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Potential Lies In the Unfamiliar

Chris Mureithi, Image courtesy

A famous Canadian psychologist, Jordan Peterson, explains the difference between the familiar and the unfamiliar. He refers to the familiar as culture; you know what is happening, what is supposed to happen, and why it’s happening. This is predictable ground. On the other hand, the unfamiliar is potential, a place where anything can happen. The unpredictable.

Having understood that distinction, it is understandable why most people do not have the courage to take the first step to pursue their dreams. Sometimes that first step is quitting your current job. This is very risky because it throws you right into unfamiliar ground. Here, anything can happen. You might fail, or you might succeed. Chris Mureithi knows this all too well. 

An outstanding employee

While still in university, Chris found employment at Safaricom as a salesperson. He excelled in this job and was recognised as one of the top salespersons in the company. At one time he sold 230 per cent above his set target. Before long, he was promoted to the level of Account Manager. Needless to say, his life was on a good trajectory. He was the son parents boast about in the village.

Chris is a great orator, with the ability to rally and move a crowd. That is what got him a job as a salesperson at Safaricom in the first place. While working, he would be the icebreaker at company meetings.

After some time at the sales department, he felt he needed to do more. He wanted to maximise his gifts and talents. More than selling to people, he wanted to motivate and inspire them. Unbeknownst to him, he started harbouring resentment for his current position. By self-confession, he started hating Mondays and during the day, he could not wait for 5:00 pm.

Stepping into the unfamiliar

After six months of contemplation, he handed in his resignation letter. He was now out in the world unprotected by the comforts that come with formal employment. Chris was chasing his dream. It would take him two years before anything tangible came his way. In the two years, Chris experienced the realities that come with stepping into the unfamiliar. He had eaten raw tomatoes for supper and even lacked Ksh 50 to attend a meeting in Nairobi Town. One time he organised an event where he invested 40,000 Shillings. Only four people attended.

In hindsight, Chris does not regret crossing over from the familiar to the unfamiliar. He chose to explore the potential and in the end, the risk paid off.

No regrets

Today, Chris Mureithi is the CEO of Premier Group, a consultancy firm that offers both consultancy and training services on corporate and personal development. He has worked with notable brands in Kenya including Safaricom, KCB, Ola energy and Vivo energy. His areas of expertise include leadership, growth, change and transformation.

He credits his now successful career to courage. The courage to have a dream, take the first step to nurture it and persist when times got tough. Today Chris is utilising his gifts and talents to the maximum. He has been named top 40 under 40 men in Kenya in 2017, Top 100 most influential people in Kenya in 2019, and has three books under his belt – What Makes You Special, The Shallow End, The Realities of The 21st Century.

Also read: Stop Getting in Your Own Way So You Can Start Doing What It Takes to Succeed

Stephen Kimani

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