Chris Kirubi Wealth Lessons: The late Chris Kirubi was arguably one of Kenya’s top billionaire entrepreneurs.
Up until his last day alive, Kirubi did not stop sharing tips on how Kenyans could better themselves and get richer than they are. Here are some of his last tips on wealth:
“Each time I have an interview, I am always asked how it all began and what I went through in my past. Many people think that I did not struggle at all but little do they know my struggles and poverty were my driving force. Poverty was my motivation of working towards who I am today.
I have invested into many things and I have lost a lot of money. But I never gave up. If I can make it to where I am, you can also make it. And I am still struggling; I don’t feel I have made it. I go to Harrods and I buy the best pair of glasses. That is the best money can buy. I want you to aspire to that.
I came across an article titled, ‘If you’re poor at 35, you deserve it? Painful isn’t it. I mean it’s not easy to accept that you are totally responsible for lacking sufficient money and being unable to afford a standard considerable life. What struck me was the advice the author was given by the only friend who believed in him and his idea.
He was told, “If you want to do it, just try it. If things don’t work out the way you expected it to, you can always revert back to what you were doing before”.
This is what gave the author the urge to do it anyway because he knew he had nothing to lose but his pride and in any case if it failed he could always move on to something else.
This man, Jack Ma, went ahead and founded China’s biggest online commerce company. He knew that regardless of failure or success, the experience in itself was a form of success. Now this is the same mindset I had when I was starting out.
I was poor and knew that I had nothing to lose but to try my best because I was ready to rid myself off poverty and change my life. I was thirsty to make my life work, to experience luxury and become self-sufficient, turning my struggles into a success.
People say I am one of the richest people in Kenya, but that’s not my concern. I mean, they say I am a god of sorts, but I don’t agree. When I look around at my companies and see the number of people we have employed, it gives me joy. It is more satisfying than having all the money in the world.
I employ more than 2,000 people. Suppose each of you employed 100 Kenyans? Would we have no jobs? Pursuing your dream to become an entrepreneur, an employer and a creator of jobs; this to me, is the meaning of true development.
Success is not a bed of roses. It requires a lot of hard work, sleeping hungry, lack of sleep because you have to keep thinking and worrying, waking up at night to do things and also being let down by your so-called friends. Sometimes people don’t understand your goals and your ambitions.
Every successful person has a story of how they endured hardships in order to get to where they are. You cannot afford to sit and feel helpless because of your situation or what you have been through.
The best thing you can do is to use your sufferings as your driving force. When you are poor you have an opportunity to gain lots of experience because you start struggling very early.
I am who I am today because of the struggles in my life. Have the desire and ambition to gain that experience and change your life otherwise you will continue sitting in poverty waiting for the Government to come to your aid. I have come to know that the struggles you are in today, develop the strength you need for tomorrow. Strength to endure tougher times and to create your success story. Similarly, find people who can come to your rescue in the moment of a dire situation in life.
Invest when you can in your home. I have always invested and believed in Africa. I have never gone to China to establish my business there. I have invested in Africa. It has always been Africa’s time. People are coming round to discover what was always there.
Africa has always been the jewel. We should be saying, thank God we are learning what we should have known many years ago. Poverty is itself a business. We must find how to feed the [poor] by using efficient methods to supply jobs and goods and services at affordable prices. If we focus on that, working where poverty levels are, we will improve our efficiency.
We should not say: Africans are poor walking with bare feet. We should be saying: in Africa the opportunity to sell shoes is so big because there are so many people who want to buy shoes.”
- I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.
- The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short. Don’t undervalue yourselves.
- Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.
- It is surprising how a man or a woman can do what he or she has to, and how little most men and women will do when they don’t have to.
- All men and women are the same, except for their belief in their own selves regardless of what others may think of them.
- The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well.
- Nothing can stop a man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal, while nothing on earth can help a man with the wrong attitude.
- Those people who fail are experts at making excuses. Victory belongs to the most persistent.