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Author and personal finance coach, Usiere Uko, writes on switching from working for money to having your money work for you
Money evokes different emotions in different people. Many are in denial when it comes to the topic of money. Some feel that the money will take care of itself (especially couples in love), so they spend without thinking and end up in perpetual worry mode. Some will do anything for money, anything. Some run after money and never seem to get enough while some are just content being themselves, utilising their talents and money comes to them.
Like the battle of the sexes, I don’t like joining the great debate about money because we often take entrenched positions based on our individual realities. We all come from different realities and have had different experiences hence we end up with different points of view despite what we profess to believe.
My favourite quote with respect to money is from Zig Ziglar “Money is not everything but it ranks right up there with oxygen”. Like oxygen, you don’t do go chasing after it or pulling crazy stunts to get it. You simply learn how to breathe in, breathe out and go about your business – whatever it is you came to this earth to do. Like oxygen, money is a fuel. It powers your automobile. If you get so wrapped up in getting fuel that you forget where you are driving to after you have gotten the fuel, then you are in a merry go round or rat race.
The poor and middle class work for money while the rich have money work for them.
This is the statement that triggered my journey to financial freedom. That we need money, lots if it is not debatable. But the challenge is; how do we take our rightful place – having money work for us the way it was meant to be, rather than us working so hard for money, essentially turning it around? It is a sad situation whereby the houseboy becomes the head of the house while the husband of the house becomes the houseboy. Nigeria experienced that for most of its history as an independent nation when the guards became the rulers while the ruling class bowed down to the guards to curry favours. Another name for it is military rule. We ended up having to attain independence twice – from the British and the military. Most of us as individuals will also have to attain independence twice – from our parents (coming of age) and money (financial independence).
If you earn income in any shape or form, you have a seed for attaining financial independence. The reason we are not making progress towards financial independence is that we don’t value it enough. It is not a high priority for us. It belongs to our wish list, not our ‘must’ list – something we will get around to do ‘one of these days’ when things fall into place by itself – probably when we grow white hairs. When something is a must, you find a way to make it happen, no excuses.
If you are in the back at an overcrowded stadium and you must get to the front (maybe to meet up with your spouse or child), you simply make it happen. You keep asking (politely) to be let through and keep pushing forward. Whenever someone does not give way (an obstacle), you find a way around him. You don’t stop until you get to the front. The reason you succeeded in getting to the front is not because you are smarter or stronger than everyone else in the stadium. It is because you made getting to the front a ‘must’. One memorable ‘must’ that comes to mind was a quote by General Yakubu Gowon during the civil war ‘To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done’. The keyword is must.
If you earn income, you receive a monthly dose of financial independence seed. Its job is to keep working hard for you so that one day, you will not need to work for money anymore. You start following your heart, passion, doing what you love and working to achieve your purpose and arrive at your ultimate destination or destiny. When you get here, you don’t work to impress your boss or earn promotions, but to leave a legacy. The interesting thing is that if you make the main thing the main thing, all the other things you are running after will start running after you. It is only a question of time.
Don’t go with the flow
Working for money is a choice many of us made by default. We grew up to meet our parents working for money and that becomes our reality. We never stop to question our assumptions. We believe that is the only way. Some families pride themselves in being a working class family, academic family, military family etc. There is nothing wrong with any vocation. The issue is working for money instead of working for love. If you spend most of your life working for money, what time will you have left to do what you really love and fulfil your purpose?
Your income not being enough is guaranteed. It was not meant to be enough. The moment an income source is tagged ‘salary’, expenses will always catch up with it unless you take a stand. Currently, Nigeria does not generate enough electricity. That means for a place like Lagos, not all areas will have light at the same time. That is why they came up with that brilliant (but annoying) term called load shedding. A decision is made on how to allocate available power based on priority. If you are earning a salary, chances are you are already carrying out load shedding. The only challenge is that you don’t consider your financial independence important enough in your load shedding scheme. You spend based on urgency and pressure rather than importance.
The main drive for switching from working for money, to having money work for you does not come from the outside. You don’t have to wait until ‘one of these days’ before you make the change. More income helps, but if you don’t change now, you may not change then. The change you need has to come from the inside of you. Do you want to continue working for money or you want to start having money work for you? That switch does not happen overnight. It can take two years, five, 10 years or more depending on you.
You can gather more speed by discovering, developing and deploying your gifts. The better you become in doing what you love most, the more you make money. That is what will take you from having enough money to more than enough (abundance). You can channel this money along the way towards your financial independence till you get to the point whereby money is no longer an issue. Your life can go on indefinitely even if you don’t work again. Your money is now working for you.
- For questions, comments or enquiries about the next seminar, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.financialfreedominspiration.com. Follow me on twitter @usiere, 08106788187 text only, BBM C002B2697