Street based Entrepreneurship and why hustling is not a sin

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Hustling is a term used by many startup businessmen and women ( non employed people in most cases) referring on how they go on their daily life to look for money to survive or how they do their business. Sometime it looks scary term more so when the rap artists used it in their lyrics. In Nairobi there are many so called street business hustlers. I am not talking about the hawkers, these are mostly highly skilled individuals who have chosen not get employed but to venture in business based on their specialized knowledge or skills. On this category are Software developers, Creative Designers, Insurance Agents, Freelance Journalists, Musicians, Actors, Tour operators, Forex Traders, Stocks Agents, Part Time Trainers. The hustlers don?t have enough money for big adverts and promotions. The little they get have to pay for the business and the personal living expenses.

Hard Times

Hard Times

Five Reasons why Hustling is a business holy term

1. 1. Room for creativity:

Hustler has all the time and space to be creative. The clients expect the best, and being own boss the realm of possibility of what one can produce or achieve is limitless. Give a great touch of every details of your work, in the most efficient manner possible, taking into account the benefit of being efficient. Try out new things but keep in mind what the client want and by all means don?t force them on your way of thinking, just give advice where possible.

2. 2. Foundation for bigger and greater things:

Recently I spoke to someone who saw the owner of AccessKenya when he was starting the company, you get the expression that Jonathan Somen was a real hustler at its best. Getting clients was not easy for him and even paying for the office was a real headache but he kept on going. Now you see where AccessKenya is..

Another practical example is the owner of Family Bank. I am told that at the beginning getting people to bank with him was like convincing Kibaki to resign tomorrow. At some point he had to host the church members and in such occasion he used the shared values of Christianity to show people that he should be trusted with their saving. Well whatever he did paid off handsomely years later. In the streets of Nairobi it is called hustling.

The final example here is Mr. Samuel Waweru of Samnel Insurance Brokers and Samnel BVM Holdings. I had a chat with Mr.Waweru about how he started. He practically went nine months without getting single paying client. At some point he actually quit only to reconsider that decision two days later.

All these men share one thing in common, persistence. Persistence is a state of mind; therefore it can be cultivated and nurtured. All that is needed is to know what one want in life and setting up real achievable goals.

3. 3. A sure path of getting All the Knowledge You Need

To succeed as a hustler one need specialized knowledge of the service, merchandise or the profession involved in. On top of that you need different skills to help diversify your usefulness in the field. This comes in handy during hard time, being able to offer other services on top of the main line of business are priceless. Practically hustlers gather, classify and organize new facts in the field they operate in. This process commonly known as experience and it doesn?t come easier, and in some quarters in it is never appreciated. Anything acquired without cost is generally unappreciated, quite often discredited. That is why theoretical knowledge learned in schools at very high cost is much appreciated by the general public than practical knowledge learned in the field.

4. 4. Highly developed sense for Calculated Risks

Sinice there is no book specially written to teach hustlers how to behave, it all come down to trial and error. At first come countless defeat and failures. Successful hustlers don?t accept defeat as being anything more than temporary. As you struggle to climb over your failures, you also gain valuable lessons as which risks are worth taking. You have to take strategic risks to earn and grow money

5. 5. You Learn to be Mean and Generous at the same time

A bit contradictory statement I suppose. The truth is most hustler are mean with the money but very generous in the hearts. The big war going on between the two qualities are very explosive. To be mean means they are able to take care of their business growth strategies while to be generous means the world will be happy at their good deeds. So most cases being mean is applied when the going is still very tough and rough while later on the seed of generosity takes over.

How to succeed as a hustler

Changing the tides

Changing the tides

Start with a prototype project or Partner with the best

The big shots in the corporate world will demand the experience, the real sample work already done by the hustler. Many beginners loose many great clients because of lack of practical example to show which at the end validate their ability to serve the client. The way out of this is to start personal project, something which show case your talent. Yes it is true that this will not win you big clients but at least you are sure of getting small size business owners believing in you. You can also work with established hustlers. Some of them are in such a critical period where they have a lot of work which they cannot handle alone but at the same time are not in a position to employ another person to help out. , partner with them and good ones will allow you take credit for some work done together.

Burn the bridges and give it all

Like the general who faced his enemy with fewer soldiers, after crossing the bridge he turned around and burned it, then told his men that the only way of getting out of the enemy territory alive is by winning. Such courage never come easy in life but to succeed as a hustler you need to burn the bridge behind you and face the street. The inner desires to succeed should be applied persistently to an extent that the defeat and failures are finally turned to victory. Self confidence and the faith in what you are doing should be enough to take you through.

Treat small customers or clients like kings.

Most big boys and girls in the industry have no time for the small man on the street. Their problems are not solved first enough, they are ignored. Come in and fill the void, give them what they want. With no time, they will recommend you to their friends. There is no easy way to close a deal than the one you get through the recommendation of your existing client.

Avoid earn to spend mentality

The main aim is to grow your business and in order to do that money coming in should be viewed in terms of saving and investment, rather than income to spend. The priority in life should be chosen carefully, and me too mentality should be thrown in the ocean.

If you have contrary view about hustling tell me?

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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