Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that shall he reap. There is a right attitude for believers in the work place. There is an expectation from a Christian while he serves or works for another. It’s a spiritual responsibility because of who we are in Christ Jesus. I love the admonition of Paul in the book of Ephesians;
Eph. 6:5-8 ‘servants be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ. Not with eye service as men pleasers; but as the servant of Christ doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service as to the lord and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the lord whether he be bond or free.’
Our financial prosperity also depends on our actions at work and anything we do while we are employed is rewarded by God. So this is dedicated to you if you grumble while you do your job, it’s for the man and woman who does just enough and doesn’t go any extra mile and it’s for the believer whose presence or absence in the work place is not felt.
Jacob served Laban for twenty years and Laban gave this testimony about him ‘’I have learned by experience that the lord had blessed me for thy sake’’. True Jacob had an innate presence because he is of the seed of Abraham, but take nothing from the effort, diligence and skill he brought to his job. Genesis 31:38-40; ‘’this twenty years have I been with thee, thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. That which was torn of beasts I brought unto thee; I bore the loss of it; of my hands didst thou require it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. Thus I was: in the day the drought consumed me and the frost by night; and my sleep departed mine eyes.’’ No wonder Laban asked him to please stay and ask for anything when he tendered his resignation.
To be blessed financially you have to be diligent and skilled in what you do. Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings and not before obscure men.
Work hard, be diligent. You are blessed because of Christ but you have to show forth the excellence of Him that has called you. Jacob worked hard and knew his onions. David was so responsible he never left his sheep unattended to. He could go home and say a lion took a sheep and all will understand. But he was so responsible he made sure that didn’t happen under his watch. He was rewarded with the highest position in Israel! Do you take your job personal? No matter how much you hate it you have a spiritual responsibility to be faithful in it. Jacob was forced into this job in a sense, and even felt his master was unfair, but he gave his best any way. Do all things without murmurings and disputing.
Make yourself obviously responsible, not slothful in business but fervent in spirit serving the Lord. If you are like everyone why will you want something special? Have a great attitude. Be Christ-like. Solve problems, be available. God will reward you with plenty.
Develop multiple skills. One easy way to develop multiple skills is to heed to this scripture; ‘whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all thy might’. David tended sheep, played the flute with such goodness and was a man of war. His first job was to tend sheep, but he played the flute to calm the flock and keep his time. He also learnt to war protecting his herd from dangerous animals. He had to use a sling and he used it well. Those skills brought him to the palace. You can’t remain relevant just because you have a degree! What can you do? What problems can you solve? How creative are you? Life is dynamic. If you keep doing the same things the same way you will soon be irrelevant. Those born of the Spirit are dynamic.
Be the best employee. Then plan to leave. There is time for everything. A time to be employed and a time to be an employer. Jacob came to that point and asked to go do his own thing. Don’t plan to be an employee forever. Have a plan to leave. Design it while you are employed and if possible, test it. It helps. All the blessing that came to Jacob while he worked for Laban went to Laban. Jacob realized he had to begin to develop personal capacity. So he asked for his portion and began to grow it. He didn’t need much; he knew he had substance inside, a wealth of experience he had gathered while he served to draw on! I love the confidence with which he told Laban ‘thou shall not give me anything’’! He had wealth on the inside. And God blessed him and multiplied him exceedingly; because of the promise and the diligence with which he had served.
Prepare for the outside while inside. You can’t give what you don’t have. The same attitude you display in your work place is the same attitude you bring to the affairs of life. If you are still an average employee you are not ready to launch out on your own. You will simply be average or less than average. Be excellent and you will reap great financial rewards. Excellence is still in high demand and men will pay anything for it. When you are excellent you name your price! Jacobs salary was reduced ten times in twenty years, but he had no complains. He simply trained himself and became excellent. He was finally asked to name his price.
So if you desire financial success while you are employed and after, you know what to do!
He that is born of flesh is flesh, and he that is born of the Spirit is spirit. There is a spiritual side to us, which is more important than our physical side. In everything as Christians, we must act from and by the spirit.
Our heavenly account is of more importance than our earthly account and we must consciously pay attention to its operation.
Yes we all have a heavenly account and Jesus warned that we pay more attention to this account than we do to our earthly account. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20)
That means you can lay up treasures here on earth, and you can do the same thing in heaven from your time on earth!
“Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens.”(Luke 12:33)
When bank accounts were held in bags, Jesus taught that there was another bag account in the heavens.
Paul also referred to this account in the admonition to the church in Philippians: “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.”(Philippians 4:17)
So, we all have a heavenly account. This account is operated in similar ways to how we operate our bank account. You can make deposits and withdrawals at will. But like Jesus said, the account in heaven has major advantages:
It is not subject to loss of whatever kind: no economic upheaval , inflation nor financial system collapse can affect it.
It gives more than monetary returns and for me this is the greatest. Most people lay too much emphasis on “cash”, but the blessings of God maketh complete/whole. It ensures we don’t have emergencies- that means you will not suddenly have a need or an issue you do not have the capacity to meet. It ensures provision and need come side by side. When there is a need, then the resource is available. When you make deposits in this account, a penny with you achieves so much compared to a million in the world. I tell you it is a typical case of give five loaves and two fishes and have more than enough supply to feed a multitude and still have excess! And whatever you cannot afford in a sense you receive for free! A pastor once explained this phenomenon to me in another light; he said even when he does not have the “asset “he always has “access”. Wow! There are a million and one things all the money in the world cannot give you. But the proceeds from your heavenly account gives you access to them.
Another benefit is that your heavenly account is managed by God. And no one gives better returns than Him. Your deposits keeps speaking and bearing fruits.
I am blessed by the story of Cornelius told in Acts 10. Apparently when the time came to pour out the spirit on the Gentiles, God started with a man who had made constant deposits to his heavenly account. “His prayers and gifts to the poor came up as a memorial offering before God”. At that time he was unsaved, but God still kept a record of all the deposits he ever made and rewarded him with the Gift of Gifts!
So how do you make deposits and withdrawals into this account we all have?
As long as the earth remains, seed time and harvest will not cease! Deposits are made in seed time. It is giving time. Anytime we give, we make a deposit into our heavenly account.
Phil 4: 15-17, our seeds or giving is a direct deposit to our account.These accounts can abound and increase through giving to the poor (Proverbs 19:17) Giving to the poor on earth makes an instant deposit in heaven. Jesus said whatsoever you do to the least of them, you do directly to Him. Making any type of investment into the preaching of the Gospel (Mark 10:29,30) and giving simply as praise to God are also deposits to the heavenly account.
So Luke 12:33 says “sell that ye have, and give alms, provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19 also says “charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on to eternal life.”
If all you have is a heavy earthly account then your tomorrow is uncertain. Money has failed to save anyone. So focus on your heavenly account through giving, and lay up in store for yourself a good foundation for the time to come.
If giving had no returns I will still give. I cannot imagine a life where I cannot share my resources, my time, my talents and the gift that God has made me, and put in me. Life will be without worth if I cannot give and receive a smile, a hug and a prayer from another person. But thanks be to God because we can make withdrawals from our heavenly account and receiving follows giving.
Let everyman be a liar, God remains true. The scripture cannot be broken. Our deposits are securely received and multiplied by God. Many have been taught to give, but few Christians expect or know how to receive and withdraw from heaven.
But God who cannot lie affirmed that as we give, it shall be given back to us, good measure pressed down, shaken together and running over shall men give to our bosom. And also affirms that He is able to make all grace abound towards us that we always having all sufficiency in all things may abound unto every good work!
The first step to making withdrawals is to have the confidence and consciousness that you have an account you have a right to at anytime. This is key; confident faith and a consciousness. This should lead to an unwavering expectation. Expect always a return on your investment. When you go out, expect to be blessed because men giving to your bosom is a form of withdrawal.
Expect things to work for you. When men fail all over, you win because your account has to be multiplied for you. In Malachi,God said test me and see if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour you down a blessing there will not be room enough to receive it. It’ is confident faith, consciousness and an unwavering expectation at all times that we use to withdraw from heaven.
And finally make verbal demands on your account. Exploit the power of your tongue. A man shall eat good by the fruits of his lips and by the increase he shall be satisfied. When you need anything call it. Say you have it. I have should replace I need. Your faith produces the consciousness which creates an expectation. And out of the abundance of that expectation your mouth speaks forth. That’ is how you make a withdrawal. Be conscious of that. God expects you to expect to receive. He expects you to draw on your heavenly account.
You have an account in the heavens. Use it well. As ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace of giving also. (2 Corinthians 8:7).
We are blessed.
Emmanuel A Aladenusi
The story of Joseph in the Bible has always been very inspiring for me. I love his ability to dream of a better life and to remain undaunted by seeming ‘reality’. I love that he could fearlessly tell the world of his vision and purpose. I am challenged by his godly attitude in a strange land, even when it appeared compromise would have helped. I love his dedication to duty and his spiritual maturity. I admire the spirit of a man who didn’t lose his person, even in prison. What more can I say of a man about whom the Bible records that by faith he gave instructions concerning his bones; he believed that one day his people would be resettled by God in their own promised land, and he partook of the blessing, even though he was dead.
I also learnt a very important financial lesson from Joseph and I would like to share it with you.
Pharaoh had a dream, twice for emphasis, and Joseph was brought from prison to provide the interpretation. The interpretation was that there would be seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine.
People complain daily about how things are getting bad – economic crunch, depression, stagnation and all. I always say, read the Bible, the world has seen several of such days even from the days of Abram, and there will be many more! That is not a cause for concern for us, by the wisdom of God we know all things. God establishes seasons; no season is bad of itself, it is the correct use of various seasons that is key.
Joseph interpreted the seasons for Pharaoh and taught him how to take advantage of them. That lesson is still relevant today. There is a reason for the season of plenty. What you do with your plenty will affect how you live in the season of scarcity and famine. Interact with most people going through famine today and they will tell you, sometimes with a glint in their eyes, about the good old days – how life was great and they had enough.
It is sound financial sense to always be wise with the plenty of today. Now Joseph’s advice was simple:
- Let Pharaoh appoint officers over the land
- Let them take one-fifth of the produce of the whole land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years
- Let it be laid up/ fortified in the cities
- That food shall be for a store against the season of famine.
1. APPOINT OFFICERS OVER THE LAND: Most of us are in the habit of leaving our financial affairs to chance. We do not watch over our financial affairs neither do we appoint anyone to do it. No good thing happens by chance. If you want financial success it will not just happen. You must take charge yourself. Bible says we should be diligent to know the state of our flocks! Diligent effort! Get knowledgeable about financial matters. Learn how to prepare and interpret simple cash flow statements; learn how to budget correctly; learn to interpret financial records, or if you can afford it, pay someone to teach you. So, appoint someone over your financial affairs or see to it yourself. That person is expected to come up with a plan on how to use the harvest of today. When you fail to plan you simply plan to fail. We spend so much time working to make money, but after putting in so much physical and intellectual effort, we spend the money effortlessly and without any intellectual exercise. I believe that’s wrong. We should give attention to how we make and spend money. If we fail to do so, we enter into the class of the wasters and can be conveniently classed with the slothful.
2. TAKE A PORTION OF YOUR PRODUCE/ PLENTY. It is often said but not often practiced – “do not spend all you have”. There is always oil and treasure in the dwelling of the wise. Only a foolish man spends all. Your first task is to divide your land and allocate a part of it. That part must always be considered seed for another season. People always argue that their money is not enough to start with so they use it all to settle bills. The truth however remains that until you start to have, you will never have. To him that has, more is given and he that is faithful in little is faithful in much. You have spent all you’ve made all these years and you still have not met all your needs. Try something else. Allocate a part of your income for other purposes other than bills. Divide your income. A part must be taken out for tomorrow. Someone said one part of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.
After you have decided what portion/amount of your income should be dedicated for tomorrow, carefully channel all that part regularly into a simple savings account.
I will make three important clarifications at this stage.
One is that a part of the income belongs to God. That part goes to kingdom investments, which is the investments of all investments and security of all securities. This part is non-negotiable and must go first and straight to that purpose. It is an investment in God which yields fruit better than any other, and is as sure as God himself.
Secondly, the amount you set aside is for you to decide. But you must take into good cognizance where you are now and where you are going. For example we would expect an unmarried person to have more set aside regularly than a married person with kids. We would also expect a married person with very young children to also cut a bigger chunk than one whose children are in the university, all things being equal. We will equally expect variations according to different age groups.
The lesson is: we must take advantage of seasons of plenty to prepare for other seasons. And lastly never underestimate the power of those little sums of money you put aside. If you put a bucket under a dripping tap, you might say it will take forever to fill. And if you sit there and keep staring at it, you might get discouraged in the next thirty minutes and walk away. But if you must walk away don’t remove the bucket from under the tap for surely, given sufficient time, when you come back again it will be full. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean. Little sums of money eventually become millions; in fact ten thousand pounds is made up of a million pennies and each penny is important in making the eventual million. Have the tenacity to put aside those little amounts of money, week in week out, and watch them become plenty. Remember Jesus’ parable of the lost penny – Never underestimate a small amount of money.
3. LAY IT UP IN THE CITIES: Joseph advised that what is gathered should be put in different places and this is very important. Out of what you have set aside as savings, invest differently and let them be managed by different people. It is called diversification. When I learnt about the need to save and invest I just looked for the simplest investment to start and maintain and concentrated on that alone. I went into the stock market and remained there. I paid a big price but I learnt a priceless lesson. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. Diversify! Don’t put all you have in the same bank, the same investment vehicle, or even the same ‘city’. You should trade abroad you know? Have investments in foreign countries. It is wise to do so.
4. THE FOOD SHALL BE FOR A STORE AGAINST ANOTHER SEASON: Remember that doing all the aforementioned is preparing for another season. When famine comes you will have abundance and be satisfied because you have a store in heaven that nothing can steal from or destroy and you also have here on earth. Nations shall come to you, buy from you and learn of you because you used your season of plenty correctly. So, don’t give in to the urge to dip into it just to buy a fancy car or do something else ostentatious. It is meant for another season, wait for it!
You are blessed.
|I never cease to be amazed at what big impact minor changes can make in the life of an individual. In science, this is a well known fact, hence the drive for accuracy and precision in mathematics and the sciences. A less than one degree deviation in the flight path of an airliner taking off from continental United States to Europe can mean landing in another country entirely.“Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things. I am tempted to think there are no little things.” – Barton, Bruce
When it comes to personal finances, the changes a small adjustment will make in the course of a few years can be amazing. The steps to financial freedom and independence can range from 5 to 20 depending on who you are listening to. They are saying the same thing in different ways; some breaking stop steps down into simpler easier to digest steps. These can be condensed into one single step – pay yourself first.
It took me a while and a bit of further study to understand the concept of paying yourself first. Whenever I managed to save, the savings gets spent a couple of months later. I felt trapped in a vicious circle with no discernible way out. I was spending first and saving what was left, and after a while, the savings gets spent when the proverbial rainy day shows up. The rainy day had a knack of showing up at the nick of time, just when I have a bit saved up.
It took listening to Jim Rohn to finally drive the nail home – I needed a minor adjustment in my philosophy. Save first before spending, not spend first and hope there will be something left to save. When the focus is on spending, even your saving becomes a target for further spending. It did not stop with just saving the money. I needed to get the money out of the line of fire by putting it to work – investing it so that:
1) I do not have access to spend it
2) It will earn interest or returns
3) I will be motivated to keep saving and investing as I watched the principal and interest income grew
4) It becomes a habit, so it becomes automatic.
It was so simple I was amazed how I missed it all this while. I came to realize that common sense was not very common. There is a common sense for each level of growth and self awareness and until you get there, it sounds like rocket science. I was so caught up with satisfying my needs and wants that I did not realize that the most sustainable way to do that is by continuously growing my income and that can only happen when I delay gratification, save and invest first before spending.
Now that saving and investing first before spending has become a habit, I no longer struggle in that area. It happens by reflex, automatically. It is the first thing I think about after setting aside an amount for giving, the moment money enters my hands. Because of that small adjustment, my savings, investment, interest and returns grows month by month. I become richer every month. With increased income, I can afford things I really want, and I can make a difference in the lives of other people.
If you desire to attain financial freedom and independence, you may want to win this battle first before you proceed much further, especially if you are an employee or small business owner. Make your money work for you, so that you do not have to work so hard for money. It is a matter of a small adjustment.
– Usiere Uko is editor of www.financialfreedominspiration.com and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence –www.amazon.com/Practical-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Independence/dp/147006832X .
This question seems like a silly question. Who doesn’t want more? We all do, but the issue is, can we handle it? Stop and think for a moment what has happened to all the money that has passed through your hands in the last ten years, can you give account for most of it?
Consider the parable of talents in Matt 25: 14 – 30. A man going on a journey entrusts wealth to his servants to manage while he is away. The amount of wealth each servant got depended on their capacity to handle it. The three servants were given five, three and one bag of gold or talents respectively. The first two proved beyond reasonable doubt that they can handle it, while the last one met the master empty handed. You know the rest of the story. The ones that showed they could handle it got more while the last one went away empty handed, probably murmuring and complaining as he went about how unfair life is.
If you look at a company, especially big ones, you will notice that people hold various positions that go with varying levels of responsibility. At the bottom are folks who do what they are told, and as you go up, you meet folks who have more responsibility, supervise others and have a bigger capacity to handle various tasks. The man at the top is not more brilliant than the man at the bottom. As a matter of fact, the man at the bottom may be a first class degree holder while the overall boss made a second class lower degree in a non technical area. What makes the difference is their capacity to handle tasks and execute them successfully. A Project Engineer is in charge of one project while the Manager can have up to 30 projects under him. It all boils down to capacity to handle more.
Having more money is not the problem. Growing the capacity to handle more is the crux of the matter. If you currently do not have enough money, chances are that you are in that situation because of your lack of capacity to handle more. Money has already entered your hands time and time again, a series of one bag of gold, but like the last servant, you failed to turn it into two bags of gold. You keep giving away the one bag of gold time and time again. Imagine you turned the one bag into two, and two bags into four, and four bags into eight, and eight bags into sixteen, and on and on. The issue would not be asking God to give you more; the issue would be what good to do with what God has blessed you with already.
As you multiply what you have, you open the door for more to come in. There is more than enough. The challenge is that precious little is coming our way because we have not demonstrated the capacity to handle more. Have you ever wondered why banks beg Dangote to take loans but tell you ‘No’? It is not that they love rich people and hate poor people. As a matter of fact they are looking for whom to give loans to. They give targets to their officers to give out loans. Banks make money through interest income from loans given out, so the more loans they give out, the more turnover and profit they make. The challenge is – Dangote will multiply the money and give back while for most of us, it becomes bad debt – the bank cannot get their money back. That is why they are so scared of giving us loans. We have no track record of turning what we touch into gold.
God and banks have one thing in common in a way – they have lots of money to give out, but are looking for who they can trust it with. Who can they give 5 bags of gold to turn to 10 bags of gold? Are you the one? What have you done with the bags of gold that have come your way – some in the form of salary, bonuses, lump sum payments etc. Do you complain it is not enough and bury it in the ground or double it? Can you handle more money? Can you handle abundance? That is the question.
Usiere Uko is editor of www.financialfreedominspiration.com and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence – www.amazon.com/Practical-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Independence/dp/147006832X .2013
There are different types of income. The knowledge of these types of income gives you the option to choose how you want to earn income. Lack of knowledge in this area has made many to focus only on what they know – working for money.
If you want to achieve financial independence and freedom, you need to know the different types of income, their characteristics and the ones that works out best for you. There are three basic types of income namely:
1) Earned Income
2) Portfolio Income
3) Passive Income
This is the most popular form of income, working for money. Rich Dad in ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki calls this bad income because of the disadvantages that go with it. You are taxed before you get to see your salary, the tax rate is often higher than other income types. You have no control over your income. You cannot double your income even if you belong to a powerful union. You depend on your employer to give you a raise. Your time is not yours. You are essentially trading in your life for your salary. This income type has little or no leverage. You cannot hire someone to help you with your job. You cannot transfer your job to your son. Your salary stops when you stop working. This income type gives minimum control.
This income comes from paper assets like stocks, bonds, money market instruments, businesses etc. Your return on investment in portfolio income depends on your level of financial education. An experienced investor can use stock options to protect his position while the average investor goes in naked (fully exposed to market fluctuations). The taxes here are lower. In a business, your profit is taxed rather than turnover. You spend first and get taxed on what is left, if any. Hence the business owner has control over his taxes unlike the employee. There is more control in portfolio income depending on the investor. If you own a stock of a company, you can control your entry and exit price, if you know what you are doing. You have more control if you own enough shares to sit on the board of the company. If you own the company (entrepreneur), you have full control.
This is income from real estate, intellectual property (books, music, patents etc) etc. You do the work once and get paid virtually forever (you, your descendants etc). You make money while you sleep or away on vacation. Here, you have full control. You can decide to double your income by doubling your assets or stepping up your marketing. You control your time, income, taxes etc. Rich Dad calls passive income good income.
As an employee, you are not constrained to earned income only. You can enjoy portfolio income by investing in an asset class you are familiar with, or starting a part time business, and passive income by investing in real estate, writing books, music, scripts, inventions or whatever you are good at. If you want to achieve financial freedom, you need to diversify your income sources. Depending only on earned income is a symptom of financial illiteracy.
– Usiere Uko is editor of www.financialfreedominspiration.com and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence – www.amazon.com/Practical-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Independence/dp/147006832X .
Before you consider making more money, you have to first of all be a good steward of your current income. Apart from having an efficient system of personal financial management that leaves you richer each month rather than poorer, you also need to become your banker of first resort. By maintaining a healthy cash reserve through prudent saving, you can fund your dreams rather than go from bank to bank, telling the story of your life and getting turned down in the process.
Before you start to invest, invest in your personal financial education. Invest in knowing what you are doing before you do it. If you know what you are doing, you become empowered to take the right decisions. If you do not know what you are doing, you may think that what you need is more money. If you cannot control your current expenses, you will remain perpetually in trouble no matter how much your income increases. Your expenditure will increase to catch up and overtake your income. It is like trying to fill up a bucket with gaping holes. If the rate of water outflow is greater than inflow, the level of water in the bucket will keep going down despite the inflow.
The same principle plays out in your personal finance. If your cash outflow exceeds your cash inflow, your savings (if you have any), keeps going down until you run on empty. Basic common sense dictates that you spend less than you earn. The only acceptable reason to break this law is when you are investing in assets; assets that will increase your cash inflow, and eventually pay for itself.
The best source of capital for your business start up is your savings. This is within your control. Approaching friends and family for a loan is not tidy, and in some cases jeopardises relationships. Friendship and borrowing don’t mix. It is a recipe for heartbreak and recriminations. Most people nowadays do not borrow amounts higher than what they can give away or afford to lose. You gather enough courage to go tell an acquaintance the story of your dreams, and ask for a N200K loan for example. After you are done, he offers to chip in N10K as a gift. He is saying that he does not want the hassle of being owed, with the likelihood of not seeing his money again. He has had his fingers burnt so many times, he has become credit shy. To show his support by the way, here is N10K. Besides, he has his own business plan too. He did not come to Lagos to admire the flyovers.
The best place to borrow from is your savings, followed by the banks. We are all familiar with the story of borrowing from banks, even before the global credit squeeze. They withhold credit when you need it most, and beg you to have some, when you don’t need it anymore. They are just being cautious. Bad loans is a nightmare to banks, so when your track record is not known, yes comes very slowly.
To be able to save, you have to control your expenses. You have to stay on top of your personal finances. You need to have a plan for your personal finance, and work towards it. You have to cut your coat according to your cloth, not according to your size. You can downsize to fit your cloth. You have to learn how to do long term planning, rather spend on impulse fuelled by peer pressure. You can also time your purchases to coincide with when the item goes on sale or are cheaper. For example, air fares are much cheaper when you purchase online months ahead, rather than some days before. You have to spend on good books that will put you through the paces. There are excellent resources on the internet too.
If you cannot control thousands and decide to shoot for millions, in the unlikely event that you make it, without the capacity to manage it, you will soon be back to square one. Get the foundation right before you start building. Invest in your personal financial education.
– Usiere Uko is editor of www.financialfreedominspiration.com and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence – www.amazon.com/Practical-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Independence/dp/147006832X .
When it comes to getting results, it is tempting to look for steps or formulas. This at first sight looks like the quickest way to get the results you desire. But the reality is, it is actually the longer route. Steps and formulas are fabulous, but if you lack the self discipline, focus, commitment and persistence to follow through, you will not cross the finish line. All you will have is a series of failed attempts.
Success in any field of endeavour is 80% behaviour and 20% head knowledge. This means the ability to do it constitutes 80% while the how to constitutes the remaining 20%. The ability to carry through has much more weight than the how to. Until you develop the pattern of behaviour or habit to take sustained action, head knowledge is not of much use. This includes developing the behaviours or habits in becoming rich.
Human beings love short cuts, taking the easy way out, following the line of least resistance. That is why it is never crowded in the extra mile. The minority will always control majority of the resources anywhere there is free enterprise. Attaining the level whereby we have the ability to follow through takes longer and is much harder work than learning a formula. You can get the steps in two days, but it will take months and sometimes years before you can actually follow through. That is why almost everyone knows what to do to lose weight but few actually lose weight and stay that way. Psychology is where we often drop the ball. The right formula with a wrong mindset is a recipe for failure and frustration. To develop psychologically, we have to pay the price in personal growth and development. Life is lived at levels, and the level you belong determines what you can do.
In an army, the private has different attributes from a Sergeant, Captain, Colonel, Brigadier General, full General etc. Each rank operates at a different level, has different attributes and expected behaviours. A private takes orders, a Captain can lead a Platoon etc. A General can command a whole Division, and in actual combat, a combined task force of Army, Navy and Air Force. The higher you go, the more is expected of you. To rise in rank, you have to take on more responsibilities and perform well. If per chance you become a General but behave like a Colonel, you will soon be demoted or worse, court-martialled if your actions inaction has dire consequences. It means the shoe is much bigger than you.
When it comes to getting rich, you have to be a millionaire before you can have millions. That means you have to become a millionaire on the inside before the millions manifest on the outside. It means you must acquire a millionaire mindset, think like one, act like one and ultimately you will become one. If you don’t think like a millionaire, you cannot act like a millionaire. If you do not act like one, you will not get the results millionaires get – millions of dollars.
Imagine for a moment that you bypass the process and become one, e.g. win the lottery etc. You can guess the rest of the story. The money will be gone pretty soon. A fool and his money soon part ways. What happened?
You do not have the ability to hold onto the money. You will relate to the money with a poor or middle class mindset, meaning go shopping, feel good, show that you have arrived. By the time you have finished indulging your fantasies, the money is long gone. A millionaire will make more money with that same money. That is the difference.
If you are not a millionaire, if millions come your way, you will give it away. It is not in your character to hold and multiply money. That is why you have precious little to show for all the years you have been working. You can now imagine the futility of trying to make more money when you cannot keep and multiply it. You would be like someone running hard on a treadmill but going nowhere. It is a vicious cycle. No wonder it seems like the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the gap gets wider.
The sustainable way to become rich is to first invest in your personal growth, development and financial education. When the knowhow meets the ability to follow through to the end, miracles happen. What is the point knowing what to do when you cannot do it? A pregnant woman needs strength to deliver. There is no caesarean section when it comes to success. You have to deliver normally. Knowing what to do gives you wings. Having the ability to do it successfully is the wind beneath your wings. Without the wind, you cannot go far.
Knowing how to do it is the easy part. Actually doing it successfully is where the rubber meets the road. This is what separates the men from the boys. Herein lays the missing link.
– Usiere Uko is editor of www.financialfreedominspiration.com and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence – www.amazon.com/Practical-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Independence/dp/147006832X .
Following the news nowadays can get quite depressing. It seems what qualifies as news worthy is news of the disaster variety. They come in different shapes and forms – job losses, corruption in high and low places, economic downturn, terrorist attacks, you name it. As the business climate seems to get more hostile, we tend to become more risk averse and retreat into our cocoons of security. We retreat when we ought to strike out, cut costs when we ought to invest more (we become accountants rather than entrepreneurs). We tend to retreat to the sidelines and watch how things will play out. That is a loser’s mentality. If you wait for everything to be okay, for all the traffic lights to go green, you often leave it too late. The future belongs to the daring.
I remember a hilarious story told by Bishop TD Jakes during the peak of the global financial meltdown some years back. The fear was palpable. Companies were folding up in droves, many were laying off staff the way a sailor would bail out water from his sinking boat. Homes were foreclosing, banks were in distress and it was like the great depression all over again. He had taken a ride to downtown Dallas when he came across a massive construction site with a giant sky scrapper reaching out to the sky. He pulled over and watched the scene for a while. He shook his head.
Are these guys crazy?
Which planet are they from?
Haven’t they heard?
Don’t they know?
…THAT THERE IS A RECESSION GOING ON?
Why is the property owner building when he could stick his money in a hole and wait out the recession?
Where did he get the money from by the way, in the middle of a credit squeeze?
The fact is that money is called currency become it moves, changes hands. It does not disappear. When money leaves your hands, it is entering another’s. When one market crashes, another booms. Money does not leave the planet in times of financial turbulence and melt down. It simply changes hands. The belief that there is no money is a fallacy. It simply means it is scarce in your neck of the woods. You are missing out on the action. The fact that you travel economy class does not mean that nobody is travelling first class. The fact that your watch has stopped does not mean that time has come to a standstill. For many, it was the worst of times. For some, it was the best of times. While some companies went down, some had their best years ever. Different strokes for different folks.
So what do you do in times of financial uncertainty? Get fixated by the news headlines or keep your eyes on your goal? One fascinating fact about the dove is that it has incredible focus. You can speak with a microphone in your hand, and the dove will look at the mike without seeing your face.
Good times and bad times are part of the cycle of life. Sure we do some dumb things to bring them on, but the rhythm goes on. Good times and bad times, boom and bust, ups and downs, joy and sadness… There is a time for everything under the sun. Experienced investors know that markets go up and they go down. They don’t expect it to go up forever or stay depressed ad infinitum. Their entry strategy is to go in when the market hits the bottom and their exit entry strategy is to go out when the market goes up. They ride in with the bears and charge out with the bulls (buy at discount and take profits). The rookie investor does the exact opposite. They enter when the market goes up, and run for the door when the market hits the bottom. They charge in with the bulls and crawl out with the bears (buy at premium and sell at a loss). Their entry is driven by greed while their exit is driven by fear.
If you watch the weather, you will not sow your seed. If you observe the wind, you will hold back. You need a single minded focus on your goals, no matter what is going on around you. You have to choose what you want, and look for opportunities to go for it. You have to decide which end of the cash flow divide you want to play – those who win or those who lose, those who acquire assets or those who cling to liabilities. If you decide to go with the crowd, you will get what the crowd has. You get to choose where your focus will be, as tough times and good times come and go.
|Many people have challenges deciding on what business to go into in the bid to generate multiple streams of income. Their main concern is what will make money rather than what value they can add to society. Since money is the major driver, there is often lack of effort in creativity, and the tendency is to copy what others are already doing which seems to be making money rather than what they are passionate about or good at. Consequently, when one person charts a new course and seems to be making it, copy cats are not far behind.
There is nothing wrong in copying, if you add value in the process (make it better than the original). However there is something wrong in totally abandoning what you were born to do, in the bid to grab at anything that seems to bring money in the short term.
You have to settle it in your mind upfront that starting a business is simply a vehicle for serving the larger society. Everyone has something to give, something others are looking for, whether you believe it or not. The main reason you are still alive is because you are yet to give all you came to this world to give. The moment you pour out everything you came to give, your time here is almost up.
There are countless opportunities to make your community, the state and the country better. In a country like Nigeria that lacks even some basic amenities and infrastructure, there are unlimited opportunities to close the gaps, by starting a business that will address one of the countless needs.
When you fill a need, people will be willing to give you money for your service. The secret of becoming rich is to serve more and more people. The challenge is to develop the system that will do just that.
It starts with knowing what to give, and how to go about giving it. You need to have the aptitude, skill set and passion to be able to give on a sustainable basis, without abandoning ship.
What are you good at? Wherein lies your passion? What drives you? What do you love doing so much that you can even do it for free? What annoys you? What gets you upset anytime you come across it?
Your passion and purpose may very well lurk within the answers. If you notice something wrong that nobody else seems to notice, or mind, it may very well be your job to fix it.
You keep saying, “One of these days, I will ….”
What if today is that day, what do you want to do?
If failure is impossible, what would you attempt?
You can practically build a business around any passion. Money will come. It is simply a matter of time. Simply seek ye first your purpose, passion, gifts, dreams and go for it full blast. All other things shall be added unto you, if you don’t give up too soon. The answers you seek lie within. Stop looking outside. What you are looking for is not lost.
-Usiere Uko is editor of www.financialfreedominspiration.com and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence – www.amazon.com/Practical-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Independence/dp/147006832X .