Buluke Stories: Legado International
When Wilkings introduced me to Grace Wachori, I tried calling her for like 30mins and her phone was so busy. I asked him, what does Grace Wachori do? He told me, she does a lot of things..., so I decided to write her a message explaining why I was calling her and to explain that we needed to tell her story, she got back to me after another 10mins and boy oh boy, was I not prepared for this. This woman is simply put SUPERWOMAN and her spirit is so bubbly and very infectious. She oozes goodwill, glitter, laughter and everything golden and shimmery, I swear!!!
Let's get personal why don't we...
PS - "and if you are in need of a motivational speaker that will help instill value and purpose for living either in your company,business,school..you name it, you need to hire her!!!
1. Briefly introduce yourself? Who is Grace ?
My name is Grace Wachori, a mother, a counselor and an entrepreneur. I enjoy interacting with people as a motivational speaker, a project manager, a beauty therapist and a moderator.
I love to travel, spend quality time with my child, and totally appreciate soulful music, great company and intriguing conversation.
For fun I like to read, watch movies, dance to soulful music, crochet, and cook. To relax I like to take walks, scented baths, sleep and hang with my squad.
I have a passion for wellness in helping people become the best version of themselves yet. I am inspired everyday by the legacy I leave for my child, the hope for a better society to make the world a better place for her.
2. Tell us briefly about your brand, when it was started?
As a teen mom, I went through so many challenges and changes, none that I was ready for and I had to grow up real quick. Through it all I feel like I went through the Grand School of Self Awareness. From trying so many different approaches to do life some crumbling on you and others soaring high. Not having someone to lean on or talk to basically just trial and error.
Walking in life blindly and then one day realizing how much wealth in knowledge and wisdom you hold from all the craziness you world had become and saying it was all worth it. I came across different ladies who were going through the same situations I had. They needed help but they were either not poor enough or rich enough or not dumb enough or not clever enough or not deserving of empathy enough or not connected enough or not beautiful enough or not daring enough or too spiritual or not spiritual enough and they felt lost and at the same time trapped.
I wondered, I had the smarts to make good on the skills I had but nobody was willing to listen as I didn’t fall under a category that could be helped. I had to struggle to make it on my own. A struggle that introduced me to perseverance, consistency, self-validation, self-accountability, self-love, never giving up on self and seeing myself as God saw me. I wish I could say it was all because of me but really it’s because I needed to survive at the very least in order to take care of my child.
The odds were stacked against me any way you looked at it but I had no choice to fail, the only choice that existed was to make it. I had to somehow stack these odds in my favor. I met other ladies such as myself who were walking blindly and I therefore swore to make it possible for them, to get the help they needed. When I looked around for help I found people and organizations that were working on mentorship on career paths. I saw a gap on self-awareness and I wondered maybe my story would make a difference for someone and asked myself why not start with me. This was in 2011.
My awakening came after a tragic experience, a close encounter with death left me with no will to live whatsoever and I asked myself tough questions;
a) What would I leave behind? Had the living I had lived already made an impact?
b) How was I living my life?
c) Did I like what I had done with my life?
d) Would my name live beyond me?
e) Would my child look up to me?
f) Did I make a mark in this world?
And that is when I decided to go full throttle in 2014 and spread the message of self-awareness, equip anyone who cared to listen on skills for good decision making.
3. Is there a unique story behind your business or business name or logo?
I wanted to live up to my purpose to equip individuals with skills for sound, good decision making. I wanted to help people live everyday as if there was no tomorrow by living a legacy and consequently leave a legacy once they were gone from this world.
This gave birth to our motto “Legacy living for legacy leaving” I also settled on Legado International, “Legado” being Portuguese for Legacy.
4. Why did you start your business? Is it personal to you?
For three reasons:
First; I needed a platform for my brand, an infrastructure to make it possible thus the need to open a company.
Second; over my working experience I found that there was a huge gap in the basic fundamental skills that were needed in the running of any business and in a job.
Many employers in Kenya echo these sentiments to date citing they have to train their employees to gain the desirable level of soft skills required to work efficiently.
It occurred to me that prospective employees were lacking in self-awareness and I observed that the small businesses and startups were largely being run unprofessionally in Kenya. It was like a light bulb went off and I saw an opportunity for training and motivational speaking for personal development and leadership. I was going to approach it in two ways: preventive and corrective.
I therefore started this business with the aim of reaching individuals to equip them with the internal skills for good decision making. The idea here is to help individuals discover and re-discover themselves, love themselves, believe in themselves, hold themselves accountable, so that they can attain internal balance – this being corrective.
I also recognized that teaching an old dog new tricks would be hard and therefore developed a program for adolescents called Teens of Valour, geared towards understanding themselves better and attaining skills for good decision making – this being preventive.
Thirdly; I wanted to teach practical skills through training in using technology, maintain a good self-image, public speaking etc. Finding internal locus yields external locus. Self-awareness will yield sound decision making and thus making interactions with the outside world easier and intentional. Making these prime for success in whatever relationships and career they engage in.
5. Describe the current surroundings with regards to your journey?
Counselling is becoming more accepted especially in cases to do with drug addiction and alcoholism under rehabilitation centers, although still wanting. When it comes to handling grief, we only recognize the need for counselling when the issue has gone so far south.
Also everyone is an expert in relationships and many people weigh in on how relationships ought to be but I believe we deviate from God intended relationships and should use God’s principles as a guide to how it should be done.
Motivational Speaking is seen mostly for the corporate, youth groups, women’s groups but not as a priority but a filler so if there is no budget for it then you are in hot waters.
The best way to keep customers is to follow up and to keep reinventing the wheel. To grow the customer base best is to have referrals from existing customers. It takes a while to grow but the growth is all worth it.
Businesses go through a growth curve just like people do and in Kenya a lot of businesses hit a rough patch last year as it was an election year in addition to insecurity terrorism related. If your business is still standing you are blessed.
It’s important to look critically at the stage your business is at and honestly recognize the things that you need to stop doing, what needs to continue and what needs to start happening. This will help put the business back on track and don’t bite more than you can chew. Be patient, time tells the whole story. You have to start somewhere but to finish you need to be consistent and disciplined.
6. What challenges have you faced so far?
· Developing a profitable business model in motivational speaking and counselling that is self-sufficient and sustainable
· Societal stigma where counselling is viewed as an option only for MAD Crazy people in Kenya and thus people are not open to counselling
· People are not willing to pay well for the services offered
· My young age was perceived as a joke since such a young person could not advice older people, I mean what does she know.
· Follow through on behavioral change can be hard unless on one to one cases.
7. What is your challenge to the industry and people?
Our society is one that lacks discipline. We don’t have discipline as our cornerstone, whether as a nation, as a religion, as a family, as friends, as businesses and even in our jobs.
We all look to find what works easiest and fast for us. We barely stop to think about the future and how our actions and decisions today affect our tomorrow.
In this regard today we as a nation are experiencing the effects of corruption that stretches from billions of taxpayer money squandered and stolen, a generation of lazy gambling oriented millennials, preventable famine and floods, murderous love triangles, the era of socialites, the sponsor and mpango wa kando domain, the everyone for himself and God for us all kind of country. I could go on and on…BUT…
If only we would start the discipline in our homes. Homes are the foundation of the nation whatever happens in here spills into the nation, whatever is seen in the nation is a reflection of our homes.
8. How can we contact your business?
Facebook: Legado International, Grace Wachori.
9. An inspirational time when you felt like everything was not going your way? And what did you do to help change the situation?
It was during a time when I needed to open a physical shop and I was getting a bank facility. Days passed, weeks passed, months passed. I almost gave up but kept telling myself whatever was at the end of the tunnel was worth waiting and fighting for regardless of what anyone said.
After 6 months the facility finally got approved. Surprisingly the location was still available and it was time to move in I even got a lease. On the day of rendering payment for the space possession, the landlord rudely informed me that he had given the space away to another tenant. Shock, confusion, anger and betrayal were the flood of emotions I felt that day. I didn’t get. We were just at the edge of success, WHY?!
The bank decided to review the facility based on location change and that would need a new approval. Another couple of weeks passed and the tension grew as I had no time to waste, well life wasn’t on hold. I reminded myself that I was going to fight until the end and ‘nothing good comes from a good place.’
The process took about 8 months to complete and every day I had to ask myself: what better option did I have? Where else would I rather be? I had to keep myself in check and surrounded myself with people who supported my dream. I kept busy running my small business to avoid unnecessary panic attacks. I had to accept my mistakes and forgive myself for them, forgive the other parties that had enabled this process to go on crazy bends.
My faith in God gave me the compass and ground I needed to make it. I got peace that surpassed all human understanding and I worked with the bank and weighed in on all their suggestions and together we found a middle ground that worked for us. In retrospect it was the best thing that happened in adjusting my expectations I was able to find a compromise that worked well for both parties. In swallowing my pride, managing my expectations, forgiveness, self-validation and communication, the situation changed for better.
10. Parting SHOT?
I have discovered my purpose in telling my story and challenging you to live up to your full potential. That is my small part of the big puzzle we call life. Life is an intertwined network of billions of purposes, have you discovered yours? Are you working on your part of the puzzle?