Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A few lessons I've picked along the way

In 1998, I packed my bags and left our home in Kitale to pursue a course in acting. I was 18, I thought I'd be back home to wait for university admission after my course. I didn’t return. I found my dream.

I stayed in Nairobi, as an actress in a theatre travelling troupe. Our first play was The Government Inspector, and I played his daughter, Marya. I also had my first stage kiss then. I was 19, and ahem...legal. I stayed with relatives until I was 22, and when I completed my diploma in Broadcast Journalism, I trooped off to KBC to find work. I wasn’t turned away, I knew I wouldn’t be turned away, I had done my groundwork during several internships there, and my work ethic spoke for itself.

Fast forward to today, 12 years later, and I like to think, eons wiser. I've worked in a few places, made and broken friends and relations, grown networks and learnt a few things about what opens doors.

1. Your work ethic will speak for you. I'm a hard worker. Years later and perhaps I now I can manage to step aside and make time to smell the flowers, I put 100% into what I do. I learned to deliver beyond expectations very early on in my career, because that's what makes you exemplary.

2. Build your networks. I learnt that i should not be forgettable, much later on in my career, I wish I knew earlier. There's a big difference between an authority asking who you are, and another who calls out your name. In this business, you need the latter. Carry your business card, read about possible talking points, whether you're off to a cocktail party or lunch with a team from a top financial advisory. I stopped job hunting because I have people that believe me in me.

3. Be Knowledgeble. Read, a lot. Get to know what's happening in the US, in Egypt, In Syria, news of global importance are a great place to open conversations and to make an impression. You never know who'll be paying attention. I have been called to speak at places because someone heard me saying we are getting this ICT euphoria wrong somewhere, we need innovators, but we also need the missing link that is funding, we need to stop creating for fun and fame, and start competing with Silicon Valley made apps.

4. Work towards personal growth If I lost everything today, my job, my house, my car, and my watches, (that’s the one thing that bursts my pockets.) I have a plan. I will start from scratch and will rebuild in not so long a time. I may sell second hand clothes; I may sell cakes, or create leather handbags for sale. I have learned to be confident in my passion for things outside my career that can still hold me up if all else fall apart.

5. Have a mentor. When you're 33 going on 40, have a six year old child, a vision board that looks like Victoria Beckam’s life today, you need someone to push you towards your dreams. It's easy to get lost in the current, but you need to focus on where you want to be tomorrow. Today already happened, look out for tomorrow and do something different.

6. Set your goals. I read somewhere that resolutions don't create success, habit does. I have a long list of goals that I look at least once a day. I have written them down and I have reminders that keep me on toes. I have 2 mentors. (And I forcefully recruited one today).

I keep learning every day, but the most important thing is to keep amazing people around you. People that will challenge you to be better, that will laugh and cry with you, but who know the value of tough love. You cannot win when you are alone. I have learned that I am nothing without my friends and my family and my God.

And this is just the beginning.

15 comments:

  1. I do like the inspiration here, Terry.God bless

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  2. Excellent stuff Terryanne! I couldn't have put it better!

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  3. Beautiful post Terryanne.

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  4. Did you know that you are such a role model and an inspiration to many young girls in the country? Wish you all the best <3

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  5. One of my pastors years ago once said to me that the best definition of success is knowing how you got there so you could do it again if you had to. I love No.4 :)

    Working on No.5

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  6. hi chebet the story is interesting to me i just picked a few things that i sayed that might have saved me, 1 is write down what u want to achieve and 2. getting a mentor which i think lacks the most. am almost your age but dont luke the age because year have run over me. may be starting now is not too late. hope to here from you more...

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  7. Terry - you are an absolute inspiration.

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  8. Thanking you so much for stopping by, Pelan its never too late...all the very best.

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  9. Hej you
    Wow inspiring deep stuff. It does require great inner strength wish I had that ... Great meeting you and Imani
    Mama Viggo

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  10. I think I have just found a mentor.Point number 5 is my best...So, what did you learn today?

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and hopes, I wish you all the very best. Success is also knowing that you have made someone's life better, even in the simplest of ways, thanks, once again.

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  12. Hi sorry amm reading this years later,,but i love it..you should have forums to inspire yopung women aspiring to climb the career ladder and be great women like you :)..please do seriousl esp now thats its so hard to climb your way up genuinely...organise and email an invite to me at wangarimuthungu@gmail.com......

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  13. very very inspiring ....iv read this several times last year and again when I read your first post 2014 , I passed by here, once again. you are such an inspiration and u never know what impact you have to me and any the girls staring at the screen all time.i soo admire your energy . God bles..

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  14. Hi Terry,
    Better late than never, today have got the script in my mind, you have really inspired me. You have stirred me out of my comfort zone.Let me get to work, God bless you.

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