I have been everything for Inteco.
I have walked distances to put up machines. I have been the Fundi when they broke down. I was the procurement agent and sales when applicable. I was the brand ambassador, the only one shouting that we exist. I was the strategist, the dreamer, the farmer drenched in sweat pondering if this seedling of an idea would survive this business climate. I the magician accountant trying to pull figures from thin air. I was the believer, when the figures did not add up I had to believe that there was reward in my madness. I was everything for a long time.
I knew how to be in the field. I knew how to get things done. I did not need to consult and deliberate and it was amazing. Things seemed to be moving, until they were not. I was the only thing propelling the business and when I stopped the business stopped and waited for me. I couldn’t give up that power, ” no one knows how MY business should be run other than me” that and a dash of paranoia was a heavy concoction for depression. I needed help but I was not ready to let go.
As a founder we look at our business with rose tinted glasses. Because of this especially at the start we forget to think about putting systems in place. After all it is you and your venture until you die. You do not think about communication, accountability, monitoring and feedback systems. You do not think of anything because you are everything and you do not look beyond that. As entrepreneurs and business start up owners we dream of the big success whatever that looks like. I dream of machines in every bathroom. I dream of every woman in Kenya and beyond been able to talk freely about anything to do with their body but, I never dream of the details. I never dream of the how, the journey to get there.
As a result, many like me never grow their businesses to those dreams. We are stuck in the same space and size because that is what we can control. We grow as much as our capacity allows us to grow. Since we are not super humans the growth tends to be minimal. We end up stuck as SME not able to break the barrier through. We are more than willing to draw unattainable dreams but, not willing to risk. Thus, we trade off success for control.
I was everything for Inteco.
But, I have never been a CEO until now. I never identified with the role of monitoring, evaluation and oversight. My job now, thanks to my amazing team is to dream and be the vision monitor. I am tasked with making sure that we are moving in the right direction. As a result, I am starting to really enjoy Inteco again. It is not dependent on me anymore. It does not look up to me alone for solutions. I have a support system now. As a founder it means a lot.
Until next time,