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

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.

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

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

You might have heard that you don’t need money to start a business. I think the better way to put it is – you don’t require capital to start working on your business idea.

Every business at any stage requires capital – to start, to run or even to expand. No business can out-grow the need for external funding. Let me put it in a better way; no business is too big or too small to ask for more money.

The focus of my thoughts on this matter will be on two things. First, what to do before you ask for (more) money and second, where to look for money. Join me on this ride.

Four things to do before you ask for (more) money

  • Move past the idea stage.
  • Know what you want
  • Use your own money
  • Horn your communication Skills

Let’s take a look at each of them one after the other.

1. Move past the idea stage

One day I was in my business mentors office, and a young man (let’s call him Nemi) came asking for money to fund what I called a very brilliant business idea. That idea was so bright that when I heard it, I was like wow! I will invest in this idea if I have the money. But after listening to Nemi with rapt attention for like 20 minutes, my mentor simply asks, “How much do you need?”

Nemi replied with a very ridiculously low amount?  He smiled and asked again, “What did you need the money for?”

“To start the business”, Nemi responded.

“What precisely”, my mentor propped further.

Nemi man could no longer answer.

He simply asked Nemi to go and bring his business plan.

After Nemi has gone, my mentor turned to me and said, “Nick, you see that young man, he is not returning to me again. The best way to turn down young entrepreneurs who don’t know what they are doing is to ask them to bring a business plan. They will never return.

That was three years ago. Since then, I have learned never to ask anybody for money until I have done real work on my idea. I mean real work.

They are five stages of business growth – the idea, startup, growth, expansion and maturity stages.

The idea stage is the stage of conceptualisation. You just got this excellent business idea that is going to among Fortune 500 in the next five years. You have everything figure out in your head, you want to start tomorrow, and you need the money now.

Well, I will say, calm down. It doesn’t happen that way. Only a few funders fund ideas, but no one who can, will resist investing in a startup that has proven sustainability and scalability. So before you ask for money, do some work about your idea?

Carry out a feasibility study, identify your target customers, validate your users and be sure that they will love to pay to use your solution. Do your financial analysis and have figures at your fingertips. All this information will lead you to write a “killable” business plan or business proposal.

A powerful tool that can simplify this for you is called “The Business Model Canvas (BMC)”. Maybe one these days we will look deep into it.

2. Know What You Want

From our little story above, the significance of knowing what you want, when it comes to getting funding for your business is apparent. Nobody, including your friends and family, will take you seriously if you do not know what you want. Run your figures to understand what you want, how much you need and how much is for what. You can even go-ahead to run the financial projection of your profit.

Find out your break-even points, break-even revenue or even break-even unit. You can learn this calculation online. Seek for an assistant if you need to. If you can memorise your figures and have them handy, it will be super awesome. It shows you know what you are doing.

3. Use your own money

You are the first investor in your business. If you can’t put your money into your idea, don’t expect others to do so. No matter how little it is, put your money in your business. It also helps to show others that you are serious-minded.

4. Horn your business Communication Skills

When you have done your underground work, ran your figures and even invested your money in your business idea, there is still a high possibility that you will not get the fund if you don’t know how to pitch your business idea correctly.

When pitching your idea, the first thing you should take note of is your target audience. Different things attract different sets of funders.

The investors are more concern with the scalability and sustainability of your idea, especially in the long term. Thus net profit (bottom line) and break-even analysis ( how long it takes you to generate them)  is fundamental to them.

The bank is interested in your cash flow and ability to pay to pack the principal and the interest. They are less concern with your bottom line (net profit), unlike the investors.

Most grant donors are more interested in the social impact of your business. They gave out money for a course and achieving that course is very important to them. If it is to create more jobs, they will be interested in your number of employees.  They always are concern with your environmental sustainability and social impact on the community or the less privilege and venerable.

Your friends and family will want to know if you will be able to pay back them their money back. Or that you will use the funds appropriately and expand your business. Some of your uncles will think you should not be asking them for money any longer because he has empowered you.

The summary is, you should know what your funder wants and design your pitch to amplify it.

A business pitch can be writing or oral. Whatever means you are using or you are required to use, always try to be clear, concise and straightforward. You wouldn’t want to bore your audience with unnecessary jargons or unfamiliar business terminology.

Now, where can you source your business funds?