I recently attended a business talk forum between Kenya and Austria at the Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel. In the meeting I met a friend from Austria, Mark Pfeiffer, who is a CVO for Saillabs Technology. We had a chat and throughout the conversation he really inspired me a lot. I asked him on the one advice he gives young people about life and about success in business. First of all let me say that the story about success is not unique to geographical regions. The game is virtually the same, the rules are the same and the players could be different but bound by the same rules. Now lets us see what Mark told me about success for young entrepreneurs.


Passion topped his list. Let me quote what he said, “Do what you are passionate about otherwise there is a problem.”  Passion is a key to becoming contented with your work. When you are passionate about what you do, chances are you will persevere and persist through the hardships. In fact amid crisis it doesn’t feel like sucking as does to the person who lacks passion. Remember though that having passion doesn’t mean a smooth sail all through. Things are going to be though, relationships are going to be broken, friends are going to be lost but because you care so much about the cause, you still hold on.

Sir Isaac Newton is perhaps known as one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. One thing about Newton is that he developed a very strong passion for his scientific research until he decided to remain a bachelor all his life though it is claimed that he had a mistress at some point in his life. The point however is that when you are passionate, you develop a few loyal attachments with family and a small group of friends because at some point you need them. Remember no man is an island. In Business things change. Make a lot of connections, build a wide clientele base and make a lot of personal attachments with your customers. Because you are passionate about the business, you will realize that the connections and attachment aspect comes out without struggle.


Be different.

Mark told me when he first made his company and that was at the age of eighteen. He told me at that time he was in college. I went ahead to tell him my age and jokingly told him that in Kenya, if you are eighteen you are expected to be siting for your national exams. I was trying to prove to him that different social, geographical and economic orientations determine our early dispositions. He looked me into the eye and cut me with a “but I was different. My colleagues were living their lives out while I was in business.” Being different in business, with your products and your personality too means giving yourself a competitive edge.

Differentiate yourself in the market, do your best to have your USP (Unique Selling Point) which differentiates you in the wider market. If everybody else is saying yes, take a leap back and think about it and take a no. You have differentiated yourself and will have to work to prove yourself. In fact if you tell your friends about an idea and they clap for you and say how brilliantly it can be done, you better change it.

Say “yes” a lot.

As a young entrepreneur, you ought to say yes a lot. If an opportunity comes your way and you don’t know about it, say yes to it and then figure out later how you can execute them. I had read about this idea from Virgin founder Richard Branson’s article. Here I was again face to face with it and I loved it again. Think of this scenario; a friend tells you that he/she wants a certain model of a car. They go ahead and asks you if you can help them to find it. OK, you don’t know where you can find it but as a smart entrepreneur you tell them you can and then go and figure out where to find it.

These are three powerful points that can help us as the young generation to virtually achieve our goals however diverse they are. These points can help us change the world. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see the world,” and to be that change you must first change yourself. To change and fit in the percentage that will change or is changing the world, embrace these principles of success.

Copyright @ 2016

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at
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