Follow your passion, and money will follow you
- In this digital era, young people should gain as much knowledge as possible from the information that is available online.
- It’s through failures and mistakes that one learns and experiences growth both in their careers and in their daily lives.
Bill Mboya, chief executive officer of Jebilton Ventures, has endured some tough moments as an entrepreneur.
His patience and ingenuity however have enabled him to thrive. He built a business consulting firm with just Sh70,000 as initial capital.
1. Take us through your daily routine as CEO?
My day starts at 4am. I spend the first two hours checking my e-mails and responding to them before preparing for the day.
Between 6am and 9am, I usually attend work-related meetings and by 10am I’m always in the office.
My company deals with Marketing and Strategic Brand Management, so I usually have to do follow-ups on ongoing projects to make sure my marketers and project coordinators are on site and doing well.
I spend the rest of the day attending any other meetings or offering consultancy services to clients.
2. What are your duties as the CEO?
Generally, my job is to implement the vision of the company, to lead, guide and motivate the staff to achieve set goals.
I also attend networking events to meet potential clients and evaluate the company’s output against set targets, to make sure we are making good progress.
3. How would you describe yourself? Do you think you have found your purpose?
I am a visionary leader who sets smart goals and gets the job done. I think I’ve already found my purpose, which is to see small companies grow by engaging in marketing and project management activities that can create revenue.
4. At one point, you started a boutique, what was the motivation behind that and how was the experience?
What made me start Billian Boutique in Umoja estate was my passion for entrepreneurship.
I had just left my job where I was employed as a media analyst, and I felt I would perform better in business. I had a good experience because I realised profits of about Sh30,000 every month.
At that time rent for the premises was only Sh3,000. However, I decided to close the shop so that I could focus fully on building my company.
5. What skills must young entrepreneurs possess to be successful?
Problem solving skills are critical. There is also need to invest heavily on research.
In this digital era, young people should gain as much knowledge as possible from the information that is available online.
Lastly, let them be risk takers. I prefer trying and failing, rather than not trying at all. It’s through failures and mistakes that one learns and experiences growth both in their careers and in their daily lives.
6. What are the common mistakes the youth make in their careers?
Putting too much emphasis on money. When you follow money, you will not go far.
But if you follow your passion, money will follow you. The other mistake is lack of patience. When some young people face challenges, they quit too quickly.
Procrastination is the other mistake. This habit of saying: “There is always next time”, or “I’ll do it tomorrow”, is really costing young people and has made many lose out on opportunities.
8. What qualities does one need in order to build a successful business?
To succeed you need a vision, patience, and the ability to work smart. Also, you must always put God first in everything you do.
9. You are relatively young. What sacrifices have you made to get here?
At one point I was without a job for a whole year, but I stayed patient and focused on my vision.
To start my company, I needed a capital of Sh500,000. But when I realised that this amount was barring me from reaching my goal, I reduced it to Sh70,000, which a relative helped me raise through a loan.
I decided to start small and I am happy with the steady growth the company has enjoyed so far.