Monica Katebe Musonda is the CEO and founder of Java Foods, a food processing company that aims at offering affordable and nutritious food made from local products.
Before venturing into entrepreneurship, She held senior positions in private practice with Clifford Chance & Edward Nathan as well as worked as in house corporate counsel at International Finance Corporation and for the Dangote Group. We have put together some of her lessons and advice, you can learn from.
1. “It’s always good to take baby steps and grow with time. There is no rushed success that lasts.”
2. “Life is never going to be straightforward but it is what you are going to do with it.”
3. “There is no perfect time to start your business or to do something completely different from what you might have been trained for or to follow your passion. You’ll know the right time when things align for you to take the step.”
4. “Love what you do. Is the only thing that will keep you going, so find that burning passion for whatever it is.”
5. “Networking is vital. It can get you through all the right doors. You need to learn to make new connections all the time. They can help a new business in one way or the other. Be careful of people coming into your inner circle just trying to bring you down. Know who your friends are. Take advice from the right people too.”
6. “If you have a product that answers a need and you’re consistent with the right price, they can’t avoid you.”
7. “Have a vision and passion. Be courageous, focused and disciplined. Lastly, persist… it’s definitely not easy.”
8. “Fiscal responsibility starts with your personal life.”
9. “There are no shortcuts in life. There are no substitutes for hard work”
10. “Just start. If you believe in your idea and you think its a great idea despite what everyone thinks. Work at it, you will be surprised what the market will teach you, or you’ll mould it as you go you started with green and you end up with blue, but it will teach you how to do it. But you have to preserver, you have to stick to it, you have to believe in it.”
11. “Don’t be afraid to fail or make mistakes. Pick yourself up and continue to focus on your goal but change “the how” (strategy). Then let your success speak for you.”
12. “Don’t happily be a spectator in your own economy”