Today’s article is about how we become MA Financial Consultants or how we are becoming the MA Financial Consultants that we are destined and envisioned to be, so welcome to the first-row seat of this space and learn directly from our managing partner Wanja Mbugua who’s responsible for conceiving the idea of starting MA Financial Consultants.
MA Financial Consultants was started in 2016 as a default solution to the state I found myself in of having no employment, this particular space wasn’t foreseen as in most jobless situations, as in my case the decision to resign from my then employer was urgent, as I needed to relocate back to Nairobi ASAP due to circumstances that were beyond my control.
Let’s now go back to how the thought of starting this Firm was planted.
It was in March 2016 when I came back to Nairobi, and it took me several months to settle down and in May I officially started actively looking for a job, I updated my CV and I made it known to my circle that I was actively looking for a job, if you have been in job hunting, I’m sure you know that this is a job by itself, no pan intended.
While at this job-hunting job, my friends would always come through for me with an opportunity that would come to their knowledge… be it a full-time application or a part-time engagement and I would always shoot my shot no matter whether I had qualified or not, I would always apply, as I am a strong believer of the statement, “if you never ask the answer is always a NO, and when you ask the answer can be a YES, or NO, or NOT NOW”.
With time it became clear that I would get more of the “part-time” engagements than the “full-time” engagement, but it still it didn’t dawn on me to start a company as to me this is what I was doing as I waited to get the job that I was looking for.
I did this for almost one year while I was also working on my retail shop, until one afternoon in 2017 that I was having lunch with a pal and they asked me why I haven’t considered starting a consulting firm and actually make a career out of this “part-time” engagements and view them as my 8-5.
I didn’t take this seriously, like how? I’m looking for a job, how I’m I supposed to make this my job?
A couple of weeks later on another catch-up lunch with the same pal, they again asked if I had given their suggestion a thought, and in an honest answer I said I really don’t know what you’re seeing that I’m not seeing, so how about you break it down for me, what do you mean I can make this my 8-5? Did I tell you I only have two people that I do for monthly accountancy? Should I tell you how much that is? So that you can understand how unrealistic what you are proposing is?
And as if they were waiting for me to ask this, they ignored all the questions that followed after the first part of my paragraph, and they shared clearly the potential they saw in me, and they outlined the idea so clearly that I was in awe of how far they had thought about this, I was in awe of all the potential they saw in me, while I actually didn’t see it in myself at that time, all I knew is that I needed a steady source of income, and I needed it ASAP, later that evening I took some time to think about this seed they had planted in me and to see if it had potential to grow in me, I evaluated if I was a fit garden to grow this seed to great fruition that my pal thought I was actually overqualified for.
After several meetings with myself I decided to try this thing out, and so I got someone to develop a website for me, I got a referral of someone and we had a meeting I shared what I needed and they promised they are the right fit for me and they will deliver, and so we hit the ground and within a week a had a website ready and business cards ready and now I needed those clients that my pal had promised me would be waiting for me to officially brand myself.
If at this point you are guessing that I was slapped with a shock of disappointment……… well, well, well you are very correct.
As with any new business and most importantly with consultancy referral is the name of the game….. people trust people they know, take this test if you doubt this statement….., if you are buying something, would you trust the seller more or a review from a neutral party?
In a couple of months of starting in this new venture, I was feeling exhausted, I was getting impatient as I needed instant results, looking back now I wonder why I thought this would be different from the job-hunting job I was in all this time, for some reason I actually thought getting a website and some business cards was supposed to work some magic and get me clients calling me right left and center and when this didn’t happen, disappointment doesn’t even cover what I felt.
I gave up on the whole consultancy thing and decided to focus on growing my business and forget I was ever an accountant, and just practice my accountancy on my business.
Then boom I started getting calls from my friends of people they knew who needed a freelance accountant, and just before I could give up another light at end of my tunnel appeared. But now this didn’t make me focus on the website seeing as it wasn’t making any sense to me at that moment, and so a freelance accountant I became, but I didn’t kill the website as much didn’t see the value it was bringing to me.
In October 2017 on my way to Mombasa to celebrate my birthday, I decided to use the bus as modern cost had just introduced the oxygen bus, and the hype was getting to me and I needed to experience it for myself, and just like how God keeps coming through for me my seat mate was a brilliant young huge man hahahaha now before you accuse me of hate speech these were his words, I had the window sit and I arrived before him, ( I always get to my departure location early because it takes me a minute to settle down and be ready to move) so when my seat mate arrives and we do our salutations he sits and says, “this public vehicles sits should consider huge people like me” see I told you this were his words, and we both laughed and I guess the ice was broken because from there we were pals and have been to date, we had a chat all night long and when we made a stopover he feed me and bought me a souvenir, and said “this is my birthday gift to you, so happy belated birthday to you, and now would you please allow me to revamp your website and make it more modern and more responsive I promise you will notice the difference, I’m not only doing this because I want your business but because I can’t imagine you giving up on the all the potential that you have within you, so here’s a toping I will not charge you for the 1st year of hosting just pay for the domain, and then allow me to work on it then tell me what you feel and I promise if you don’t like it I will refund even the domain fee to you intact”
This sounded like such a good deal to say no to, but I actually didn’t take him seriously and just took it as a good neighborly talk.
Until when my vacation was over and he sent me to chat, check-in with me and if I got back to Nairobi safely, and after the pleasantries, he asks, “have you thought about my offer? Or you think I’m gonna allow you to give up? Or did you think I was joking?” at this point I laugh and say, “with all honesty I never gave this a second thought, I just thought it was just a nice talk” he said “well it is not, so are you maintaining the name? or do you want to change coz I remember you didn’t like what you have right now? Just tell me the name you’d like the domain to have and share your company profiles the rest is on me and if you want to retain the name better even at no cost for the domain, you’ll just share the contact of the current host and I will get what I need from him,” if I needed reassurance that the imposter syndrome is what was hindering my progress I guess this was it.
My response was alright, I hear you, how about you give me a month to work on a good company profile then I can share together with the preferred name, how about that?
His response was, “why a month? A week is all you need, actually the Wanja I met just needs a couple of hours and this would be ready even if you are starting from scratch which is not where you are, so considering everything else you have going on I can accept a week, so in a week’s time if you won’t have shared, I will be calling deal?”
I said, “deal”
After that conversation now I had to actually overcome whatever fear I had within me and trust my own potential, as so many people were assuring me of what I honestly knew I had within me, but the fear for failure was winning over me.
And on January 2018 MA Financial Consultants was rebranded and re-launched with a new website, a new name, a new logo, and most importantly a new managing partner, one that was sure of herself and had a clear vision and purpose to which she was determined to accomplish.
Once I did all this I went ahead and made it known to all my contact what I’m up to and that I’m open for anyone to throw in any opportunity that they hear of, and this time I called my pal for a catch-up and shared where I was at and why I think I was failing before, and the joy in their eyes is all I needed at that moment and all they said, “Wanja the world is not ready for you, but happy you are ready for you, so go on and make it happen and may God bless you and you can be sure I will be here to support you and keep cheering you on all day any day”
I’m happy to say that since 2018 I have enjoyed some great highs and I’ve lived through many NO, and above all, I’m so grateful that now I am where I am and that some people can also put bread on their table because of MA Financial Consultants, and when the same pal who developed my website ventured into marketing, I got a very fair package and him and his team now also manage our social media platforms and they are doing a fantastic job at it.
I end by saying cheers to all the people I partner with this far (my tax department, my accountancy team, my audit team, and project management team), cheers to all our clients, cheers to our future clients, and cheers to you’ll our online supporters your engagements means so much to us as a team, let’s keep engaging every day and most importantly keep keeping us busy with the Friday Twitter live chats using that #MAFinancialGrowth and let us all grow together.