It has been a while since I’ve written a post here or on the different media sites we have and I’m sitting here contemplating why that is the case. I’m sure this is something many other people out there go through and they will probably find something relatable in this piece or share their thoughts.
It is not that I lack what to write about, I’m beaming with ideas and experiences from previous work or knowledge in vast areas of expertise, but I still get lazy to sit down and share something.
For instance, I always feel the urge to share about the journey my colleagues and I are undertaking in the different startup endeavors as we try to innovate, create and run a sustainable business in Uganda or the hurdles in expanding beyond Africa. Believe me, it is challenging.
I really think though that all this procrastination is deeply rooted in how we have been raised by both our society, business environment and education. We were not really encouraged to be over-sharers in high school nor university.
We weren’t encouraged to share our thoughts publicly on what we thought about the lessons, mode of delivery or the education system in general. We were never asked to share why we chose or why we were interested in the career choices we wanted to partake in. It was often one-sided with little room for feedback.
Similarly, the culture in most other African countries is alike to this, a good child or successful individual is one who aligns their goals and abides with most of what their family or community desires them to be. They rarely resist, speak out nor oppose these societal pressures. It is why it would be very hard for a girl to dream to be a car mechanic or plumber and get encouraged or cheered on by those around them.
Dreams like these, you end up keeping them to yourself along with all the challenges you might face, skepticism you are having or even the joy you feel if you manage to emerge victorious because you feel that few will understand you or accept you. Even if some did, you might be scared that the majority will judge you and their judgement might outweigh the acceptance you receive.
I personally can relate with this, most of career choices and journeys were unheard of and most scoffed at. When I first became a volunteer with Mozilla several years ago, most people told me I was wasting my time I could better use to do myriads of “more important” things, that I will never earn from it so it’s useless.
The same was said when I first learned programming, camera work, social media marketing, but today all these are some of the highest paying professions.
I even got tons of consultancy work because of the work I did with Mozilla, the skills I earned and the different people I met through it, but this all is a different story for another day.
Businesses in Uganda encourage secrecy, as an employee or proprietor you’re not encouraged to share your experiences and methods because you’re breeding the competition. Someone out there learning from you could earn more than you or someone could take your market position and outcompete you.
I strongly feel these subtle factors even if some acting indirectly have influenced many of us not to share at all far more than the actual work involved in doing the writing itself.
I am going to try to share more, as much as I can and time allows me to do so, you never know who it might help or the conversations we could start that could create interesting impact or innovations. Given my involvement with creative media lately, I might also experiment with accompanying videos of the same with time.
I hope in turn someday, I can inspire more people as well to share their experiences and journeys.
Still got some time on your hands? Try these 5 Little Changes That’ll Make a Big Difference in Your Startup!