Square One?

Have you ever been in situation where you feel you have exhausted all options and are running out of creative solutions? At that point you wonder whether your efforts thus far have yielded into sensible results? You feel like you might as well be at square one? I have.

At the beginning of 2016, I left the safety of full-time employment to seek the adventurous world of entrepreneurship. I must say that God has been very faithful to me and I have not lacked. I believe that because I stepped out in faith, God has in turn, granted me the grace sufficient for the past months. Surely, I needed His grace and favor immensely because they have been a couple of trying months. In the beginning, I was excited and resilient however over the months, business slowed down and I gradually found myself in a place I never anticipated being in. For a while, even though I knew there was still hope, I allowed myself to get discouraged.

If any of you can identify, the life of a young entrepreneur, especially one who has had no formal business training like me, can be very trying. As I attempted to grow the business, I found myself encountering all sorts of unanticipated challenges and having to think of solutions on the go. My point of breaking came at a point where I felt I had done everything within my means and I had hit a ceiling.

It was then that I started to feel like I may have been back at the beginning, at square one.

However, God is His graciousness, still reached out to me in that moment. He spoke to me through a conversation with a friend. She asked me to look back to where I started and where I am now. Immediately, I could see that much as I am far from where I want to be, I am definitely not back at square one!

I have gained knowledge, skills and experience in fashion and business. My mind is not the same. I have tangible resources at my disposal (for example machines) that I can count as assets. These resources can still yield great opportunities despite the funding challenges. I began to count all that I have gained from my entrepreneurship experience from the initial five months and I became increasingly encouraged.

In one of my reflection moments, God also spoke to me and asked me, “What do you have?”. I realized that the reason I got discouraged was because I was focusing on all the things I didn’t have or wanted to have in terms of business growth and personal development. When He asked me though to look at “what I have”, my mindset changed. In addition to all I mentioned above, I also thought about the skills and education that I already have which I can do so much with. More and more, I realized that my feeling of being back at square one was exactly that; just a feeling! It was null and void because I have so much.

A change of mindset propelled me to move forward. I have seen God speak to, and mentor me throughout this process and He still continues to. I give thanks.

One scripture that came to mind in this time is “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.(Hebrews 11:1)”

This calls us to always hold on to our confidence in God’s promises. God is not man that He should lie. He keeps His word. Furthermore assurance and conviction are words that should immediately give you peace and confidence because they are words filled with certainty.

Where should our confidence come from?

In a Joyce Meyer podcast, I was reminded that our confidence is in Christ. Knowing that I serve a God of immeasurable awesomeness, should give me confidence through any situation. Confidence that is based on self will easily fade away. However confidence that is based on the very nature and qualities of our God lasts. This kind of confidence is humble yet majestic. This kind of confidence also does away with any negative feelings of insufficiency or doubt. This kind of confidence is assuring and real!

In your journey of growth, on any chosen path, you may get to a place which feels like you are back to square one. You may be tempted to get discouraged but never forget that you can never be the same after experiencing something.

Oliver Wendell once said “A mind once stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions.” If a mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions, imagine what happens if that idea is implemented. This implementation experience births new ideas and the ripple effect continues. The only thing that will happen for sure is growth. For as long as you keep consistent and persistent, growth will continue to occur and from growth comes progress.

You have definitely learnt something. You are not the same. Therefore the question at that point shouldn’t be “how can I go back to the beginning?” or “how do I start over?”.

Rather, the questions should be: “What do I have?” and “How can I move forward?”
Go on to actually make a plan and MOVE FORWARD!
The beauty is in the journey as much as in the destination. Cherish everyday. Redeem your time.
Learn. Grow. Live.


Here is a sneak peak into the articles I am working on for the rest of the success series.

1. Know Yourself Sequel: The Multi-Potentialite

Here I will write about how you handle having diverse interests and how to make it all work.

2. There is Value in Your Unique Path

We will examine the value of celebrating your unique path to success no matter how many turns there are.
3. Success is a Daily Affair
As the name suggests, we will look at success being a thing that you work towards everyday.
4. Success Requires Sacrifice
I can not overstate the power of sacrifice. I am learning more about it and all I am learning is really blowing me away. I need God’s special guidance to write about this topic.
5. Celebrate Along the Way 
So, you are not there yet, but you made a significant step forward-rejoice!
6. The Process Matters
The process of getting there matters as much as the destination. We will talk more about that.
7. Lasting Success Requires Patience and Persistence
Patience is a virtue, an old proverb says. We will look at how vital it is with respect to success. Persistence comes hand in hand, in importance.
8. Evaluate Your Plan
How do you evaluate the plan during execution and how to make decisions based on realities.
9. Interview/Story about a successful person

I thank God for the wisdom and grace that has got me this far. I pray that by His wisdom and grace, I will continue to write from His heart and mine in His.

Keep tuned. To those who frequently read my posts and give me feedback, I can not thank you enough for your words of support and encouragement. A special thanks to Fabiola Rutamu, Albert Michael and Kido Jasper. May God reward you beyond your wildest dreams. God bless you abundantly.

-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-

You are a Precious Masterpiece

A friend of mine told me about one of his relatives doing the fashion and tailoring business. Let us call the relative Boris for purposes of this story. He was complaining that Boris has been at the same level for a long time without progressing. That saddened my friend because Boris’s level of skill is superb! I concurred when he showed me images of Boris’s work. Boris designs and sews clothing for celebrities and big shots. His clients have no doubt about his abilities. However, he still loses customers greatly, due to poor management and a failure to see beyond his immediate needs. His customers do not feel comfortable coming to his premises due to its poor setup and lack of a proper system.

My friend once asked Boris, “What is your dream for this business?” and Boris replied, “Mi natafuta tu hela ya chakula (I just want to get money for food)”.

My friend was shocked. He told Boris, ”You are capable of more than just money to feed. When I see you, I see millions! You simply do not know how great your talent is.” My friend then went on to give Boris some good ideas to develop his design and tailoring business – ideas to take Boris to a level worthy of his skill and talent.

Several months later, Boris hasn’t moved one bit. He is still the same.

What is Boris’ main problem? It is his view of himself. He thinks all he is worth is money for food. He could learn better management skills and other ways of improving the business. He already has the platform to make a big leap. However, his mindset of himself and his ability holds him back.

Why am I telling you this story? Here is why; in life, you usually get not what you deserve but what you choose.

Whether you choose what you deserve or you deserve what you choose is a whole different matter.

Your choice is determined by your reflection of yourself.

To choose wisely, you need to have a healthy perspective of yourself.

There are unique cases where you choose right but your choice is stripped from you-that is a tragedy and is not what I am talking about now. Even from this though, you can still choose to bounce back, if you have a healthy perspective of yourself.

Generally speaking, we all have free will to make choices. On a daily basis we make thousands of choices. Primarily what drives our choices is our thought processes. What drives our thought processes is our perception of ourselves and our environment. When you have a healthy perception, you make healthy choices.

We are all precious beings, created with divine abilities and a nature beyond our imagination. We are capable of achieving and conquering mountains. Within us, we have strength to overcome obstacles and jump great hurdles. When we fail to evaluate ourselves correctly, we are at a risk of living mediocre lives.

If you do not know that you are a king or queen, you will not know that you are created to rule. Similarly, if you do not know the greatness of the being that is in you, you will not know that you can achieve great things even when you have obvious skill and talent to do so.

It’s all in the mind.

We need to have a healthy self-esteem. It is paramount to getting ahead in life. A healthy perception of who you are is necessary for a fruitful and fulfilling life.

How do you get a healthy self-esteem? By believing in who you are, by being positive about your abilities, by acknowledging that you are a precious and profound being.

I feel that this post would not be complete without the following poem which I crafted specially for you…


From the tips of your hair to the soles of your feet,

You were created special and unique…

A spitting image of the master crafter

To do great works.


From the joy’s you’ve felt to the pains you’ve held,

All come together in a beautiful story

Of wondrous glory and a victorious heart

A heart that’s yours


You are greater than your past,

Your mistakes do not define or confine you.

You are better than you think,

Your abilities are profound.


Keep your head up

Your eyes fixed on success

Keep your dreams strong and bold

Your mind focused in faith


Through life’s twists and turns,


You are of great value

You are a precious masterpiece!

by -Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-

On Ideas and Being Understood

“We all live in our heads”.

Many times, we have ideas and in our minds, they are very great ideas. So, when we get the courage, we share them.

However when our ideas get any resistance, we may get discouraged.

Well, for any great idea to come to life, we need to learn two things: to listen and to sieve.

When your idea is not received well, evaluate the idea. Ask yourself why. For a moment get out of your headspace, get into the other person’s mind to understand the MOTIVES behind what they are telling you.

Criticism is good-positive criticism, that is. Especially when it comes from a person with the right intentions towards you, it can be the best thing to help you re-construct your thoughts.

Learn to take criticism and grow from it to make your idea even greater! Don’t close yourself in your head and get angry that you have not been understood. The art of learning to deal with criticism is needed all through life because we always get new ideas.

Sieve and analyse.

If you feel for some reason, the person correcting you has genuinely misunderstood and misinterpreted your idea-take the time to explain it to them again. Learn to explain yourself in-depth.

Understand that other people live in their heads too. So for them to get out and enter your head needs good communication skills and a detailed explanation of your idea and your plan to achieve the idea.

Finally learn that not all ideas are meant to come to life BUT if meant to come to life, the ideas will come back to your heart and head many times with great positive conviction. I like to call such ideas “God ideas”. When a positive idea returns to my mind over and over-I simply must see it through.

So learn to listen and sieve through criticism, with wisdom. All the best in your endeavors.

-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-

Know and Learn Your Trade

First, know what you do so well that there is no ambiguity about what you do. Ambiguity is uncertainty or inexactness of meaning or a lack of decisiveness or commitment resulting from a failure to make a choice between alternatives. 

When someone asks you what you do for a living, for example, try and avoid vague and ambiguous statements like,”I am a business man/woman”. If you do make such a statement, qualify it by being more specific. In other words, follow that up by saying the specific business you operate. All businesses have products or services with specific identities. Being a business person is too broad a term to be left un-explained. Leaving it vague prevents you from truly being taken seriously by your audience. It also limits your reach to potentially relevant parties in your field(s).

Be proud of what you do or find something you are proud of so that when you are asked, you can mention your trade with clarity and confidence.

Further to that, learn to define what you do in precise terms so that you can properly introduce yourself to your target market or audience. Create a bio that clearly defines who you are and what you do.

Secondly, learn your trade. There is always room to learn and grow in any field. Learning is a life-long process. Have a teachable spirit and a desire to continually grow. Learning can be enjoyable, you just need to have a positive attitude about it. It should not be a burden to learn, especially if you are in a field you are passionate about. Whatever it is you need to succeed at; whether it is spiritual, physical or mental, you need to learn more and grow.

Never underestimate any trade or field-do not mistake knowledge for granted. In a new venture, take the time to learn from knowledgeable sources. There is a general misconception  that certain fields are generally easy and therefore do not need much effort. I would like to think that whatever you do-even if it were smiling for a living-it needs further study and research. You need to know why you are choosing to do a particular trade. You need to define its space in the market. You need to take it seriously and value it! 

Know and learn your trade!

To share a bit of my own personal experience, I am a trained graduate architect who fell in love with fashion design. I started designing clothes last year in January 2015. When I started, I made a plan but honestly had no clear idea as to what I was getting into. Fashion design and building design are both design fields but there were still many many things unique to fashion that I had no clue about. It was a whole new world. The more I designed clothes, the more I realized I didn’t know much and I needed to learn. I delved into learning about fashion as a profession and more importantly-as a business. I read articles, watched programs on tv, followed fashion houses on instagram etc- basically anything that I could learn from. I became a sponge soaking up any useful information and knowledge in my path. I did make mistakes along the way but chose to look at them as learning experiences and marked them as things not to repeat. A year down the road, I have grown and I am still growing and I am eager to grow more. I opened up my mind and heart to learning a new field I am passionate about.  I  have developed a great respect for fashion. My personal broadened view of it has helped me take it seriously-very seriously! I am committed to knowing and learning this trade.

-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-

Success Starts With Faith

At the heart of any new venture is the belief that it can and will succeed. Failure to envision success cripples progress and reduces possibilities.

The dictionary definition of faith is the complete trust or confidence in something or someone. Complete-without doubt. Now, this is not a sermon but I rather love this bible definition of faith: Faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen!

How can you have evidence of things not seen, you may ask? – By faith. When we set out to accomplish different things in life especially goals bigger than us, we need faith. We need to believe that our plans will come to pass.

Faith propels us forward, doubt pulls us back. 

Do not let fear or doubt cripple you and prevent you from moving forward in the right direction. A pastor I know described fear as negative faith. When you fear, you are actually believing something-in the negative direction.

Granted, we must always be cautious and not simply jump into situations and projects. However, there is a clear and distinct difference between faith and over-confidence. Over-confidence is self-centered and often overlooks the contribution of others, therefore more likely to make a mistake along the way due to a sense of pride.

Faith in itself is a positive force to reckon with. Faith can move mountains, it is said.

Whatever your belief system is, take note that we were created as creatures of purpose and creatures capable of doing exceedingly great things beyond our imagination. Humans are unique to any other kind of creation and we are innately blessed with so much.

We can only tap into our true potential however, when we have faith. I personally believe in my God first-that He is great and All-powerful, All-able, All-knowing and that I am created in His image. I am therefore able to do things through Him who strengthens me.

This does not mean I have never questioned or doubted. Similarly, it does not mean that all who have achieved success have never questioned or doubted. It simply means that if you find yourself pulled back by the weight of doubt, consciously remind yourself to have faith and propel yourself and your dreams to greater heights.

Success starts with faith.

-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-

Just do it!

Mark Twain, a famous writer once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started”.

No matter how good your plan is, it just won’t matter if you never get started.
Keep this in mind, no matter how good your plan is, experience is the best teacher. Simply taking the first step and starting will give you more information about your specific situation than any plan can. The experience will validate or invalidate the plan.
Many times we get stuck at the planning stage. We turn an idea over, and over, and over- waiting for it to feel perfect.
I do agree that you need to start at the right time-do not rush.
However, after you have set a SMART plan as we talked about yesterday, just do it!
Go ahead and start!
-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-

Make a Plan

So, you know who you are, you know where you are going, you know which path to take. Next-you need to make a plan and write it down. Lee Iaccoca, a prominent American automobile executive said, “The discipline of writing something down is the first step towards making it happen”.

To make a good plan, consult successful people who have walked similar paths and learn from them. Find out what worked best for them. Do your research and decide what will work best for you.

Follow this by setting SMART goals. There is a lot of literature out there on how to set SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic and Timebound.
It is generally accepted that the SMART acronym was first written down in November 1981 in Spokane, Washington. George T. Doran, a consultant and former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company published a paper titled “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”.
Many people use this system all over the world in making sensible and well attainable plans. For further reading on this, check out this link: http://unlimiteddiscovery.com/be-s-m-a-r-t-when-setting-your-goals/.
In making a plan, have a short term and long term plan. Your long term vision should be bigger than you. It will drive you and motivate you. I have heard some say “Your dream should be so big, it scares you”.
To achieve your long term goal, there should be other short term goals you can achieve that will lead to the bigger picture.
Make a plan and analyse it. Don’t rush into any venture or decision. Seek guidance. Get a mentor if you can.
Make a plan! It will become your road map.
-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-

Know Yourself

“To know which path to take, you have to know where you are going.”

Knowing who you are is central to your success in life. What are your core values-the principles by which you abide? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are you passionate about? Who do you identify yourself as? 

Knowing yourself helps you discover what you are passionate about.

How do you discover yourself? Ask yourself a few questions-what do you enjoy doing, what is most important to you in life? What gives you a meaningful sense of purpose? If money wasn’t an obstacle to achieving your dreams, what would you do?

I recently took a simple test to confirm my personality and interests on www.flagpage.com. What I liked about this test is that it was simple and focused on what I love to do rather than what I am capable of doing. In a myriad of things you are capable of doing, there are some you will love to do. Many times we confuse what we can do with what we should do. In other words, when we are good at something, we automatically think we should do it, even when it gives us no sense of enjoyment or joy.

More fulfillment is found in doing something you are very passionate about.

One common thing you will discover when talking to happily successful people is that they chose to do something they are both passionate about and good at. They worked hard at improving their strengths and taking their talents to greater heights.

If you are still in doubt about where your passion lies, try out different things. There is a saying that goes, “We learn who we are in practice, not in theory”. So try out different activities, find out what you enjoy the most. However do not try out any and every activity in the world, do meaningful exploration. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t figure it out too easily. Keep doing meaningful exploration. Evaluate your experiences and perhaps look back into your past to find out what you enjoyed doing when you were younger.

The reason knowing yourself is important is-it is only when you know yourself that you can know where you want to go and hence set meaningful goals to achieve. As we earlier defined, the achievement of a goal set is-success.

Let me end with this statement-“To know which path to take, you have to know where you are going. To choose where you are going, you need to know who you are. If you do not know who you are and where you are going, you will take any path available and hence never achieve any success you are genuinely proud of.”

-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-



Success is not Envious

When your goals are similar (I say similar, not ‘same’-refer to previous day’s post titled ‘Success is Subjective’) to another person’s, and they achieve before you do, do not envy them. LEARN FROM THEM.

Remember, the world is big enough and resourceful enough for all of us to be all God created us to be and thrive! We can all succeed by helping each other out and encouraging each other.

We all have our unique touch to add to the world-so don’t stop anyone’s success.

Success is not envious!

-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-

Success is Subjective

Success is varied and depends on an individual because we are all uniquely different. Don’t judge your success or lack of it by someone else’s success. We all have unique paths. We all have unique identities and unique life stories.

Also, don’t judge others by your own definition of success.

There is a saying that goes, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.

We all have different abilities, different interests, different goals and ultimately- different success stories.

Success is subjective from one person to the other.

-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-

Success is Holistic

Success is never one-dimensional because humans by nature are never one-dimensional. We are beings that crave for accomplishment and for nourishment. We crave for relation and we also need our material needs met. We should therefore aim for holistic success, success that involves the mind, body and spirit; success that satisfies our relational needs as well as our tangible material needs.

We need to gain and maintain a balance on our journey towards success of any kind. We, as humans are multi-layered, multi-dimensional beings that need nourishment in many different ways- spiritually, physically and mentally.

True success is met in a place of holistic success!

-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-

Be intentional

Success by dictionary definition is the accomplishment of goals. A goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. What do these two statements tell us? “Success is intentional!” To achieve a goal, you have to intend to achieve it. In being intentional, you need to make a plan and follow it through.

Do you want to achieve success? First thing-be intentional.

-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-