Book Review: Ego is the Enemy

Authored by By Ryan Holiday Ryan holiday achieved extra ordinary success early in his life, he became a director of marketing at an American apparel shop and an author of 4 bestselling books at the age of 29 years. In his book, Ego is the enemy, he shares a study of individuals who were great yet humble, grounded and real, people who knew how to suppress, channel and subsume their ego where it counted. He also gives a study on individuals who had costly
lessons learnt as the price they paid in misery and self-destruction. With his success, he got to experience and witness disruptions of unchecked ego. He defines ego as unhealthy belief in our importance and a threat to longterm success. He put on his arm a tattoo that read, ego is the enemy as a constant reminder that he had to conduct himself with modesty and meekness. When you have ambitions, talent, and drive or potential to fullfill, ego comes with the territories, ego

is the enemy of what you want and of what you have. In mastering a craft you need to replace ego with humility and reality. Ryan Holiday describes the phases of life when ego shows up. These phases come when aspiring, during success and after failure. When we aspire to do something great, ego gets busy seeking constant approval from others. For us to defeat ego we need to find our equals among our peer groups or ambitious persons at our current competence levels. When we achieve something great our ego leads us to believe that all our future endeavors are likely to be successful too. Instead of focusing on building upon our previous success we have a tendency of being over confident in our ability to take in too much. We need to have someone better than us so as to remain humble and focused on our goal. Humility comes by remembering there is always something bigger than us or someone who has achieved much
more. We experience ego when we fail or have a setback, we tend to dodge responsibility and lose sight of what we worked for, and ego destructs us from focus. Teach your juniors skills and experiences that will build them allround. We should look objectively at our failures and get the lessons to pass down. When we have responsibilities, we spend less time complaining and we look for a way to mentor or teach someone. We should end addiction to approval seeking, a lifelong learning. Humble your ego because you haven’t reached your growth potential. Accept criticism, grow others, aim at doing something and not being somebody, have a purpose and fight to remain different. Be so good that you cannot be ignored, stay true to your path.

Review by Effie Odhiambo

Webinar Review: Introduction of Minimum Tax in Kenya, Convened by Kenya Association of Manufacturers

The finance bill 2020 introduced minimum tax that was (is) implemented on January 2021. The minimum tax states that you will be taxed 1% of gross turnover annually. Minimum tax targets three categories of businesses, namely: low margin businesses, capital intensive businesses and new businesses. The webinar explained how minimum tax works and the concerns that it raises given that its introduction comes when the country’s economy has been ravaged by the corona virus pandemic. Minimum tax in Kenya is to be paid in four installments a year that is the 20th day of the 4th, 6th, 9th and 12th months. According to the conveners, a tax system should be stable, predictable and practicable in any economy. Both private and public sectors will be affected as businesses are struggling to meet their fixed costs
during the covid-19 pandemic. Introduction of minimum tax will lead to cash constraints that will limit business growth. The webinar opines that the existing tax policies should be employed as the Kenya Revenue Authority prepares for the appropriate timing to introduce minimum tax. The webinar raised a number of concerns including the likelihood of tax shift to consumers, 1% being a high rate when compared to Tanzania and Nigeria which have already implemented minimum tax at 0.5%, need for exclusion of startups in the tax to allow them room to break even and unpopularity of the tax as its introduction lacks public participation.

Review by Effie Odhiambo

Intellectual Enterprise: Kenya’s fastest growing sector.

Have you heard your former colleagues say they are selfemployed? Some have already built sustainable businesses while others are in the process. But what exactly is self-employment in a fairly learned country with limited capital goods? (Capital goods are commodities, often referred to as raw materials that are used in manufacturing to make consumable products). In a country with an influx of bright minds, thanks to the good 8-4-4 education system that made white and blue collar scholars, lack of capital goods creates a huge gap between knowledge resource and capital resource for production. Self-employment among the white collar class in Kenya is likely to mean consultancy. To the experienced professionals, consultancy means running a firm that wins tenders to advice governments, multinationals, established corporations and NGOs. On the other hand, to fresh graduates and senior college students, consultancy means getting short and subcontracts with established consultancies, offering outsourced professional services to private individuals at senior levels, exporting labour through academic writing, and copywriting for SEO and actually travelling abroad to countries with sufficient capital goods to work for better pay. According to a CBK report released in January 2021, diaspora remittances have steadily increased to become Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earner ahead of agricultural exports and tourism. These remittances are made by Kenyans who go abroad to work. In Kahawa Wendani and parts of Kasarani area in Nairobi, all bills by a majority of the residents are paid from online writing and forex trading. Economist, David Ndii calls himself a public intellectual and has actually been hired to think and strategize for a living. Ndii is one among many intellectual entrepreneurs in Kenya. Knowledge is a resource that can be exchanged for money. Kenya is ahead of its peers in the continent as it is producing the best minds in tech, law, research, medicine, engineering, economics and finance on the global stage. Government can best support this fast growing sector by democratizing access to fast internet and upgrading the quality of education in all parts of the country.

Columned by Rick Okinda

IP Rights in Kenya: Secrets to healthy business competition

Intellectual property rights (IP rights) involve protection of trademarks, copyrights, patents, industrial designs, and geographical indications among others. Kenyan economy is growing very fast and expanding its scope to include ecommerce and digital space. Protection under IP rights enables the business owner to enjoy monopoly and subject of the IP rights to the exclusion of others. IP rights protection is vital when starting a business because it protects the innovative and creative capacity of the founder and enhance healthy competition in the business environment. Protection of IP rights promote consumer welfare in relation to goods and services where they apply. The promotion of consumer welfare is done through granting of exclusive rights to the proprietors or
entities that founded and expressed the business idea being protected. IP rights protection links the consumer and the manufacturer whereby the consumer can easily identify and associate products with their respective owners. Kenyan law recognize and protect IP rights starting with the Constitution and the relevant statutes for each category of IP rights. The IP laws in Kenya also establish institutional frameworks such as Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) and Kenya copyright Board (KECOBO), which are tasked with the mandate to register and protect various IP rights in all business sectors. Entrepreneurs should therefore first register their patens for scientific innovations or trademark their brand names, logos and slogans before starting the business. First person or entity to successfully lodge documents for registration gains priority in enforcing IP rights protection to the exclusion of others. An entrepreneur should first register the expression of Idea for protection before sharing it with anyone in written form. The importance of registration is that the proprietor acquires exclusive ownership rights and such expression of idea can only be replicated by any other person with permission and license of the founder. – Column by Boaz Bwire

Why Facebook? A brand new reason to be online in business.

In my career as a business plan consultant, I have asked my customers how they acquire new customers and how efficiently they get to communicate to and with them. Feedback from a sample of them has been the same, “Facebook”. So I have gone ahead to ask myself, Why Facebook? When I first opened a Facebook account, all I wanted to achieve was to be at par with my classmates in form three who were already in Facebook and telling lots of stories that they collected and shared on the platform. Indeed, since inception in 2004, Facebook has grown to become the world’s second most visited site with billions of visitors every week. It is no longer a static site as its algorithms and features keep changing. Facebook has evolved from just a social network to an ideal business platform through its unique infrastructure for information exchange, communication and connecting to
maintain and form relationships. Consultants, Corporations and SMEs have a cost effective alternative to connect with their potential customers through Facebook. With the continued advancement of WhatsApp Business, Facebook Messenger and integration of Instagram with Facebook, Facebook has proven to be ideal for business ahead of its competitor Google which owns G-Mail, G-Suit, YouTube and Chrome among other tools for business. In summary, follow the numbers. Facebook has these numbers regardless of size and specialization of the entrepreneur. “Twothirds of Facebook users say they visit a local business Facebook Page at least once a week.” (Kawaf, & Istanbulluoglu, 2019).

Columned by Rick Okinda.

Mechanics of Personal Savings

A friend of mine once asked me, “Rick, how best can I do my savings?” He wanted to know how nature the discipline of saving and where to put his savings. I liked his question, it demonstrated his desire to organize his personal finance. Savings should be understood as a cost. Budget to save just as you budget for utilities. When saving, set a bare minimum, could be an amount of money per wage or a percentage of every income. We save so that we can spend in future, either in an emergency or an investment. To avoid consuming your savings earlier than planned, put your money in a fixed income account, SACCO or financial asset e.g. bonds. Don’t loan out your savings to friends or family. Money loaned out to support friends is called debt, it is an account receivable and not a saving. After saving, reserve an amount to pay you’re your bills and remember you belong to a self that needs entertainment, a family that has financial needs. Good financial planning requires that you be tax compliant. When making an investment, adequately assess the risks, tithe honestly and spend modestly. Address your needs first then your wants. Personal finance goes a long way beyond
saving. It is like studying a new language. You have to know the basics such as greeting and counting. Saving is a basic in personal finance. It is followed by the investing and consumption functions. All these three are functions of income. Therefore find yourself an income at all costs. Go out of your way and make a sale, get a job, build a business or collect rent from your tenants. It would be better if you can multiply your revenue streams, but first build one reliable source of income however humble it may be. Embrace bank loans more than loans from friends. Bank loans give you a reasonable repayment timeframe and are insurable. They don’t ruin your friendships when you fail to pay an instalment in time. In fact, when you have a genuine reason, you can negotiate for a moratorium. Do not burry your money in sand and expect it yield interest. Modern ways of holding money are digital. Therefore have your internet bank at hand, use your phone to pay bills wherever you go. This makes it possible for you to track your financial statements and boosts your credit rating.