Mark Karake is the founder and CEO of the Impact Africa Network, a nonprofit startup studio in Nairobi with a mission to ensure young, talented Africans have a chance to participate in the digital transformation of Africa as both creators and owners. After 15 years in Silicon Valley, he chose to move back to Africa to immerse himself in this economic development challenge.
Contact Mark Karake
Mentioned in this Episode
ImpactAfrica Network – https://impactafrica.network/
Mark’s Articles on Medium – https://medium.com/@mark_karake
I don’t know about you, but I found my conversation with Mark to be very inspiring and insightful. Here are some of my key takeaways.
- I found it very touching when he spoke of being in an environment, but not of the environment and how there’s nothing more assaulting to the human spirit than being ignored or ostracized. And made me think about all the different ways that this can happen from, from society. To religion. And sometimes even our own families.
- If you’re tired or feeling worn down, keep going because eventually the justice of your cause will get the light that it deserves. I loved that phrasing from Mark.
- The human spirit cries out to be part of something bigger. We want more than to simply clock in and clock out. I believe that he’s right. And I believe that when you see that person who is audacious enough to pursue their dreams, you can’t help but be drawn to that a little bit.
- Living authentically can be dangerous because it sometimes means challenging the existence of the status quo. Again, this can exist across a number of dimensions from the larger society to a business climate, to communities and to families. I was talking to someone years ago, and she was talking about how systems are perfectly designed to maintain the status quo. She went on to give the example of a dysfunctional family. Many people think that a dysfunctional family is one that doesn’t work at all when, in fact, it functions for some of the members, just not for all the members of the family. It functions for those seeking to maintain the status quo. And I think to Mark’s point when you challenge the status quo, because you’re being authentic to yourself, sometimes that can feel dangerous.
- The things that we regret most in life are the things that we didn’t do. This is something that I’ve believed for years. And here’s how I use it. If I’m about to try something that feels risky or that could lead to some sort of failure, I simply ask myself, “What will I regret more: trying and failing or not trying at all?”Not trying at all is almost always the larger regret.
- The authentic calling is the thing that makes you come alive and it causes you pain if you try to ignore it.
- I found that the distinction he made between not underperforming and not living up to your potential to be very powerful. They are two totally different things, and yet we confuse them all the time. To his point, you can be performing at a high level. And still feel like you’re not living up to your potential. And I loved how Mark put it. He was playing in a small game.
- It is okay to research a path and decide that it’s not for you. That is still progress. Give yourself the grace and the margin to explore without judging the exploration or the outcome.
- Changing the narrative means that we can’t just do what others have always done.
I truly hope that you enjoyed my conversation with Mark. I invite you to take a look at his work at the Impact Africa Network. I have found my work there as a mentor to be extremely rewarding.
Notes for the New Year
Now that we’re into the new year, you’re probably feeling the rush to set goals and resolutions. Too often it doesn’t take those goals and resolutions very long before they start gathering dust, as they get pushed aside by other things that crowd them out.
To combat that, and to help you stay on track, I’m putting together a free guide on how we can recognize if we’re falling prey to one of the biggest derailers of our goals. I call it the Just-Wait Voice. I’ve coached well over 3000 people in my career, and I’ve seen this insidious little voice show up and whisper doubt in our ear just as we were about to act.
And so instead of acting on our goals and making progress, we decide to wait. I hate that voice, and I want to help combat it with what I’ve learned over the years. You can go to http://www.unyielded.net/goalkillerand sign up to be alerted when the guide is available.
This has been the UnYielded podcast, where we are committed to bringing stories and guests who can help us all live more fulfilled and authentic lives. If you found it helpful, please consider leaving us a review on Apple, and please share with someone who could benefit from the message of hope and positivity that we’re sharing. By doing that, who knows, you might just have some help someone have the best year of their life yet.