The funny thing about life, and more so about money is that we all want to be rich and wealthy. We want to be successful, prosperous and live a good life. The irony however is that majority of us don’t take time to study and understand the principles of financial freedom and wealth creation. Our concept and understanding of savings and investments is based on speculation, trials and errors, copy and paste, and what I call ‘get rich quick big ideas hype’ such as ‘quail eggs’ investment, pyramid schemes etc.
It’s important to understand that wealth is not created in confusion and disorder. It doesn’t happen by magic, hype or speculation. It takes discipline, commitment, consistency, focus, and more importantly, knowledge and understanding to create wealth and be financially free. Unfortunately, for most of us our ignorance has subjected us to years of poverty and being broke. It is almost certain, acceptable and normal for us to be broke every January. Well, allow me to share with you 12 things on how to be poor in 2016.
1.You hope your salary will make you rich. Don’t exclusively rely on your salary to become rich, unless it reads like the bank statement of a corrupt African president. Look for ways of having an additional income besides your salary if you want to create wealth. Utilise your gifts and talents, opportunities and networks around you to make an extra coin. Don’t be a slave to a monthly salary. It can only take you so far.
2. You are busy building other people’s dreams.
Remember if you don’t build your own dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs. What are you doing every day to build your dream? Outside your ‘normal 8am-5pm’ work schedule, how else do you utilise your time in building your dream? Are you busy building other people’s dreams and forgetting to build yours?
3. You dream instead of doing. The only difference between successful and unsuccessful people, is that unsuccessful people are busy dreaming while successful people are busy doing. Many of us have super great ideas that would make us rich and successful in life. Unfortunately, the most we do is talk about it, and do nothing. We are afraid to take risks. We have become experts in procrastination.
4. You spend more than you earn. Oh boy! I learnt this through the school of hard knocks, you want to be poor, sweetheart, spend more than you earn. Live beyond your means. Ensure your expenditure is always more than your income, and you will be guaranteed a life of poverty, lack and daily struggles.
5. Humble beginnings ain’t for you. We all want to live in fancy houses. Drive nice cars. Be wealthy, successful and rich. But then again, how many of us are ready to start small? So, what do we do, we borrow to buy the car or things we can hardly afford, then end up in financial bondage because our pride and ego couldn’t allow us to be subjected to days of humble beginnings. No house is built from the top, honey.
6. Don’t start saving until you get big money. One of the biggest lessons I have learned about money over the years is the fact that there’s nothing as small money. No matter its unit, each coin has a value. Don’t despise small change. Develop the habit of saving the little you have, and little by little you will be building your empire.
7. You are not the ‘type’ that hustles. I can’t tell you how long I have heard that. Business and hustling is for certain tribes. So, what do the rest of us do, we hang around in dingy bars, with our loan-financed jalopies parked outside as we blame the government and “that other tribe” for stealing our money and taxes. In the meantime, the chap who is cleaning our Japan-imported juggernauts outside, will end up being our landlord in a few years.
8. Compete for flossets. Assets are things that bring you income, flossets are things that take your income. We are more inclined to flossing and showing off the newest phones, newest cars, trendy design clothes. For us, we think we have arrived. We are with the it. We have arrived. We compete with celebrities in our dressings and lifestyle. Only problem is, our financial ‘flossing’ is build on quick sand, for we are busy impressing and pleasing our friends by investing on liabilities, instead of assets.
9. You complain and blame others. Walk on the streets of Nairobi and ask anyone randomly why they aren’t rich or successful and you will be hit by a long list of people they blame. They will blame the government, their teachers, their boss, their parents, landlord, spouse, pastor, siblings etc. Newsflash buddy: its your life. You are the C.E.O of your life. You are responsible for your own life. Whatever happens in your life, you have either allowed it, tolerated it or ignored it. If complaining and blaming others will lead to richness, trust me most of us would be trillionaires.
10. You live for today. Its called the You Only Live Once (YOLO) mentality. So, what do we do, we blow up the little coins we have in our pockets without a care for tomorrow. And that’s why there are so many people right now depressed because they have rent to pay, school fees, car insurance etc… The irony, you should have seen them rocking like rockstars in December, and literally making it rain.
11. You look for shortcuts. We live in the country of deals. Tenderpreneurship is the order of the day. We all want to get rich, quickly. As a result, we are busy stealing from each other, killing each other and abusing each other. We live in a man-eat-man society. People ‘conveniently’ falling in love to be assured of a better life. Politicians stealing the little taxes collected. Preachers inventing ways of collecting ‘seeds’. That’s why we bribe our ways into almost anything, including getting married.
12. You just don’t get it
. Finally, after all has been said and done – we just don’t get it. We don’t get it that the essence and meaning of life should be tagged on a higher calling, involving a personal relationship with Our Manufacturer, God. We don’t get it that success in life shouldn’t be measured by materialistic things. For one day, we will all die. We will be lying on that cold slab. Breathless, lifeless. Finally, silent. We won’t be buried by the things we loved or worked so hard to possess. The most we will be buried with, if we are lucky is a fancy coffin. Perhaps a designer suit or dress. And it will be a wrap for us. That would be it. Dead. Gone. Forgotten. And life will go on like we were never around.
We just don’t get it that it profits no man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul in eternal life. We don’t get it that there’s more to life than a fancy car, house, lifestyle and all the wealth and richness in the world. We don’t get it that the essence of life is living a life of purpose. A life which God, the Creator of all things, intended us to live. Finally, we just don’t get it that when we die, which we all would, nothing else will matter, except how we treated fellow human beings, and more importantly how we related with the Big Guy Upstairs. Unfortunately, by the time we finally get it. It will be too late. We would be breathing our last.