Work is Wealth
Everyone is called to work on earth but not everyone is called to have a job. I am sure you are wondering what the difference is. Let us look at their definitions.
Dictionary.com defines work as “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.”. It also defines a job as “as a paid position of regular employment”. Please note that a job here refers to entrepreneurship or full time employee.
When God created the earth He worked for six days. Adam was also required to work by keeping and tending the garden that God put him in.
Genesis 2 :15 says “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”
In the same way we are all called to work. Actually, we are called to join God in the work He is doing on the earth. For example, God wanted to save the Israelites and so He invited Moses to join Him at work. He was the one that saved and delivered them Moses only joined him. Moses didn’t choose this line of work. God invited him.
God is still at work today. He is concerned in the affairs of men and He is looking for people to join Him at work. The sad thing is that many people are going about their own business. Many people are fulfilling their own purpose and not Gods purpose for them. Motivational speakers and life coaches all over the world encourage people to find their purpose. This is very dangerous because you may end up fulfilling your own purpose but missi out on Gods purpose for you. I remember someone saying once that imagine climbing up a very tall building and getting to the top only to find out that you are on the wrong building.
The worst thing is to be successful in life but seen as unsuccessful to God because you didn’t not fulfil His purpose for you.
When you find your life’s work, the sense of fulfilment that you feel is invaluable. All the money in the world cannot compensate for it.
In terms of a job, it is possible to pursue your life’s work and also have a job. For some people their job provides the cash to enable them do their life’s work. The ultimate goal would be for your life’s work to be able to pay you but this is not always the case. For some they are required to focus fully on their life’s work and not required to get a job.
God may require a woman or a man to focus on the family. He may require the man or woman to be a stay at home husband or stay at home wife to ensure the children are brought up properly and have full attention. He may require the husband or wife to focus on helping the husband or wife fulfil their vision by being a full time husband or wife and taking care of the home front fulltime. This is very unconventional but a reality. In the worlds view point a woman or a man who chooses to be a full stay home parent would be seen as unsuccessful. In Gods eyes this person is very successful. In the same way you may see someone reach the pinnacle of their career in finance or engineering and win many awards etc. If this was not what God required them to do then they would be seen as successful in the world but unsuccessful in God’s eyes. I remember watching a video once by the author of the book Driven by eternity. There were three people in the video a man who was an accountant, a Pastor and a woman who was a full time mother to three boys. God commended the woman because by her obedience to fully focus on her sons, her sons grew up and impacted a million people on the other hand the accountant was required to work in full time ministry and the Pastor was meant to have gotten a job and because they didn’t follow Gods purpose for them they were unsuccessful.
I chose a career in finance because I wanted to be very rich. My aunt worked in a bank and she was ‘rich’ so I decided to study accounting and finance with the hope of working in a bank eventually. I ended up working in one of the world’s top audit firms and then ended up in my dream company working in investment banking in the largest non-bank financial institution in Nigeria with millions of dollars under management. Eventually I became unfulfilled and felt there was more to life. I share details of this in my first book “The Richer Woman”. The Lord then asked me to leave my job according to the same mandate He gave Abraham in Genesis 12. It was so scary because the Lord didn’t tell me what I was going to do but He just asked me to trust Him and take the first step. An analogy that encouraged me was that before automatic doors open you must take the first step. Its been over seven years and through that process I have discovered my life’s work and also my job. I share details about this in my new book which would be announced very soon. My life’s work involves me inspiring humanity to live the richer life which is a life of true wealth. I do this through different initiatives and one of these initiative is this series. On the other hand my job is in finance. Finance pays the bills while for now my work doesn’t pay me. Eventually I hope to get to the point where I have built a solid structure so that I can focus on my work fulltime while revenues flow from my job. Instagram for me is a platform I use to perform my life’s work. It is not a money making platform for me. On the other hand I have finance related businesses and other businesses in other sectors that would provide income that I need. I feel like a fulfilled woman, having her cake and eating it.
I am also very aware that my life’s work does not only involve my career. Being a wife to my husband and a mother to my children are considered work as well and my goal is to successfully fulfil these God given roles. I cannot be seen to be successful if I fulfil only my career responsibilities and fail at these roles. These roles come first in terms of priority. My ultimate goal is to get to Heaven and the Father says to me well done on all the roles that He gave me to fulfil.
Tips to discovering your life’s work
- Spend time with the Father and ask Him where He is at work and where He wants you to join Him: I remember in 2016 when there was a recession in Nigeria and thousands of people where loosing their jobs, I asked the Father where He was at work in Nigeria and where He wanted me to join Him. He told me He was reviving the agriculture sector in Nigeria and He led me to host an agribusiness entrepreneurship workshop to showcase the different opportunities across the entire agriculture value chain. It was a successful event at full capacity & this birthed many businesses in the agricultural sector. A few newspapers put me on their covers as a result of this. I was successful in this because I joined God at work in what He was doing.
- Don’t follow your passion alone: May life coaches or motivational speakers will tell you that most likely what you are passionate about is what you are required to do. I remember when I first started seeking more and I sent a message to my friends on black berry messenger asking them to tell me what they think my passion is and what I should be doing ( I was still working in investment banking). Many said they see me as a fashion designer. I guess they thought so because I loved fashion. The fact that I like fashion does not mean I should go ahead to be a fashion designer. My love for fashion and style go very well with my line of work today as a public figure because it makes me more appealing to my audience especially as a media personality however it does not mean I should be a fashion designer. In my line of work, I may decide to own a fashion label in the future however if I chose a career in fashion, I would have gone against Gods will for my life.
- Everything about you is connected to your life’s work: For four and a half years I was a co-host on a talk show that aired in 44 African countries and the UK. If anyone told me I had a career in media or I would be a talk show host, I would never have believed them. All I knew to do was finance. I remember once after I resigned from my job in investment banking, when I met a lady who worked as a US diplomat, she told me that she senses I had a career in Media and that I should explore it. It had never crossed my mind prior to this. When I went to tell my Pastor about the temptations I was facing in my marriage, he asked me to volunteer in the church office since I wasn’t working. I agreed and assumed that perhaps I would work in the accounting department. The role that was available was in media and publicity and I was blown away when I walked into my personal office and saw “Media” on the door. I’m so glad that I chose to follow God’s purpose for me if not I would have missed out on my entire life
- Embrace the process: Everything about life is a process. Even Jesus went through a process of preparing for 30 years for a role of only 3 years. I worked in finance and investment banking for 10 years. I paid my dues. When God began to open up opportunities in personal finance, I started off by writing a column in a newspaper. Today I own the first of its kind financial education platform with 27 contributors. On social media several brands have approached and paid me to publicise and endorse their products. I have trained the families of High Networth individuals like Aig Imoukhede and Herbert Wigwe of Access Bank. I have been invited internationally to speak at high profile events even amongst Ceo’s of Fortune 500 companies. I’ve also won several awards but it has been a process of starting small and dreaming big.
- Trust God: Your life’s work will require so much from you. You may also go through seasons of drought. You must trust God through it all. He doesn’t owe anyone and would never owe anyone. He would always pay the wages of those who join Him at work. The payment may come in different forms but it will surely be exceedingly and abundantly above all you can ever imagine or think of. God takes care of His own. Imagine a US ambassador who goes on a mission to a country. The US will take care of everything concerning him including his housing, feeding, cars etc. The Bible is Matthew 7: 11 says “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
- Be flexible: God won’t reveal the full picture to you at once. He may share the vision but he won’t share all the steps. Perhaps He is intentional about not sharing all the steps because it may overwhelm you or scare you but honestly I think it is more about relationship. God’s utmost priority is to form an intimate relationship with His children. If He were to reveal all the steps, we would run ahead of Him. However, He reveals it step by step and loves it when we come to Him for direction and guidance. He want us to involve Him in the little details. For example, I involve God in decisions such as what to wear and what hair style to do for the Do It afraid conferences that I host.
- Be willing to make sacrifices: I never imagined writing my whole story in the book “The Richer Woman.” Atleast not until I am old and about to die. The Lord asked me to do so, He wanted to use my book to do many things including saving marriages. It cost me many things such as strained relationships, my reputation etc but I wouldn’t change anything. The blessings have been way much than any costs. My marriage is restored. My husband & I are working in God’s purpose for us. God has blessed us with many gifts including two more children. I have travelled the world and launched my book in 14 cities such as Dubai, NewYork, London, Nairobi, Johannesburg and even the french version in Paris, Kigali and Abidjan. God said he has really just started with me and I am so excited to see all he has planned for me.
How to increase your earning potential as an employee.
As a result of the global pandemic many people have lost their jobs or ar facing the risk of job loss. These tips would help you increase your earning potential as an employee and keep your job.
An employee is someone who earns a living by working for someone under a contract of employment.
Essentially to create wealth you can get a paid job in exchange for your skills/time. Work your way up the ladder by improving on your skills and knowledge and with good financial discipline and planning, you can manage what you have, grow it and make it work for you by investing.
To attract a high paying job as an employee you will need to invest in yourself and acquire the skills and knowledge you will require to be the best at your craft. Often times you will start small and move up the corporate ladder to get to the top.
I worked as an employee for about 13 years and so I would share my tips for succeeding as an employee:
- Passion: One of the keys to success in your career is to ensure you are passionate about what you do. This is what keeps you going through the tough times. I knew that I had to leave investment banking when I knew I didn’t like financial modelling, but I saw how much my colleague loved it. He could sit for hours working on complex financial models and he taught himself.
- Develop yourself: Do not wait for your company to train you. Invest in yourself. Make yourself indispensable. Develop skills even beyond your job requirements. During the recent recession in Nigeria, one of my friends worked in an oil and gas company. They sacked majority of their staff during the 2016 recession but they didn’t sack him because they needed him to create the financial models that they needed to attract investment.
- Seek additional responsibilities. The quickest way to getting promoted is to seek additional responsibilities beyond your current job description. When I worked in Deloitte as an audit assistant, I was already doing the work of a manager, managing audits of some small-medium sized financial institutions. This got me noticed. When you seek additional responsibilities beyond your job description, soon your employer will increase your pay to match your responsibilities.
- Never say no: I’m referring to tasks that you don’t know how to do as opposed to not saying no when your personal values are being affected. Never ever say you can’t do something. It is better to try it, fail and learn from failure than to say you can’t do it. If your employer gives you a project or assignment and you have never done it before, accept the task and then go and figure out how to do it. I remember when I just started working in the largest non-bank financial institutions in Nigeria and the group MD asked me to prepare a business case for the president. I had never done this before and so I asked for help from a senior colleague. He gave me advice and I proceeded on the assignment. When the group MD saw the work I did, he wasn’t happy as it didn’t meet his standards. I went to the bathroom and cried and decided to give it another go. I prayed for help from God and I sat down to work on the project. The second time it was really good and my MD sent it to the President.
- Be innovative: Think about ways you can help the company increase their value or profit. Think of ways your company can improve its products or services or its profitability. When I worked in corporate finance, one of my colleagues and I came up with a product i.e. a student fund. We were required to make a presentation before all staff of the company on the product.
- Volunteer: The job market is very competitive and this makes it even more difficult for people who don’t have experience to get a job. The best way to get a job without experience is to volunteer to work for free. As you volunteer to work for free and you do your best at the role and become invaluable to the company, often times the company will end up offering to pay you. I remember after I resigned from investment banking, I was glad to be offered a role as a volunteer in my church office. I worked in publications, two days a week and I worked for free. Soon after, my Pastor decided that he wanted to set up the digital church and I was asked if I would take up the role and increase the days I work, for a salary. I increased my working days to four days a week and I was paid a good salary with benefits. A few months later, I took on an additional responsibility and my pay was increased significantly. I had no experience in media or digital media however I learnt on the job. Today a lot of the things I’m doing now I learnt while working in the media and publications department of the church office.
- Excellence: the definition of excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. Be the best at what you do. Let your work be outstanding. When your work is outstanding, you will get to the point when other companies will hear of your great work and would try to poach you. In some cases when they try to poach you and your current company hears, they end up offering you higher pay and you can decide to stay or move.
- Emotional Intelligence. Emotional intelligence is so important in a work environment. It is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. In the workplace you would come across different kind of personalities. Some will not like you for no reason and may try to challenge you. It is important to know how to manage your emotions and to also deal with conflicts in the most appropriate way. Character counts a lot in determining success as an employee.
- Network your way up: Be friendly and sociable as an employee. Do not only relate with people at your level. Get to know people at all levels, those below you and most especially those at the top as well. Make conversation whenever the opportunity arises. Get to know people’s areas of interest outside work as this is usually a trigger for good conversations. When you network especially with key people, whenever an opportunity comes, you would most likely be the first person that is considered.
- Trust the process: There is no overnight success. It will take time to climb up the corporate ladder. For some, the journey is faster especially when tips highlighted earlier are applied which leads to promotions etc
- Social media: Ensure your profile on LinkedIn is up to date. Become an authority in your area of specialisation by writing relevant articles or engaging in relevant discussions. You would be considered and expert in your field and attract talent hunters.
- Manage your finance: As you earn money and you apply the tips discussed earlier, it is important to know how to manage and grow your finances. This would be discussed in subsequent modules.
For more financial advice, you can take the wealth creation course on my financial education platform “The Tech World of Finance – www.wofin.org”