If you are one of the average Joes, life would have been over or virtually non-existent when you realise you could no longer secure paid employment after spending four or five years of your life studying your dream course in school. For Martha Otieno, it was different. I believe you have read the story of Martha Otieno, a graduate of Journalism, who became a millionaire by practicing agriculture. If you haven’t the faintest idea who Martha Otieno is, check her out here. Martha Otieno studied journalism at the St. Augustine University, Tanzania but gave up her career in 2011 when she couldn’t get employment in the labour market.
Martha who practices farming in Homabay County, Kenya become a role model to lots of people when her story hit the net some two years ago. But she didn’t just become a role model by doing what most people do, that is, go to school and expect to find a job in their chosen career. Martha Otieno took the bull by the horn by challenging the status quo in a cultural setup that never even favoured woman. What made her story inspirational you’d ask?
Martha Otieno exploited a situation to her advantage
There were peasant farmers who had spare lands but were not doing anything with it. She used this to her advantage by getting them to lease the land to her for some time. These presented an opportunity for her but she didn’t hesitate.
She challenged the status quo
Entrepreneurs don’t complain about an unfavourable situation, they found their way around it. Martha Otieno grew up in a community where cultural belief doesn’t favour the women. Apparently, she could not inherit any land from her parents for the sole reason that she was a female child. This never deterred her from achieving her goal of becoming self-dependent though, as she was able to get farmers with spare lands to lease to her become owning her own land.
She did not give in to failure when it came knocking
The first taste of failure came when she couldn’t secure a dream job in her beloved profession of journalism. Many would have complained, how could I waste my whole studying journalism and not get a job? Instead of complaining of employment, she sort a solution by venturing into agriculture but failure was not done with her though. Martha lost over 40 thousand shillings after her crops got washed away by droughts but as resilient she is, she started over again, this time learning from the failure.
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She sought advice
I believe this was one of the hardest thing to do in the end. After losing all her initial investment to drought, she sought from those from experienced agronomists who thought her the best farming method. Many would have asked, why should I seek advice from those beneath me in educational qualification? Entrepreneurs tend to value advice when venturing into an uncharted territory and she displayed this quality well and is now making millions as a farmer.
Your profession may not matter in the end
The most important lesson of all is not to be stuck by your qualifications. If you are of the opinion that you must get a job or practice your profession at all cost, then Martha Otieno’s story should change your perception. We have heard the story of Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba group, a school teacher who eventually become a role model in online business. Education really does matter but stop getting stuck by the field of expertise, try something new and you might just be a role model to others too.