I used to believe that being rich is an achievement until I realized that one can never get enough of money. I began chasing money when in primary school. I used to mend shoes for my friends. I had an attractive handwriting; guys used to come to me for calligraphy whenever writing letters to their girl/boyfriends. Well, hard times and tough circumstances pushed me hard to get a few extra coins through all means possible. In class 3, we used to repair toys with my classmate Brian Mutua.
We got paid either by cash or the owners would allow us to borrow the toy for a day or two. I didn’t own one of them brick-games and game-boys so borrowing was a viable option too. The same thing happened in high school, the calligraphy guy! In campus, I was relatively good in IT so I used to repair comrades’ machines just to get extra coins. It gave me much experience by the way; I became a software guru. I remember earning a fortune from BCom students by writing a few pascal lines for them (ashamed of this though, totally wrong). How much was the fortune you ask? Well, 2,000/- was a great deal back then. With that, you were literally a big-wig.
It was a great experience though because I got to train myself in a number of fields in order to offer services on demand. My career grew pretty fast; I was offered a job while in the 3rd year by a software firm in Nairobi. The schedule was so tight that I was given options to either drop out of campus, or sacrifice the job for my degree. I chose to stay and finish my studies.
After graduation, the path was quite set ahead of me. I worked in a number of countries in Africa, offered professional consultancy services across the globe and life was good. All this time, I was doing it for money. I was chasing after the pay. The concept of getting rich is the real-life equivalent of the siren song that seduced sailors to crash into the rocks in Homer’s The Odyssey. Money doesn’t give you satisfaction. I learned this the hard way. So I stopped chasing money, and this happened:
I decided to become a person of value. This meant investing more into my skill and passion, ensuring that I was really good at what I did. It is very important for everyone to build their capacity. With value, the money will come. People pay for value and they do so dearly. Money can get you just as far as the effort is worth, but the value will sustain and keep you there and beyond. Sometimes I usually have a hard time when paying for a service because I always demand an assurance that I will get value worth what I paid for.
In the service industry, it is sometimes easy to dodge unsuspecting clients, by providing to them with services that are not worthy of their pay. When you invest in yourself, you also dictate on your worth; otherwise, everyone else has a right to put their price tag on you. You can only define your worth by measuring how much value is in you. Yes, you need to add an extra title on your name, but do you have value alongside the title? Some peers have a number of titles to their names, but the value! Close to none. There is nothing as embarrassing as people having so much expectation only for you to deliver so little. When you seek to become a person of value, success will follow you.
Value is a ticket to satisfaction. It is one of the basic elements of pursuing one’s purpose and passion. Self-actualization is achieved when one is able to live the dream. Passion will get you to love what you do. Love what you do by doing what you love. Eventually, you will live your dream. Success is not just about material rewards. Don’t push yourself too hard in searching for money. Desire to become a person of value. Take every opportunity available to equip yourself with the right tools and elements. Do not become the best, rather become the right person!