Monthly Archives: March 2015

Losing Cedric

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I felt my heart quicken when I read the first post from Paul Barasa this morning, that read ” Farewell Cedric’ and my heart began to quicken. I hoped he was traveling, but deep down my heart sunk.

Now, Today wasn’t supposed to be that kind of morning. I’d read a book last night that’s teaching me about gratitude and staying positive, and this was just the kind of thing that rolled me back to square one on the positivity campaign.

Why now??? Why him????

I met Cedric when he was still a journalist, a business writer that always managed to make us crack up, and always caught our attention with his understanding of matters business. He was good! He asked the right questions at press conferences, some that we other journalists wouldn’t have the guts to, or others that we didn’t even know we were to ask about. He knew his stuff, and his grasp on finance and economic matters was to be marvelled at.

When he later left journalism and moved to Public Relations, our professional relationship grew further as he was handling some key accounts. He was great at his job and his charming personality and very easy laughter always carried.

He had been unwell, but his passing has broken my heart into tiny little pieces. To know that I will not get a phone call from you is something I don’t know how to begin to deal with. Your death is beyond shocking. I’m lost for worlds, lost for feeling.

You leave behind a young family, and I can only wonder what they must be going through. God, they say always picks the best of the bouquet. You shone so much he had to have you next to him. We will only pray that he can give us the strength to bear the pain of losing such a young man in his prime.

I wish we spoke more often. I wish I was there to the end. I wish I knew the pain you were going through.

Your death, Cedric has taught me to love with all my heart, to be there, to be a better friend, because, we never know when God will pick the next one to sing with the angels.

Fare thee well Cedric Lumiti. You are forever in my heart.

xxx

Date a man who reads.

MONDAY MUSINGS.

A man who reads ranks pretty high up on the attractiveness index.

Bespectacled, deeply engaged in his History or Business Management books, smelling of green apples and rain ( as my friend Doreen puts it) is an absolute winner!

Date a man who reads.

But that is not the essence of this story. :-)

This weekend, just before our Cinderella mum and daughter movie date at the Junction; I bought the book
‘Who moved my Cheese’ (again) as my daughter promptly asked why I needed to buy it again.I believe there are some books that should be as personal bibles, for me, Who moved my Cheese and The Diva Principles, By Michelle McKinney. ( A brand called You, and the Career girls guide are others I like on my desk or bedside)

See, my daughter and I have a bookshop tradition. Every 2 weeks we go to together to the book store and part ways as we decide on what to read for the next few weeks. She makes her pick, and I make mine. usually separately, but as she grows older, Im beginning to engage her on age appropriate novels. We love the book shop. It is the one public place I’m fine with letting her off my sight for a few minutes, and she loves it too. I love how she gets lost in the books and stories she’d like to read. If there is one thing she will remember me for, it is for encouraging her to read.

She usually frequents a particular row of books at the store that has “Dork Diaries’ and “Diary of a wimpy kid’ and others along the same genre.

I’m usually on the Best Sellers, Self-help and fiction of the Nancy Day type (at least last week). I began to question my criteria and others when selecting a book of choice.

What I am curious about is, what makes one pick a particular book?
How do you know that is a worthy read?
What do you look for in a book?
what kind of people influence the books you read?

I used to follow the Oprah’s recommended reads, but I rarely do anymore.
These days I follow Alison Ngibuini’s #twitterbookclub to find out what others are reading and that has influenced my choice of books, as well as conversations with minds that inspire me.

I belong to the school of thought that believes that reading a book is the beginning of a new worldview. It is the one thing that you can never have enough of. It is the perfect conversation starter. It builds your language and communication skills. It brings the world to your feet. The amount of knowledge one picks up by reading a book is non comparable.

This week, I’d like to urge you to read a book, even if it is the tiny “Who moved my Cheese” which will only take about one hour of your time, but influence many of your days in the positive direction.

If you cannot absolutely read, Date a man who reads :-) Or a woman who does, maybe they will teach you a thing or two.

Happy Week!

Your network is your Net worth.

Last week I began sharing with you my views about why building a unique personal brand must be central as you develop your personal growth strategy.

Today I would like to share a few more tips on first impressions and how networking is, in essence everything.

Before you network however, you must pay attention to how you look. Always try and take an extra moment with your dressing and make up. (For the ladies, and the Effeminate metro-sexuals)
Make no doubt that people pay more attention to those who dress well. People who appear more professional are always more believable. I once walked into an interview in Denim, Sneakers and a T shirt. It took me years to convince my boss that I could do the job, thankfully,I wasn’t aware it was an interview and it was a job within the organisation I was already working for and my colleagues stepped in.

Keep your hair clean and neat. As a former Naturalista I know that neat and clean can sometimes be a thin line, despite the fact that naturalists wash their hair almost every day.

Pay attention to issues such as body odour.Deodorant must be made a human right. You must always use a deodorant as smelling of sweat is an absolute no. Keep your mouth fresh smelling and invest in a good cologne or perfume.

For men, unless you are Bob Collymore or my dear friend Mico, ( well and that reserve club of coloured sock gentlemen) keep your professional socks black. Always. The six pack of socks sales people push into your nose as you leave the supermarket does not belong to a person keen on building a great image.

It is said that your network is your Net worth.
Network. Network. Network.
Attend cocktail events, dinners where you can meet like minded people and get a chance to talk about yourself and what you do.

Join a professional organization, for example Marketing Society of Kenya, Public Relations Society of Kenya, Rotary organisations and others where you can meet like minds or people who can challenge or mentor you.

Play golf. I hear its the modern day boardroom, though I must admit I haven’t found love for that gentlemans’ sport yet.

Find a mentor. Be a mentor. When you learn, you must also teach.

Practice introducing yourself until you are comfortable with it.

Always carry a Business card.

And my absolute favourite, Have lunch/coffee with at least one influential person every month.

Best of Luck!

A step by step Guide for Personal Branding

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A step by step guide for Personal Branding:

Write a good Bio:
A good bio does your first introduction. Treat it as your first and most important chance at creating a good impression. Clean up your professional pages such as LinkedIn, ‘About me ‘and other pages that can begin to propel your brand. Find examples of good BIO’s online and work on yours professionally.

Take a professional photograph:
The world wide web is the first place people will search for you, and a professionally taken photograph goes a long way in building your personal brand Engage a good photographer and for about 5 thousand shillings and above you can have a great portfolio of photographs, add these to your social media pages.

Look for speaking opportunities:
There are always a number of conferences, Seminars and speaking opportunities even at your work place. Be the first to propose to pitch or present at internal meeting s and begin to get comfortable as a speaker. That way you begin to research and equip yourself with knowledge on your subject matter. Do not be afraid to ask to speak at events, before long you will become an authority in your subject of interest.

Contribute to a column:
There are a large number of publications, both online and offline that will regularly publish a well-written article. Contribute to a publication such Business Daily, Smart Business, Marketing and management magazines on a topic in your field. Network with key journalists who can lead you in the right direction.

Create a personal website:
This is the easiest way to build your brand. Create an interactive and professional website with a blog where you will consistently post blogs of interest. Registering a domain would cost you anything between 3-8 thousand shillings, and you could then load your free blog, such as Word press on your personal website.

It is also important to find out who’s talking about you as well as to track matters that interest you. Set up Google Alerts will help you find relevant information of subjects of interest, where you then can begin to contribute by commenting or even creating a blog post or article about the issues at hand. Always stay relevant.

You are designed to stand out of the crowd. Wednesday Thoughts…

I am passionate in an almost obsessive manner about personal branding, and I’m constantly giving unsolicited advice to friends and family on how they can do a few things different in order to stand out of the crowd, because i believe that we were designed for greatness and we can do a few things different to achieve that status.

I strongly believe that anyone can create a personal Brand that is irresistible. It does not matter what your background is, who you know, especially for us here in Kenya, or where you went to school.

I insist as well, that Personal Branding is not about being a celebrity

Personal Branding is about using your best assets to position yourself at the top of your career; business and sector
Here’s a few things you can start doing today:

Ask 3-5 people to write down 3 things that describe you
Write down 5 things that you want to define your brand
Write down a personal tagline that defines you the brand
Write down what it takes to get you to where you want to be as a brand

Using that as a guide, write out weekly tasks, monthly and yearly

For instance: this week I will start a blog. This month I will attend at least one networking event. This year I will start my business…etc..

Stay here for more tips this week on how you can build your personal brand!

Just a reminder Mr. President & Mr. DP

We start another campaign season next year, whether we like it or not, and somehow, the soft side of the campaigns have began in earnest.

However, before we get lost in the revelry, I’d like for remind you that we are watching your promises word by word, not just to burst your bubble, but because Kenyans will benefit if indeed these come to pass before 2017.

As your voters get more edified, we are getting to a place where we will measure the performance of the Jubilee Government on the basis of delivery on your election promises:

Manufacturing: Sparking an industrial revolution

The Coalition government will:

<strong>Improve our energy infrastructure and promote alternative energy sources so as to create the adequate and cost-effective energy supply regime necessary for industrial take-off.

Improve other infrastructure services for business, such as roads, rail and water supply.
Enact new Public Private Partnership (PPP) legislation to encourage private investment in public projects, speeding up the delivery of infrastructure urgently needed to achieve Kenya Vision 2030.

Establish a Kenya Development Bank to provide currently unavailable finance to the private sector for all types of capital projects, including infrastructure development.

Help Kenya’s business sector become as competitive as possible by reducing business taxation, removing unnecessary regulation and encouraging competition through new enterprise zones in each county.

Introduce tax incentives to encourage investment and growth in the manufacturing and service sectors, which will enable the Coalitions pledge of creating 1 million new jobs to become a reality.

Pursue exchange rate stabilization policy and monetary policy that will lower interest rates.

Bolster funding for the Anti-Counterfeit Agency to fight counterfeiting.

Provide loans and grants to new small businesses through the new development agency – Biashara Kenya.

There’s been commendable strides in Energy infrastructure, which will trickle down eventually to kenyans, but today, Majority of regular citizens would want to see Biashara Kenya, Kenya Development Bank, Reduction of Business taxation and new enterprise zones as first priority.

What are you doing to build your Personal Brand in 2015?

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The first two months of this year just flew by! Now we have only 9 months before 2015 abruptly comes to an end. (Peeking at those who want December babies, I digress)

Our new year resolutions are either now caving in or shaping up. The number of people jogging in the mornings and evenings seems to have reduced, so has the number of those going to the gym, yoga and Zumba.

let’s agree that some resolutions are tougher than others, and as we rumble over which is easy and which is tough, remember building your personal brand must be a priority and should never be just be another resolution.

Oprah, Madonna, Steve Jobs.

What did they do different to build their brands. They were passionate, but most importantly, their passion was VISIBLE.

We are coming to a time where VISIBILITY is more important than ABILITY.

So personal brand building must be a daily habit that you review, critic and approve each day. What will you do today to build your brand today?

Will you work on your social media posts?
Will you write a new blog post?
Will you find interesting links about your area of interest to share on the social media platforms?
Will someone follow you online today because of what you said?
Will you build your credibility today by doing something about it?

Begin conversations that build your reputation as an industry leader. Read about your industry, share your insights, share your recommended reads, post links of interesting articles.

Your personal brand must begin with a great understanding of your subject of choice.

Even a good accent cannot hide ignorance.

Let’s rumble on!

Monday musings

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Good morning Good people!

The digital migration debate (more like combat actually) seems to have began to quiet down, and perhaps this will give way to a lot more mature conversations around the debacle.

Like a number of my more sober colleagues across the industry, I have been watching the mostly irrational conversations from afar. In my opinion the emotions both on and off social media platforms have absolutely not been worth it, slurred with arrogance and mistruths, or just plain ignorance around migration. You cannot have a rational conversations while dressed in war armour. This applies sometimes, to both sides of the divide.

Here’s hoping the next few days (weeks) will see a lot more mature and information /fact driven conversations around the digital migration, albeit a majority of us likely to be biased as long as we have any interests in the media; owners, family, friends and employees alike.

I’m penning an article about it that I will upload this week, and of course with the loud banging disclaimer that I work for a media house that has been told off for fighting digital migration.

On that note: I learned about burning bridges a long time ago, and I will only burn a bridge that is beyond repair. The world wide web, my brothers and sisters does not forget. Challenge the problem, not the people. Attack the process, not characters.

In other news, I’m keen this week on these topics and will be following and writing about news on coffee in Kenya and the international trends, the recent news that construction of Kenya’s first coal power plant which is set to start in September, Sugar woes and where next for the Sugar Industry, as well as what’s in for entrepreneurs.

Keep it here, and have a great week!