What I’ve learned


Dress up and show up. You’ll find reason when you shut your door behind you, sit at your desk and fire up your laptop. A person who works from bed doesn’t yet understand what a pair of brown leather shoes can do to your work morale.

It hurts less when you smile through it.

Never break the promises you make to yourself.

If after more than three years of working for you, your nanny, mama kufua or shamba boy doesn’t leave with some sacco savings or an insurance policy of some kind, then you didn’t empower them enough. They were better off working for the county government.

Tell yourself that for the next three hours, you won’t pick up your phone for anything except a call.

You get a family of your own and realise there’s an order to it: You come first, your person second, your children third.

You don’t get a family of your own and realise there’s a different order to it: Your parents come first, you second, your siblings must learn to take care of themselves.

Have that one song you can karaoke to at a moment’s notice.

The reason there’s an insurance salesman always calling you is because you can never have enough insurance. Get your own insurance for your health, your pension, your life, your education, your kid’s education, your dog and maybe your hamster.

Words have more power when you voice them – moderate the tone and timing of your tongue.

Don’t get married before 30. Because it’s only after 30 that you see why you must have sex with the lights on.

Consider getting yourself a menstrual cup. After three cycles you’ll have mastered the technique of insertion. But this hassle is worth the convenience and freedom of the cup. Besides, nothing you’ve ever purchased for 3gees will last you longer (10 years) than a menstrual cup. Aand… I don’t know if you knew this but unless incinerated, it takes 500 years for all traces of one sanitary pad to completely leave the environment. How many pads and tampons have you used since you got your period?

Anyone can be a legend.

Friendships aren’t built to last a lifetime. You lose friends along the way because you’re growing. If you aren’t losing friends then you aren’t growing enough.

If a shoe doesn’t fit at the shop then it’s never going to fit, doesn’t matter what the shoe guy tells you about how leather behaves – don’t hope for things which will never happen, doing so only sets you up for disappointment (and bunions and cones).

Ultimately it will make for a funny story someday.

You don’t have to suffer through a bad book, a bad movie or a bad album just because you paid for it. End it where you stopped giving it a second chance and go grab a pink apple, chew it out on the balcony as you think about nothing. This doesn’t apply to food though. Always clear your plate. And finish your apples.

If you’re thinking about leaving him then tell him you want to leave. Sometimes the mind disconnects from the heart, voicing your intent to leave restores the connection.

Understand the difference between chemo and radiation.

Give it more time.

Have your jobo here, and alongside it an Uber, some nduthis, a kiosk, maybe a greenhouse. Have them run this rut race of urban living beside you. They’ll take up the baton when life forces you to pause and catch your breath. Besides, nothing beats the feeling of waking up to an M-Pesa from one of these side hustles.

Learn how to deep fry chicken and to bake a banana cake and to tell mozzarella cheese from feta cheese.

Never break the promise you make to a child.

The Bible has all the answers to all your questions.

Know what your genitals look and feel like, inside and out. It’s what they meant when they said, Don’t be afraid to face the truth.

You can’t negotiate with a toddler but you can bribe him. The same goes to cops. Even the one at the airport security check, the one who seemed mature but still threatened you with a charge sheet because you’d absentmindedly driven on before the light had turned green, the one who got into your backseat and asked for whatever you could give.

A bouquet of unopened white roses can’t lie.

Love your children and your person beyond their pain, their handicaps, their insecurities and their stinky farts. Only a person that truly loves you will be comfortable to fart around you.

Watch Netflix without the subtitles on. It forces you to sit up straighter and tune your ear to listen better. There’s only so much chilling you can do.

Write your life’s ambitions down, it starts you on the journey there. It’ll also make for good conversation when you’re 34 and lecturing your nieces about how to dream when you’re not sleeping.

Don’t tithe using your Visa card or M-Pesa. Something profound happens in the moment you reach into your wallet and feel the bills in your hands, before you toss them into the offertory basket.

Throw your underwear away when it begins to stiffen at the crotch centre. Don’t push its life expectancy, it could break and slice you in pieces.

The first choice is always the best choice. Run with it.

Master lines from a movie or from a book. Quoting them over drinks at a cocktail invariably makes you seem more intelligent, more cultured, more witty and more sexy. Frank Abagnale Jr. from the movie ‘Catch Me If You Can’: “Dear Dad, you always told me that an honest man has nothing to fear, so I’m trying my best not to be afraid.” Here’s another one from the book ‘Us’ by David Nicholls: “Nostalgia is a useless, futile thing because it is a longing for something that is permanently lost.”

Comment with some of your favourite quotes. I want to steal them for when I’m hosting this Christmas. Hehee.

They told me I was a broken tool
What I’ve also learned

Comments (11)

  1. Koki

    Love this one Bett and I’ve also hidden in shame bcoz gawsh I’m so far behind on most of these learnings.

    • Bett

      Thankfully you have December to turn things around for you :)

      Hugs to your girls! xoxo

  2. Issa

    “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”… and my all time favorite is from About Time (the movie) “Don’t call too often, your mother doesn’t like to be disturbed”…

    • Bett

      Never heard of that movie, Issa. But I’ve looked it up, it’s a Bri’ish romcom, one of those feel-good flicks I love. I’ll find it for this Holiday.

      I’m sure I’ll sit up straighter when I hear these lines. Hehhe.

      Thanks a bunch! xoxo

  3. Tuape

    This took me to a land of smiles. Thumbs up.

    I’ll need to educate myself on this menstrual cup thing.

    • Bett

      Lol. Make sure to tell me how the experience was for you. I shared a story on my Instagram yesterday, it’ll be a great place for you to start.

      (PS. Don’t let them put you off. Wink.)

  4. Valerie

    I’m really starting to learn the art of mastering movie lines. For sure it does a good job of scaling up your IQ. My favorite one now is from the movie ‘The Equalizer 2’… “Always be kind to the person who has access to your toothbrush”…

    Lovely read!

    • Bett

      Hahha. Good one, Valerie. I’ll definitely steal that one. Actually, if you watch any Denzel movie you’ll leave with one of such lines.

      And thanks, gal!

  5. DB

    I watch badass movies. So my quotes are badass. End of comment. 😂

    • Bett

      I’ll only believe you if you share one. Hahha

  6. Joy Ruguru

    I agree with the menstrual cup tip. Saves the environment and you money.
    Now to practise my karaoke song…

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Florence Bett-Kinyatti


Columnist Saturday Nation Writer Craft It Author of best-selling ‘SHOULD I?’ and ‘HOW MUCH?’ ~ Guiding word: Overdrive Subscribe to our Newsletter👇🏾 eepurl.com/igmN8P
  • Dear God, 
It’s me again.

I don’t pray as often as I need to, You know that. I don’t kneel by my bed in child-like humility, as Muna does. I don’t whisper a prayer in the morning. Or at noon. Perhaps just in the evening. 

This going-to-church habit is a constant false start. So is reading the Word. 

I’m often guilty but I also know: You and I have a language only we can understand. 

I speak to You through this gift You bestowed upon my Kale shoulders, this gift to write in colour. It’s a gift that sometimes feels like a curse, a burden I have no choice but to pursue. 

Yet other times – most times, actually – it’s the very breath of my essence. Everyday I sit to write, when the words flow from my head and heart through my fingers to the page, I feel You next to me. 

You are here, Lord. Hovering. Lingering. Swooshing about in Your regal robes, like a character from Bridgerton.

Sometimes You get so close I can feel You breathing on my neck and I’m like, ‘Err, God, do You mind, personal space?’

And You chuckle uncomfortably. ‘He-he, of course. Of course.’

I’m here to tell You, Thanks!

I hosted my first in-person event last March, Lord, thank You to all the lovely ladies who granted me their time and full attention. 

I’ve carried them in my heart since and every day, my prayer is that You bring them closer to the life of abundance they each seek. To their own version of wealth. 

I always call them by their name: Becky. Purity. Lindsay. Wangui. Naomi. Shiqow. Mercy. Liz. Winnie. Polly. Nduta. Lynet. 

And Mike. 

Dear Lord, I’m prepping for my next in-person event in June, Inshallah. 

Walk with me as I get there. 

Love always,

  • Highlights from our first-ever in person event hosted by Craft It and @financialfitbit 
Thanks to all the lovely ladies — and gent, hehe — who honoured us with the privilege of their time and attention. And colourful energy. It’s been weeks since and it’s only now that I’m coming down from the high. 

Thank YOU!

🎥 @mikemuthaka 

#craftit #author #MakeYourMoneyMatter #personalfinance #money
  • I am a woman.

I’m strong. I’m brilliant. I’m like a comet shooting across the sky, I’m so bright you have to put on shades to see me.

I’m almost 40, I’m almost fully realising myself as a woman and the power of womanhood I possess.

I’m so powerful that if KPLC connected me to the national grid, I’d power up this country and we’d never have another blackout.

Ho! Ho! Ho!


To recognize and celebrate International Women’s Day today, I’d like to recognize and celebrate eight women.

I have eight things to give away to each of these women:
a) Two tickets to my upcoming event on March 18 with @financialfitbit Theme is ‘Make your money matter’
b) Three autographed copies of my book ‘Should I?’
c) Three autographed copies of my other book ‘How Much?’

To participate:
1. Like this post
2. Tag women who deserve a win of either event ticket or book (tag as many women as you like)
3. Tell us what you’d like her to win and why she deserves the win
4. Make sure your tagged women follow @_craftit and @financialfitbit 

Here are the rules for the giveaway:
— One woman, one win
— Winners will be contacted via DM
— Giveaway closes at the end of this week, Inshallah, on Sunday 12 March
— Only open to people living in Kenya

All the best!

(Swipe right to see the women I’m celebrating.)

#craftit #internationalwomensday
  • My 2022 word of the year was Wholesome. 

Wholesome meant engaging in moderation and in pursuits that didn’t leave me feeling yucky.

An example: there’re weekend nights I’d go out then have too much to drink. On the drive home, I’d tell GB to stop the car every half mile so I could throw up on the side of the road. Then I’d take three working days recovering. 


No more of that nonsense.

Now I have only two doubles of Singleton whiskey and chase it with water. I eat less food and I eat better. I take my supplements. I treat myself to an early bedtime and arise with my body clock, no alarm.

I spend a lot more time hanging with my kids, Muna and Njeeh. 

I buy fewer things. 

I play the piano. 

I created a disciplined routine for my work and take Thursdays off. 

You catch my drift…

Wholesome has become my lifestyle. 

(By the way, I was asked, ‘Where does this word-of-the-year come from, Bett?’ I don’t know about other people but for me, the words present themselves when I’m journaling. My spirit tells me what it needs; I must be still enough to listen and brave enough to obey.)

My word for 2023 is Overdrive.

My two books have unlocked new opportunities for me as a writer and creative. As an urban brand. I’d honestly not foreseen them. 

I know that if I adjust my sails to where the wind is blowing, these opportunities will translate to wealth.

Last Friday, I listed all the work I’m already doing and all the new opportunities – potential and realised – knocking at my door.

I asked myself, ‘What am I taking up here and what am I dropping?’

The response, ‘None – we go into overdrive and smartly pursue them all.’

#craftit #urbanguide
  • Years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘Bett, we’re almost 40 – forget makeup, let’s take care of our skin instead.’

I had to laugh because this was coming from Terry. Terry my Kisii pal, this fine gyal with skin the colour of honey, the only practising SDA in my circle. 

Terry had spent her 20s and early 30s sleek with Arimis. That’s right, the milking jelly with a lactating cow on its logo. 

Arimis addressed all her skin pickles back then. It was her problem fixer. Her Olivia Pope. It’s the one thing that always said, It’s handled.

Now here she was preaching to us about a consistent skincare regimen in the AM and PM.


It wasn’t until Terry shared her selfies on our girls WhatsApp group that I stopped laughing. It wasn’t until we stood next her – and took these selfies – that I reeally stopped laughing: Terry’s skin was youthful and toned, plump. Hydrated. Moistured but not shiny. 

It looked like it had been kissed by the Greek goddess of radiance. 

So we gathered around her feet and said, ‘Forgive us, master. We are ready now. Teach us everything you know.’

She did. 

Terry and I now spend plenty of time before work and before bed squeezing out little portions of expensive skincare products from expensive tubes, we layer them on our face in a calculated measure.

This serum here is for the circles under my eyes and the fine lines around my mouth.

Turns out I’ve been giving away too much of my face: I’ve been looking too hard, laughing too easily.

I’ll have to spend the next year into my 40s with my eyes half shut and laughing little. I'll have a resting bitch face.

Don’t blame me, blame the retinol.

And age.

#craftit #urbanguide #urbangirl
  • I’m Bett. I’m the author of your favourite books about money. I’m hosting an in-person event in March, Inshallah: This is my personal invite to you.

#craftit #moneymaker #moneyinkenya
  • I am hosting my first money event this March, Inhsallah. It’s the first of quarterly events I have planned for the year. 

(Give me a moment here so I pull myself together long enough to write this. I’m smiling very hard right now, ha-ha, I look like a donkey.)


The event will be in-person. On a Saturday morning, a loose three hours which, I am certain, you’d have burned on some other pursuit you couldn’t account for later. (I’d probably be oiling the hinges of a squeaky door or decluttering my sock drawer.)

My guest host for this edition is Lynet Kyalo. 

Lynet is a personal finance coach under her brand @financialfitbit She also hosts @getyourbagrightpodcast 

Buy your tickets from our Market.

Early bird tickets are discounted until the end of this month.

Limited slots available. 

#craftit #millenialmoney #moneyevent #moneymaker
  • Sometimes I sit down and read my own book. 

Odd, huh?

Reading my own stories is like an out-of-body experience. Or getting introduced to myself again. An outward journey inward.

It’s fascinating.

I also read because I need to improve my writing for my next project.

We call them the Elements of Craft: things like sentence structure and punctuation, word placement, story length etc, they all inform your reading experience.

This is what makes the book easy to read, and has you turning the pages.

Cop your autographed copy and #betteryourmoney 

#craftit #howmuch #millenialmoney #moneymaker

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