We’ve arrived at our final installment of Noeline’s story. There is even more to learn in this final segment. If you missed the first two, you can read them here and here for the first and second part respectively. Enjoy reading today’s post.
Along the growth path of your different initiatives, what are some of the challenges you’ve experienced?
“The biggest challenge was funding. It’s tough coming from the security of a paycheck to figuring out how to make it work. As a social entrepreneur, you are driven by the passion. You want to make a difference but then you realize it’s going to take money to run the venture. In the early stages, it’s really difficult to secure funding especially for purely local startups where you don’t have links to the US…or any other country. Secondly, you don’t have any record they can track for impact so it’s hard because possible funders are always asking for impact. So it becomes hard for you to prove yourself in that early stage. It does get better with time though.
Getting the kind of staff you need is also a challenge. You end up having to outsource many things because you don’t have the money to hire full-time people. This affects the quality.
In addition, the workload is really crazy. In my first year, I was doing jobs for like six people. You’re the accountant, the manager, the PRO, the HRO…yeah, so that was a very big challenge for me. The bigger challenge was in that initial start up phase. I’d say for people who are starting out that you just have to hang in there. The start is rough but it gets better with time.”
What was your lowest moment during the period of running your businesses and is there a point you wanted to give up?
She laughs at this point as she tells me there was not one low moment but plural – moments.
“There are moments I cried my eyes out. There are times I’d wait for all my staff to go and I’d just stay behind. I was frustrated. You see how hard your people work and you want to offer them better remuneration but you can’t and it kind of nudges you. They were really committed and I wasn’t able to offer them better money. Those were frustrating moments. And yes there were moments when I literally wanted to give up.
I got through those moments first, by speaking up. I learnt to speak up and ask for help and that’s where I’ll say that it’s important to have mentors and people that believe in you and also for me, the board that I have are not just people with profiles but they are my friends too. So I learnt to fall back to the support system I had. I once called a meeting and told my board I was done. They empathized with me and also appreciated what I wasn’t seeing and helped me see how much positive work I had already done. In addition, they committed and said they were sticking there with me and did all they could to help me. That helped me to cast my burden. You don’t have to carry it alone. I actually met Moses Mukisa in one of those times when I had a burnout. He sat me down and gave me a serious talk and told me I couldn’t live my life like that. He also gave me some useful advice and new angles for the business as well as useful links and contacts of people who could help. So that helped.
Furthermore prayer helped. When I was reading about kingdom business, I learnt the concept of having God as your CEO and business partner whereby I would involve God actively in the business. In that process, some ideas were birthed in prayer and He’d impress it on my heart to go approach some people and they actually helped. So, having a support system and prayer have helped a lot.”
At this point, I was amazed by all the knowledge I had gleaned. It appears to me she has already achieved quite a lot. I am curious to find out what she’s cooking for the next steps in her life.
What are your future goals, dreams and plans?
“I aspire to become a CEO of a group of companies. One of the things I have discovered about myself is I am a starter. I have the grace to start things. So I see myself starting many companies and then training and equipping people to run these different companies.
In addition to this, one of my goals is to empower 10,000 startups.
My dream for Kyusa is that it becomes an international model which can be used anywhere and by anyone. So we can create tool kits for startups whereby one can log in and have a self-paced program which an individual can implement. That’s one of my dreams; to see what we do become a model that can run online and can be replicated in different regions.
One of my personal ambitions is to have written 60 books by the time I am sixty years. One of the people who have inspired me to write is Mike Maddock. I found close to 500 books of his and his writing model is to use smaller books. Some are as small as 30 pages but they give one a lot to think about. You have young people that are turned off by big books but they are desperate for information so I want to create 60 books that anyone can pick up and read.
In addition to this, finally, I want to travel the world.”
As I wound up this interview down, there were only three more things I wanted to ask.
What’s your personal mission statement?
“To empower people to identify their life purpose and turn their passions into skills for fruitful living”
Any favourite quotes?
“If you can envision it, you can achieve it.”
“As a man thinks, so is he.”
“If you believe it, you can do it.”
“The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.”
Your most impactful books?
As a Man Thinks by James Allen, In Pursuit of Purpose by Myles Munroe, Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and Little Black Book for Stunning Success by Robin Sharma
I hope you’ve enjoyed sitting at Noeline’s table and soaking in her journey and lessons to learn.
Keep shining and keep on keeping on.
With the best of regards,