The $3 difference

“Be patient and live with the knowledge that all you are searching for is certain to come if you prepare for it and expect it.”

— Robin Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Imagine a world where $3 makes all the difference. A world where you don’t have to choose between starving and caring for your sick child.

“If I go directly to the hospital, I pay more, but if I book with this voucher — a subsidy, it's up to 30% off the consultation. So, for a $10 consultation, you'd be paying about $7. Those $3…

“If you are coming from the slums… your child was sick that evening, and you had just made $10 to take care of your food for today or the next day’s meal, before this, you would miss out. You would rather spend all this $10 to save your child.

“But if now I realize that I don't have [to spend] all the money I have; I have some to spare for food, then it makes a huge difference.”

This quote describes the problem a Kenyan healthcare startup aimed to solve: to reduce the cost of hospital visits for Kenyans paying cash.

Sounds like a life-changing idea, right?

But despite some initial success, this business “...reached a point where the gentleman just gave up.”

Of course, I wasn’t there. I can’t tell you exactly what happened. The Kenyan entrepreneur who told me this story was there, though, and this is what he told me when I asked him what causes so many entrepreneurs to fail.

They just give up.

So when you think you’ve tried everything, when it seems like nothing is going your way — don’t give up yet, and let patience pave the way.

Gif by ComedianHollyLogan on Giphy

In today's email:

  • Featured founder: Mehak Malik thrives with a holistic healthcare app

  • Becoming better: Patience as a business virtue

  • Think like a global entrepreneur: Slow travel, slow eating, and… slow entrepreneurship?

  • Watchlist: Kenya, Spain, India, and more — connecting you with entrepreneurs worldwide

Mehak Malik thrives with a patient, holistic approach to treating women’s reproductive healthcare issues in India

India’s Mehak Malik — formerly a resident of Nairobi and one of the top VCs in Africa — made a big career change mid-pandemic.

Her journey into entrepreneurship started when she saw a gap in the market: lockdowns in Bengaluru caused people to lose access to the routine healthcare needed to treat chronic conditions. Inspired by mind-blowing research that said “women in India [spend] between 2-10 years [looking for] the ‘right gynecologist’... and a shocking 72% of women…were still looking,” she founded Uvi Health.

Her model stresses the value of holistic care — offering long-term dietary assistance, exercise regimes, and consistent consultations, underscoring that health transformations don’t happen overnight. To date, 30,000+ women have entrusted Uvi Health to help them take control of their reproductive health.

💪 Becoming better

Practice patience with insights from these high-performing leaders:

The marathon mentality

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest marathon runner of all time, knows a thing or two about patience. “After I won gold in the 5,000 at the 2003 World Championships, I realized that the only way to achieve what I wanted was discipline.” Imagine winning a gold medal and saying, “I need to be disciplined.” And then, …working for 19 more years to break the world marathon record. 19 years! Here’s a deep dive into the mind of one exceptionally patient high performer.

Embracing the slow burn

It’s easy to get caught up in the VC-driven side of the entrepreneurial world, where rapid growth and immediate results are the benchmarks of success. But there's incredible value in building slowly and steadily, ensuring longevity and sustained impact. Read this Dutch entrepreneur's story on embracing slow growth and infusing patience into business practices.

Let it feel broken

We’re not naming names, but some of us aren’t naturally patient. And it turns out all that amazing tech at our fingertips might be weakening those pesky patience muscles. For a sharp take on the pitfalls of instant gratification and 7 quick tips for practicing patience, check out this article from Cleveland Clinic. (P.S. Number 6 is our favorite.)

🎭 Think like a global entrepreneur

Think, build, grow. Three essential pillars of entrepreneurship. For every newsletter issue, we dive deep into a specific topic under one of these pillars:

  1. Think (e.g., productivity and problem-solving skills)

  2. Build (e.g., building teams and products)

  3. Grow (e.g., growing revenue and market share)

Question to ponder: How can weaving patience into your business-building processes and practices create more enduring and impactful ventures?

A few resources to spark your introspection:

9 Stoic practices to help you grasp the importance of patience, endurance, and acceptance in the entrepreneurial journey.

Slow eating, slow travel, and… slow entrepreneurship? Don’t let the words confuse you; it’s more about pace than speed. So yes, it is possible to be a “slow” entrepreneur. Check out The World Institute of Slowness for ideas on creating a healthier, happier, and more productive business.

Perhaps the most famous entrepreneurial patience + persistence story of all time, Dyson's 5,126 prototype journey is crucial to revisit occasionally. The vacuum king proves that patience can indeed lead to perfection (and a pretty fancy hair dryer, too).

They say there is no such thing as an overnight success, and nowhere is that more true than in K-pop. The K-pop genre has taken the world by storm but has been over 30 years in the making.

Have a suggestion for an upcoming topic? Drop us a line at [email protected].

🔎 Watchlist

In case you missed it, here’s our first story from Kenya featuring a socially-driven enterprise in Nairobi.

Moving up north to our HQ in Spain, we caught up with British entrepreneur Lee Comerford and his wife, Louise, for a case study in passion-driven entrepreneurship.

From healthcare and biotech to consulting and a father-daughter entrepreneurial duo in India — we’ve got a ton of exciting stories to share in the coming months.

Do me a solid, will you please?

Share our work with one person you know who wants to connect with business leaders & industry disruptors in LatAm, Africa, APAC, and beyond.

Until next time,

Nolan Bulger

Founder, Mergerous Media Co.