Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Moneywise 8: Don’t be afraid of baby steps

By on 09:30
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Ovation International Magazine Publisher, Bashorun (Dr.) Dele Momodu with Pastor TB Joshua of Synagogue Church of All Nations 

It was obviously going to be a very busy Friday, a day to my next appointment with my Financial Mentor. It was about 8.00a.m and I was just settling down in our office in Ikeja, Lagos, to tackle the accumulated tasks on my desk when my phone rang. The person at the other end of the phone turned out to be my Mentor.

After exchanging pleasantries, he asked if I could join him for a ride and sightseeing. It was definitely not convenient for me, for Friday happens to be my busiest day and I just like to stay indoors planning strategies and tackling some important paper work.

 But he is my Mentor and I am not willing to trade anything for a chat with him. His words of wisdom are always deep.
We agreed to take off from his house at 10.00a.m. I left the office at about 8.30 a.m. with my driver, and we got to his place at exactly 9.50 a.m. He had already left instructions that I should wait for him outside the compound. At exactly 10.00 a.m., the security man opened the main gate and he drove out in a black Mercedes Benz Jeep and asked that I join him. He was dressed in a blue Kaftan and a pair of leather slippers. I instructed my driver to follow us in my car.
We didn’t talk much in the car. He only briefly asked how I was practicing the lessons he had been giving me. I briefed him on the extent to which I had gone and the few concerns I had. He assured me that the concerns would be tackled in subsequent lessons.
In less than an hour, we were in Ikeja, in front of a government-owned bank located somewhere in the Central Business District area. He carefully parked outside the bank premises and we both went inside the bank.
It was a crowded scene. There were many old men and women in the queue, apparently trying to get their monthly retirement stipends. Some, obviously tired, were sitting on the bare floor. We just stood in one corner watching. And all of a sudden, there was commotion. One of the old men in the queue, about seventy years of age, fainted and people were trying to resuscitate him. My Mentor dashed to the spot and offered a helping hand. I joined as well and we eventually revived the old man. To my surprise, my Mentor offered to take the old man to his house, located somewhere at Ogba- Ikeja, in Lagos. Inside the car, the old man was busy raining unprintable abuses on the government for making them to spend their old age in pains. My Mentor didn’t say anything. We dropped the old man off in front of his house and my Mentor gave him ten pieces of N500 notes. On his way back to Ikoyi, he dropped me off at a convenient location near my office. He told me to keep my appointment with him. the following day at 12 noon. He drove off while I hopped into my car and rushed back to my desk. I spent the next few minutes trying to figure out the lesson he wanted me to learn.

Time is money invest it; don’t spend It. I got to my Mentor’s house at l1.50 a.m. the next day and went straight to his study as directed by one of his aides. While in his study, I was busy studying the table he had worked out on a cardboard paper and carefully pinned to the notice board near his reading table. What attracted me was the title of the table: Let Time Work for Your Money. He joined me about ten minutes later and we exchanged greetings. He wanted to know if I had any issues that I wanted to clarify with him.
Two issues had been of concern to me. The first was the difficulties I had in pooling all the lessons I had received from him together into a meaningful guide which I can follow to chart my way to financial freedom. The second issue had to do with the exercise he gave me to calculate how much I would need to have in investment to generate the level of income that would take care of my expenses at retirement. It was very huge and I did not know where to start. I shared my two concerns with him.

“My friend, I don’t consider any of the two issues you have raised a problem. These are some of the challenges you are expected to sort out as you shift from a poverty mentality to an abundance mentality”.

“But let me say that with the seriousness you have attached to these lessons, you will be there in a matter of time. I am equally very impressed with the progress you have made so far and I am willing to assist you to increase the speed of your race to financial freedom”.

“Time is the only resource you need to become a millionaire. You don’t have to come from a wealthy background. You don’t have to have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You don’t need any special advantage to enable you to climb the millionaire ladder. Time is all you need, and interestingly, time is all you have”

“Let me solve the first issue this way”, he said as he pulled out a document from the second rung of his drawer and handed it over to me. “This is the guide I gave to the guy who graduated last year from my wisdom class. I call it the Millionaire Guide to Financial Freedom. It contains nine carefully-arranged steps you can follow to work out your financial freedom. Follow the steps and you can’t miss the road.

 Greatness begins with just a step. “Your second concern will be addressed in today’s lesson, which I have entitled: Don’t be Afraid to Take Baby Steps. Let me ask you these simple questions: If you are given a plate of rice for your meal how do you deal with it? Do you gulp everything into your stomach at a go?”

“No of course!, a spoon at a time”. I replied. “Good. And if you want to travel to Ibadan, do you expect your car to jump from Lagos and land in Ibadan in a minute?” “Oh no, metre by metre, kilornetre by kilornetre”, I said.
“That’s right. Then tell me, why are you afraid to take baby steps on your journey to financial freedom? Have you not heard of the saying that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step? And what of the saying that Rome was not built in a day? Those people you consider wealthy today did not get to that position overnight; they started by taking baby steps. They knew that over time the baby steps will produce giant results. Your friend in South Africa started in 1997 to invest in shares and the effort has paid off handsomely in less than five years. You know the rest of the story, of course. A lot of people have missed out in life by refusing to take baby steps. They want to start their businesses only when they have a lot of money”.

Time is the only currency on earth. “Let me share this secret with you. Time is the only resource you need to become a millionaire. You don’t have to come from a wealthy background. You don’t have to have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You don’t need any special advantage to enable you to climb the millionaire ladder. Time is all you need, and interestingly, time is all you have. The rich and the poor have the same number of hours available to them in a day. The difference between rich and poor people is in the way they use their time and in what direction they are headed every day”.

“Time is the universal currency of the world. It is not the American Dollar; it is not the British Pound Sterling and it is not the Nigerian Naira. Once you master the use of your time, you have control of your destiny”
“You said you don’t know where to start to make the money you need at retirement? My advice is, start from where you are and start with what you have.
When I got my first job in 1957, my monthly salary was 157 Pounds. I dutifully put aside 1.57 Pounds. And when the salary was increased to 257 pounds, I did not increase my expenses; I simply added 100 Pounds to my monthly savings. It is the effect of that discipline that you are seeing around me today”
 “Enough for today”,  he said signaling he had ended the lesson. We went upstairs to have lunch together. Thereafter, I bade him goodbye.
 (Excerpts from the book: “THE MILLIONAIRES CAPSULES” by AYO AROWOLO. Read “Stretch your talents to wealth zones” tomorrow on this blog)
Ayo Arowolo, Publisher The Millionaires' Capsules

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