I don’t know if you have hit some tough times in life and had someone help to make your burden lighter. I have encountered challenges in life and sometimes I craved help and did not get it. Other times someone has extended an act of kinds, making the journey easier for me. My struggle with depression and other health conditions was part of my inspiration to get into the helping profession.
How did I choose to work with women in the helping profession? What was my motivation? For one, women are naturally nurturers, because of their very important role of carrying babies in their wombs, bringing them into the world and nurturing them.
Much as nurturing comes naturally to a woman, this side of her can be lost as a result of being hurt and wounded. Some women were victims of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) while others have faced traumatic experiences in life such as domestic violence, rape, discrimination based on gender, experiencing war situations and much more.
As a woman who has faced life struggles, received help from different people and also helped others, I connect with women who help others. My coaching niche is therefore a no brainer. I work with women who are passionate about helping others, to empower them to turn their passion into profit.
Helping others contributes to our happiness and fulfillment in life. However, not all helping is the same. Helping with resentment or from a point of lack robs one of joy and eventually breeds bitterness. Helping in such terms is a burden.
Helping joyfully opens the door to a life of abundance. It is wonderful to get something for oneself but it is even greater to share it with others. Gratitude attracts blessings. It is very enriching to share our gifts and talents with others as opposed to hiding them in the soil (paraphrased from Biblical teachings).
The most joyous moment of my life is when I would hold my newborn baby in my arms for the very first time. Nothing can compare with that feeling. Watching my children achieve milestones in life comes a close second. Thirdly is the joy of touching a life. I never tire of helping other people to transform their lives. When I see a life transformed, I get overwhelmed with joy I sometimes shed tears of joy.
I have seen many lives transformed in my years in the helping profession. Something beautiful about helping others is that there is a sense of connection with the one we help, a sort of sisterhood or brotherhood. It is powerful to connect with someone and get to hear her story. It is humbling to have another person trust you with her deepest secrets, some that she has guarded close to her heart for decades and has not revealed to anyone.
Helping others strengthens communities as trust in humankind is rekindled. Some people who hurt others are really not bad people. They were badly hurt as children and learned that the world is dangerous, that everyone is potentially an enemy.
They react to situations by hurting other people because at that moment they are back to that scene where they were terrified, helpless children who needed someone to defend them but that never happened. An act of kindness to such a person can restore their trust in their fellow humans.
Helping is not just monetary. It can be in form of sharing ideas, inspiring and motivating someone who was on the verge of giving up, giving care, attention, skills or even time.
Helping others gives meaning to life, boosts self-esteem, improves mood and reduces stress. It is also contagious. When someone is kind to you, it inspires you to be kind to someone else as well. As you help others, you help to make our society healthier for all of us.
You get rewarded in many different ways for your kindness. You don’t have to stress yourself about how you will pay your bills because you can turn your passion for helping others into a profitable career. Yes, you can get paid to help others.
Book a free coaching session and let’s explore how you can turn your passion into profit. Continue making our society healthier and get paid while at it.
Kenyans and more so those who live in major urban
centres have been feeling the pinch as the cost of food, fuels, rent and
transportation are constantly going up while salaries remain largely stagnant. It
is like expenses grow at the pace of a cheetah while salaries are stuck at the
pace of a tortoise.
It is estimated that Kenyans spend between 40 and 50%
of their income on food. The poor and middle-class families are hardest hit by
the tough economic times, with some resulting to borrowing in order to put food
on the table while others skip meals regularly because they can’t afford to
The food budget is a major contributor to debts as at least half of loans taken by families in the city of Nairobi are for food, higher than what goes into school fees. There are many families in urban centres who purchase their food on credit and pay weekly or monthly, depending on their employment terms.
on food budget and still feed your family well
Bringing down the expenditure on food can free some
substantial amount of money that families can direct to other expenses such as
school fees for the children.
When I was growing up in a rural area, I saw my mother
successfully supplement her teacher’s salary through farming. She was able to
save costs by growing a lot of the food that the family required and even made
a decent secondary income by selling the surplus.
All is not lost if you live in an urban setup since there are
creative ways to be a farmer even when living in the city. Urban dwellers have
been known to keep a chicken or two in the backyard, in an effort to reduce
their food budget.
Fresh vegetables – besides being among the foods that are always in
high demand in urban centres – cause minimal inconvenience for the neighbors if
grown in the city, unlike rearing animals.
Do you have some space in your compound, even on verandas or
balconies? Be creative. Use sacks, pots, trays, old water tanks, old
vehicle tyres or plastic bottles to grow crops. Herbs such as thyme, chives,
parsley, sage, coriander (dhania), oregano,
rosemary, basil, mint which fetch good prices in the market, are very suitable
for growing in containers.
Spinach, sukuma wiki (kales), carrots, potatoes, beetroots, traditional vegetables such as managu or amaranth as well as onions can be grown in containers in a very small space. Strawberries, pineapples and even fruit trees such as lemons or oranges can be grown in containers too.
Experiment with different crops and discover for yourself which
ones are suitable for this sort of farming and which ones are not.
Wooden structures and even plastic bottles suspended on strings can
create more space. If you do a good job, you can grow enough fruits, vegetables
or herbs to meet the needs of your family and still be left with surplus to
can go organic
You will need to get top soil and manure to fill in the containers before planting your crops, both which are available for sale. Mix the soil and manure thoroughly to ensure even distribution. You can save on the cost of manure by turning organic waste into compost. Have different containers for organic kitchen waste from other household waste.
For pots and other containers that do not
allow water to drain, make some holes at the bottom and put some stones first
before adding the soil. This will help with drainage, to protect your crops
from water logging and keep them healthy.
Sacks, old tyres and tanks do well when
put outside in the compound rather than on a balcony or veranda. Go for them if
you have extra space in your compound. Ensure that your crops have access to
Plants that are grown in containers don’t
consume a lot of water so you have no cause to start worrying about water
bills. People who buy water can still do this kind of farming since even a
20-litre jerrican is sufficient to water a sack with 50 or more plants.
Using recycled plastic bottles to do
irrigation is a viable way of improving water usage as they make very good
sprinklers. You may also tap rain water.
The startup capital is not high since a
sack can cost between 1,000 and 1,500 shillings and could cost as low as 500
shillings from some vendors. If well taken care of, a sack can be used for up
to five years.
The prices of pots vary depending on the
materials used as well as the designs. Some simple clay pots cost 300 to 500
shillings while some luxury porcelain or concrete pots can cost up to 10,000
shilling or more per piece. Pots can be used for a long time too.
This business of planting crops in
containers is economical, sustainable and can be done all the year round because
the farming is not dependent on the rains since it largely relies on
irrigation. It is only labour intensive when setting it up, meaning that one
might need extra help for a day or two during planting.
Maintenance can be done as a side hustle
even if one has a full-time job especially because no weeding is required. Change
the soil after every harvest. Vegetables take a couple of months from the time
they are planted to be ready for harvesting and some like spinach and kales can
give returns for close to a year.
Using containers to plant crops can also
be used by people who have small parcels of land to optimize use of resources.
The kitchen garden business can be
combined with food processing, meaning that you can process what you harvest in
order to increase profits and give the fresh produce a longer shelf life. Making home made jam, marmalade or fresh
juices from the crops you grow or drying and packaging herbs is value addition.
It doesn’t matter who you are; as long as you have set challenging and ambitious goals, there will be times when you fail to achieve them according to your plans. It might take a number of attempts before you eventually achieve your goals. You might even modify your plan a number of times.
Failing does not make you give up on your goals; it only makes your resolve stronger. Failures give up and quit when achieving their goals proves to be more challenging than they anticipated.
High achievers understand that failure is a temporary experience which provides an opportunity to learn lessons from the journey and become better. Failure simply means that there is something you had overlooked and needed to learn. It inspires you to get better.
Every time you fail, you learn some valuable lessons, you become more experienced. You also discover something that you need to get better at, skills that you need to acquire, networks that you need to build or some baggage that you need to get rid of.
Failure is an opportunity to evaluate and improve your plans. If you handle it the
right way, every failure will make you invest in learning. It will not make you
get discouraged, give up and quit. “Quitters
never win and winners never quit.”
Working on your goals is actually a journey to personal growth and development. It is like climbing a staircase.
Every step takes you closer to becoming a better person, no matter what the outcome of that step is. With some steps you will win and with others you will learn valuable lessons.
My name is Sally Keter. I am a web designer, a career I started 7 years ago. When I was starting out in web design while still a student in campus, I felt that I needed to price myself lower than everyone else so clients could pick me over the next guy. I told myself that it was a temporary strategy, just until I created a portfolio.
Getting the pricing wrong
Do you as a service provider sometimes tell yourself that if you charge lower than other players in the industry you will attract more clients? I convinced myself that all I needed was to do a great job, believed that the clients would be happy enough with my work to refer other clients. This, would increase my credibility then I would raise my fees to what I deemed profitable, or so I thought.
What I did not know nor put into consideration was the fact that when a client refers another client, the referred client would come expecting the same fees. If a client returned, as pleased as they were with the initial job, they would still expect the same prices, if not lower.
Undercharging got me into a cycle of frustrations; overworking and barely making enough to get by. Whenever I raised my fees even a little bit, my clients would not be pleased. They would either look for the services elsewhere or if they chose to work with me, they would demand so much because subconsciously, they felt they had to get more from me since they were paying more.
After months of working really hard and being always busy, I was still struggling to make enough, to make ends meet. I started resenting the jobs and didn’t have the drive and passion I once had for web design.
It started to feel like web design was a chore, a punishment or a boring job. It was then that I chose to step back and take stock of the situation. I knew that I could not go on the same way.
Here are some of the things I have discovered when it comes to pricing your services as a self-employed person.
Be confident about what you are offering
Most of the times when starting a new service, it is very easy to lack self-confidence, feeling like you are not as good as others who have been in the field longer. This is what leads to under-pricing by people who are new in a field.
Unfortunately, being new does not reduce your costs. You could easily get overworked and still earn less than what you put in, constantly operating at a loss. You could exhaust your resources that way and end up closing shop.
Adequate preparation enables you to begin somewhere that is not exactly the bottom. No matter how new you are, ensure that your work is good. As long as you are confident in your work and are sure that what you are offering is valuable, it will be easy to price yourself competitively.
Consistently work on your self-confidence otherwise even if you price your services well at the beginning yet you are not confident, a few rejections here and there – which happens to everyone anyway – and doubts will creep in making you to lower your fees.
The key to earning enough is therefore pegged to working on your self-confidence and believing in yourself. Do not falter when quoting your fees. Do not be tempted to beg and act desperate. Be ready to walk away from the negotiation table if accepting the deal will mean undercharging. Keep reminding yourself that there are a lot of clients out there, all you need to do is to find the right ones.
Do not make your prices out of desperation
You quit your job or have been jobless for some time and are desperate to make some money, so you are ready to jump at any opportunity as long as it pays, the amount notwithstanding. Earning something is better than nothing, you tell yourself.
As tempting as it may be, do not quote your prices based on your current situation. Being broke and desperate is temporary. Take your time, price yourself well and if you need to, run a promotion or offer giving massive discounts. You may launch yourself into the market with subsidized prices for a limited period.
Ensure to state that the subsidized price is discounted from the actual price and for a specific duration and if possible indicate the actual price and the discount. (Was: KShs. 25,000/- Now: Kshs. 20,000). You could attach the offers to events or the calendar; New Year offer, Valentines offer, End of year offer, Easter offer, Christmas offer, etc.
Despite being a marketing strategy, when you are ready to go back to the normal prices, no one will ask why the change because from the onset they knew they were getting a discount. Avoid giving the impression that the low prices are your usual prices otherwise you might face resistance from your customers when you raise the prices.
Consider your overhead costs and man hours
Pricing a service is not the same as when you are selling goods. With goods, many clients use pricing as the major determinant factor when choosing who to buy from, as long as the goods are the same. It is not so with services. You don’t have to be the lowest in price in order to build a successful business.
Most people who venture into the service business undervalue the time and resources it took to learn the skills they are offering and the time they put in to work on the projects. They also fail to put into consideration the unique value they alone can provide.
It is important to consider how much time and resources you put in to be able to offer that service. How much is your time worth per hour, per day, per month, etc.? This helps you to price yourself right.
Pay attention to the needs of different clients. Ask questions and seek clarifications while you are negotiating for the deal. Projects may seem equal at face value but in reality projects are rarely ever equal.
You can have two clients asking for the same thing in terms of the final product yet one requires more time sourcing materials and resources, or one has very little info to begin with so you have to spend a lot of time on the ground work while the other one has everything set up and ready.
Do not rush to quote based on what is to be delivered, take your time and get the finer details of the project. The saying that the devil is in the details is not just an empty statement. Those little details like how many hours it would take you to get the job done, the running costs like phone calls, internet and meetings can make what would have been a profitable business turn into a loss.
One client’s project might require a lot of movement up and down or hours spent online researching, which drives up your costs. Learn to take time before giving a quote so that you evaluate carefully what the project demands are.
Strive for quality as opposed to quantity
One of the issues brought about by under-quoting is you might end up taking on too many clients and jobs just to make ends meet. This in turn may hurt the quality of your work. You may have every intention of doing a good job but due to the stresses of juggling too much you become a bit lax.
You could end up hurting your credibility and doing more harm than good. I believe in taking a few good clients and doing a great job, so instead of living to work, you actually work to live, and thrive. You get known for being great at what you do thus attracting the right clients. You are not just another service provider in the market place.
There is a lot of competition at the bottom of the valley but the competition reduces as you go up the mountain, so strive not to be just one of the many at the bottom.
Have a few “fillers”
When all is said and done, I acknowledge that there are times when the well-priced services you offer just don’t move fast enough. That is why you may need to create fillers to keep you going during the low seasons.
Have special offers and low effort jobs that are priced low enough to get volumes but do not need too much effort. Fillers help during times when business is low and can help boost your overall income.
I like to compare a business to the traditional fire burning in the fireplace. You need a few big logs and many small sized pieces of firewood in order to keep the fire burning long term.
The big logs are your major clients and they sustain your business. The smaller firewood has an important role to play in supporting the big logs. If your business only has the small firewood, you will overwork and never rest. You will lack stability and be in panic mode most of the time, always chased by bills.
The right mix of services and clients keeps your business stable and enables you to focus on giving quality service rather than always being in a crisis mode desperate to stay afloat.
Retirement is ideally the time when you get to take it easy after decades of labouring to make a living. It should be a time of peace and tranquillity.
However, this only happens with deliberate effort and planning from as early as possible. Here are six attitudes to drop if you want to secure your retirement.
1. Waiting too long to take charge of your finances
The key to effective management of resources is sound financial management from as early on as possible. Live within your means, operate on a budget, save and invest. It doesn’t matter how much money passes through your hands, you still need to manage it.
Invest in financial literacy as early as possible. Learn how to come up with clear goals on where you want to be 10, 20 years down the road.
Do you want to own a house in the city or your rural home? How will you work towards that? How much will it cost to make that dream a reality? How will you finance it?
A financial literacy programme will help you avoid money mistakes that will deny you financial stability in retirement.
2. Failing to plan
Planning for retirement is about more than just finances. Realising a few years to retirement that you don’t have a retirement home or that the home you have is inappropriate for retirement can be disastrous.
Failing to plan for your future early could see you invest in a home that won’t serve you in retirement.
Where would you like to spend most of your time after retirement? Weigh factors such as the activities you anticipate, your networks and conveniences you need. It’s possible to live another 30 or 40 years after retirement, which is a long time to live somewhere you’re not comfortable.
Think about your support group, access to health centres, the amenities that matter and closeness to family and friends so that you’re not too isolated.
3. Assuming you’ll never stop working
When you’re young, you have the energy to try out different things. If you try something out and it fails, you can still reinvent yourself and try something else.
However, adapting to new technologies could be difficult as you grow older. Medical conditions are also common in old age and can make working difficult.
So even though you’re very good at what you do, you’ll discover that many people prefer to work with someone younger and more tech savvy.
Don’t plan for a retirement that involves work, because all sorts of things could happen that make this impossible.
4. Living an unhealthy lifestyle
The way you live when you’re young impacts how you age. Take care of your health to avoid being taken out of commission prematurely by lifestyle diseases.
Quit smoking, drink in moderation, if at all, reduce the amount of junk food you eat, incorporate an exercise regime into your lifestyle, and handle stress correctly.
Chronic stress is a major cause of life-threatening diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, so learn how to step away from toxic situations and create a support system.
5. Assuming you can live on a pension
Your pension is a small percentage of your salary. Don’t imagine that once you retire you’ll spend less and the pension will cover your needs.
You’ll still have a life, want to travel to places, attend events, such as weddings or graduations.
Your house and car will still need maintenance, you’ll still need to replace stuff in the house and in your wardrobe. Anticipate the effects of inflation and keep in mind that things will be more expensive in the future.
6. Failing to secure your relationships
Leaving unresolved issues in the family to fester until retirement can cost you dearly. It’s easy to find yourself abandoned and neglected by family members in the years when you most need their support.
Family members who tolerated you while you were working and productive might lose patience with you after you retire. Further, loneliness can cut years from your lifespan.
John’s life had been quite smooth. He graduated from university with a Bachelors degree in social sciences and was fortunate to land his first job within months of completing his university degree.
He had a successful career working with a multinational company for decades, where he climbed the career ladder to mid level management before he was 50. He had married his high schools sweetheart and they were blessed with 4 children. John’s wife was a secretary at a tertiary college.
All was going well for John and his family until a time came when the company he worked for went through a restructuring phase and John found himself among those whose services were no longer needed.
He had worked for the company for over a decade and since he was already in his early 50s, his employer gave him the chance to go into early retirement. He was therefore able to get his retirement benefits.
John had conditioned himself that he still had some years to go before he retired so early retirement sort of threw him off balance. By that time, 2 of his children were in high school and 2 were in primary school.
John did not have any retirement plan in place. He immediately registered a consultancy firm and proceeded to hire office space in a prime part of the city. With his retirement benefits, he was able to pay office rent for 6 months upfront.
Everything in John’s lifestyle remained the same. He drove the same car, his children went to the same schools and his family lived in the same rental house and he still spent his evenings and weekends either watching TV at home or out socializing and drinking with his friends.
As a new entrepreneur, John continued with his life the same way he did when he was in employment. He did not package, brand and market his services. His profiles on different social media platforms remained unchanged.
3 years from the time John left employment, his profiles still read that he worked for such and such an organization, even though he now owned a consultancy firm. He had no blog, no website, nothing to tell the world about the business he was building.
His posts on social media remained the same. He participated in discussions about soccer – and especially European soccer – and politics. There was nothing to tell people in his circles that he was in business. Even a Google search about him would have yielded nothing about his business.
The marriage boat is rocked
Life for John went downhill quite fast. Conflicts became the order of the day in his marriage because month after month he was not able to meet his obligations. His wife found herself shouldering the responsibility of providing for the family, which strained their relationship.
John’s drinking increased as the situation at home deteriorated. With increased drinking, communication in the family became a challenge and he became hostile and abusive to his wife, eventually leading to separation.
Living alone after his wife and the children left had a toil on John. He sometimes would drink until he blacked out in bars. Sometimes he slept outside on the pavements because he was too drunk to get home.
He contracted pneumonia after sleeping outside on a cold and rainy night. Living alone and with no one to take care of him did not help things. By the time he eventually went to hospital, his condition was very bad. He passed away that week, slightly over 5 years after he left employment.
Over the years, I have seen many people retire from formal employment. Some have made some costly mistakes, like John did. Retirement benefits are a one-off payment and if one does not realize that, it is very easy to spend that money unwisely then face years without a source of income.
Some people spend their retirement benefits setting up a home in their rural villages and investing in farming. This is mainly because of the belief that life in the rural areas in cheaper than in urban centres so it is a good option for people without a source of income.
Farming is a capital intensive and high risk business and if it is not done commercially, it can drain one’s resources without giving returns. Farming can become a hole where one’s money gradually disappears and within a number of years, the money can be depleted.
Maybe you love farming and you enjoy doing it. If you are not going to do it commercially – meaning that you will not put in the work of doing market research to find out what products are in demand, who the customers are, who the competitors are and compare prices as well as aggressively market your produce and keep track of your cash flow – then you might want to keep farming as a hobby but don’t sink all your money into it expecting it to pay you.
For people who invested wisely during their years in employment, their investments can continue to earn them income for the rest of their days. Some people retire when they have already invested in rental houses and others have invested in stocks and shares.
Productivity after retirement
For those who are caught by retirement when they don’t have investments, all is not lost. One can live another 30, 40 years after retirement, which is equivalent to the years one spent in employment. It is very important to plan carefully for those years. Learn to count your cents otherwise you could find yourself broke within a few short years.
There is no reason why one cannot build a new career after retirement and spend the next few decades living a productive life and earning income. Some of the world’s successful people did not achieve success until their 50s, 60s or 70s. There is no age limit when it comes to achieving one’s dreams.
I have seen many people retire, spend their retirement benefits unwisely then spend the remaining years of their lives broke and dependent on other people. If you do not own a retirement home, it might be unwise to spend your retirement benefits to build one.
You might need to put off building a home until you have a reliable source of income. You would be wise though to downgrade your lifestyle, move to a cheaper house if possible.
Do not make a rushed decision to relocate to the rural area, believing that life is cheap there. As already mentioned earlier, farming is a capital intensive, high risk venture that could end up draining all your money.
If you were not in farming already, do not start with your retirement benefits. What would happen should you lose your entire investment after purchasing land, building a house on it, investing in infrastructure such as power supply and borehole, purchased animals such as cows only for the venture to fail?
What if circumstances change over the years and the land you live on becomes an object of family wrangles after you have invested all your money there?
Make decisions soberly
Many times people panic upon retirement and they rush to make decisions that they live to regret. It is better to move to a cheap rental house and focus on creating income than to spend your entire retirement benefits on putting up a home then you end up broke in that home.
Do not rush to make major decisions such as relocating to a new place. Take time to evaluate all factors about the place you wish to relocate to. Think long term.
It is never too late to learn new skills or to be innovative with skills and talents that one already has. Think of the experience you have accumulated over the years; dating and relationships, marriage, parenting, career and so much more.
Starting a business that is based on your skills and expertise, hobbies, talents and passions does not cost much. You can afford to experiment with that until you find out what works for you.
There are many people out there who can benefit from your experience and would be willing to pay for your services if you could package them well.
There are some basic things one needs to learn about the transition from formal employment to self employment. The transition requires some changes to oneself and also to one’s lifestyle. To venture into self employment successfully, one needs to make changes such as to one’s circles, daily habits and also the way one spends their time and their money.
John could have done well to downgrade his lifestyle until he got back on his feet financially. He could have moved his family to a cheaper house, downgraded his car and probably even moved the children to cheaper schools until his finances stabilized.
He could also have avoided spending a lot of money paying for an expensive office. He could have started off working from home and marketed his business aggressively mainly online by having a blog or a website and also branding himself on social media.
He could have used innovative ways to get word out about the services he was offering. He could have won his brand and got himself busy attending events in the community and getting his brand noticed. “I am John from company a,b,c that does 1,2,3…”
People might not have heard of the company before but they would know about it from him and if they searched online, they would have found more information about it. Money put to branding and marketing would have been put to better use than the one spent on office space.
It also does not pay to maintain the same circles and routines one had while in formal employment. It takes deliberate effort to surround oneself with people who help one on the journey to becoming successfully self employed.
Attend events and forums where you are likely to mingle with others in the same industry and in business in general. Hanging out with friends who are in their comfort zone because they are still in employment does not help the person who is trying to become successfully self-employed.
Continuing with the same routines after leaving formal employment and more so when one is trying to build a career is counter productive. Building a business requires effort, focus and discipline. To build a business from scratch often requires one to put in long hours and to sacrifice a lot of entertainment, socializing and even family time. John behaved as if he still had the security of a job which was not the case.
Self-employment after retirement
I compare entrepreneurship with the 3 stones that are used to make the traditional fire.
Business building skills
John had one of the 3 stones required to build a successful business. He had professional skills, having had a successful career spanning decades. He needed to work on himself, to transform himself from an employee to an entrepreneur; his mindset, daily habits, his circles, etc. He also needed to acquire business building skills: leadership skills, managing cash flow, decision making, branding and marketing, etc.
To be able to cook a meal using the traditional fire place, it is important to have the 3 stones in place. The same case applies to becoming successfully self-employed. It is important to have all the 3 pillars in place. Many people leave employment and venture into self employment but they fail to put in place the two remaining pillars, leading to business failure.
It is possible to be very good at one’s profession and still not succeed to build a successful career as a self-employed individual because one or two of the 3 critical pillars are not in place.
It is never too late to set another goal. It is not too late to start another phase in one’s career and become successful at it at whatever age, even after retirement.
A new phase in one’s career
Have you had a successful career in your field? You can go into career coaching. You can even start something entirely new, put in the effort and build something successful. What gap can you fill in society?
Offer professional services in line with your expertise, such as offering book keeping services, training services, writing, design, organizational capacity building, etc.
Coaching in the field of parenting or marriage
Training in life skills
You can be retired but not tired. You have accumulated a lot of experience that you can share with others. How about packaging, branding and aggressively marketing your services? 30, 40 years is a long time to be unproductive, to settle for a life that you don’t enjoy. Choose to life a fulfilling life after retirement, to thrive.
Human beings are constantly learning new things, growing and evolving. Career is one area that can evolve over the years as life’s situations, interests and value systems change. Someone who was single gets married and realizes that the current career is in conflict with family values.
New interests develop such as having a child with special needs turning what one has learned in the course of caring for that child into a new career. People change careers for many different reasons.
Career change is a decision that is not to be taken lightly. It helps to do a very honest evaluation about your current circumstances and your job satisfaction. Think long term. Do you need a break from your job or a total career change?
Changing careers usually involves investing in a new line of training. Will you undergo the training while still at your current job or will you quit first and embark on the journey to building the new career? It helps to do your homework well to assess your suitability for the new career. You could get yourself a mentor in that profession and get to learn about the realities of that line of work. With adequate preparation, you can have a smooth transition from your current career to a new career.
Meet Joan Kirera who successfully made a career change. Joan trained in electricals and electronics engineering (telecommunications option). She embarked on a journey as an engineer. Somewhere along the way, she took stock of her career and realized that if she desired to have a family one day, making time to be a wife and a mother with the demands of an engineering career would be challenging.
Joan went back to college and undertook training in psychological counseling and marriage and family therapy. Today, Joan is a practicing marriage and family therapist.
My name is Joan Kirera, a professional counselor/psychologist as well as marriage therapist.I also train in a counseling institute called KIBCo.
What is counseling?
Counseling is a helping relationship between a trained counselor or therapist and a client. Through the counseling journey, the counselor helps the client to deal with the challenges of their life using their (the client’s) inner resources that they have within them.
A counselor helps the client to identify goals, create solutions to the problems, improve coping skills and live productively. Counseling is not advice giving, it is not creating solutions for clients; it is not guidance on the direction you want the client to take or imposing your own values on the client.
A professional counselor can work with people whose value systems are completely different from one’s own and there will be no conflict at all. It is about the client and what they want for their lives. The counselor’s values systems and preferences do not feature at all.
What it takes to be a therapist
1. You need to be interested in people, not necessarily extroversion, but be people oriented. If you find yourself moved by peoples issues and wishing you could be of help, then that makes you a suitable candidate. If people constantly open up to you and you wonder how to help them, you qualify. You can also take a personality test that relates to career and see if this profession suits you.
2. Undergo relevant training. It is very good that you care about people and want to help them but before you do that, it is important to undergo training in order to acquire professional skills. So far, the common areas in Kenya are; Individual counseling where you need training in general psychology or counseling psychology (this one qualifies you to work with individuals on all issues), marriage therapy where you need to do a course in marriage and family therapy (this is when you qualify to work with marriages and families) and addiction counseling where you need a course in addiction counseling (this is what qualifies one to handle addiction issues).
I need to say this clearly that if one is not trained, then they are not professional counselors or therapists. They are simply advice givers and replicators of their own lives which mostly ends up being more damaging people.
Every individual is unique and so are their circumstances in life. Replicating another person’s life is therefore not possible. When you seek help from someone about an issue and they narrate to you how they or someone else handled a similar issue and try to impose the same path for you, that is not professional counseling. Being a professional counselor does not mean giving counsel, as is often assumed. When untrained people say that they counsel people, that is not counseling.
3. Personal growth. You cannot help a client solve issues you have not been able to solve. You cannot take clients to the place you have not been to. That is why a therapist needs to grow past their issues each day and also attend supervision so that their growth and practice can be checked by professionals.
4. You need to be registered with a professional body called Kenya counseling and psychological association (KCPA) in order to practice in Kenya. If you need the services of a counselor, ask them to show you proof of their registration otherwise you may be dealing with a quack/unqualified person.
5. You need to practice. Training is not enough as that only equips you with head knowledge or theory. On training, the minimum level for one to practice is a diploma and as a diploma holder practices, they need to be under a more qualified supervisor. Anyone with a diploma and membership from KCPA can take a client through counseling.
Why do professional therapy?
Therapy helps an individual to live a holistic life, becoming the best one can be, understanding who they are, their strengths, weaknesses, how different they are from others and how they can live healthy with others. It is very easy to try and impose one’s views and value systems on other people. Counseling equips one to respect other people’s individuality and live in harmony with them.
There are gaps or deficits in just about everyone’s upbringing since parents and others who handled one from a young age are not perfect. Professional therapy helps people to deal with their emotional wounds dating from childhood and other stages of life, enabling them to learn not to project their issues on others. It also helps them to establish and maintain healthy boundaries.
Some reasons why you need therapy
a) To heal from some past experiences that hurt or cause pain.
b) To gain self-awareness or understand yourself; who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, your uniqueness, etc. This helps you to respect your individuality and not feel under pressure to try and be like someone that you are not.
c) To deal with stress, anxiety and traumas.
d) To equip you with skills such as decision making, conflict resolution, assertiveness, communication, management of resources (money, time, etc.), social skills and any other desired life skill.
e) To help deal with marriage challenges (marital therapy)
f) To deal with parenting challenges such as nurturing healthy parent-children relationships, understanding and respecting the uniqueness of each child and rising above unfairly comparing children.
g) To deal with hurtful childhood: people who were raised in dysfunctional homes grow up to become dysfunctional adults, unless the baggage from childhood is dealt with.
h) To prepare for marriage (premarital counseling). This helps the two people who want to enter into marriage to understand themselves as individuals and understand each other, learn skills such as communication, conflict resolution and other life skills.
h) To deal with loss of any kind (bereavement, job loss, loss of a marriage, loss of an important relationship, loss of health or the use of any bodily function, etc.).
Challenges of the counseling profession
Most people do not understand what the counseling profession entails, they compare counselors to untrained pastors, people who are older and experienced, best couples and friends. They think that counseling is similar to what happens when for example a couple that is having problems in their relationship involves elders or best couple to resolve their issues.
Such people imagine that counseling services need to be offered for free since it is “just listening” the same way any other people listen. This means that they do not know the difference between professional counseling and advice giving offered by untrained people.
Many people who have involved untrained people in resolving their issues have often lived to regret that decision. Some have been badly misunderstood and unfairly judged while others have had their personal information revealed to third parties. Professional counselors are trained and bound by professional ethics and just like you trust your doctor or lawyer with your information, counselors are bound by confidentiality.
In Kenya, people are gaining understanding little by little so professional counselors will need to be patient as they build their careers and that I believe is common with many other careers. Actually,counseling is more than just listening, it is using practical research methods that have been tested and found to work. As more and more people get disappointed after seeking help from unprofessional people, professional counseling is gradually becoming popular.
Counseling is a profession and it takes years of training and practice to become a professional in this field. Like with any other professional services, to make a professional contract with a client, the client needs to pay the professional fees. I believe we do not visit specialist doctors and ask to render their services to us for free or do we? So professional counseling is a profession like any other.
Benefits of the counseling profession
Happy clients who have benefited from your services refer others. Successful groups refer others and helped marriages and families market you. If your work is good, people will grow you. Your results are the most powerful marketing tool in the counseling profession.
Finally, if you need my services which include;
Individual counseling, premarital counseling, marital counseling, group counseling, group talks (bridal, baby showers inclusive), child and adolescent counseling inclusive of groups and schools, trauma and loss counseling, contact me through +254721859922.You will need to call in advance so that we can schedule a session.
My name is Mueni Wambua. My journey to become a Pastor and eventually a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and an Authenticity Coach was not necessarily a straightforward one. It is one fraught with twists and turns that require more of an inner conviction and faith that logic and rational.
However, that does not in any way make any less fulfilling, intriguing or challenging.
Having worked in corporate world for close to 15 years in different capacities, I finally took a plunge and went into self-employment. Interesting enough, I found that most of my clients were either churches or para-church organizations that needed my expertise in one area or the other. At that point and time, I was mainly offering research and training & development services.
Having been a Christian, I also became very aware of the need to serve in my area of passion and calling because I was very keen to live out my purpose. I am convinced that as human beings, we are created to fulfill a specific purpose in our lives. And I began to hunger for that purpose.
My first stop was the Personal Development Institute where I undertook 14 week Transformed and Renewed Minds program that helped me to discover what my purpose was. I was able to articulate that I exist to help people discover, uncover and recover authenticity.
The next step was to do the DISC Personality profiling by the same organization to then be able to have deeper insight on who I am and also understand how best to be able to express my purpose. That was a very eye-opening task as it comes with a detailed 50 page report on yourself! Indeed to this day, I regularly make reference to it.
By this point, after prayerful consideration, I had clarity that God was calling me to serve in a church. I submitted an application for internship in my church but after considering the work that I had already been doing with and for them, they instead chose to hire me as a Pastor.
This was extremely intimidating and yet exhilarating in equal measure. It felt like being thrust in the deep end. It was a rich learning experience and it was also rich to see how my years of Customer Service and Sales came into play not to mention the many on the job trainings I had received in my years of service. In the time of transition from employment to self-employment, I had also pursued a Higher Diploma in Counseling Psychology.
My passion was mainly driven by the desire to see people come to the realization of who God would have them be. I was particularly moved to work with people in different seasons of loss and coupled with my own personal grief experiences and a greater quest to be able to minister with greater understanding, I pursued certification from the Grief Recovery Institute (USA).
This was particularly handy as I did a lot of benevolence work but also got to realize that the there are up to 42 incidences that impact the human heart at the level of loss of a loved one. This knowledge helped me to serve with greater understanding. I was also heavily involved in the area of counseling at different levels.
In 2017 August, I chose to go back to school to advance my Psychological training and thankfully, my employer was able to offer me a scholarship.
At the beginning of 2018, I began to get opportunities to speak and train in different places and that was when I registered an organization so that I could have more structure in my activities. It was also during this time that I came face to face with the glaring reality that those that have gone through divorce, separation or even in need of clarity about their unions did not really have a place to go and were seemingly a forgotten lot even within most churches.
This led me to develop The Well, which is a 10 week program that helps them get to a place of healing and recovery from their losses and create new communities even as they launch forth into a new normal.
As an Authenticity Coach, my work is to help people navigate the changes and challenges they encounter in a manner that is true to who they are, protects their dignity and honors God.
It indeed remains a privilege for people to entrust you with their deepest emotions and this cannot be entered into lightly. One must at all times be very away of the responsibility and power that people give to you at their most vulnerable times.
It is also important to note that this work can also be very emotionally taxing and therefore self-care is of utmost importance. Find ways to consistently nurture yourself because ultimately, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
There are different streams of generating an income which include having one on one client sessions, group debriefing therapy sessions, speaking and /or training engagements.
While the services I offer are not free and we are also living in a time when there are more people looking to turn to professionals for help, there must be a greater motivation beyond money to pursue this line of work. Incidentally, I have found that because this work has also changed my mindset, when I operate from an abundance mentality, I regularly take on those that may need my services but are unable to pay for one reason or the other.
I do this because I hold a very deep conviction that you can never outgive God, while I may see a none paying client today, I may get a corporate gig that more than compensates my free service. However, since this is not your regular job, you may be called upon at odd hours and it can be very disruptive to people who prefer a regular routine.
When all is said and done, the pay for what I do is out of this world!
Start preparing for retirement in your 20s, but not later than your late 30s. The first step in preparing for retirement is acquiring financial education. This is critical. You need to know how to manage your money effectively. To be able to retire in comfort, you need to start saving and investing early. To build a successful business from the ground to something substantial can take 20, 30 years hence the need to begin early.
Sound financial management
There is a real possibility that you might end up living on less money than what you were used to and it is important to avoid getting into debt as you approach retirement. Get out of debt. Do not risk having your retirement benefits retained to pay off your debts.
If you have to do extra work or sell an asset such as a plot or a vehicle in order to pay off debts, do so. The stress of having the bank or sacco calling you endlessly asking for payment can break you down, even push you to a premature death. You could also end up being auctioned.
Do not make a mistake of making financial decisions based on panic and fear. Many people who do that end up investing their money on ventures they are ill equipped for, leading to massive losses.
Building a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint. Starting in a rush is not a guarantee that you will be successful. Better delay starting by a few months and do the right thing. Do your research thoroughly before you venture into a new business.
Make deliberate effort to identify needs in that community that you can fill. Would people in the area pay for your goods or services? Start it on a small scale and see if it works or not. Get someone to mentor you or invest in business coaching. One major cause of business failure is the incompetence of the business owner(s). Are you suited for entrepreneurship in terms of your personality, your habits, your networks, etc.?
One thing I always recommend to people who want to transition from employment to entrepreneurship at whatever age is to invest in a high value skill, which means a skill that puts you in a certain level of expertise. A high value skill enables you to raise your fees as you become more experienced and better at what you do.
It is worth it to invest in such a course if your line of work does not give you expertise that you could build a post retirement career around. It is okay to invest in a short course or even a diploma and it is very good if it builds on the work you have already been doing. You could also choose to focus on something you are passionate about but never got to make it a career.
Remember that you can live 20, 30, 40 years after retirement, which is probably the same period of time as the one you spent in a career. You can focus on building the next stage of your career. It is okay to make adequate preparation for the post retirement phase.
Create a retirement budget
Do you already have a retirement home or will you need to construct one? Determine where you want to retire. Do you want to retire in the village? If so, that needs long term plans to build your networks and also develop infrastructure (a house with amenities, water supply such as borehole in case there is no running water, source of power e.g. solar in case there is no electricity in the area, etc.).
One thing you lose when you leave employment is medical cover. It is very important to invest in medical cover at the very least National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover . Many lifestyle diseases are associated with aging so you need to ensure that you can access healthcare.
Your social life
Planning for retirement is not all about money though. You will still need a social life after retirement. It is important to have networks in the area where you plan to settle. The life of a loner is not healthy at all. If you have lived in the city for many years, most likely that is where your networks are; church, chama, sacco, friends, neighbors, etc.
If you are going to relocate, build your networks in the rural area early enough, at least some years before you retire. Visit regularly, relate with people, make friends, develop support systems such as starting a chama in the village and participating in activities e.g. weddings, funerals, fund raisings, etc. Get to know the church where you will worship and make an effort to be worshiping there from time to time. Avoid social isolation and loneliness.
The period after retirement can be difficult and you will need the support of your family. If there are unhandled issues in your marriage, have them resolved in good time. Do not wait to find yourselves as strangers with your spouse especially after the children grow up and leave home.
There are complaints from some men that they end up in extra marital relationships because they are denied conjugal rights, their wives are nagging, etc. All those are symptoms of an unhealthy marital relationship so better solve them in good time than postponing the problem and paying dearly after retirement.
Seek marital therapy if you need to and have your marriage back on course in good time. You cannot afford to make decisions about retirement on your own, without the support and cooperation of your family. You need to involve your family. Where do they want to settle after retirement? Are you all in agreement about that?
Have you encountered cases where a man retires to the village and the wife remains in the city? You do not want to end up with such situations.
Will you live on your own piece of land or ancestral land? How are relationships with others who live on that land? For example, does your wife get along with your parents and siblings if they are going to living in close proximity?
Work on those relationships in good time to avoid future conflicts. If the relationships cannot be salvaged, you are better off settling in a different place even if it means buying a piece of land somewhere else and building there.
A lot is going to change. The routine you have been used to will change. Your circles might change. The money you have to work with might change and so will your networks. Any transition is difficult so prepare for it mentally. Seek professional counseling if possible and also build support systems.
Plan for time. How will you keep yourself occupied? Avoid idleness and boredom. What are your interests and passions? Do you have hobbies that you would like to nurture? How can you pursue them after retirement?
Maybe you are passionate about empowering people, start empowerment groups and forums. Participate in development of schools, churches, etc. Volunteer if you have to. Bring value to the people who will be in your circles for the years to come.
You might be passionate about playing a sport, cooking, baking, writing, drawing, painting, etc. You now have the time to focus on the activities you might not have had time to focus on while you were busy building your career. Choose the kind of life you want for yourself as you age.
Your health and fitness goals
Take care of your health. Eat well. Exercise ( you could take regular walks). Handle stress correctly. Keep your mind engaged maybe by reading something engaging during your free time. Don’t just read the newspaper and the Bible unless you want to end up with dementia. Learning something new such as a new language will keep you mentally fit.
A friend of mine enrolled for Chinese classes after retirement and got busy attending classes and doing homework. She developed new networks among people who were learning Chinese.
Is there something you have always wished that you had done while you were younger? Do you wish that you had pursued a certain career path? The period after retirement is ideal for going after your dreams. Enroll for a course in what you love and start a new career in your 60s or 70s.
Dorothy steel started her acting career at age 88. At age 91, she got her big break in big film acting when she landed the role of the merchant tribal elder who advises Chadwick Boseman in the movie Black Panther. Was age 88 too late to go after her dreams? No.
A British citizen by the name Charles Eugster was the fittest runner at 95, having made a decision to become fitter, his age notwithstanding. He got himself a personal trainer and joined a gym. He was able to win gold medals in Olympics for the over 90 year olds.
He believed that one can start anything new at any age, even transform one’s body by choosing a healthier lifestyle and lived true to those beliefs. You are never too old to set another goal, to do what you have not done before so use the time after retirement to go after your dreams.
Coca Cola is one of the most successful businesses in the world today selling over 1.8 billion drinks per day in over 200 countries yet the first year the company only sold on average 9 drinks a day. This is a very important lesson for new business owners.
The Employee Mindset
When you first venture into business, you will notice that people who are conditioned to work for one month and get paid at the end of the month look at earnings short term and are likely not to have the patience to build a business from scratch. Learn not to take advice from such people if you are going to build a successful business. Work on changing your mindset too if you are conditioned the same way.
Building a business from scratch is scary and such comments only serve to increase your anxiety. A lot of people with new businesses make one costly mistake; they build the business as if they are waiting for the next bus to board, always looking around for a way of escape, probably a job offer. It is like being in business is a punishment that they couldn’t wait to be set free from. After a few criticisms, they decide that the business is not working, that it probably was a bad idea and close it down prematurely.
Businesses do fail and knowing when to close shop could save you a lot of money and time. It is not worth it to keep on pumping money into a business that is not making any headway, which could leave you deep in debt.
How do you evaluate your business?
How do you tell if it worth it to keep pushing on? How do you decide whether to close the business down and move to something else or to continue? After how long should you close a non-performing business? Should you close down your new business if it is not yet meeting its obligations after 1 year? After 2 years? Let us consider a few scenarios to help us understand how to evaluate different circumstances.
You have leased a piece of land and planted beans. A few months after planting, the meteorological department gives warnings that floods are expected. The floods sweep your crops away and you end up with no harvest. You suffer loses.
Would you judge your business as a failed business, stop it and move to something else?
You have leased premises and started a kindergarten. You are in your second year and the business still cannot meet its obligations; pay rent, teachers’ and non-teaching staff salaries, etc. Would you close down the business and move to a different line of business?
Imagine that you had a business that stocked manual typewriters in the early 90s. Computers had just entered the market. Your business had made losses 2 years in a row since the entry of computers. How would you move forward?
You were running a profitable simu ya jamii business in the early 90s. Business was doing well and you had made profits 3 years in a row. Affordable mobile phones were just about to enter the Kenyan market. Would you judge your business as successful and worth continuing with because of the performance of the past 3 years?
You had pursued a degree in law, gone through the Kenya School of Law and worked for a law firm for 3 years. You then set up your own law practice and it is 2 years and not yet profitable. Would you close down your law firm and change to a different line of business?
The general belief is that if your business is not meeting its obligations after a year or two you close it down for it is not viable. Do not make the mistake many people who are new to business make. Do not evaluate your business in isolation. What does that mean?
Your business is just but a single player in an entire industry. Do not judge it in isolation. “My shop/school/clinic is not making profit 2 years after I established it. It is not a viable business and I am therefore going to close it down.”
Are there other players in the industry? How are they performing? Is business doing poorly for the entire industry or just your own business? What are the reasons for the poor performance? Is the poor performance because of some poor choices you have made?
If the poor performance is affecting the entire industry and is because something more superior has entered the market that has made what you were offering unable to compete (such as the entry of affordable mobile phones in the market while you were doing simu ya jamii business), you would be wise to change to another line of business without wasting any more time or resources.
If the poor performance is because of temporary circumstance such as adverse weather conditions, poor choice of crop for the area where you are engaging in agriculture, political unrest, etc., you are better off not gauging your business as not viable as those are not permanent circumstances. Maybe you need to think of ways to survive during the lean times.
What sort of business are you building?
Building a business based on your field of expertise is different from running a green grocer or clothes stall. If you are building a business around your expertise in law, medicine, nutrition, engineering, life coaching, software development, design or other field of expertise, your journey to becoming a successful player in that field is likely to be longer than that one of someone operating a shop. Do not evaluate your business the same way.
A business around expertise should not be evaluated in the same way as a business selling goods. The two journeys are different. It takes many years to acquire expertise in a field and to get breakthrough in that industry. Some of the most successful lawyers, doctors, life coaches and architects have taken years to get where they are in their fields. They also took years of study before they qualified to practice in their fields.
It is rare that the top specialists in such fields is are young professionals who recently graduated from the university. Most experts are in their 50s, 60s, or 70s and there is a reason for that. It takes time to accumulate adequate experience and build your name to become an authority in a field. If you choose to build a business that is based on expertise such as web design, software development, network marketing, content writing, fashion design, psychology or life coaching, be prepared to invest months or even years in learning before you can become competent to succeed in the field.
When you start practicing, do not expect quick results. With such a business, I always recommend working with 10-year goals and being focused on growth and improvement. Choose your career carefully and once you set up your business, commit to stay with it for 10 years.
Put in long hours of learning and practicing and depending on the field, begin by giving your services for free or for very minimal charge in order to build a portfolio, which will be crucial for your marketing efforts. Designers, coaches, etc. need to begin by offering their services for free in order to get their names out in the market place and attract clients.
Be prepared that you will need to wait longer to reap the fruits of your labor than that person who starts selling fruits or roasted peanuts so work hard and don’t give up. The growth in a year or two might not be significant but a lot can change in 5 years or a decade.
You don’t throw away 5 years of training coupled with 5 years of experience to go try out something else because your business is not yet successful to the level you anticipated. The world’s most successful people have taken years to reach where they are, some of them 20, 30 years. Some of the world’s most successful companies are 40, 50 years old.
To be on the safe side, commit to a lifelong journey of learning and growing. Never slow down when it comes to learning. Keep your ear to the ground and be up to date about what is happening in the industry. Watch the competition and especially those who are doing well in the business and learn everything you can about them. If you are targeting the same clientele, then you need to know how you can outsmart your competitors if you expect to dislodge some clients from them.
Commit to your long-term goals but let your road map to those goals not be cast on stone. Be open to making modifications as you learn and become wiser. You will not quit, not unless there are some of the situations outlined above, which make the business no longer viable.
Evaluate your business frequently: set long-term goals and break them down into annual, quarterly monthly and weekly targets. Have targets for every step of the way. Read the numbers carefully and evaluate every area of the business: your business systems, the performance of your staff, business partners, your target market, your marketing strategy, your business expenses, etc.
Employees can bring down your business
It takes time to get the staffing needs of a startup right so refrain from hiring anyone on long term contract until you have clarity about the kind of staff you need, their job descriptions and their terms of service. Firing staff can be quite messy so work with short term contracts until your business can have handle full time staff.
Do due diligence while hiring staff and don’t just ask around for people to hire. Conduct interviews to help you identify staff who are the right fit for your business. Train staff well and supervise them closely in the initial stages. This should be for both full time and part time staff. Give them weekly targets and hold weekly meetings with them to evaluate.
Hold weekly meetings with staff and also make weekly reports mandatory. You cannot afford not to detect problems in good time. Evaluate all areas of your business regularly. Making changes promptly can save you a lot and ensure the long-term survival of your business. If a department is performing really poorly, you might consider having daily reports and more frequent meetings for a period of time, until you get things streamlined.
Maybe you have the wrong person in a key position in the business. If you ensure to give new staff short contracts, preferably 3-month contracts only renewable upon satisfactory performance when starting out in business, you will be able to correct the issue of hiring employees who are a poor fit. As much as possible hire staff on retainer basis and have the bulk of the income to be pegged on performance. That way you get to reward the right people. Making salaries uniform for all employees could kill he morale of the hard workers. The retainer system also makes it easy for you to identify the staff that you need to let go of.
If a product is not doing well in the market no matter what you do, you might need to change to a different product. Do not hold on to anything that is not working for too long as it could eventually bring down your business. You may opt to withdraw a product from particular markets and only sell it in those markets where it is doing well. You can also withdraw a poorly performing product and re-introduce it at a later date or repackage and re-brand it.
There are times you have to reinvent yourself. IBM used to sell typewriters and had to reinvent itself with the invention of computers. Holding on to something that is no longer valid can kill your business.
Do not declare your new business as not viable and close it down prematurely. Save yourself massive losses by staying on top of things, identifying problems promptly and taking corrective action without delay.