How to Avoid Empty Pocket

How to Avoid Empty Pocket

I hate an empty pocket, and I know you do too. In fact, from childhood, I had always been a financial-independent​ freak. I don’t like depending on another person for money, no matter how reliable he/she is. That’s not even sustainable. So, it wasn’t surprising when I started selling airtime almost immediately after my secondary school (high school).

I discovered I wasn’t satisfied with the meager revenue that the business was generating. I needed more money for many things. I eventually ended up spending both the capital and the profit, which leads to the company dying a natural death in a few months. By the way, that’s not really what I want to write about today.

After graduating from the University, I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake of using my little savings to start a business when I need money. So, I opted for a job in a field I was so passionate about.

I spoke to one of my senior friends about the plan, and his advice was, “forget all this passion thing youths talk about. The most important thing is money. Learn a trade, start a business, and become an Entrepreneur. Don’t follow any passion”.

Really? I couldn’t believe he said that to me. Thank God, I knew better. Just be careful about where you get your advice from. There are two quick ways to destruction, taking everybody’s advice, and rejecting everybody’s advice.

I learned later in life that we all don’t need to be entrepreneurs to build our wealth and be financially independent. You can follow your passion and with the right knowledge and build wealth.

I might not be an entrepreneur, but I could be that employee that negotiates her pay and invest wisely to build her wealth. But you can start a business if you are sure you have found a solution to a problem but if you are as broke as I was then, get a job and if you want to multiply your money, invest!
Don’t go starting a business with the thought of making money immediately. Trust me; you will use all both your capital and profit and end up like my recharge card business.

Do you want to avoid an empty pocket? My counsel is simple – sit down, take a deep breath, decide what you want (either start a business, invest, or get a job) and intentionally go for it with Wisdom. Afterward, take a chill Zobo (Hibiscus Juice) and look for me to thank me.

The Blood Money Psychology

The Blood Money Psychology

Emaka grew up in a village in Enugu. One day, his childhood friend returned from Lagos with the latest car.

Emeka wanted to be rich, too. So, he begged his friend to take him to Lagos so that he can hustle and make his own money.

On reaching Lagos, it turns out that his wealthy friend was an occultic man and he convinced him to join the occult group. Emeka was resistant at first, but after some more persuasions, he succumbed and used his father, mother, or somebody he loved dearly for rituals. He became extremely wealthy.

If you are a Nigerian born in the early and mid-90s, I bet you can relate to this story.

I grew up with two terrible mindsets about money.

The first one was influenced by Nollywood, and it is that every wealthy person belongs to an occultic group.

Where I spend the early part of my life, seeing an extremely wealthy person was a privilege we could not afford. My definition of wealth was any family who could afford a generator, television, and maybe a fancy car (Fancy – referring to any other vehicle apart from 504 or 505 Peugeot).

Well, some of us were not privileged to be part of that league. So, we usually sneak out at night to stood by the window to see movies. If we were lucky enough, they would open their curtain or, better still, allow you to go in (if you are a friend to the family).

The type of movies we watched those days were full of something like my introductory story.

These stereotyped storylines were made for entertaining, but the unintended consequences were that it was gradually implanting on my innocent, naive, and young mind, a wrong perspective about wealth.

This kind of plot was so consistent in Nollywood movies that it became so real to me. So much so that I began to see any good car on the road as a product of ‘blood money.’

The second mindset was influenced by a church I attended for six months after my secondary School while I was doing computer training.

We were doing a series of Bible studies on the end time, and what I understood then was that all the world’s wealthiest people are potential antichrist.

So, as far as I was concerned, once you are a billionaire, you have pitched your tent with the devil.

It was so serious that I concluded that it’s impossible to be wealthy and influential and yet be part of the Kingdom.

What those mindsets did to me was to take away my confidence, becoming rich. I told myself, “since I wouldn’t want to use my parents or siblings for ritual and I do not want to be an antichrist, the best thing is to just remain in the middle class. After all, godliness and contentment is a great gain.

The good news is all those mindsets have changed because I realized they weren’t true. Thanks to the balanced doctrines of FCS KSU and Chapel of Restoration. My first two years in the University were more of a mindset reform and spiritual transformation than they were of Academics.

I also come to learn that an average Igbo man who migrated from his village to Lagos does not have to be an occultic member to make money. Most of them (if any) do not belong to any cult at all. Their wealth is a product of determination, commitment, and divine empowerment.

I am a firm believer in the fact that God gives the power to create wealth, and a man can yield to him and build capacity to lend to nations. That’s the scripture.

In case you are still having similar mindsets about wealth as I had before, I want you to know that it’s not your fault. We are all products of our nature (genetic make-up) and nurture (environment). You may not be able to change your nature but can unlearn everything you learned from your environment that is toxic. That’s what life is all about, learning, learning, and relearning.

Guess what, I can help you with it. I will be writing a series of posts about how you can develop a healthy mindset about money in August. You can subscribe to the series for free at https://bit.ly/MMwithnick

Stay tuned!
#Growwithnick

The Little Book Of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle – A Review

The Little Book Of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle – A Review

Compiled by Aina Joseph

Chapter one – THE PARABLE

In the first chapter of his book- The Little Book Of Common Sense Investing, John C. Bogle succinctly used a simple parable of the Gotrocks family that was originally narrated by Warren Buffet, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and the infamous Oracle of Omaha. Bogle, whose parable seemed convincing enough, argued that the more active is your investment, the more tax you pay, and the more your money goes out as commission to the intermediaries.

Thus, sustainable investment and a wise investor will diversify but, at the same time, keep fees low and build over the long term. Hence, the need to invest in index funds or other mutual funds because they provide a better opportunity and platform to do this successfully.

Bogle pointed out that the higher the level of an investor’s activities are, the greater the cost of financial intermediation and taxes, and ultimately this will lead to a less net return from the shareholder.

Chapter two – RATIONAL EXUBERANCE

Many investors make the mistake of holding a stock for a short time, and when the market is down, they tend to lose their money. Rather than using this route, John C. Bogle advised investors to buy and hold stocks for a long time.

Although there are ups and downs in stock investing, in the long run, the aggregate shows that you will earn more. This is what Bogle referred to as rational exuberance.

He proved that for each $1 invested in 1900, the return would be $43k over 116 years. Although no one may live up to 116 years, your next generation can, thus, long term stock investing is a way of building generational wealth.

The author also noted that stock trading involves forecasting “swing in investor’s emotions,” and to do that accurately is impossible, but predicting the long-term success of a company carries a remarkable higher odd of success. Conclusively, there are two types of investments; speculative investment or stock trading and a long-term investment like index funds.

Chapter three – CAST YOUR LOT WITH BUSINESS

Rely on Occam’s Razor to win by keeping it simple. Occam’s Razor: when there are multiple solutions to a problem, choose the simplest one. So how do you cast your lot with business? “Simply by buying a portfolio that owns the shares of every business in the United States and holding it forever,” the author suggested.

He used William of Occam’s expression of 1320 to buttress his point. “When there are multiple solutions to a problem, choose the simplest one” It is a simple concept that guarantees you win the investment game played by most other investors who – as a group- are guaranteed to lose.

To focus on the long-term investment, the best parameter to look at is the business and their number and not speculation surrounding individual stocks.   

John Bogle claimed that the S&P 500 is highly profitable. He did this by comparing the performance of the S$P 500 and the total stock market over some time. He expressed how major government parameters are utilizing an index fund to achieve a long term guaranteed profit from the investment.

Join the club to Read More…

Alignment

Alignment

My word for today is #alignment

A few years ago, I was travelling back to school in a commercial vehicle, when suddenly the driver stopped and took permission from the passengers to do what they call “wheels alignments.”

I didn’t know what that meant, because I was in high school then.

I can still recall that experience because it led to a misunderstanding between the driver and one of the passengers, which eventually turned into a minor World War III.

If you are familiar with the Nigerian garage system, you will know what I mean.

But this morning, while I was on my routine meditation, the Spirit of God took my memory back to that experience to teach me on alignment. I did a Google check to find out what wheel alignment means.

It turned out that alignment refers to an adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension. This system connects a vehicle to its wheels.

When correctly done, alignment “assures your tires meet the road at the proper angle, your wheels are pointing straight, and your tires are centred in the wheel wells. It adjusts the angles of your vehicle’s wheels to original specs for best gas mileage, proper road contact, a smooth ride, and the longest tire life.”

However, when your car or your tires are out of alignment, among other things, it causes your vehicle to pull to the left or right, or that your steering wheel is off-centre when driving straight. Speed becomes uneasy and driving tedious and unenjoyable in the process.

Just like driving a car, if you must live a happy life, enjoy it to the fullest and keep straight at your purpose, you must learn to align correctly.

Life’s alignment comes in two dimensions – alignment with the source and alignment with your passion.

Show me a man who derives 100% satisfaction from life and I will show you a man in complete alignment with God – the Source of everything you need to make the experience enjoyable. Such a man moves at the frequency of God, who knows the past, understand the presents and what the future holds.

If you find alignment with God, the next thing is to align to His purpose. In that, every part of your life, just like the four wheels of the car, will be perfectly aligned.

Then consistency will begin to pay off. After all, the new speed is consistency.

I welcome you to find alignment today – with God and with your purpose, and I promise you that your life will be nothing short of fulfilment.

How to Sources Funds for your Business Idea – My thought & Experience 2

How to Sources Funds for your Business Idea – My thought & Experience 2

When it comes to funding your business, you fall into the category of early startup, growth stage or expansion phase. Those at the initial stage have not gotten paid customers yet, or they have customers below 100. They are mainly looking for money to launch their product. Those at the growth stage, however, are looking to expand their businesses and improve the existing customer base.

They are several ways you can fund your businesses. We have already mentioned them above – Loans, grants, investments, OPM (Friends & Family) and your savings and crowdfunding. It can be a combination of one or two of the sources.

From my experience, there is no right or wrong source of funds. However, I always advise that you should be careful when it comes to taking a loan, especially if you are just starting your business. Credits have a way of putting you under some kind of undue pressure that you need to avoid as a startup. Instead of focusing on building your business, you will be spending your energy and strength on trying to meet up with a loan repayment plan.

However, this does not apply to all the business. If your business is sure of having paying customers, or you have stricken an agreement with your customers already. Such as a contract to supply a product after which you will be paid. A loan can be beneficial.

Every other thing being equal, I advise that loan be your last resolve. Don’t rush into taking one.

Final Words

From my experience, people are more likely to fund the person or group of people behind the business than the business itself. As you work on your business and position it for external funding, don’t forget to work on yourself as well. Every investor or lender knows that poor business owners can ruin a great business idea. So build your capacity and always demonstrate that you can start, develop and grow your idea successfully.

Every business is as successful as its owners.

You can always work with a team to complement your inefficiencies. It makes a whole lot of sense if one or two members of your team have track records of winning funds. The easiest way to get funding for your business is to get the fund first.

Invest in your social and integrity capital. If people know and trust you, they will trust you with their money and when they do. Do not breach the trust.

If you are a man of faith like me, don’t forget to depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance.

But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth that He may establish His covenant which He swore unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Deuteronomy 8:18. And If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks. If God doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap. It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? Psalm 127:1 -2.

Do you have any other ways that you raise fund for your business? We will be glad to learn from you; you can share on the comment session.

What topic would you love to read from me? Let me know at the comment session too. You will be glad to write about what you like to read.

Wrong Reasons for Starting  A Business

Wrong Reasons for Starting A Business

One of the major reasons many startups fail can be traced back to why they started the business in the first place. When your intention is wrong, your actions cannot be correct.

I will be sharing with you some common wrong reasons to start a business

1. Because I’m Broke

Everyone needs money. Even the rich get broke sometimes. But because you are broke is definitely not a good reason to start a business. Here is why?

Businessmen are not money people. Money is not the purpose of business it is a consequence. Any business that is built on the sole foundation of making money will soon run out of the market. The goal of any business should be to provide value and solve people’s real problem. Then people pay you for solving their problems. So if you are broke and you are not solving people’s problems, you can’t make money. Don’t get me wrong, you should make money from your business, but let that not be the only reason you are starting the business.

Another reason you should not start a business just because you are broke is that there is no guarantee that you are going to have your immediate financial needs met by that business. If however, you are lucky to make money, chances are that you will be spending the money when you ought to be multiplying it or growing your business.

So what should I do when I’m broke? look for a job. What if there are no jobs? that’s why you should look for it. There are really no Jobs.

However, if you have a solution to people’s problem and you are broke. That will be a perfect time to start a business because you have double motivation.

2. Because I don’t want to work for anyone

My mum told me that my granddad used to tell her that if a pot is leaking in my village, taking it to the next village will not prevent it from leaking unless it is repaired. Why do I start with this? If you can’t work for somebody’s business, you will most likely not be able to work for yourself. If you are lazy about working on someone, chances are that you will transmit the same laziness into your own business.

Laziness is not the function of the task or the taskmaster but your attitude. If you don’t deal with it, it doesn’t matter what or who you are working for, you will continue to be lazy. Business requires hard work if you are looking for how to run away from work, starting a business is not an option.

I can authoritatively say that business owners work more than employees. There’s nothing like weekend, public holiday and off -office hour for those who have businesses, especially when the business is still at a startup phase. Whether it is another person’s business or your own business, you are still working for somebody anyway. Either your employer(s) or your customers.

What if my job is too demanding, what should I do? Well, I don’t know. But what I do know is that if you are going to build a sustainable business, it’s going to be demanding as well. If you have a clear solution to a problem and you think people will pay you for solving it, then you are good to start a business.

3. Because I have an Idea

Yes, I mean it. Having an idea is not enough reason to start a business. First, it’s not all good ideas that are business ideas. If all people say about your idea is “wow! That’s a nice idea” without the corresponding readiness to bring out the money in exchange for the value, then you don’t have a business idea.

A business idea must not sound very ‘out of the box’ but it must be the one that will make people pay you. Whenever you have that mind-blowing idea, one of the first questions to ask is “who is paying for this value and why should he be willing to pay for it?”.

Secondly, not all ideas can be successfully or competitively implemented by you due to some limitations such as skill(s), market readiness, geographical location, legal demand, etc. In this case, a partnership becomes not only important but necessary. Remember, the idea is just 1%…execution is 99%.

You don’t just start a business because you’ve got an idea, but you must have an idea to start a business.