(Biz tool Kits)
BY BRIDGET OLOTU
AS individuals and as a nation, we need to grow our financial intelligence to surmount the challenges we face now.
One of the solutions to Nigeria’s developmental crises is aggressive build-up of the intellectual capital of its people. If the intellectual capital of the people is low, the country’s physical assets will be useless. It would keep on depending on other nations to help it explore and exploit its natural resources. And the spiral of exploitation and expropriation of our God-given resources to other lands will continue for many generations to come.
I recently came across two stories on the web worth sharing here about a basketball star in the United States, who went from hero to zero and a woman who won a court case that removed her from the rat race but fell backwards financially just after two years. These stories are reproduced here.
“In 12 years, Antoine Walker made more than $110 million playing professional basketball moderately well. Take away taxes, throw in some Adidas endorsement money and an NBA Live 99 cover, and he’s left with, what, $60-to-65 million? Whatever the details, it was a big chunk of change, which, amazingly, wasn’t enough. That’s right, during the last several months, the once multi-millionaire athlete has been pursued by multiple financial institutions for unpaid debts. In fact, according to Shira Springer of The Boston Globe, Walker owes more than $4 million to his creditors and is facing felony check fraud charges in Las Vegas. All of these at the age of 33. Wild.
“(Walker) liked to move in an outsized entourage; his mother estimates that, during his playing days, he was supporting 70 friends and family members in one way or another. And speaking of his mother, he built her a mansion in the Chicago suburbs, complete with an indoor pool, 10 bathrooms, and a full-size basketball court. Living at the Bishops Forest condominium complex in Waltham during the Celtics season, Walker turned the pavement surrounding his home into a virtual luxury car lot — two Bentleys, two Mercedes, a Range Rover, a Cadillac Escalade, a bright red Hummer. Often, the vehicles were tricked out with custom paint jobs, rims, and sound systems at considerable added expense. He also collected top-line watches — Rolexes and diamond-encrusted Cartiers.
“Condos, luxury cars, watches... I guess that’ll eventually force you into bankruptcy, especially when you’re not investing any money or collecting $200 with every fifth or sixth roll of the die. But Walker’s lavish lifestyle wasn’t all ‘me-me-me.’ He was also a generous friend and teammate who had custom suits made for coaches, routinely picked up giant team dinner tabs and, when there were funds to spare, gave to underprivileged youngsters. He was basically spending money like it was going out of style.” Culled from www.sports.yahoo.com.
ANOTHER story of a woman’s rag-to-riches-to-rag story will tell us one or two things, and amplify the need for financial intelligence. A family friend to the woman shared it.
“Well I know it’s hard to believe but it happens. I had a friend’s mother who got hurt at work using a piece of machinery. So she sues the company who made the machine and made out in all with about $265,000.00 (about N40 million suppose at N150/dollar) which she blew in about two years gambling, treating friends, travelling, etc. (Keep in mind this woman was making nine dollars an hour before this windfall came.) After blowing the money, she was so broke that she had to go and apply for food stamps and got denied because of the amount of money that she had previously had. I think people who blow money this way have no respect for it and that’s why stories like this happen on all levels rich and poor.”
My intention for sharing these stories is to simply amplify the point that financial intelligence, business intelligence and investment intelligence are three important intelligences we all need to make it financially and keep our money sustained for a long while. After all, what is the point in making money and losing it easily afterwards?
NB: I’m working on a new series that will be very useful to SME operators, workers, investors, and the likes. This series will focus on the building of viable businesses. Specific businesses will be highlighted every week so readers can pick one or two lessons from each one treated.
Olotu is the CEO/Lead Consultant, DEAIM Innovative Resources Ltd.
What nobody tells you about planning
BY AGBOLADE OMOWOLE
AS you begin the New Year, it is very important to start it with a proper plan that will help achieve your goals.
Most times, some people write down their goals, and it ends there. The goals they have written do not materialise, probably because they don’t have a working plan.
Planning makes you achieve more. A research conducted on graduating students of the Standford University revealed that students, who wrote their goals down, upon graduating, achieved more in life than those who didn’t set goals at all, and those that set goals but did not write them down.
Stretch yourself to plan for success. The time spent in planning may seem to be useless, but the resultant effect is worthwhile. Spend the first 10 minutes of your day after your spiritual exercise to plan your day. Understand that planning like this daily makes you achieve more.
Develop a contingency plan. Anticipate possible problems you could encounter in your project because of people, material or mechanical errors. Come up with alternative actions incase things don’t go as planned. Always have a plan B.
Plan how to achieve simple tasks. The simple way to achieve your goals is to break long term goals into simple, manageable short-term goals. It is also important to put down your plans. It has been proved that we can only work mentally with about seven pieces of information without losing some things. So, don’t bug yourself too much, trying to store everything in your brain. Paper does not lose its memory.
Plan to win. Plan every detail. 70 per cent of the reason people are poor is lack of planning. If you have decided not to plan to win, then you have decided to lose. You will need to set aside some amount of money in a portfolio. That will be your emergency fun. When you need to spend based on an emergency, you can depend on your emergency fund. No matter how hard you plan, unforeseen events are inevitable.
Visualize the actualization of your plans. Each day, determine three important things that you have to achieve. Then visualise yourself achieving your goals. Mental rehearsals like this make you achieve your goals faster. I remember reading about visualization few years ago. I visualised myself speaking on ‘Making a difference’, just three days before the event, and before leaving my house that morning that I had to motivate a number of young people. As I got to the centerstage, I was energised and I was able to transfer my enthusiasm to participant. Just try visualizing yourself achieving your dreams.
Here’s an exercise. Imagine you are inn a cinema house. You are dresses in beautiful attire. You sat on the first row, waiting for the movie to begin. Now, visualize achieving yourself achieving your goals one after the other. See yourself succeeding. See yourself making a difference. See yourself receiving an award for a job well done.
Review your strategy. The purpose of strategising is to begin with the end in mind. When you don’t define your destination and plan in detail how to get there, it may be impossible to achieve your goals. When you review your plans, you pass a message to your subconscious mind. Your body will help you produce energy to implement your plans.
Take action. It is not the information you get that makes you different; neither does setting of goals make you different from the average person. The only thing that guarantees success in life is acting on your plans and your goals. Take charge!