Susan Seda Odhiambo: Don’t make money only when your soul rots

Introduction

Susan Seda Odhiambo: Don’t make money only when your soul rots


Susan Seda Odhiambo is a business owner in Atlanta, USA.Photo | Pool

Does God want us to be financially rich? What does the Bible say about proclaiming abundance? A pocket full of silver flakes. Admit that you have more than enough.

“I don’t believe in the whole tiresome dogma that Christians suffer to get to heaven,” Susan Seda Odhiambo said from her home in Atlanta. “People have a misconception about success that it should be quelled. You have to be humble. I don’t think that’s humble, you’re not humble, you’re hiding.”

Seda operates a successful non-vessel operating common carrier called Business Alltransport Depot in Atlanta, specializing in ro-ro/ro-ro shipping of cars, boats, machinery and household goods from the US to the rest of the world. She also delves into real estate and runs a YouTube channel called Financial Therapy Cafe, which examines finances through the prism of the Bible.

I knew nothing about the trucking business, but with no prospect of finding another job, I decided to give this business a try.

I built the business with four trucks but found there was an easier way to make money so I sold them and became a broker instead. This involves connecting truck owners with jobs, basically facilitating logistics. The business has grown and now we have annual sales of US$6 million (Sh727.9 million).

Listen, I come from a tribe where you should go to school and pursue a career, not a business. I never had the vision to be a business owner. It happened because I was fired and it turned out to be a great turning point in my life.

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How did you come to America?

In 2000 I came to the United States to study. I am only 19 years old. If you didn’t study computer science in 2000, you were lost. It wasn’t my first choice, I honestly prefer finance, but everyone I know is studying computer science. After graduation, I worked for a company called Home Depot. I was fired three years later. It was very difficult to find a job after that. I commissioned a guy to help buy a truck because he didn’t have the credit to get the loan, but he left Kenya quickly and left the truck with me.

What does God want from us financially? Does God want us to be rich?

Above all, he wants you to thrive and be healthy, just as your soul thrives. He wants us to have more than we can imagine. When your soul rots, you are not only making money, but prospering in every aspect of your life.

Why do you think people are afraid to face the idea of ​​success and money?

This stems from our upbringing. We think there is something wrong with money and success, but I doubt anyone would want to be successful. We are afraid of the other things that success brings; stand out when you don’t want to stand out. Success looks like a nail sticking out of a hole and everyone wants to hit the nail. So we prefer to be comfortable and relaxed. If you’re a nail, do it, but don’t stick out. We want to be successful, we just don’t want to get ahead.

Are you hanging out?

[Sigh, long pause] Not up to my potential. I can be more prominent. In terms of my business, sticking to it means I’m going to be big. I can do better, I know.

What is the secret to financial success?

Say it, do it, do it so you don’t doubt it. You know in Kenya you see someone’s big house and you’re like, ‘Oh, those are money thieves. The thought process of thinking that anyone who is successful is a liar goes against your desired success, right?

Do things consistently, be honest, and operate from a sense of service to others. All your ideas need to have a main goal and you need to move in that direction. As long as you are moving towards a goal, even if you haven’t reached that goal, I consider you successful.

What are you afraid of now?

Nothing but death.

Why are you afraid of death?

Unknown, a little ignorant. To be honest, I’m also worried about extreme success and persistence is something I’m working on. I’d rather have my life… if you ask me if I want to be Bill Gates or someone else, one of the founders, Paul Allen? I’d rather be Paul than Bill. When Obama is president, I’d rather be Biden than Obama. I am trying to resolve this contradiction in my life.

You are a mother of three, what has motherhood taught you?

I don’t know anything about myself. [laughs]. Literally. It struck me because you can’t claim to know because the moment you think you know you realize you don’t.

Did it make me a better person? Sometimes yes, sometimes not. Better yet, I’m grounded. No, because I can no longer take {big} risks. I can’t wake up and can only make decisions for myself. I’m not blaming them, it’s just that I took bigger risks when I was younger. I don’t remember when my last adventure was. But I want my kids to learn to be all they can be. whatever that means to them.

What was your childhood like?

I’m not poor or rich, just an ordinary lower middle class in Kisumu. My mom was a secretary for the Kenya Power Company and my dad worked for East African Industries (now Unilever) until his retirement. I had a stable childhood. You know, someone once told me that the reason I hated getting ahead was because I had rich uncles when I was a kid, and we were always second.

Don’t give up on the name, but my uncle was the late Dr. Robert Oko, my father’s brother. He is the star of the big family. He was bigger than life and it was never us at the top, so this guy said that’s why I dimmed the lights a little, I’d rather be the second. [Pause] My mom owns a lot of rental properties and I remember we always had a pile of sand and cement in our yard, so it’s no surprise that my husband and I are in real estate.

You are slowly becoming your mother.

To make matters worse, I am my mom. Sometimes I got into these deals and got so broke I said I would never do it again, but then I ended up here. I love American real estate.

Which book has had a big impact on your life?

The science of getting rich By Wallace Watts. Growing up, I read books just to pass exams, never for leisure. Now my relationship with books is on a different level. I love books on financial intelligence that point the way to a more fulfilling financial life, but also give you confidence because the two are not well known.

How would you describe this season of your life, how old are you now?

Turned 44 on Monday. I’m struggling with patience because I know my business has to go in a certain direction, but I don’t know when. I don’t know the “if” anymore, I’m just trying to figure out the “when” now.

I know it will happen. I think the greatest thing about this season in my life is that I can choose, God is the most important factor in my decisions and nothing else. I don’t have any regrets, and the things I think are regrets are no longer regrets because I have the mindset to not see them as regrets, but as turning points.

Have you experienced a midlife crisis?

I’m female and we have a midlife crisis every Thursday. [Laughter]. I think when you always find out who you are, when you are revealed to yourself, there is a timeless beauty. I love that journey of finding what I can do next, what I can’t do, what I don’t want or want but what I want right now. Isn’t it the beauty of life to change with surprise and embrace all those changes because they are all you?

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