Dinner and a long chat with Mr. SK Macharia was a monumental eye opener, inspiration and business stimulation like no other. SK, as he’s popularly known, currently owns the largest TV station in Kenya and over 14 radio channels in East Africa. With interests in Agriculture, Transport, Insurance, Real Estate and other industries, this billionaire is humble, approachable and welcoming.
Likening him to Rupert Murdoch is no coincidence; his insights are simple, yet powerful and motivating. He is truly encouraging, fascinating and remarkable human being who has achieved more than most people would ever dream of.
Determination, resilience, tenacity and to a larger extent his spirit makes him the Billionaire he is today. Those who don’t know him might learn from the lessons I took away after a lengthy discussion.
Fear of Failure
He reckons that most people don’t achieve their success because of the perceived fear of failure. As a matter of fact, he encourages that you fail MANY times. That is the only way to learn, endure and achieve your goals.
The setting of goals and determination to achieve them is one way of mitigating failure. Mr. Macharia reckons that with goals in place, “there is nothing that you cannot achieve in life”.
On the lighter side, he recommends laughing at one self and laughing at failure. As a highly successful businessman, he has failed numerous times and at every instance, he looks back and laughs at what would ordinarily be devastating failure to most people.
He is soon to release an autobiography of his life which he will recount his childhood, trip to America, business ventures, politics and other areas of interest in his life.
A point of note is how he took a trip to Seattle, United States on road, rail and ship with only Kshs 1,800 (Approx. $20) – Which is probably ($250) factoring inflation; how he crossed the Sahara desert and stood the sandstorms in Beghazi, Libya.
In the US, he struggled from school to school, working long hours to fund his education, sleeping in the streets and determined to complete his Accounting degree; which he did and returned back to Kenya.
Back home, he was determined to apply his learnings and carve out a business empire in a country that was emerging from colonialism. He would then come face to face with the brutal reality of a single party democracy that threatened and re-possessed his multi-billion shilling businesses that had taken a life-time to build. That said, he was not bitter, laughed it off and soldiered on!
This is a book not to be missed and would bury myself into the determination and excellence of such an incredible being.
Parenting and Success
Mr. Macharia is very critical of how the youth have become obsessed with easy money; instant gratification. His take on easy money is as old as hills and retaliates that Easy money becomes Easy Spend!
The success of the youth will be carried by the youth, and highlights that parents should assist children to discover their talents while still young. This will help them discover what the right careers are for them and even more important is that they will play their strengths, not their weaknesses.
All said, SK is a role model, mentor, and a great Kenyan who has contributed immensely to Kenya and its people!