Monday, 2 November 2009

To the rescue

HAVE you ever had a challenge of trying to help a loved one –– either a family member or a friend struggling to overcome destructive addictive behaviours such as alcoholism, eating disorders, drug problems and so on?
Those who have addictions usually deny their situations. While you are moaning and groaning, they just cruise on, pretending to be unaware of the consequences of their actions.
In truth, people who are under this category actually long for a solution but do not know the way out and are ashamed to admit it. So they spiral round and round like an insect caught in a spider web.
Think of the emotional, mental and physical trauma those who are married or related to chronic drunks, smokers and other harmful vices go through, even parents, whose children (especially adolescents) are victims –– you would appreciate the spirit behind this article.
It would not help anything trying to nag, threaten or hope that one day they would ‘see the light’ and change.
The best way to handle these cases medically is by intervention (not divine please). Intervention is just a means of helping a loved one to overcome his or her addictive behaviours to make changes before things get out of hand. It involves both parties with the affected being persuaded to accept treatment. Experts give the following steps:

Planning. A family member or friend proposes an intervention and forms a planning group.

Gathering information. The group members find out about the extent of the loved one’s problem and research the condition and treatment programmes. The group may make arrangements to enroll the loved one in a specific treatment programme.
Forming the intervention team. The planning group forms a team that will personally participate in the intervention. Team members set a date and location and work together to present a consistent message, treatment plan and changes each person will make if the addicted person doesn’t seek treatment. Keep the plan confidential until the day of the intervention.

Deciding on specific consequences. If your loved one doesn’t accept treatment, each person on the team needs to decide what action he or she will take. Examples include asking your loved one to move out or taking away contact with children.

Writing down what to say. Each member of the intervention team should detail specific incidents where the addiction has resulted in problems, such as emotional or financial issues. Discuss the toll of your loved one’s behavior while still expressing care and the expectation that your loved one can change.

The intervention meeting. Without revealing the reason, the loved one is asked to the intervention site. Members of the core team then take turns expressing their concerns and feelings. The loved one is presented with a treatment option and asked to accept that option on the spot. Each team member will say what specific changes they will make if the addicted person doesn’t seek care.

Follow-up. Involvement of a spouse and family members is critical in helping someone with an addiction stay in treatment and avoid relapsing into old patterns. This can include changing patterns of everyday living to make it easier to abstain from the destructive behavior, offering to participate in counseling with your loved one, seeking your own therapist and recovery support, and knowing what to do if relapse occurs.

Financial sharks to avoid

(Biz tool Kids)
IT is not enough to make much money, it is also important to protect your money legally from financial sharks. The world is full of people who are only looking for an opportunity to prey on the rich. As you aim to improve your financial life, you must also be prepared to protect your estate from coming under attack by financial sharks.
The seven financial sharks we should keep an open eye on are as follows:

Taxes are an expense for living in a civilised society. Nigeria is just beginning to reposition its tax system and give teeth to legislation against tax evasion. This is a step in the right direction. However, entrepreneurs and investors have to watch out for excessive taxation. Our state and federal governments in a bid to increase their income generation drive are coming up with tax regimes that may result in cold comfort for business activities. Therefore, smart organisations should employ accountants who are knowledgeable about our tax system or work directly with tax consultants so they can enjoy certain provisions in the system not open to the “uninitiated” and protect their businesses from predatory taxation. Also, people should, aside having earned income, begin to grow their passive and portfolio income. The taxes on these types of income are less.

Bankers are supposed to protect your money and that is what they do. But recent events have confirmed the fears of people that banks and mutual fund institutions can also turn out to be sharks preying on the monies entrusted in their care e.g. Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford. Therefore, when you bank your money, peel your eyes and make sure your life savings are safe.

A broker is another word for a salesperson or agent. Of course, we need brokers and there are very good brokers around, finding the good ones is a difficult task. This is because good brokers are busy working with their higher networth clients. So watch the broker you have. They can make you sink or swim financially! Warren Buffett had this to say to that effect, “Wall Street is the place people drive to in their Rolls-Royce to take advice from people who ride the subway (train).”

All businesses have something to sell. The question we should ask ourselves is, “Is this business’s product or service making me richer or poorer?” “Is it making me healthier or a better person?” Some people buy products that make them poorer or sicklier.

Brides and Bridegrooms
Some men and women marry for money rather than love. Like it or not, money plays an important role in marriage. But some people are attracted to men and women and marry them, not because they love them, but because they love their money. So watch out for love predators as a young man, woman or rich person.

Michael Jackson was saved the embarrassment when initially they thought he had died without a will only to discover that he had one prepared for him in 2002. Family, friends and the government show up at funerals when the deceased individual is rich. Those with a high financial intelligence have wills, trusts, and other legal means of protecting their wealth and final wishes from death predators.

Do you know somebody once sued MacDonald’s claiming the coffee was too hot? That is an example of a financial predator. And you know what, lawyers are ready and will be willing to defend such financial predators?

KNOWING these financial sharks are waiting for an opportunity to pounce on you, should make you do the following:
Keep nothing of value in your name. Don’t have your houses or properties in your name rather in your company’ name.
Insure your assets and properties.
Hold assets of value in legal entities like limited liability, public limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships.
As you can see, there are financial sharks prowling everywhere looking for whom to pounce on. We all require to groom and grow our financial intelligence.
Olotu is the CEO/Lead Consultant, DEAIM Innovative Resources Ltd,

Speaking your mother tongue

SPEAKING ones mother tongue can be such a cozy and re-assuring thing to do especially in situations where one has not had the opportunity to do so in a long while. Such situations include living in a foreign land or cosmopolitan city.
A cosmopolitan city constrains and curtails our freedoms in many subtle ways. One of these ways is in not being free to ‘rap’ our mother tongue with reckless abandon.
As an African, my mother tongue is one of God’s gifts to me and it is to be cherished. No matter how English we try to sound, I have observed that some situations are better expressed in the mother tongue.
As a teenager in secondary school, whenever English Language was imposed on the class as a medium of conversation, noise-making ceased. That means noise-making is better done in the mother tongue.
I’ve also observed that people who habitually shout in the guise of talking do so when they are speaking in their mother tongue. Exclamations and ululations are naturally rendered in the mother tongue too.
On the other hand, our national lingua franca, English, has comparative advantage in specific circumstances.
These include lying! Lying is not to be encouraged in the society but my people have a saying that lying is better done in the English Language. This is not said approvingly but in a condemnatory sense.
English Language has such a breadth of usage as to allow one talk from both sides of the mouth. This facility does not quite exist in my language except one chooses to have recourse to proverbs.
My parsing about mother tongue today was triggered by my experience the last time at the barber’s. While getting a hair cut, my barber had his tribesman seated on the couch.
Two of them were locked in an animated discussion in their mother tongue which I didn’t understand. Man, did I feel unsettled! Suddenly I felt he was wasting my time and had to tell him as much.
On second thoughts, I may not have felt the same way if they were speaking English or my mother tongue – see how selfish we can get? If I had been let into the gist and flowed with it, chances are that I would have felt relaxed.

I am not alone in feeling left out when members of a group switch to a language not understood by others in the group. It is certainly ill-mannered to switch to an esoteric language in a cosmopolitan group.
This is often done subconsciously. But sometimes it is done consciously to gain advantage. Imagine being involved in a traffic matter with a fellow who starts addressing the Police arbiter in their common mother tongue. That alone compromises the officer’s neutrality.
Also official businesses are supposed to be conducted in English. Some countries like South Africa have added indigenous languages to the borrowed one as lingua franca.
They use these concurrently even in parliamentary debates. But these do not include Nigeria yet. We are therefore bound not just by etiquette but law and convention to conduct our official verbal transactions in English.
That way we build a more inclusive society using one of colonialism’s more positive legacies – English language!

Becoming Business-Wise

THIS week, as I was preparing to leave my house for a meeting, I received a phone call from a lady based in Abuja, who decided to reach me after reading one of my articles on entrepreneurship.
Take the first step. A Chinese proverb says, “a journey of 10,000 miles begins with a step.” The lady wanted to come to my office to, in her own words, “discuss some challenges that I am facing in my business and personal life with you.” She took the first step by calling me, and that decision paid off.
Make that call. You may be three calls away from getting a positive response to your proposal or request. Keep doing things that will draw you closer towards achieving your goal, and never quit. Someone somewhere has a solution for you.
Seek expert advice. There was a time I almost got lost, save for the fact that I asked a young man for the address I was looking for, and he took me there himself. I wanted to visit a friend for the first time. In your business and personal life, you may need the services of a life coach for direction.
Beginning is associated with hardship. The lady established a business, which failed after barely a year. She wanted to start the business again, but she felt she needed expert advice. I told her the beginning of a new thing is usually associated with confusion, until you eventually learn the ropes.
Learn from the school of life. I told the lady that life is a teacher, and the day you will graduate from the school of life is when you die. I encouraged her to learn good lessons from her bad experience. It is not bad to fail in business, if only, you will learn to pick yourself up and try again.
Set the proper foundation. “In everything you do in life,” I told the young lady, “the foundation is very important.” It is not wise to use sophisticated building materials to build a house if the foundation is bad, because the house will eventually crumble.
Be patient. In this jet age, it is important to gain speed in what you are doing, provided you are not in a hurry. I counseled the lady to bounce back to her business and be ready to set the proper foundation for her business.
Plan your work. Before building a house, there has to be a plan designed by an architect. Building a successful business is like building a house. You will need a plan, in this case, a business plan.
Planning is winning. A carpenter’s adage says, “measure twice, cut once.” This means that a minute spent in planning may be worth two minutes in execution. You have to act on your business plan.
Give yourself room to fail. Be realistic. You will always meet challenges. You ability to stay put, and overcome your challenges is what makes you an entrepreneur. Don’t wish you wouldn’t fall. Instead, wish that you will stand up, dust your body and move on, after falling.
Develop your financial intelligence. Money is very important in succeeding in business because of its purchasing power. The first step to developing your financial intelligence is to spend less than you earn, because expenses will always rise to meet income.
Keep records. Deola, the girl online with me, told me that her major challenge in business then, was that of mismanagement. She sold some expensive fabrics on credit, and some of the customers paid their debts in installments, which made it hard for her to gather the fund. I told her the importance of getting an accountant, and the importance of keeping financial records.

1 comment:

  1. Can I add that I think the World now needs a modern lingua franca as well :-)

    Why not decide on a neutral non-national language, taught worldwide, in all nations? I would prefer Esperanto

    Your readers may be interested in

    A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at