Where next…

I read recently that Winston Churchill once said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” I think he’s probably very correct in this assessment, especially if you’re an entrepreneur. In America failure in the business world is almost a sign of cudos. It’s part of the initiation process. It’s a necessary stage. But as a budding entrepreneur probably one of the most difficult things to do is know when you’ve failed. You obviously have to be determined, press on, expect rejection and keep your confidence up etc. But you also need to be aware that sometimes things aren’t going to work out. If an idea is dead in the water there’s no point pressing on. Sometimes you just have to take the hit, learn from it, maintain your enthusiasm as Mr Churchill says and move onto the next project.

So with this in mind my next decision was a very tough one. I’d pitched my idea a few times, received some very good feedback, got a bit excited, talked to some more people, received some rejection and got a bit down. Was it time to realise that I was trying something a bit beyond my experience and knowledge? Should I move on and call it a day?

In the end I decided to set myself a deadline. I said I’ll give it 2 months. If in 2 months I’m getting nowhere then this clearly  isn’t meant to be. Thinking back, I’d say this was a good move because for some reason it took the pressure off. It made my task seem much more managible. Rather than trying to set up this big charity, all I was now doing was spending two months trying to get some signs of success. Success now wasn’t setting up the whole project. It was far more attainable. It was getting a few people to express an interest and open some doors and get me talking to the right people. If in two months I couldn’t do this no big deal, I’d do something else.

So with renewed energy I pressed on. Except I still wasn’t entirely sure how to press on. Maybe what I did next wasn’t the best thing to do but I decided to email all the of the contacts I’d made over the past few months at the Young Foundation and all the relevant contacts my mum had from her time working in the charity housing sector and just ask to meet for coffee and a chat. I thought I’d put myself out there, try and be charming and enthusiastic and talk about KenyaWorks to anyone and everyone who would listen. To be honest I wasn’t entirely sure why I was doing this, but it felt right, so the next day I sent about 20 emails out and waited…

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