I rounded off the last article published by this newspaper with two key points, the first being that not everyone wants to improve their lot in life and so, not everyone wants to be rich. Secondly, do not to allow anyone to talk you off your decision to be rich. The truth is that many people are just leaving their lives to chance, they don’t change anything, hence nothing gets changed. Check the story line –many are born into a working class family (perhaps, even an underclass one ) and they just go through the motion like their parents and peers.
They don’t ask themselves empowering questions nor get angry at their lack of progress. Some were born inside one or two-room apartments and that’s where they live for the next twenty years. Since their parents made no plans to be rich, they too have no roadmap and so, follow the road much travelled. Let me reiterate what I said last week: life doesn’t give you what you deserve, it dishes out what you ask of it.
That’s why I’m asking you to make a demand on life that you want to be rich. Part of making your demand expressly clear is by making plans for it. Someone once said, you can reach where you never planned for. That’s why I’m asking you to make your plans now. This choice will pay huge dividends if you commit yourself to it. The choice is entirely yours and it will determine what you do from now on. The choice to be rich will also determine what you read as well. It will influence almost every area of your life. While it’s impossible to choose the family background you’re born into, you have a part in deciding the way your future turns out. The decision is yours, so start the journey now. As a matter of fact, if you weren’t born into a middle class or rich family, you’re already on the road to ending up like your parents. So, asking you to make plans is to change direction.
If you don’t want to be rich, why bother reading this? But if it makes sense to be, the long road to it begins with the plans you will have to put in place. If you’ve already set your financial goals for this year, you are on track. Just keep working on them and learning the ropes via your continuous financial education. Becoming rich or poor is like running the marathon, you make long preparations. Those who want to short circuit it end up with shattered dreams and some become fraudsters. I’ve read the tales of many Nigerians caught smuggling drugs and almost all of them complain of falling into hard times and that someone asked them to do it in order to help their situation.
If you have your own roadmap, firstly, you won’t find yourself falling into hard times and if you do, you won’t resort to carrying a package for someone who promised to assist with paying your children’s school fees or to rebuild your life after a calamity. There’s no short cut to getting rich nor winding up in penury. Both are long roads. Except you win the lottery, you won’t become rich overnight. Even with that, the probability of striking gold with the first throw of the dice is not in your favour. That’s an aside, anyway.
You can’t be a loser for having a sure roadmap, so these days of making written plans, setting short, medium and long –term goals are actually your preparation days. As Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin used to say: “Preparation days are not wasted days.” Abraham Lincoln also has this to say about planning: “I will prepare and make myself ready, for my opportunities will come.”
If, on the other hand, you don’t have any written financial goals for 2014, hey! grab your pen and paper, and make a list of at least five financial goals you want to achieve this year. I’ve got mine in place and I’m going to stick with it, because I know where it’s taking me. Sometimes, things might look slow and frustrating, and you wish days could turn to months and the process fast-tracked. We all wish that sometimes. Don’t lose heart, just stick with your game plan. A banker wanted to derail me off one of my goals last week, I said no to her. Of course, it wasn’t as if I told her about my goals. She was just offering an advice that would have made me lose money.
What will happen if you don’t plan to be rich? One is that you won’t stretch yourself and secondly, you’ll probably be waiting for some miracle or some good luck. If you don’t plan to be rich, all you will see are the problems in Nigeria, without recognising that those problems are actually opportunities to become rich. Besides, if you don’t plan for it, you won’t be willing to take risks nor see life and other peoples’ experiences as vital lessons. If you don’t make plans to be rich, you will be looking for people to help you, without thinking of how you can start by helping yourself. Those who don’t have plans to be rich are always complaining that the government is not doing anything for them. Remember what John F. Kennedy said, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Those who don’t plan for it don’t usually like to start somewhere and neither do they have a habit of looking around for opportunities. Remember, if the starting point is to be a security guard, then go for it –even if you have ten degrees. You can’t flaunt your degrees at Shoprite or at Alaba market.
See if any of those points listed above has a place in your own life or the lives of those you know. I have worked with people who cannot arrive ten minutes early to work. They don’t want to give more than they are paid. I remember a colleague once getting to the office about fifteen or twenty minutes early and that was quite unusual. I jokingly said I was surprised she showed up early. She actually proved that was out of character, replying that: ”Yeah, I should have taken my time.”
If you have no plans to be rich, you will be careless with your money. Moreover, you probably won’t be working hard and smart. Neither will you want to leave your comfort zone. On a personal note, I’ve had to go back to former jobs in order to fast-track the journey to my preferred destination. If I have the time to earn extra money washing toilet, trust me, I’ll do it to fast track my journey, knowing full well that it’s to take me somewhere.
Finally, if you have no plans to be rich, you’re going to be served with the crumps of life, perhaps. You will, of course, keep working until your employer gets rid of you and asks you to stop coming. Without your own plans, people work into the last quarter of their lives because they have no choice – they have to keep body and soul together.