It’s another Monday and time to meet one of the ladies who live and work in Nairobi. Today’s Pearls and Heels lady is Larissa Cheloti. Larissa Cheloti is the CEO and Founder of Pride Rock Communication Consultants (PRCC). PRCC is a Communication Consulting firm that mainly specializes in Public Relations, Media, Sports Marketing, Image Consultancy and events. She is also a part-time lecturer, motivational speaker and student of an MSc in Communication Studies.
1. Describe your typical day
I am actually not a morning person. I prefer working late into the night. When I have a tight deadline, I find myself working until the wee hours of the morning! Generally, I start my day with morning devotion at 6.30 am after which I prepare my 2 children for school. We insist on having breakfast as a family after which I normally arrive in the office at 8.30 after dropping my children to school.
I start by going through my diary and setting appointments and meetings if need be. I then go through all the dailies to keep myself updated on the industry and be aware of any updates on clients or opportunities available. I then receive a brief from my PA and then embark on the agenda of the day. My day comprises mostly of meetings with clients or colleagues. If there are no other meetings or commitments, my day at the office finishes at 5.30 pm when I rush home to prepare dinner for my family and spend time with my children.
2. What did you want to be when you grow up?
A teacher! I always admired the way teachers carried themselves. I remember my father asking me what I wanted to become and my answer was a teacher, the reason being they have 3 holidays in a year! Of course, that was before the crazy holiday tuition we see nowadays that even kindergarten pupils started attending. Surprisingly, I am a part-time lecturer in Communication, media and PR at some local universities.
3. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing, absolutely nothing! I’ve come to the realization that in life everything we go through is either an experience or a lesson. We go through challenges. When you look back you realize how strong and sharpened you have become.
Startups can be very challenging, from getting capital, engaging clients and creating networks. For me, I’ve learnt some lessons the hard way but like a puzzle, everything slowly begins to fall into place.
4. Three skills needed to succeed at your job?
Passion, Consistency and hard work.
5. How is it working In Nairobi?
Nairobi is a city of numerous opportunities. People claim that there are no jobs available but to me, it’s the other way round. Opportunities are immense, all one needs to do is to know their calling and start from somewhere no matter how small. Do not find the job; let the job find you at least somewhere.
For the Communication industry, there are so many opportunities available from media, and events to writing, design etc. Competition is cutthroat but one just needs to keep their antennae on high alert and never give up. Eventually, people start to notice you and they will start looking for you.
6. What motivates you?
My children, I am building a legacy for them.
PRCC, is actually like a third baby to me, waking up every day to the fact that this is my brainchild makes me want to mould it and develop it to the best it can be.
7. How do you define success?
Being at a place where you are content with what you wake up to do as a career. It doesn’t matter how much money you make even if is peanuts, as long as you are content. You are a success.
8. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My mother, has always encouraged me even when I was at some point almost giving up on myself. My husband for seeing in me what other people haven’t and always encouraging and believing in me.
Tabitha Karanja for establishing an organization in a very competitive industry but holding on and fighting hard.
Internationally Barack Obama for breaking stereotypes and achieving the unimaginable.
9. What is the favourite aspect of your job?
The adrenaline rush that comes with the industry! It’s unpredictable, diverse, and at times plain dramatic and hilarious. With time my network base has cut across all industries from sports to government to IT to even agriculture, making me a jack of all trades. Meeting new people almost daily and establishing networks has also been quite an adventure for me.
10. The Key elements of being successful
It may sound cliché but from an individual who has had a stint in various industries the passion for what you do is more important than anything else. If you love your job, it will love you back. You will automatically find yourself self-motivated, researching the industry and even when challenges come along, treating them as stepping stones and not downfalls.
I founded PRCC as my passion has always been in PR, I felt like it was high time I embarked on my dream fully.
11. Advice to somebody stating on my line
Establish your strengths in your career. Start working on something, no matter how small. Research and read widely on your industry, not just locally but internationally. Don’t underestimate yourself or anyone! Tell people what you’re doing, the people you least expect are in fact the ones who really assist you. Surprisingly, I got my first client that way!
Talk to industry players and influencers. Establish your mentors from the word go. When I started PRCC, before I even registered it, I consulted quite a number of industry personalities. From communication gurus to journalists, to my professors, former colleagues, college mates, and even family and close friends. That has really shaped the approach my company is taking. Whenever I need advice and motivation I always turn to them…
Don’t be scared if you don’t have enough capital to start! Or even a single client like PRCC. Just start, you’ll somehow begin to find your way. Just never look back!
12. My most satisfying moment.
The day I got the PRCC certificate of registration as a Ltd company and relevant documents. I looked at them and actually shed a tear. This is what I wanted; I was beginning to live my dream.
In addition, the day I signed my first contract, oh heck! It was actually possible.
13. What makes you happy?
Quality customer care. We are living in an era where customer service is everywhere but what will set an organization apart is the quality you offer to your clients paying attention to the smallest detail. I love to see my clients happy and that is what PRCC is capitalizing on.
Researching on the industry like history, current and future trends and reading widely. Gosh, I even read all my children’s novels, spend time with family and friends, give motivational talks and travelling.
15. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A Professor in Communication! I love the scholarly field.
The name Pride Rock came from the classic cartoon Lion King! I was watching the movie with my children and admired Pride Rock. For those familiar with the movie, this is where Mufasa and also Simba would address their kingdom from. The Pride Rock is the centre of power, strength and tranquillity in the animal kingdom and that is exactly where I envision my company at.
In 10 years, we shall be a force to reckon with in the communication industry both locally and internationally. We will have advanced from not only a Consulting firm but to Pride Rock Group. We are the Pride Rock Revolution!