter pepsi,
And shook it with all your vigor,
But not opened it?
Then just watched the bubbles,
Enraged,
Demented ,
Violent,
Completely untempered and without direction,
They have no release,
No escape
and no control.
See inside,
Beneath my surface,
an unsympathetic carbonation crawls,
Like field mice at night,
Always in danger.
Inside,
there’s a poem that I just cannot write.
It’s been writing itself for a long time,
But the worlds won’t transcribe.
It’s a can of worms,
A Pandora’s box,
extreme and really Daunting .
Inside,
A specter haunts my opera.
There’s a poem that I just cannot write.
It’s been written,
But not scribed,
I’ve gulped it down,
Lived It,
I breathe it,
Silently,
It hushes me,
And controls every moment,
Untraced,
So that I can be the me,
That you see.

No longer average.
And no longer hidden.

wanna know why?

This poem that’s been writing itself with no words for long,
Is a mistake.
It is secrets revealed, gou0itkr-introvertsmountains1210jpg-1920-1080

But I cannot continue to write this poem.
I shouldn’t even write about having this poem,

See, I am only the me you see right now bruh.
But if the right letters
Appear in the right succession,
If the words I fear
Are written and read in
a certain direction,
This poem would transpire.
If this poem transpires.
I have
No more poems.

No more poems brother.
There are no more words.
I am no longer the me that you see,
No longer average.
And no longer hidden.

AHMEDGREEK 

Picking up the Entrepreneurs mind

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Starting a new business after work obliges you to take on a similar mindset as an alternate individual.

Theo has been finance professional for most of his career.  He is a qualified accountant and rose up to the level of CFO (Chief Financial Officer) in his last job in a multinational manufacturing company.  Theo resigned three months ago and is looking at starting a financial advisory firm. He thinks there is a gap to offer objective financial advice as an external party to companies like the one he recently worked for.

As you can expect, with the level he had achieved, Theo has an entirely decent way of life. He lives in an incredible neighborhood,his children are in international schools and he definitely has the ability to entertain himself very well. With this sort of life additionally came desires from everyone around him – colleagues, friends, social circle and even relatives.

Theo left work since he needed a change; he needed to give his own particular business a shot. He has great systems and has been going for gatherings, pitching his thought. So far nothing concrete has appeared yet. Theo is getting stressed. It’s been three months and he has begun seeing the level of his investment funds drop. Watching and observing other individuals get up and go to work, and appear to be beneficial is beginning to trouble him. Theo chose to get some advise from his companion Sam. Sam started a new business five years back and can understand things from with a better point of view. These are the tips Sam gave Theo. Things that Theo had neglected when he began this adventure. Maybe its things that will help you and you can also relate to if you are in this particular transition

  • Be set up to give it time. In Sam’s opinion the first lesson in business is patience because it will be applied in so many areas. Patience with clients, receiving payments, suppliers, employees, sales etc. There is no shortcut to it; you just have to go through it. This does not mean you while away twiddling thumbs.  Do what is needed to the best of your ability.  Do what is practical.  Even if the business you hoped for has not borne fruit, as you would like, make sure you find something to do everyday.  Wake up with an objective.  Make calls, see clients, do your research, have a conversation with those who can help, see your bankers.  Prepare for what you hope will materialize.
  • Get ready to rebuild your brand and networks. A lot of people that Theo was going to see knew him in relation to his previous job.  He was Theo, the CFO of XYZ Company. That was his brand.  There are people within those networks, and as nice as they want to be with you, will loose association with you because the title does not exist anymore. They may even take the meeting but they will not do business with you simply because of that. And it’s OK. Life does continue.  Armed with that insight, you can free up your time to develop other networks that you will find are actually more aligned with what you want to do. Be prepared to rebuild your profile.  This will also require that you personally stop identifying with the title you used to carry and maybe the status, attention and open doors that it used to provide for you. Time to really dig deep and understand who you are without the title, your strengths and what you have to offer. That is what needs to come out and be sold.
  • Strikingly, when you drop the past character you have and quit attempting to make up for lost time to who you used to be, you may likewise see opportunities in a different way. So far Theo has thought about the potential for his business through his qualifications and professional experience. He has a concept that he thinks he would sell to his “peers” in the industry i.e. he has been knocking on doors of finance managers, people at his level so to speak. He is trying to import himself into a business that is somewhat similar to what he used to do.  That is what is called completely thinking inside the box. Entrepreneurship requires you completely re-engineer yourself to be able to think outside the box.  Sam is a lawyer who now does construction.  It’s about matching your unique skills (not paper qualifications) to the opportunity. His negotiation skills really help him in his line of work. Theo has often given financial insight to SME’s in informal settings. Random conversations in social settings. Maybe that’s where his golden opportunity lies and not large multinational companies. It may sound nice to have these companies as your clients, but you may find it makes more business sense to work with SME’s. Just an example to prompt different thinking.
  • Last but not least be practical with cash. Since you need to give it time, you might not have pay for some time. Furthermore, it could be quite a while to get regular income at the level Theo had at his past job.  Cut down unnecessary spending. You’ve probably accumulated enough things to last a lifetime anyway.  You don’t need more. What real difference is buying the next version of your phone going to make in your life?People who will call you remain the same. No new business will come because of a new phone. You are now training yourself to develop the ability to spend on the right things.  This will also help you when the business makes money, because without this discipline, when you do get money you will spend to prove a point to yourself and others.  To declare you have made it.  This is not necessary!

We generally hear insights about what number of business come up short and fail. I think the last one I heard was three out of every  five. It Would be interesting if we knew how many failed because the founders held on to the same way of doing things. Changing your mindset is half the battle won.
AhmedGreek ©

Socrates

Whenever I read Socrates, I wonder why I read anything else. I do not mean Socrates is the only author worth reading, but rather that the depth and sophistication of his ideas seems to nearly eclipse the normative (and comparative) trash I regularly find in the news or on the cyberspace :-p

When I read Socrates I am reminded of the weighty matters of Dunya – wisdom, truth, justice, integrity, love, happiness, and community. These things matters, and they are issues one is more likely to misunderstand just to the degree that one is likely to claim to understand them. confusing…10

I do not claim to understand them. Yet I live many days as if my understanding is sufficient. This should be sufficient evidence that it is not.

My master once said money and honor have no attraction for them; good men do not wish to be openly demanding payment for governing and so to get the name of hirelings, nor by secretly helping themselves out of the public revenues to get the name of thieves. And not being ambitious they do not care about honor. Wherefore necessity must be laid upon them, and they must be induced to serve from the fear of punishment. And this, as I imagine, is the reason why the forwardness to take office, instead of waiting to be compelled, has been deemed dishonorable. Now the worst part of the punishment is that he who refuses to rule is liable to be ruled by one who is worse than himself SubhanaAllah yet proven many times. And the fear of this, as I conceive, induces the good to take office, not because they would, but because they cannot help — not under the idea that they are going to have any benefit or enjoyment themselves, but as a necessity, and because they are not able to commit the task of ruling to any one who is better than themselves, or indeed as good. For there is reason to think that if a city were composed entirely of good men, then to avoid office would be as much an object of contention as to obtain office is at present…” Socrates

Seeking it, straight way to misery

 

What is the relation between living a good life and being happy? To many, the good life is a financially prosperous life, and happiness lies in the possession of wealth. Worldly success is what counts, and anyone who is not ‘successful’ in the usual sense is counted a ‘failure.’ Others strive for a life based on honor and public recognition. A good life is made up of hobnobbing with the right people in the right settings, and happiness is a matter of gaining respect. Along with these, there are lives that show by their living a desire for glory or power that inspires great efforts. Others, who are not drawn to wealth, power or glory because of the difficulties involved in attaining them, may choose the pursuit of pleasure. A good and happy life is one in which pleasures outweigh the pains overall. Many questions have been asked about the good life and happiness. People constantly answer those questions with their lives, and we see many different ideas of the good life and happiness playing out in the striving of human beings to live well and be happy.

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The ancient Greeks wished their friends to ‘do well’ and ‘fare well’ in this life. These two, they thought, held the keys to human felicity. Doing well concerns ourselves, our own actions and feelings. We have some control over these aspects of our lives. So when we wish someone to ‘do well’ in life, we express the hope that the person will be moral and fair in his or her dealings with others. Beyond securing basic physical survival, someone who does well in life can sleep with a clear conscience, whether blessed with material success or not. From many a philosophical point of view, the good life has an intrinsically moral core that involves compassion for the suffering of others and acting justly in the world.

‘Faring well’ concerns events and occurrences over which we do not have so much control. “Faring well” means succeeding in life, coming into a prosperous condition, with all the benefits that come with money and social acceptance. Someone who is faring well in life has had a bit of good luck. It is possible to do everything right in order to succeed, but still fail to do so. For example, you can study hard for your degree, get your professional qualifications, work diligently, become competent, but still not succeed. The cards may not fall your way. As Sartre says, “You are free to try, but not to succeed.” This seems right to me, and so I will come down with Aristotle against Plato on this point, that doing well is not all that is involved in attaining happiness in life.

Plato’s Socrates famously says that the good person cannot be harmed, that virtue is knowledge, and that happiness consists entirely of doing well and being just. Aristotle argues that a degree of luck plays into our happiness. He insists that most of our happiness is in our own hands, but that it can be affected by outside circumstances. So while being happy is mostly a matter of ‘doing well’ (and ‘thinking well’), great misfortunes can damage our happiness. It may be that such a person, by ‘doing well,’ will attain a degree of dignity in suffering, but he will not be happy; or, as Aristotle has it, ‘blessed.’

In light of this result, I hazard an intuitive philosophical account of the relation between the good life and happiness. Living a good life is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for happiness. In other words, it is possible to live a good life without being happy, but not happy without living a good life. This a ‘philosophical’ account of the relation because many philosophers have a particular idea of happiness and the good life that is not shared by everyone, with their emphasis on clarity of thought and sound reasoning. In addition, though philosophers recommend the philosophical life as both the happiest and the best, they are not in a position to legislate for everyone what happiness must be. Nevertheless, the traditional philosophical view is not without support. All we have to do is look at the results of many lives that strive for wealth, power, fame, glory or pleasure. So many disasters befall those who pursue a good life with no moral core, or reflective turn of mind, that it makes some sense, as philosophers argue, to pursue the wisdom to recognize the good life, and, within that life, such happiness human beings can attain…

Corporate vs Start-Up

After Reading this Article, you might want to Ditch the Corporate world and Go for a Start-up of your own.

(4 Minutes Read)startups-kenya-logo
Sure, a corporate gig might (initially) pay more than a startup and come with cushy benefits, but there are real, career-defining reasons to heed the siren song of a startup.
As an employee one begins to get tired of daily commuting to the office and gets bored of the fixed working hours which makes one wonder ”what if it’s time to leave my current job and start a business of my own?”
Not everyone finds the corporate world as Interesting although some people choose to stay as they are unsure of what the world may hold for them; they rather stick to the job they have and avoid starting their own business.
If you’re among those people, here are photos that can really open your mind and make you decide to take the plunge. startupGrind

Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs.

how to start

A simple and continuous steps to success.

how instagram started

The whole instagram idea was brought to life in 8 weeks, Truly inspiring.

how airbnb started

How two friends’ desperateness resulted to a big idea which is now worth $10 Billion and is still growing.

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From Amadeo Giannini, Steve jobs, Mark Zuckerberg to Bill Gates; This people beat the odds, proved wrong everyone who never believed in them and became very successful. “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” ― Jordan Belfort

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Pick up good habits and invest in yourself while you’re still young and energetic. Set goals that you can achieve and force yourself out of the comfort zone. Don’t forget to Dream big.

 

Bailing out kenyan companies

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Should our Kenyan government bailout failing Companies?

What is a Bailout? This is a situation in which the government offers money to a failing business or a company in order to prevent the consequences that arise from a business’s downfall. Bailouts can take the form of loans, bonds, stocks or cash. They may or may not require reimbursement.

Bailouts have traditionally occurred in industries or businesses that may be perceived as no longer being viable, or are just sustaining huge losses. Typically, these companies employ a large number of people, leading some people to believe that the economy would be unable to sustain such a huge jump in unemployment if the business folded.

Normally government bailout plans are meant for very large corporations or big players in industry. The way it works is that the financial planners calculate the impact if such a big industry goes out of business then thousands of people will lose their jobs and the implications of that will be huge on the economy. So if they think that by helping the business with some liquid cash can make it come out of the situation then may be its better for the government to support it as otherwise if they go out it will be even bigger burden than the bailout itself.

For example, Chrysler, a large U.S. automaker was in need of a bailout in the early 1980s. The U.S. government stepped in and offered roughly $1.2 billion to the failing company. Chrysler was able to pay the entire bailout back, and is currently a profitable firm.

 

BAILOUTS

Kenya Airways Chairman Evanson Mwaniki, Senator Anyang’ Nyong’

As kenyans we have been down this road before. You will recall Uchumi Supermarkets, Pan African Paper Mills (Pan Paper) and more recently Mumias Sugar.

Uchumi, Mumias and KQ are listed on the stock exchange and the government is a minority shareholder, generally holding less than 33%. Pan Paper was more closely held, with the Birla Group of India as majority shareholder. Have we learned from previous bailouts?

My back of envelope calculation and hunch is that ksh 20 billion equity injection and ksh 30 billion subordinated loan would be a reasonable bailout package for KQ. The National Treasury should be prepared to go that route.

Here are my reasons.

 Commercial reason

If the government did not bail out KQ, we would certainly have suffered about 4,000 job losses worth ksh 10 billion per year; other purchases of ksh 50 billion, annual forex earnings of about ksh 50 billion (50% of KQ revenue), and massive disruption of floriculture export trade (approximately 50% of this trade is worth ksh 50 billion).

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This would constitute direct losses in the first year of bankruptcy and a fire sale scenario. Further losses would occur for any year that this scenario subsists. For example, if it takes two years to resolve, we are clearly faced with a cumulative loss of over ksh 300 billion.

   Bankruptcy or rescue?

Although bankruptcy may not always be the answer, rescues create a moral hazard that encourages risky behavior. For instance uchumi and mumias went burst after rapid expansion primarily funded by short-term debt financing. First year MBAs are cautioned never to finance long term assets with short term capital. Kenya airways is struggling over the exact issue.

In the words of Trevor Manuel, former South African Finance Minister, singling out companies for state support sends the wrong signal and undermines the government’s ability to support the broader economy. He says it destroys the incentive to create sound businesses. Socializing the losses of shareholders and managers is the only thing worse than nationalizing firms outright.

 A case for bailouts

World over governments have been faced with this dilemma. In the US for example, there is a long history of corporate bailouts going back to 1970. Big companies like Chrysler, General Motors, Citi Group have all received public support at one time or another.

The case for bailouts is generally based on the idea of systemic risk – that a corporate failure will undermine the economy to a far greater extent, and could lead to a meltdown. In all instances, bailouts are expected to be transitional.

 

It is was a good idea to bail out KQ but the National Treasury and KQ must sit down and come up with a thorough restructuring and recovery strategy.

   Reasons against bailouts

  • Signals lower business standards for giant companies by incentivizing risk
  • Create moral hazard through the assurance of safety nets
  • Promotes centralized bureaucracy by allowing government powers to choose the terms of the bailout.

 

Ref http://www.afarber.com/definition-of-bailout

1.James Ott and Raymond Neidl,Airline Odyssey: The Airline Industry’s Turbulent Flight into the Future(New York: McGraw-Hill,
1995), pp. 72–83.
2. Thomas Hemphill, “Can a Libertarian Accept the ATSB?” Regulation, Spring 2003, pp.10–11.
3. Ibid., p. 10.
4. Susanna Dokupil, “Rethinking the Airline Bailout,” National Security White Papers, Federalist Society, http://www.fed-soc.org/Publications/Terrorism/airlinebailout.htm.
5. Ibid.
6. John Samples,“Against Politics as Usual,” Cato Institute, Center
for Representative Government, September 26, 2001, http://www.cato.
org/current/terrorism/pubs/samples-010926.html.
7. Laurence Phillips,“A Crisis of Security and Economics,” Regulation, Winter 2001, pp. 53–54, and Hemphill, p. 10.

 

(THIS IS MY OWN WORK, REFERENCED   I HOPE IT CHANGES YOUR THINKING 😉

THE KENYA’s MIDDLE-CLASS NIGHTMARE!

Mark Maish

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I’m seated on a wooden bench under a makuti shed located at a vantage point deep in the heart of a national reserve watching a herd of elephants grazing peaceful below, oblivious of the chaotic world out there. A fortnight ago I handed in my final year project which marked the end of a 5-year pursuit for my Undergrads. Faced with the biggest dilemma of my life, I traveled down to this remote camping site in south coast to strategize on my next step. The decision I’m about to make is to either take the job offered or turn it down and instead follow my passion which happens to be unconventional.

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