6 Useless Excuses You Should Stop Giving for not Launching a Side Hustle

A side hustle should keep you going. It is the motivation that keeps you doing whatever you do. I started my blog while I was employed as an accounts assistant at microfinance firm. Then I moved to work for a bank; then I left the bank to work full-time for my side business.

I saw enormous potential generating through writing gigs. Then after a month, I realized I wasn’t doing enough. I almost quit. But I didn’t because I had not found a stable job to keep my family comfortable. I kept pressing on. Here are six useless excuses people give for failing to for not setting up side hustles

1. I am employed, and I don’t have enough time.

No one has time; No one can keep time, and no one can stop time. There is always no time, and there is always time to do anything and everything. You need to squeeze your schedule and fit in a hustle. It is possible you sleep too much. You can reduce sleeping hours.

2. I don’t have capital to put into the business

The money will never be enough. So no one has money, and every one has money. There is no reason for money to stop you from starting what could be a start of the century. The best capital you need is sacrifice and determination to make it through. You can stop spending $100 a day on your lunch and save towards making your side hustle a success. If it’s a website like mine, you only need $50 to get started. Capital is never an excuse.

3. I have seen people fail I might fail terribly

There is the only thing that successful people distinguish themselves from the rest. They failed and never stayed there. They dusted themselves and tried again. It is better to seek to fail that no to try. Reality check: the truth is that you’ll fail and you won’t be the first to fail, neither would you be the last. So stop telling yourself you will fail.

4. My idea isn’t that unique. Everyone is doing the same thing.

Well I agree. Perhaps what you have in mind is in the minds of others. But that does not mean you have the same way of executing the idea. When Harry Markowitz was writing is portfolio theory thesis he didn’t know that someone else was on the same topic. There was someone named A.D Roy who researched There was someone named A.D Roy who researched

When Harry Markowitz was writing is portfolio theory thesis he didn’t know that someone else was on the same topic. There was someone named A.D Roy who researched There was someone named A.D Roy who researched he same idea in the same year. Markowitz work became the pillar of modern finance theory because he never stopped pursuing it. Secondly; A.D Roy didn’t publish his work so no one knew about it until years later when markowitz acknowledges the work of Roy.

5. I’m not sure I can do it

Feed yourself positive thoughts about your idea. If you ever thought that it could be successful, then it will be successful. Try to focus on the positive side. The truth is you might not be able to do it. But you cannot be sure of that if you don’t try. Stand up take a deep breath and set up the side hustle.

6. The time isn’t ripe yet. I will do this next year

That is a cute phrase used to describe procrastination. My wife is an expert in this. You want to call someone and know how they are doing and you say ” I am going to do it over lunch time” She sometimes does it when she remembers, but in most cases, she gets too busy. You can do it now. Stop being lazy and too complacent and too comfortable. You got to get yourself dirty to get things moving.

How to Start a Blog

I looked for google trends in 2016; the second most searched “how to” phrase was “how to blog” the weirdest search of all time.

This statistic shows that Kenyans are searching for wrong skills online. Serious people know that blogging is just generating content for your blog. You have to be passionate about what you are doing.

There is a lot of competition online. People compete to tell people how to compete, and it doesn’t make any sense to me.

There are so many blogs telling people how to blog, and it is common to meet phrases like content is king, use passive voice to make your content interesting.

But the biggest breakthroughs I have seen is for people who sell, or create tutorials on how to solve problems like how to set up a blog.

To be a blogger, you have to be passionate. No one reads an email longer than 300 words these days. Since the world is going mobile, no one will read 1500 word essay on mobile. It boring and tiresome unless you’re too good.

I asked my cousin to critic a post I wrote about my birthday, and he said texted me this “TLTR” I didn’t answer him only to realize days later in our conversations that the post was Too Long To Read.

How to start a blog is to write about your passion. Are you passionate about volleyball? Do you talk about it? Then write about it. Passionately.

Do you love food? Both eating and preparing food? That means you are passionate about the Kitchen. Do you talk about it? Then you are passionate about it. Write what you speak about.

 

Quitting employment comes with its struggles

I’m counting days now, and I know its public knowledge. The decision to leave employment was difficult one. Everyone within my inner circles was against it apart from a few who thought there was no value addition in my life or to the employer. And by the way why is that people believe they must be employed to survive?

The thing that kept me going was my wife was on board, in fact, she had been waiting for me to suggest that I need to be with them.

My only fall back was an interview which was scheduled the week I submitted my letter. I hoped to get a job though with reservations. I qualified for the role, but unfortunately, I lacked hospitality industry experience.

The recruiting manager rejected and donated me instead to the another manager for a sales role. I passed that offer, and I hated the thought of being recommended for a position I’m not interested in.

The job was the same one I was quitting, and I didn’t think I would be useful to them. Furthermore, they only pay per sale. I religiously hate that compensation model. I hate because I can’t draw a line between sales and marketing. They were going to pay me commission only for the sales and not for the commercialization which is far much more valuable to them in the long run.

I took a week-long leave to bond with my son before traveling back to make my desk. I told you earlier that I’m my son would start calling uncle.

The future looks bleak, but of course, opportunities exist. I am not sure of what awaits me in the new status I am about to take. Joblessness.

Now I am back in the office, and things look weird here. My mind just switched off. I couldn’t even recall my password until after an hour of trying to remember.

I still get emails from department heads on the developments on the new system. My soon to be former colleagues were trained, and it looked exciting thing according to some that I interrogated.

This is how I describe myself. I am a millennial. A new generation employee who hates monotony. The kind of employee who cannot stay at the same desk, same position, same roles for too long. I am not like my parents who would remain in the same capacity for thirty or forty years then retire. I seek a new challenge, new environment, and new people every day.

There is a bunch of clients whom I gave insurance on credit. Part of clearing process is to collect the premiums. I called all of them, and they promised to come. But there is another group who have reconciliation issues which I have four days to clear out. There is always a remedy, cancel all the covers until and unless they settle the balances.

I went to collect from a client. We have had rough times with her, and I told her I want all the money because I am leaving my employer. She was shocked; she wanted to know if I had found another place. I told her not yet. She was so disappointed and wondered what was wrong with me. That how we’re conditioned. We must be employed otherwise the world would suffocate us out there. I want to choke now. Let me go out and seek that which fulfills my inner desire. Maybe I’ll try art, may be music or maybe farming. The best would be journalism.

Relocating to New Neighbourhood

I am moving cities partly because I considered myself redundant and partly because I thought my son would start calling me uncle.

I started feeling deeply that he needed physically present in his life more than he needed more on the other end of the phone call. To a larger percentage this more about being closer to the people I care about than just a casual move

As usual, I take night trips to visit my family. I arrive early in the morning to start the day with them. Most of the time I find my son asleep.

This time round he found me sitting next to him. He is almost two and a half. When he woke up, I asked whether her new me. He sounded little confused, but he was able to recognize me and called me Dad.

Its a bit chilly here compared to lower altitude coastal environment I am used to. The first thing in the morning was to prepare for an interview which turned out to be just a chat. I love these type of meetings.

The interviewer was a white guy, and he introduced himself as the operations manager. The guy is more of a salesman than just an office administrator.

He started selling the company and the strides they have been able to make in the last five years. The market seems to have accepted their concept especially after the government gave the nod to their business model.

The chat took about 30 minutes. I was back on the road heading home. I was tired but excited that the interview went well. I kept thinking of my next phase in life.

This neighborhood is a new environment, and I have to start adjusting faster. I have to form new relationships, new friends. I know I have to change my time. Nairobi is a bit more chaotic than Mombasa.

 

I want to freelance but I have no guts

I decided to spend the weekend with my wife. She had been alone and lonely since our son went to visit his grandmother a week ago. Our son matters to her, she usually doesn’t need me around but this time, she did.

“Did you give the letter?” she asked as busied herself in the kitchen.

Late last month I embarked on an ambitious mission to quite my job, and I sort advice from friends who were indifferent on my desire to quit. I involved Joan in the talk, and she was ready for anything.

” I haven’t,” I answered. Joan then murmurs  “just stick in there for a month and wait for feedback from HR.”

The truth is I am scared, but I am sure this is what I want to do. I think my wife understands this because she says we find another job. Since I don’t want to disappoint her, (She is so lovely, lovable and loving and gentle, typical supportive traditional Kalenjin wife and a pain in the ass at times especially when referring if it is related past failed attempt to quit) I agree.

It didn’t take long. Joan was back on the couch. This whole time I was busy on the phone and the TV was on. I didn’t understand why I had to be on my blog monitoring analytics while she was there just there on the couch.

I realized that I usually write about her and she knows that. Lately, the first thing that comes out of her mouth before any conversation is “You will not write about this” and nod in agreement. But I write about not writing about a conversation we had. I do it perfectly, and she can’t pin me down. She has never asked me to pull a post down.

Here is real me and what I say when she is not listening. Fuck the blueprint which goes like this. Go to school, be obedient, study hard, pass exams, go to college, pass with first class honors, get out of college, get a job (get employed) find a nice girl, marry her have children, retire, then die (you cannot mention this in the blueprint)

Now listen! I went to school to play. The school owned a large chunk of land with acres of space for all sorts of games. There were other children, a lot of them, to play with and this is what took me to school in the first place. I had my agenda at age 7 for joining nursery school which I attend for a term. I spent precious time playing and then I graduated to the next class and then my head teacher realized that if he sat on me, I would be his shining star. I hated that feeling of responsibility of making me an ideal pupil.

And then there was the high school. I went to two different high schools. The first one wasn’t serious (eventually, the school was shut down the year I left), so my guardian took me to the other one which was more strict about education. A local mega-church owned the school. In this school is where I that learned that even pastors get hooked to drugs.

Then I did my O-level, and I passed. Everything seemed to follow the god damn blueprint. I didn’t have an alternative.  I went to college and ate, played volleyball and slept. So I met Joan on the pitch playing. I left college and got a contract, then got employed and I stopped playing. Then Joan was here, and then the Ethan was here.

I feel I am a rebel and being tied to 8 to 5 job makes me less productive. I love freedom. I enjoy tasks that allow me to work at my own pace and utilize personal skills while teasing my brain. I love to be a freelancer but I am scared to quit. I will eventually quit though.

How to ask help from a Girl you Admire

​I tried to take alcohol so I write this when I’m not sober. I wanted to spill the beans so that my friend Kevo understands I was under the influence. And then he drunk all my money. He gave me a wrong pin so I couldn’t swipe his card. So in the end I was a broke ass who could only write while sober.

My friend’s weird perception of love struck me that day. It kept me cracking my thoughts for some days. Kevo truly loves this girl. He actually confessed. From the face value, the girl seems to like Kevo. I haven’t been exposed to her for long but her smile, tone, body language clearly indicated she liked him.

“Hello (girl’s name), how are you? We were coming down from the eleventh floor and we decided to pop in and say hi. I hope we didn’t interrupt.” He lied straight in to her face in my presence. He lied to the girl and I knew he wanted me to blend in. And since we agreed on many things, I played along.

“No no no. You didn’t interrupt. In fact thank you for popping in.” She is excited.

She hugs him. He hugs back. I notice a broken professional distance. A wide smile and an overly excited face. There is something between the two of them. Kevo knows. Or maybe the girl is just too nice. I never got a hug, neither was I willing to get one.

I get nervous because I am just standing there. The truth is I forced him to go. He never wanted to but because he is my friend he decided to introduce me. My wife is texting and I can’t keep up with the two conversations. I am a man. I just can’t multitask. I prioritize.

I slide my phone back in to my right pocket. I look at the door and decide to interrupt an already shifting conversation.

“You have interesting name (pointing at the company logo on the door). What do you do?” I knew what they did. We had this conversation before we decided to go. So I lied.

She looks my way. He looks this way too. My phone vibrates again. My wife is texting again and I feel offended. I tell her I can’t think properly. I ask her to give me a moment. She says no. I ignore her and concentrate on what is at hand.

“We consult on HR. We hire for firms that do not want the hustle of managing employees” She says with a rather less official voice. Of course this wasn’t an official visit. We just popped in. I node in agreement.

“So you can hire me. I am actively looking for a placement.” I told with an expectant face.

She says jokingly, “Yea why not. Just drop in your resume then I will see what I can do”

She definitely thinks I am not serious. But I am damn serious. The job is why we are here in the first place. Kevo doesn’t want to be there because he has a soft spot for her. She seems to be aware and she torments him with her smile and body language. He is sweating and desperate to get out of the awkward situation

He looks shy and unease. Then I take two steps away from them. The Kevo knows it’s time to go. If I didn’t do that, he would have accepted a date which he never wanted to accept.

So she tells him, “Remember to call please”

He says, “ABSOLUTELY”

She opens the doors and gets in to the office. Kevo take quick steps wrapping his feeble arms acros his chest. He scrstches himself on the back. Thats usual kevos behaviour when he is not okay. But this time he smiles and gives me a high five and says;

“You are a genius. How were you able to sneak in your job agenda? I couldn’t figure out how to tell her we were looking for a job”

I tell him that I noticed he lied about being at 11th floor so I was on high alert. For the lies to be consistent I had to lie that I didn’t know what they did.

I ask him whether he is sweating. He says no but his hands are wet. I tell him it must be very hot in Mombasa now. He bends his head and laughs. We walk away as we continued reminiscing the moments.

Kevo says he does not want to get involved with the girl. I asked him why and he said because he loved her. I told him that was a good thing. He shakes his head.

“I don’t want to be trapped. I like her and that is why. It is better when I don’t like her. The moment we get involved I  do what ever she wants. So I will keep distance forever.”

This part of Kenya is Cosmopolitan.

Western Kenya is where I was conceived. But until I started being conscious of who I was, I never knew western. I was born in Rift Valley, grew up there until I was done my primary school. My mother says she ran away after she had discovered that she was expectant.

It was normal then for young girls to run away from home especially after getting into such a mess and nobody bothered to look for them. They would try but not hard enough. Whether it’s true or not I may never know. Did I tell you I fixed my life with imaginary birthdates and people’s to go on with school?

Kakamega is a Luhya backyard. Rift Valley is believed to be Kalenjin stronghold but where I grew up, has Luhya infested Kalenjin backyard, a County whose name cannot be associated with any Kenyan tribe because everyone is there. There were peace and harmony among neighbours except for occasional Pokot cattle rustlers who scared the hell out of us with their extra-loud AK’s.

This part of rift valley was/is usually called scheme. For example where I lived, across the was an old woman named Magdalena. She was a Kalenjin strong Christian with a rather comic lifestyle. She never entertained neighbours except when she was gaining from it.

She stayed with her son John and some of her grandchildren. Her house was a unique one in the whole village. Many think that the house was abandoned when colonialists went back.

Where her farm ended to the east was a Kisii fellow. We didn’t see much of him then, but the farm was useful and would provide an income for many villagers during planting and harvesting seasons. On the north end of where we lived was a Teso old man.

We knew him by one name: weaternDickson. We heard that he migrated in from Busia or Teso which is further western. The interesting thing about his family is that his children spoke both Teso and the popular Luhya dialect Bukusu. And Swahili.

If you crossed river Nzoia further east was munyaka scheme. Now, this was where most Kikuyu’s were found. They occupy the entire stretch of the slopes Cheranganyi hills towards Marakwet. It is said President Kenyatta, the father not the son, brought them in from central Kenya which was becoming smaller.

They are just like the ones you find in Mpeketoni Lamu. They are enterprising, rustler shared working, and usually very efficient with their farms. They planted every type of crop that you could think of. They never lacked. Their only problem was the rustlers of the Pokot community coming from the other side of the hill. They were generous and loving. I think they still are since its been 15 years since I left the village.

I knew a Luo from my childhood. One of my uncles had married a Kamba from Mombasa. I am/was a Luhya. Our immediate neighbour was a Kalenjin and on the other side was a Teso. Kisii’s were all over: three of my primary school teachers were Kisii’s. Mrs Motanya, Mr Omonso and Ms Kwamboka.

The headteacher was a Kikuyu, and his deputy was a Luhya. Life was fun. Things looked ancient but enjoyable. That’s where I learnt Swahili. Nobody would victimise anyone for getting a girlfriend from a neighbour who wasn’t speaking your language. What worries me is I don’t remember weddings where partners were from two different tribes!

I saw my uncles go back to western to get wives. I would see young girls leave the village and get married to young men from their tribe. It was never a big problem for anyone then. It was acceptable for everyone. We went to school together played together learned together, but in the end, no one gets married to a different tribe.

It was deeply entrenched into the culture, highly valued and celebrated across all communities. But it just now that I realise it was a recipe for disaster in this country.

Tumaini primary school did well from the classrooms to the field. We had Kalenjini’s who represented us in long races; we had Kisii’s as well and Kikuyu’s. Ruth Siangu was the fastest in the district in the short races. She was a Luhya.

There were a bunch of Kisii’s, Luhya’s and Kikuyu’s who played football. They never needed a coach. But they always made us proud. I tried football but was not good enough. But I worked in class. Kenna Wasike can attest. He is an educator and a Swahili novelist now. But the good thing, I saw raw talent from pupils who never cared about their dialects and represented us with pride.

I am honoured to have known them, and I am privileged to have lived among them. The village was sinyerere the location was sinyerere, and the division was Kaplamai. Kenya can be better than this small model village back in the 90’s.

My friends are indifferent: involving others before you quit your job

I intend to quit my job partly because I have been quitting for a while now and I am not productive where I am. You know why? I am scared. I am used to my monthly pay. I can’t imagine a life without it. Even my wife knows my payday and she makes her plans with my money (well, our money) but I am okay with that.

So I call her Wednesday morning.

“Hey, I don’t want this job anymore and I am resigning”

She says okay.

I am not convinced with her answer. She agreed so fast. She questions most of the time. But I have nothing else to tell her. Silence. Then silence again. I hang up.

I Skype my friend Bruce. I tell him the same statement and he doesn’t respond. I wait but I decide to tell my colleague David that I am resigning.

He is freaked out. He says “Moses NO. You can’t resign now”

I tell him I want to go. I am tired and I am being unfair to my employer because I am not being productive enough. My manager won’t be happy at the end of this week because I know I won’t have met the target her gave me.

David says, “You will be desperate and I feel it’s not the right move”

I am irritated. I think he is not in my shoes. He continues to text while I delete them without responding.

 

I am not a journalist. So my boss won’t applaud me for going and coming back with a story. Only numbers

So I call my college roommate. He quit and he understands me better.

We had a lot to catch up with. Our conversation swayed to Obamas exit speech. Then I tell him I want to quit. He welcomes the idea.

“You have overstayed. You should have left a year ago. I wonder what you are doing there” He tells me with excitement.

I could tell that I just woke him up. He never lacks words when I seek his opinion.

I tell him I am scared. He says there is nothing to be scared of. He drafts a quick verbal exit plan for me and we agree that end month is the end.

My phone beeps. Ooh its Bruce. He just Skyped back and guess what he tells me.

“I am looking for a part-time job as well. Do you want to lecture?” In my mind I wonder why he says that while I am desperate.

I tell him “Absolutely YES. I have been looking for tutorial fellow opportunity without success”

He laughs out loud (isn’t that the meaning of lol!)

He says he lost contact and the ones he maintained all left to start business and the other moved to another city.

My spirits surges. My phone beeps again. This time it’s my wife. She tells me Josh just called. I’m elated. That seems good news. Josh is my wife colleague.

“The guy he contacted promised to get back to him today. He says he hopes the outcome is positive”

I am sick of positive messages. I just want a way out.

“it’s okay” I text her back and tried to focus. Then it hits me back that I am at work and need to be working.