For the longest time I have had a negative perception about the term hustler. For my fellow Kenyans, the word is synonymous with our Deputy President H.E. HON WILLIAM RUTO, obviously being used in a sarcastic way. However, after reading Chris Guillebeau’s book, 100 dollar start up, I can’t stop thinking how many opportunities I might have lost because of my misconceived ideas of this term hustling especially in terms of social entrepreneurship.
Maybe the first question that I should have asked myself is why somebody so prominent can call himself a hustler in such a sweet manner, yes his past is not hidden, just like you can’t light a lamp at the mountain top and try hiding it by covering it with a basket, after all the rays of light will be seen. The history of our Deputy President is one of pure determination, consistence and persistence.
According to Guillebeau, there are three types of people when it comes to doing business, charlatan, martyr and hustler. It is the definition of this terms that have made me continue thinking of our DP with high regard. He learnt the art of succeeding in business and politics long before he came to the lime light.
Let us take a journey through the definition of each of the three terms
CHARLATAN- this are people who talk too much but have nothing to show for it. You can’t succeed in doing any good by just talking. It is general wisdom that faith without action is as well as dead. A s social entrepreneurs, it should not be all about talking. We should walk out of our comfort zones and start working. Like the Deputy President, he did while at the University of Nairobi, where he started his journey as a Christian Union Leader.
MARTYRS are also an interesting lot, they are the people with plenty of good works but they are not able to get it out to the people. They are unwilling to share it with the people. Guillebeau refers them to the people with substance but with no style. Everyone who knows this people respects them, but not many people know them. This is what is ailing Africa, we have quite a number of good leaders, the only problem is that very few Africans know them. These are the people who are supposed to set the agenda for Africa, but they are not willing to expose themselves. Leadership is about influence and until as African people we think of changing our strategy, reckless leaders will always be setting agenda for us. For a long time the African dream was left to the politicians who are hungry for wealth, the dream has been mutilated; it is no longer fit for consumption for the young generation. We seriously need to rethink our strategy. As young leaders we need to run away from being martyr to being hustlers.
HUSTLERS are people who represent the ideal combination of work and talk combined together. These are people who cause impact, because they have both, substance and style. When the DP called himself a hustler I want to imagine that this is what he meant. That he had something tangible to spread to the people. I yearn to see this as we progress. To those of us who aspire to change the world. We should learn this valuable strategy of marketing ourselves. We should encourage others to share ideas of how we can make Africa a better place for us. This is called relationship building. Just like I constantly say” we need to socially invest before we start withdrawing from the emotional bank of our friends. If we manage this we are on the right track to achieving the African development.
It has come a time when we need to arise to the occasion and start working toward developing ourselves through learning new skills, learn on how to market our African talents by helping others. While we struggle to help others, unknown to many, this is among the best way to market oneself, Converse of the conventional thinking; you do not need to have a great Idea to succeed in business, but a better strategy to sell your products or services. Let us capitalize on helping others to be self reliant this way we will reduce the effect of unemployment and underemployment in Kenya.
It is my prayer that these principles may be thought to many of our generation, by those of us who are hungry of social justice, and those who believe that no matter your social status, race, tribe or any other difference everybody has a potential to do something unique that can contribute towards the achieving of the African dream. Let us all be hustlers, it is the best way to redeem Africa