Harriet Mugweru: An Entrepreneur On the Move In Texas

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By AW Magazine

Harriet’s true joy has always been found in her ability to create something by utilizing her God-given talents She came to the United States as a child with her dad and younger sister. Her childhood was spent in Minnesota; however, in 2015 she relocated to Texas. Her desire has always been to “create the life I want, which lies within me, and no one else.”

Harriet shuns fear, for her belief is that fear can cripple and kill one’s dreams faster than an enemy. In her words, “money can literally grow on trees in this country. If you have financial literacy, you can self-educate on the many ways to make money.” When looking at all of her options, Harriet decided that real estate was her calling. Currently, she works with a partner in her own real estate firm, Fahari Investments. They invest in commercial real estate such as apartment buildings and also refurbish and sell them as “fix and flip”. 

Owning her own business in America has not been without its challenges. Harriet has experienced financial issues regarding her understanding of the market in America, i.e. how to properly re-invest. This lack of knowledge has caused her to lose more money than necessary. However, it has been a lesson learned, and her belief has always been that anything is possible with a successful plan. She also understands how and where to get the needed financial assistance to build her dreams.

Because of her entrepreneurial experience, Harriet has discovered many invaluable resources and pertinent information in order to be successful. Listed below are her main points for positive business results:

  • Mentors are extremely important. They allow you to cut your work time in half.
  • Never settle for less than the best.
  • Watch with whom you surround yourself – Iron sharpens iron.
  • Understand your own strengths and limitations.
  • Understand that where you are from does not determine where you can go.

Personal relationships can also be a challenge when you are a business owner. Harriet believes you must be intentional about spending time with one another. She and her partner are both entrepreneurs and own several businesses together. Many times they find themselves only talking about work related issues.

Therefore, they make sure to find time to spend together where no “work discussions” are allowed. They also take frequent vacations away from home in order to recharge and reconnect. Lastly, they invest in their relationship by going on couple’s retreats and conferences.  Just as businesses send their employees for self development classes/retreats, they see this as an investment of time and energy to keep their relationship strong. “Relationships require maintenance, and we show up to do the work necessary for ours,” Harriet explained.

When asked about a typical day for her, she said that her day starts at 6 a.m. with the following:

  • Going to the gym 3 days a week or yoga 2 days a week
  • Meditating to gain clarity and perspective every single day
  • Visualizing 15 minutes per day to envision the type of life she wants to build, and the intricate details of that life.
  • Reading a chapter of a book
  • Taking a shower
  • Accomplishing 3 items/goals on her agenda for that day
  • Cooking Dinner
  • Reading another chapter of a book
  • Planning the next day
  • Journaling/Reflecting
  • Going to Bed

Harriet believes that Kenyans living in Diaspora have a responsibility to end the generational cycles of poverty or trauma. “Most of us come here and are misled and told our careers are only in “abc” field. We need to step outside of our comfort zones and explore,” she explained. She fully believes that Kenyans come to America with an advantage because they are not fully immersed in the culture. She contends that this leads them to being able to accomplish anything they set their mind to. 

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Harriet admires successful business leaders who have shown their own grit and tenacity. Among these are: Daniel Mwangi, Tim Ferris, Jane Mukami, Warren Buffet and her own business partners.  Her advice to Kenyans who have recently migrated to America would be for them to research the information given to them by others. “We live in the information age and there is no reason to get information and not verify. I would also tell them that their life is not limited to a career in healthcare, law or whatever else we have been told. There are many ways to make money in this country. Surround yourself with those who are not just talking about it but are also doing things,” she explained. The one thing that Harriet regrets is that it took so long for her to teach herself financial literacy. 

In summary, Harriet believes that self-education is key, and that learning is a life-long process. She feels that the person you become is the realization of your hard work. Therefore, her main emphasis is on self-development, and she contends that the rest will follow naturally as you devote your time and talent to bringing your dreams to fruition. 

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