The feeling of being trapped by life and an innate desire to help others made Alice Wang'ombe leave a stable, well-paying job to start her own company. She speaks to Soni Kanake about her about-turn.
Alice Wang'ombe worked at a telecommunications company for close to a decade before she called it a day about two months ago. Most of her time there was spent in the customer service department, a job she enjoyed but with time, the satisfaction became more and more elusive. "I always felt I had more to give and was beginning to feel trapped," confesses Alice. The second born in a family of four always felt she wanted to be in business. “My first business was a cyber café in the CBD when I was 20. I later reared pigs and sold pork,” she explains.
"Over the years I have come to appreciate and understand the need to have a vision for one's life. There was always an urge, a desire to do more. However, what to do beyond that was always the million-dollar question," she says. The fear of the unknown was always so real, she says. The telecommunications company was like her second home. "It was my first serious job. Before that I had worked with an events company shortly after having tried my hand in business straight after high school," she says.
Nonetheless, Alice felt her time in employment was up. "I wanted to focus on what I believe to be my life calling, which was making an impact in the lives of people. This I felt I could do by way of helping them discover the vision of their lives," she explains. “I'm grateful to my former employer as they gave me the opportunity to do most of the things I had wanted to do like my MBA.
"Having seen the power of vision boards in my own life and the lives of those I have shared it with, it became necessary to pass the same to other people,” she says. "As a result, I came up with the idea to hold 'vision board parties'. This is a meeting where I teach on the need to have a vision, how to design the vision for your life, put it in pictures and put the steps necessary to accomplish that vision/ dream," she explains.
Today Alice is a life coach and an author and believes that none of the experiences we go through are ever wasted. “Having experienced pain in my life, I wanted to be able to alleviate the same from people and so I pursued a degree in psychology. The loss of my sister who was very close to me was what finally triggered it,” explains Alice.
In addition, she has also done an online course on life coaching by American author and life coach, Anthony Robbins. She also has a Masters in entrepreneurship from United States International University (USIU). The skills and knowledge she has acquired have helped her and have been a foundation for her company. She registered her business, Bold Life Consult, two years ago.
Alice is quick to point out that her former employer also played a big part in preparing her for what she is doing today. "The skills I learned on the customer service desk have come in handy in my business and also in trainings as I also train on customer service," she points out. As a life coach, Alice says that she often does a lot of trainings. "The events company I worked for earlier was involved in image and etiquette training which has also come in handy. The networks I formed while in employment have proven invaluable.”
Alice, who also likes writing is an avid blogger, says she is excited when she meets old men, about 65, telling her they were inspired to follow their dreams by her. “My desire is to fulfil my God-given purpose. I’d hate to die only to realise I had so much potential I did not utilise,” she says.
ALICE’S LESSONS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS
He who watches the weather in order to sow will never do it. Just do it! Do your due diligence because when all is said and done, there are no guarantees in life.
Maintain good relationships. People are invaluable. They buy from you, connect to you, give you ideas, challenge you, pray for you.
While employed, try to utilise the opportunity as much as possible. Invest, learn, network, expose, start the business. It makes for a better landing when you eventually leave.
Seek to get into something you feel you are passionate about, or called to if you believe in a higher power.
Expect to start small. Rome was not built in a day. I wish I could promise it will work out the first time you try but from experience it usually doesn’t. Never settle. Seek to minimise the mistakes.