Monday, 14 December 2009

Don’t live below your means

(Biz tool Kits)
THERE is this bursar of a private school whose life smacks of financial intelligence. When you see him, you’ll think he is a banker.
He always goes to his office well-dressed in corporate wear which is something different from teachers and bursars in his category. He drives around in a very good car that can pass for posh.
He lives in a good environment and every summer when schools go on vacation, he travels abroad with his family for vacation too.
The question is: how does he maintain this kind of high standard of living without being the son of a very wealthy man or without working for a multinational company?
When he spoke with me, I discovered that he was able to keep this higher standard of living because he was able to expand his means. This is all I have been talking about in my last few articles.
This man, apart from his school employment, also runs an auditing firm on the side. He audits the accounts of companies and small businesses.
His auditing side business does not affect his school work which he is devoted to. So when he closes work at 3pm, he goes to his auditing firm to handle pending jobs and tasks. He has a junior accountant working with him.
Besides this, this man is also a committed investor in the stock market where he holds different portfolio of blue-chip stocks.
All these put together help him to augment his income, provide extra cash to increase his standard of living and to further acquire more income-generating assets for himself.
You can also apply this strategy to your own personal work. You can use your present employment as a means to develop your side business(es) to create more income streams for yourself.
Take for instance, an accountant, apart from the work the person does in an establishment can expand his means by offering accounting services to small businesses that need to straighten their accounts, file their tax returns and also do their auditing.
This doesn’t have to affect the person’s work as he/she can offer these accounting services as a side business, with the help of one or two staff to run around for them. Supposing this accountant has 10 clients that pay him N10,000 every month for managing their accounts, he will be making N100,000 a month as passive income, and in a year will be grossing N1.2 million. If the fees he charges are higher than this amount, what he would be grossing monthly and annually would be higher, too.

A MEDICAL doctor can also expand his/her means by offering medical services to nearby communities that lack these services.
For instance, ASUU just called off its. During the period, employees of state- and federal-owned teaching hospitals would have been affected.
Salaries would be delayed and many medical doctors’ income would have been affected, even temporarily.
But a smart doctor located close to communities where there are no doctors can use his free period when they are not on call to offer medical services to members of such communities. Some community clinics do not have resident doctors there.
This is an opportunity for financially intelligent doctors to expand their means. They can become visiting doctors for such hospitals. They can even consult with clients in such communities if their professional ethics and training allows them to do so. Imagine a community where a medical doctor attends to about 100 patients a month, charging just N1,000 or less.
That doctor will be grossing extra N100,000 a month and N1.2 million a year. They will be making some extra cash and saving lives in turn.
What of a situation where such medical doctors partner with owners of private community clinics and become visiting doctors there.
The quality of the community health of our people would increase, while quacks parading as experts won’t have any more jobs to do. The NMA needs to pay me for this free consulting given to its members.
Now, you don’t have to be a medical doctor or an accountant to expand your means. Space will fail me to identify what you can start doing through your own profession and skills to generate extra income for yourself.
What I am driving at is very simple; your earned income should not limit you. It should not define your standard of living. It should not force you to live below your means.

Understanding your real self

HAVE you ever felt that there is more to your life than your present job? Have you ever felt that your heart yearns for something which you are yet to discover? Have you ever thought about being fulfilled in life and business?

You are product of your environment. Every geographical region has a prevalent attitude. Nothing may have a greater influence on your life than your environment. Your environment has in one way or the other, shaped your thinking, your behaviour, your taste, and your overall orientation of life.

Your environment can make or mar you. It is not hard to explain why different people who grew up in different parts of a country have a particular attitude. Your environment determines what you see, what you hear, some of the things you believe and some of your values.

You are being influenced by friends. If you want to know the direction you are headed in life, evaluate the lifestyle of your closest friends. Your friends are an integral aspect of your decision making, and may determine your lifestyle.

Your friends increase or decrease you. A friend, who is not increasing you physically, mentally, academically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually, may be decreasing you. It is important to surround yourself with positive people, if you want to be successful in life.

You are a product of your upbringing. At a very tender age, you have answered some of life’s most important questions like what is right and what is wrong. You have answered most questions between the ages of three and six. The boy you were, you still are. Between the ages of three and six, you had stored all the life lessons you learnt in your mind, and as you grew up, you made decisions based on what you learnt when you were a kid.

Look back. Why do you hold on to some memories and have seemingly discarded others? The truth is that we only remember those events from our early childhood that are consistent with our present view of ourselves, and the world around us. Your past holds a key that you can use to maximize your future.

Your memories tell you about you. Your oldest memories may be the major indicators of why you believe what you believe, and do the things that you do.
Psychologists believe that as we get older, our reactions in the present are reactions to gestalts (Collections of memories which are organised in a certain way). Your early childhood memory is between age seven to eight or when you were younger.

I REMEMBER a story my mother told me of a boy. When he was a kid, he liked walking. He started walking at the age of nine month, and was fond of walking around. There was a time he walked around the street and couldn’t trace his steps back home. Someone found him, and took him to a traditional ruler called baale.
As I grew up, I realized that I still like going up and down. I like doing something positive. I like traveling. Truly, the little boy I once were, is still the person I am today.
What are your oldest memories before the age of eight? Can you remember a birthday gift, taking a risk, or playing with toys? Can you remember being angered without reacting? Can you remember being a negotiator or trying to stop some friends from fighting?
It is easy for us to look outside for a solution to our problems.
Often times, I receive e-mail and phone calls from people who want to be fulfilled in life and understand their real purpose.
The solution to any problem you have right now is within you. Search your heart and you will begin to see the real you.

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