Odipo Gerphas, popularly known as Odipo G, is the managing director of Judera Group Ltd, a firm that focuses on agribusiness with a concentration in spices and essential oils under the brand name 1516
We have been able to build a brand without owning a single machine. This became possible after we learnt the power, principle and art of accessing rather than owning. This has given us a way out of a Sh10 million debt the business had accumulated and which we had no way of servicing. We failed to do adequate research. We wanted instant gratification. As the team leader, I was poor in chatting the way forward. I over trusted the farm manager. Accountability was almost nonexistent. We focused more on telephone farming and were moved by speculation and became excel sheet millionaires. We over promised our investors without proof of concept. Our numbers were based on what we were told and not what we experienced. Today, we are rebuilding the business. We are not yet out of the jam but there is light.
Being in debt can literally kill you. Stay out of debt if you can. I have come to understand that the mind that raised the first capital and lost is the same one that will get you out of any financial situation. However, for this to happen, a change of mindset is mandatory. Your journey from debt will begin once you start viewing money differently, then thirst and pursue a debt-free lifestyle.
At one point in my life, I allowed debt to lead me into depression. This drove me into addiction. I eventually lost a good marriage, and almost lost my life in the process. I have learnt that depression is the silent killer among many, men mostly. And debt is a very big factor for many entrepreneurs. I have learnt that it is possible to rise from the ashes and start all over again. It is possible to rebuild, reinvent yourself, press the reset button and restore your factory settings. My faith brought me back from addiction, depression, suicide attempts and oppression.
The greatest limitation is not the absence of funds but the fear of thinking. Money is the last thing anyone needs to start a multi-million business. I would know, seeing that I am speaking from experience. We are now running a business that will generate millions of dollars, once we clear our debt, and we do not own an acre of land or a single manufacturing plant. We needed to understand that we already had what it takes to make it happen. We had our minds.
I research every day on the businesses I am undertaking. I have transformed my life through wisdom and I have enriched my business with knowledge. I use factual data that has been tried and tested.
I never used to save. Today, I have adopted a method of saving profits in places that have capacity to generate more revenue. These include stocks, bonds, T bills, Britam, CIC and Old Mutual investment packages.