Over the last couple of week we have gone through different components of wealth. Our focus for this session is on Money. Money is wealth but before we talk extensively about money, I would first of all like to demystify the myth called money.
Demystifying the myth called money.
“money is inconsequential in the grand scheme of life” – Omilola Oshikoya
There are so many myths surrounding money. Some include you need to be rich to invest or save or if you don’t have money you won’t be respected etc. There is a belief that you can’t survive in this world without money. Therefore, many people spend every moment of their lives thinking about money, how to get it or get more of it. Many people would do anything to get plenty of it and this is the cause of many problems in the world today including corruption etc.
According to Wikipedia, money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context.
In simple terms, money is known to be what you need to survive in this world because you need it to pay for goods and services as well as to pay off debts. That being said I have come to realise that this is an illusion.
For example, money is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. Money was not used to create the earth. It was not used to create you and I. There are also things that money cannot buy and there are places that money cannot get you. In this series we have seen that there are other components of wealth that are even more important that money such as health , family etc and there are things that money cannot buy such as peace of mindetc. Many people would give all their money to remain young and never die but this is not possible. Money cannot buy you sleep. There are many rich people who can’t sleep even with all the money in the world. Money cannot buy you happiness. This is why you see that many “successful” people are depressed, we read that a world-renowned fashion designer committed suicide. Meghan Markel got married to Prince Harry, there are many people who are rich, but their money could not get them on the guest list. Those who were invited were not invited because of the amount of money in their bank account.
Like I have mentioned before, money and being rich was my life’s goal. I pursued it and made a lot of it. Even when I worked in investment banking, I had side hustles and some of my side hustles gave me more money than my monthly income. I didn’t understand the correlation between how much I was making and how much I was spending. I soon fell into debt. I was also very unhappy and depressed about the effect of my working hours on my personal life. I sought Gods face and He asked me to resign from my job. I did it very afraid and resigned. It was in this place of resignation that I understood that money is truly inconsequential. For example when I got the opportunity to begin hosting a talk show that aired in 44 African countries it was at a time that I was broke and I didn’t know how I was going to keep up with wearing different clothes for the show and also for the speaking engagements I was getting invited to. I trusted God had a plan and shortly after a friend of mine who had a high paying and flying job in a multinational called me to say she had just resigned from her job to follow her passion in fashion and she would like to give me clothes for my talk show and any event I had. She supplied me different clothes for free for 4 years. Anyone who saw me would have thought I had so much money to buy clothes and wear new clothes for every event but in truth I barely had any. My favourite book in the world is the Bible and there is a verse that I can attest to “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”.
I can tell you so many stories of how without money I have been able to do some phenomenal things like hosts world class conferences in the most expensive venues in Nigeria without any financial sponsors etc. I can tell you stories of how I went to 13 cities in the world for my book tour with barely any money.
Now don’t get me wrong, we need money to do certain things in the world, however we must truly understand what money is to be able to know how to attract it. In the next lesson I would tell you what money truly is.
What is money?
Now that we have demystified the myth called money, it is now important to understand what it is. Money many not be the most important thing but it is important.
Let’s first of all look at the history of money to get a better understanding of what it is.
Before money was created, the main means of exchange was through trade by barter or gifts.
For example, in terms of gifts one of the richest men in the history of the earth was King Solomon. Kings and Queens came from around the world to listen to his wisdom and they gave him gifts in return. In terms of trade by barter if you were a farmer and you had corn, but you needed meat, you could exchange your corn for some meat from a hunter or shepherd and vice versa. The more corn you had, the more you had to exchange. Your skills and energy would have been a big factor in determining how much meat you were able to get or how much corn you were able to grow. Essentially the more value you created the more you had to exchange or receive or give.
Eventually when gold was discovered, people began to exchange gold for the things they needed. Now it got to a point where because the gold was too heavy to carry and also there was a need to protect the gold, paper was issued to back up the gold held in reserve. This paper in itself was useless and was only a value of the gold that was held. Essentially, it was a promissory note i.e. a promise to pay a specified amount. If you look at the British 50 pound note today it actually says “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of fifty pounds”.
Eventually world leaders decided to separate the gold from paper currency and accept the paper as money with value on its own. It was no longer based on the value of the gold you had. Countries then began to create their own paper currency and give it value.
This led to people forgetting about the “value” they were to create and they began to chase paper currency.
The same thing is happening again. It became unwise to carry too much paper money. I remember when I was younger, I used to see people carrying big bags of money for transactions. This is no longer the case. The money is kept in banks because it can’t be carried around and banks then began to issue cheques and then cards which are to reflect the amount of money in your account. A system was then created to transfer the money without the use of cheques or even cards. This is without actual money being moved but just numbers.
Now people have forgotten about the money and are now chasing the numbers. This has led to a new kind of money, cryptocurrencies like bitcoins. Bitcoins don’t have any real value, but they have been created and have been given value based on the person who created it.
People are no longer focusing on value but on the means of measuring value which is money. Money is created artificially and so it would be scarce and only a few will have plenty of it. Its value is then determined by market forces through demand and supply.
We need to go back to the real definition of money which is value. At the beginning of time, your survival was dependent on the value you created. This hasn’t changed. Those who understand that value is money never run out of money and never lack money.
Gods original intention for man is to create value and He deposited ‘seeds’ of potential in everyone, that they can use to create value. Just look at a small orange. A single orange has at least a dozen seeds. It is impossible to determine how many trees will come from one orange because each seed will become a tree that will also bear fruits that will become trees. Now if a simple living thing like an orange has so much potential, imagine a complex being like you. You cannot imagine how much potential you have.
Let us look at it this way with a simple example. I pay money to receive a product or a service. For example, I pay N15,000 monthly for cable subscription or to get my hair done or I pay N15,000 for groceries at a supermarket. So essentially you pay money for value.
So, to increase your money earning potential or to increase the money you have, you should be thinking of how to create value or increase the value you are creating.
Money only goes to where value is being created. Let us look at this analogy. A tree bears fruit. The more fruit a tree bears the more people it would attract to eat from its fruit.
Our focus should be on value.
Value = Money
Increase in value = Increase in money
You can’t get more money if you don’t increase value. Unless of course you steal from someone who has money because of the value they have created.
Many people don’t want to create value and so steal in different ways for example, government officials inflating contracts, police officers collecting bribe, investment bankers stealing clients’ money, fraudsters deceiving people for money on the internet.
Why is it that some people don’t want to create value?
There are different reasons, but a fundamental reason is that they don’t understand that money is value and also they associate value with hard work and they don’t want to work hard.
The thing is creating value is not difficult.
The secret is to work in something that you are passionate about. You will work no doubt, but you won’t despise the work and you would push through until your work begins to pay off. There is a quote that says do what you are passionate about and you will never work a day in your life. No doubt there is a process with life and nobody becomes an overnight success. You don’t become an adult overnight. The same way to create wealth or make money you have to follow a process. Like a farmer there is a time to sow and a time to reap. That process involves working and staying with the process. Many millennials want to be Dangote or Mark Zuckerberg but they have put in a lot of effort and paid their dues.
I love this quote by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man “I built a conglomerate and emerged richest black man in the world in 2008 but it didn’t happen overnight. It took me 30 years to get to where I am today. Youths of today aspire to be like me but they want to achieve it overnight. It’s not going to work. To build a successful business, you must start small and dream big. In the journey of entrepreneurship, tenacity of purpose is supreme”.
I worked crazy hours when I worked in investment banking, but I detested it. Now I work in an area that I am passionate about and I believe I work even longer hours and even harder. I no longer work 9-5 but 24 hours. The difference is now I enjoy what I am doing.
Our focus should be on delayed gratification as opposed to instant satisfaction. As the case of farming, there is seed time and harvest time You sow your seeds and eventually the harvest will come.
When you create value, money will come to you. Money attracts value.
Types of material wealth
There are three types of material wealth.
- Transactional wealth : You attract transactional wealth when you exchange value as discussed above.
- Transformational Wealth : You attract transformational wealth when you impact people.
- Sovereign wealth : This is wealth that comes from God. For example the wealth King Solomon obtained was wealth from God.
The goal is to be able to attract all these three types of material wealth.
Please answer these questions
- What were your initial beliefs about money before this lesson?
- What myths have been demystified
- Write down things that you own that money cannot buy?
- What is money?
- What are the areas in which you can create value?
- Which of these areas do you think will attract money and which of these areas do you think won’t attract money?
- Give reasons for your answers above i.e. why you think a certain area won’t attract money.
- Place a monetary value on the areas you can create value
- What are the three types of material wealth?
- Out of the three types of material wealth which one are you currently attracting and which one would you like to attract and how do you intend to do so.
“Think value and not money”- Omilola Oshikoya
Declaration: I am constantly creating value and so I always attract money
Financial Intelligence Test
Answer Yes or No to the following questions
1. Do you know what stage you are at in the financial life cycle?
2. Do you know your net worth?
3. Do you have a positive net-worth and are you satisfied with it?
4. Do you set financial goals and do you know the financial goals you should set in the stage you are at in the financial life cycle?
5. Do you have a financial plan?
6. Do you have an emergency fund i.e. at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in savings in case of an emergency such as a job loss?
7. Are you consistent in saving money?
8. Do you have a bank account?
9. Do you reconcile your bank statements every month?
10. Do you know how much you spend on a monthly basis?
11. Does your spending exceed your earnings?
12. Do you have a personal, household or family budget and do you successfully manage it?
13. Do you avoid debt or credit purchases?
14. Do you have any investments?
15. Do you take advantage of savings and investment opportunities that come your way?
16. Do you diversify your investments?
17. Do you have life insurance?
18. Do you have health insurance?
19. Do you have a plan for your children’s education?
20. Do you own a house or have a mortgage?
21. Do you have a retirement plan?
22. Do you have a pensions account?
23. Do you contribute money into your pensions account regularly?
24. Do you have a will?
25. Are you financially independent?
26. Do you pay your tithes?
27. Do you give money to the less privilege or to a worthy cause?
28. Are you satisfied with the impact you are making in the world?
29. Do you educate yourself financially?
30. Do you have a financial coach or financial adviser?