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You must spend to earn. You must spend to be rich

Published by Nigerian Compass on Sat, 03 Mar 2012

Before giving you the story behind today's topic, I want to encourage you to never ever let your condition condition you. Our protagonist for this week's article is living proof that you can earn all you can in this life if you invest in yourself. Okay, now the backstory . I'd initially planned a different piece , but when I realised that World Book Day was going to be Thursday, March 1, that got me thinking and the result of that is the topic for today. If you have followed this column since inception, you would have seen a correlation between each week's article and I believe you're challenging yourself, acting accordingly and thinking differently about your personal finance and financial destiny. In previous articles, I've written about 'How to Follow Your Money' and The 30/70 Principle among others. As mentioned earlier, this week's piece is part of that building blocks that will empower you to take control of your financial destiny and ensure you make as much money to live the life of your dream and also contribute meaningfully to society. But there's a caveat to earning all you can ' you must be willing to spend time and money in order to invest in yourself. Remember in a previous article, I discussed 'How To Invest In your Financial Education.' You see, investing in yourself means that you take responsibility for your financial destiny and that you're willing to do all you can to make your dreams come true. That's why the Word Book Day and today's topic are very ,very significant. You must have heard the adage that readers are leaders, but if you haven't, you've heard it today. Ignorance, according to the opening quote from billionaire property mogul, Donald Trump , is very, very expensive and in fact, more expensive than education. Ignorance is not a virtue and as you might have known, you can't even use ignorance as a shield in a court of law. As a matter of fact, ignorance can cost you millions in lost earnings, that's why you want to spend - to develop yourself ' in order to earn more .Your financial wellbeing is like your physical wellbeing and I believe if you or your child is sick, you won't keep that child or yourself at home because there're no drugs in government hospitals. My thinking is that you'll spend anything to make your child 'or yourself for that matter ' healthy. You're not going to say, well, my employer has no private health benefits, so I won't look after myself or my child. You see, if it's in your power to provide good health treatment for yourself or children, you wouldn't care if your employer makes one available or not. That's the way it is with your financial wellbeing. In other words, if you want to earn more, you must dip your hands into your pocket and be willing to spend your money and time to empower yourself to make more money. Don't wait for your employer to arrange a refresher course or a quota for the next leadership training in Jos or wherever. You make provision for the leadership or management course from your budget ' remember previous articles ' and spend it on improving your chances in life. Let me say it again, if you want to earn more, it's not up to the government of the day, you should take personal responsibility for making yourself wealthy and rich. That's why the above second opening quote 'mine is equally significant . Wise parents and ambitious people spend their own money to improve their life's chances of making more , but the morons want the government or some fairy good Samaritan to bring their ship to them. People who dream of earning more as actors hire personal coaches to train them to sing, dance better , while parents who want a better future for their kids also put them in weekend acting classes, tennis camps , etc, but the morons don't budget for that and they wonder why they end up on ground zero. This is not calculus or geometry, anyone can figure it out. Just last month, I watched a BBC panorama ' Poor America - that made some shocking revelations that shook me to my bones. According to the documentary, which is an open secret anyway, 50 million Americans do not have health insurance. Reason being that they are too poor and cannot afford to buy the policy. As a footnote, that's one of the promises Barack Obama made to the electorate and which led to passing the healthcare bill. If you've followed developments in America, you would have noticed that the middle class don't want to fund the bill and it's going to be a huge point in this year's presidential election in November. Back to that documentary, the images I saw didn't just rock me to the bones, it's a driving force in my quest to make financial education available and affordable to people everywhere.As I've stated in past articles, poverty is not a myth, neither is wealth. They're journeys and processes. You can determine and predict how your future and those of your family will be by the things you're doing and spending on today. In other words, if you're not spending on empowering and improving yourself, don't be surprised if you're stuck on the same salary for the next ten years. If you're not spending on educating yourself through books or instructional DVDs, don't think the boss is against you if your salary is not increased or when you see a colleague running a part 'time catering business. That colleague may have spent her weekends attending a school of cakes or creative writing. As someone rightly said, whatever you want to achieve has been done by others and already documented in books. They did that in order that others can learn and discover how to be successful and rich as well. That's not rocket science. The logical and sensible thing to do is to find the books written about what you want to achieve and they learn from them. That's what it means to stand on the shoulders of others. Let's say you're from very humble beginnings and life has dealt you a devastating blow, that's just the opening scene of your life's story. Cosmas Maduka, the hugely successful President of Coscharis Group of Companies got a very bad start in life when fate dealt him and his family a huge blow at the very tender age of four. Living in war times is difficult enough, but to then lose your father at four years, it couldn't be worse. His mother stepped up the plate and became the head of the family and his first life coach. He could have allowed his condition to condition him, but then he travelled to Lagos before he was ten. Like most Ibo boys, he became an apprentice with his uncle and learnt to sell automobile spare parts. He slept in his uncle's shop for seven years , but the narrative didn't end there. As a young man, Warren Buffet wasn't confident speaking in public, but he spent his own money to take Dale Carnegie's course ' How To Win Friends and Influence People. He also spent time as an apprentice during his graduate school. He spent his time and personal money to improve himself. I read about a Nigerian actress in the Stage magazine not long ago and she told the interviewer her parents paid for her to take weekend acting classes. She had to come to commute from Kent to Dalston ,North London on Saturdays to take the classes. Now, she's earning more than others with the same dream who never made the same level of personal investment. If you want to earn more, there're people's stories in their biographies, audio books, DVDs and of course, the internet. Spend part of your seventy per cent to develop yourself and even if you have to spend your savings to develop yourself professionally, why not' Don't wait for scholarships or grants. Don't wait for free education or till your department is ready to send people abroad, you've got to spend your personal money and time if you dream of earning more than you're currently earning. You see, when you spend time and money on developing yourself, what you're doing is preparing yourself for opportunities. That's what Tiger Wood's parents did. As Abraham Lincoln rightly said, 'I will prepare, I will make myself ready for my opportunities shall come.
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