Balance and Entrepreneurship

Let’s talk Balance in Entrepreneurship! 

Being a full time founder has a way of eating at you to say the least. As a result, I prioritize life as much as I prioritize work. 

I have realized that in order to be my best in all my ventures and businesses, I generally need to be my best self. Hiking has been a big part of my life as a result. 

I started hiking last year in March and since then I have completed 12 hikes since across Kenya. Everything from Mount Longonot and Kilimambogo to the Menengai Crater and Ngong hills. 

I have always been a firm believer that some of the biggest life and leadership lessons are learnt outside four walls. They are learnt in hobbies, from strangers and often from our extraordinary pursuits. 

So here is what hiking has taught me about life, entrepreneurship and leadership: 

  1. Take the experiences of others with a grain of salt. Your journey may be different. 

I remember preparing to hike Mount Kilimambogo and reading articles as well as watching YouTube videos. Everyone mentioned that it was a relatively simple 12km hike, and I believed them! On D-Day I came ready for a simple 12km hike only to complete 19km of savagery! 

What the blogs failed to mention is that the 12km path was a short-cut taken by most and avoided most of the steep climb. I finished the hike like a champion but let’s just say it was a journey to remember. Life and entrepreneurship is like that. What worked for someone else may not work for you, you may need to go the long way round and it may hurt and take longer. 

  1. Preparation is everything! 

Now the training leading into the hike is so important! It has saved me injury and often allows me to recover faster. 

I always tell entrepreneurs and leaders to prepare! To train, learn and acquire new skills. That preparation before a meeting, for a project or before entering a new role can really transform your end result. 

  1. People! People! People! 

I have been fortunate to complete all my hikes thus far with one of my best friends. She has pushed me, encouraged me, laughed with me, shared thoughtful conversation and celebrated after the hike with me. Plus it doesn’t hurt to know you’re not alone in the struggle. 

It’s the same especially with entrepreneurship, you need a circle of founders in the same struggle with you. To remind you to keep going, to take a break and sometimes to laugh with. Don’t do it alone, your wolf pack is everything. 

  1. Guess what? You get better! 

We have probably hiked Ngong hills in particular three times, this picture was taken during our third attempt. All times we have finished all 7 hills but the first time it took us 3 hours and 45 minutes, the second time 3 hours and 20 minutes and this last time 2 hours and 45 minutes! 

I mean someone say progress! A lot of times we barely notice the growth on a day to day basis. And because we barely notice it, we also forget to celebrate it. 

The lesson here is to take more time to celebrate your growth, progress and small wins. 

  1. Prioritize the journey over the destination 

Most of us focus so much on where we are trying to go or the end of the vision that we miss the sights on the way. 

We miss the joys in putting one foot in-front of the other and we miss the lessons on the way. I encourage you to focus more on the journey, so that life doesn’t pass you by. 

While hiking I tend to enjoy the process a lot more! I enjoy the sights on the way to the peak, I enjoy the conversation while going down hill, I even enjoy my heart rate reaching 170 on a steep climb! I am here for the journey. 

I hope this encourages you to pursue a new hobby and break out of your comfort zone. I hope it also encouraged you to learn outside the class room, board room or zoom room! Have a great weekend ahead✨

Published by Edith Njage

Chief Steward, Director, Social Entrepreneur, Serial Entrepreneur, Business Coach, Executive Coach, Author and Speaker

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