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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Get Out Of Your Paralysis And Pursue Your Passion - Kenyan Entrepreneur Tracy Wangari

Meet Kenyan Entrepreneur Tracy Wangari, expert hairstylist known for her extraordinary skill and good customer service. Tracy took a bold step to pursue her passion when she left her home country Kenya for South Africa to launch her business in 1999, a move that has eventually paid off. 
She shares about her journey in a recent interview with howwemadeitinafrica. Read excerpts below:

In her words: “I planned to be a hairdresser. I am very creative and visually oriented, but I knew pursuing drawing and painting in Kenya at that time would remain a hobby. Artists needed a ‘day job’, I was told. Encouraged by my family, I learned how to braid and style hair. I worked during school holidays, perfecting my skills and making some pocket money. Naturally I attended a hairstyling college after high school and worked in Nairobi. My sisters and I have beautiful hair, and as a woman, I know great hair can give one confidence."

I knew this was going to be long-term and actively sought my big breakthrough. It came quickly on a trip to South Africa in 1998 when many women in the streets stopped my sister and her colleagues, enquiring where they had braided their hair. Shortly after, I packed my bags for South Africa, determined to make it. “Being very young I thought that I couldn't make it alone, especially in a foreign country with different regulations and rules. So I got myself a partner. What a disaster! We parted ways because we didn't share the same vision, passion, values and common strategy on how to build and grow the business – all very important factors for any successful partnership.”

To aspiring entrepreneurs that believe you require huge capital to have a successful small business, and that it takes many years to make it, get out of your paralysis and pursue your passion. Don’t listen when someone says it’s impossible. I know very many African entrepreneurs who had little cash when they started their now profitable businesses.

“As an entrepreneur or owner of a small business, what do you want to achieve? How are you going to achieve your goals? I can attribute most of my successes to being crystal clear and focused on my goals and the path I want to take. Know everything about your industry and stick to what you know and do well. What I know, constantly keeping up with trends and being inventive, has brought me this far.”

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