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It is interesting to note that businesses exist, who have managed to sprout amidst the creativity drought in today’s African business space. One of such businesses is Mitimeth (a Bellafricana member), founded by Mrs Achenyo Idachaba.

Thanks to her initiative, an invasive water weed (known as the Water Hyacinth) which obstructed water ways, depleted water nutrients, thereby reducing the population of fish (and by extension, the livelihood of fishermen) found use in a much more sustainable, eco-friendly way.

This “Eco-preneur” (Achenyo) has been featured on CNN, and her TED talk has garnered over a million views.

After reading the full story here, I thought of so many lessons and I wanted to share some of them with you:

 

1. Perspective is Everything

After reading her story, one word came to mind: Perspective.Thanks to my Boss, this one word is something I doubt I’ll ever forget.Where others saw a menace, Achenyo saw a business opportunity. This reminds me of a quote by Alphonse Karr :“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”

Sometimes, a positive outlook on a seemingly threatening problem is all the boost we need to turn things around for the better.

2. Passion first, reward later.

I’m quite certain that we’ve reached that point in our careers/ businesses/ lives that the only thing stopping us from just packing up and leaving, is that 7-letter word.

Passion is that burning fire that should never be extinguished.This is because, when all else fails, it is the one thing that stands the test of time.

This makes me want to go back and do a thorough self assessment. What made me start this in the first place? If the monetary reward were eliminated, would I still be motivated to do it?

3. Add Value

Today, Mitimeth has empowered over 400 people with skills to provide them with daily sustenance, and hopes to do more.

While we might not be in the position to achieve similar feats, we can apply this in our business dealings with our customers (both prospective and current). John C Maxwell says : “Adding Value to others is the best way to add value to yourself”.

4. Enjoy the Process

These days, people appear to be focused on the end result, and rightly so. I mean, why start up anything if you don’t have the end goal in mind. Right?

However, understanding that the journey is a very integral part of the destination will help us live in the moment, thereby refueling that zest that will take us to the end.

I hope to let these four points be my guiding principles henceforth. Will you do the same?

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