Friday, 2 September 2016

Moneywise 10: Your problem is Purpose driven

By on 09:30
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Famous Tabloid Journalism King, Mike Awoyinfa with Celebrity Blogger, Gbenga Dan Asabe
When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters. One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity
                                                                             --John F. Kennedy

I was in my study that Saturday morning, still trying to figure out how to fill in the missing links in the document, Millionaire’s Guide to Financial Freedom, which my Mentor had given to me during one of our sessions. The one he had given to me before contained nine steps, but he had upgraded it to twelve steps. And he wanted me to provide all the information before our next meeting.

I was in a state of deep meditation and reflection when my daughter rushed into my study shouting: “One man is looking for you”.  I walked to the door, and guess who? It was my Mentor! I was wondering what he was up to that time. We exchanged pleasantries and, predictably, he walked in the direction of my study. I offered him a chair but he remained standing for about three minutes, gazing at my shelves. He was just nodding his head and intermittently muttering “that’s good” Apparently, he was satisfied that I had increased the stock of books in my study beyond what he had seen the other time he was in my house.

He explained that the reason he was in my house was to tell me that he would be travelling out of the country that Saturday and he wanted to confirm whether I was at home so that he could give me a very important capsule. I thanked him for taking the trouble to come.

Within every problem, there is a wealth package. “The capsule I want to give you today, I will title: Every Perceived Mistake Contains a Seed of Fortune. Now, let me ask you a question and I want you to be frank in your answer: ‘Have you ever faced a difficult situation? And what was your reaction at that time?”

It was a tough question. I had gone through difficult moments, but the one that drove me to the cliff happened when I was in my final year in the Department of Political Science at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife). We were preparing to write our last examination paper for the final semester in part four. In that particular paper, I had earlier scored above thirty marks out of forty in the continuous assessment. The paper was scheduled for a Saturday from 12 noon to 3.00p.m. On that day, I was at the cafeteria in my Fajuyi Hall hostel doing a last-minute revision for the paper. At about 11.20 a.m. when I was getting ready to move to the venue of the examination, a colleague in the department walked up to me, looking worried. I thought he had come to call me so that we could go to the venue of the examination together. Instead, he dropped a bombshell... the time for the examination had been changed to 8.00 a.m. and they had just finished writing the paper I was still reading for! He explained that all efforts at contacting me had proved futile.

  “When you encounter difficulties, don’t brood over them; don’t say things like, God why me? The questions you should ask are: ‘God, what are you saying to me here? What strengths are you trying to draw out of me? Where are the seeds of opportunities in this situation? Once you develop this habit, you will only be failing forwards and not backwards”

To say the very least, I simply lost all my senses, I picked my bag, rushed to the venue of the examination, but the lecturer had already gone to the staff quarters, a distance of about six kilo meters from the venue of the examination.
In panic, I raced to the lecturers’ quarters. Ben Johnson couldn’t have done better. I explained the situation to the lecturer, but he refused to budge. But after prolonged begging and some measure of crying, he eventually agreed to assist me on the condition that the Dean of the Faculty was still around. We drove in his car to the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University.
John Maxwell

Unfortunately, by the time we got to the Faculty, we were told that the Dean had just left a few minutes earlier. I was confused. We both waited but the Dean was nowhere to be found. After a while, the man drove off. But I was still hanging around. After about ten minutes of waiting, the Dean returned and I explained the situation to him. He was sympathetic and wanted to help. I rushed to the lecturer’s house again, but unfortunately, as I learnt later, he went to town, Ile-Ife, after leaving the Faculty and there was nothing the Dean could do. It was a very tough situation. The following Monday, when my Head of Department got to know about it, he wrote a strong letter on my behalf to the Dean, saying among other things, that I was the best student in the Department. The Faculty wanted to help, but there was another strange problem: my file was missing! To cut the story short, I could not graduate with my colleagues. I was the only one in the Department who had to re-sit the examination. To be honest, suicide was not far from my thoughts”

There is a purpose for everything. “That is an interesting experience”, my Mentor said, and then asked: “So, what happened thereafter and how did you find yourself in journalism?”
“While I was alone on the campus, I had to really meditate and pray to God for I did not know what to do”, I replied. “But a voice told me to utilize the time writing articles for newspapers. Before then, I had developed a consuming passion for reading Newswatch Magazine particularly its business section. I knew every writer there. I wrote a few articles on the economy which was published by The Sketch and National Concord newspapers. I was very excited. I documented it in my diary that I would like to be a financial journalist”.
President John F. Kennedy
“Eventually, for my National Service (NYSC), I was posted to serve at Moslem Comprehensive High School, Imepe, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State. While at the school, I set up a Press Club and one of the activities was reading the news at the Assembly ground every Wednesday morning. It was so popular that people around the school would sometimes gather to listen to the news. An idea occurred to me to launch the Press Club. I did and I was able to draw to the place journalists I had always admired. Yanju Adegbite formerly of Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), Ibadan, and Soji Akinrinade of Newswatch were also there. They were both impressed. Apart from donating money, Mr. Akinrinade offered to employ me at Newswatch or assist me to secure a job in another media house after Service. He fulfilled his promise. I was given a job at National Concord as a Proof Reader. I accepted the job as it would enable me to pursue further education. It was while at National Concord that I enrolled at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Ikeja, for a Postgraduate Diploma where I got the Director’s Prize for the All-round Best Student at the end of the programme. I also enrolled for my Master’s programme at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Yaba, thereafter”.

“By divine intervention, when I moved to African Concord Magazine, the then Editor, Mr. Bayo Onanuga (now Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The News Magazine) persuaded me to join the Business Desk. I did and have been in business journalism since then. Financial journalism has taken me to countries I couldn’t have dreamt of travelling to”.
Mike Murdock
Every problem is purpose driven. “That is great. That is great” my Mentor said several times. “Now, I don’t have much to say again, your story has said it all. But let me share these few words with you on this topic. Usually, what we call failures are not failures at all but points and platforms for God to either bring out a particular strength in us or take us to the direction He wants for us in life. Every informed millionaire knows this. When I was listening to your story, the question that came to my mind was, ‘where would you have been today, if you had not stayed behind on the campus, if you had not served where you served and if you had not met those people you met?’ There is a lesson I want to leave with you today and it is this: ‘if you have absolute trust in God, He can turn what you consider a disappointment into a gem of opportunities’. Remember, His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts”.

“When you encounter difficulties, don’t brood over them; don’t say things like, God why me? The questions you should ask are: ‘God, what are you saying to me here? What strengths are you trying to draw out of me? Where are the seeds of opportunities in this situation? Once you develop this habit, you will only be failing forwards and not backwards, as John Maxwell would put it. ‘I had gone through several trying moments myself and God had always unfolded gems of opportunities after each experience”.

The righteous is permitted to fall seven times. “You see, the wisdom is not in not failing, it is in coming out stronger every time we fall into difficulties. We are permitted by God to fail several times. And if you have not failed before how would you appreciate what success is? That is what the late Tai Solarin meant by his quotable quote, May your road be rough. “I am sharing this with you because you will certainly come across trying circumstances in your journey to financial freedom. You will lose money. Friends will betray you. Advisers may confuse you. But every time you fall into difficulties, don’t despair; just ask those sets of questions again and you will come out better”.

“Enough for today”, he said as he gave me two books to read. The books are: Failing Forward by John Maxwell and Wisdom for Crisis Times by Mike Murdock. He sipped some freshly-squeezed orange juice before departing. I thanked him sincerely once again for sparing the time to come to my house. He also thanked me for sharing my intimate experiences.
(Excerpts from the book: “THE MILLIONAIRES CAPSULES” by AYO AROWOLO. Read “How to Sharpen your Business Intelligence” tomorrow on this blog)
Ayo Arowolo, Publisher The Millionaires' Capsules

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


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