What is Character?

In my quest to establish myself as an entrepreneur, I went all out in search of pieces of materials that could help me in this journey. From reading biographies and autobiographies of successful entrepreneurs to subscribing for alerts from useful websites to hearing stories and asking questions to watching TV shows, I ensured I did everything that could add value and give me insights.

One day while watching Young Rich, a TV Show about young successful entrepreneurs, they happened to host Eric Kinoti. He is the founder and CEO of Shade Systems (EA) Ltd. It is a usual drill of the show’s host to ask entrepreneurs their favorite reads. On this occasion, I usually take time to write down the titles of these favorite reads and proceed to download them. As they say, if you want to be like them (the wealthy and the successful) behave like them.

You Can Win by Shiv Khera happened to be one of Kinoti’s favorite reads. I immediately assembled my resources and proceeded to download the book. Over the course of the week, I read the book as I sought to drink from the everflowing fountain of knowledge contained in such forms of writing. I must admit that it was one of the most interesting and informative books I have ever read.

One of the most important lessons I learned was about CHARACTER. I shall proceed to share that lesson with you as below:

What is Character?

Character is a Combination:

Character is a combination of integrity, unselfishness, understanding, conviction, courage, loyalty and respect.

What is a pleasant personality with character?

  • It is a class by itself.

  • It is composure.

  • It is poise.

  • It is surefootedness and confidence without arrogance.

  • It is being considerate.

  • It is never making excuses.

  • It is knowing that courtesy and good manners take many small sacrifices.

  • It is learning from past mistakes.

  • It has nothing to do with money or blue blood.

  • It never builds itself by destroying others.

  • It is substance, not just form.

  • It can walk with the elite and yet maintain the common touch.

  • It is a gentle word, a kind look and a good-natured smile.

  • It is the secret pride that stands against tyranny.

  • It is comfortable with itself and others.

  • It is the classic touch that gives the winning edge.

  • It works wonders.

  • It accomplishes miracles.

  • It is easy to recognize, hard to define.

  • It is accepting responsibility.

  • It is humility.

  • It is graciousness in victory and defeat.

  • It is not fame and fortune.

  • It is not a plaque.

  • It is permanent.

  • It is intangible.

  • It is being courteous and polite without being subservient.

  • It is being classy without being corky.

  • It is self-discipline and knowledge.

  • It is self-contained.

  • It is a gracious winner and an understanding loser.

More difficult than success itself is; how we handle success. Many people know how to become successful but after they become successful, they don’t know how to handle it that is why ability and character go hand in hand. Ability will get you success, character will keep you successful.

We don’t unfold or discover ourselves, we create and build ourselves into the kind of person we want to be.

Character building starts from infancy and goes on until death. Character does not need success. It is success. Just like a gardener has to keep weeding to prevent weeds from eating the life of the garden, we need to keep building and developing our character by weeding out our faults

-As extracted from You Can Win by Shiv Khera pages 37-38

The endgame of any entrepreneurial venture is success. Along the way, many are faced with a string of failures which most of the times leaves one on the verge of quiting. However, holding on usually leads to success if and only if one engages the right gears. One of the most important lessons passed by the author of this book is that when we become successful, we should not forget minding about our character. As he says, ability will get you success, character will keep you successful. In addition, Character does not need success; it is success.

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