Fast is a Myth

By Aashiq Shariff ~ Founder & Chief Happiness Officer at 78INC on 18 May 2020Career Development


Most young people who are starting out seem impatient and want to get to their dreams fast, like some Hollywood movie. A very many of them think success is about money, having things to show to people who do not matter in the first place and or being famous. The same group of people also think that their impediment to getting ahead in life is capital. And, someone who has money should help them fund their bright idea.


I can relate. I was once starting out like that. But, why should success be about money, things and others? Why should anyone give you capital? I learnt that everything good in life is built by discipline and actions. Nothing great comes fast and easy.


I remember it like yesterday, 20 years ago, I landed into Dar es salaam after blowing my chances of a career in England with pharmacy, which even though wasn’t my interest at the time but the feeling of regret and loss were what consumed me.


I spent weeks looking into tech businesses in Dar es salaam and back in 1999, it was a sober mission. Persistent in my search I landed my first job as a caretaker, operator, trainer, cashier and coffee maker at a cybercafé. From that cybercafe to the CEO of possibly the largest internet service provider in Tanzania working across the Eastern Africa region, to leaving that and now, starting all over again. I would love to tell you how but that would probably be a book on its own. For now, let me share why I reached where I did.


When I was starting in the tech industry, I never thought this is where I would be. I started like many young entrepreneurs and professionals do today, coming in with zeal, the need to do something and be somewhere. I wanted to do it fast. It took me 10 years to reach to the top in my industry and the company. And, a further 10 years to move the company, my people and products to the top. If you think that is long, then you are in for a surprise.


The world is changing and it is about to get harder before it gets better. The pre-pandemic statistics show that most young entrepreneurs and businesses fail within the first 3 years. There are various reasons why a business fails and when that happens, sometimes as an individual you fail too. I have over two decades of experience in falling faster at the micro level but using the following character traits have been able to remain steady in my macro objectives. Let me share them with you.


I call these ‘the long-run gains’ character traits.



Nothing good and real comes without effort. And, I do not mean “I’ll just do what I am supposed to” kind of effort. I mean effort like “I would want for myself”. Putting in effort even when no one is looking. Effort like even though it is done, you can still do better. Always that extra mile effort.

The good thing about sincere effort is, it will always show. May be a little late but it WILL show.



The quality of your effort is directly proportionate to your happiness in making that effort. Happiness comes from within; it is accepting that a large part of life is a result of your actions. Happiness comes when you understand you are in this for a fuller life for yourself and people around you, without comparing your journey or progress with another.

Being happy knowing you are not quite where you want to be but are making sincere forward-moving efforts is a powerful state to be in.



Humility is accepting that you do not know everything and sometimes it is not all about you. Humility is knowing you are no better than another and that to go higher and further you must take and lift others around you.



Patience is knowing that even though you did not get a raise for two years, your sincerity, extra mile and good effort do not cease. Patience is being able to adjust your business or professional life objectives because you are not there yet, and it may take longer than expected.

I am talking about patience where, you are able to live in hell for 15 years and enjoy it, because you know you are building a worthy paradise.



You know where you have to get and are willing to fight battles one after the other, and maybe even lose many of them but still have the courage and vigour to keep going.

Thomas Edison defines perseverance so well when he says, “many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”.



The best part about traits is that they can be developed. These traits help me get through, even when things fall apart. Every one of us has the ability to be successful in our own regard, if we are willing to go through our hells.

I wish you greatness in your long run gains!


By Aashiq Shariff ~ Founder & Chief Happiness Officer at 78INC