When an economy is troubled with the attendant lack of jobs, loss of existing ones and rising poverty, the question that readily comes to mind is what to do to create wealth to stave off hunger and piling bills. Most times, the people, including the educated, are at a loss what to do.
In this interview with select journalists, OLUMIDE EMMANUEL, a wealth creation and retention coach, and the CEO, Commonsense Group, offers insights into the various steps, routes and avenues for wealth creation and the benefits that follow. CHUKA UROKO, Property Editor, who was there, reports:
Wealth is something that anybody would like to have but, for many, that wish ends up as a day-dream. You are a wealth creation and retention coach, how did you find your way into this?
My journey to wealth creation came to what I would call a headway in 1998. Before then, in 1997 after I got married, a lot of things began to change. Not having the financial means to meet up with the responsibilities of a husband and a father was a trigger for me.
I began to research for 8 months, studying rich and wealthy people, reading hundreds of biographies, and, as I began to study the lives of rich people, I began to see a thread. I saw that all the rich and wealthy people I studied had something in common.
They have a different type of education from what we have and that is financial intelligence. I realized that it takes strategic, consistent and intentional application of wealth creation principles to create wealth.
When you talk about the education of the wealthy and how it differs from others, it makes us curious. Tell us about this type education that makes the wealthy different
When we talk about education, there are three dimensions to education. You are either educated or uneducated or mis-educated. To be mis-educated is one thing that became real to me.
Miseducation is a situation where you don’t know; you don’t know that you don’t know, and you think that you know. When you don’t give people the truth, it’s miseducation. When you give people only a dimension, an aspect, or just a picture, it is miseducation. So, people walk away thinking that they know all they need to know, meanwhile they don’t, and that came as a shock to me.
For me, wealth creation is broken down into three different steps and these are: Financial Intelligence which means understanding money, what money is, where money hides, how to manage it, how to attract it, how to multiply it, and the new rules of money.
Schools don’t teach financial intelligence and that is why you can go to school and get a master’s degree in business administration yet you can’t run a barbing salon or a restaurant successfully. That is because you know the theory and not the practical.
For you to be financially intelligent, you need to go through personal education. That is taking your personal development seriously. That means you are committed to your personal education. You can’t graduate from it because the world is dynamic. You learn, unlearn, and relearn. There are levels of understanding even in financial intelligence.
The second step is Financial Plan. It is not enough to have financial intelligence. It is what you do with what you know that yields result. So, financial planning involves you sitting down to actually have a plan on how to execute the intelligence you have. One thing that help people out with financial planning is realizing that there are basic things that must be put into perspective.
They must realize that there are seasons of life and there are four seasons in the life of every individual. These are the morning (first 25 years of your life), the afternoon (next 25 years of your life- 26-50years), the evening (51-75 years), and the Night (71-100 years and above). The morning season of your life is for learning to enable you to exist and succeed in the second season while the afternoon season is for earning an income, and getting married.
Another thing people must know is the purpose of life. If you are able to find the reason for your creation and you align your pursuit to your purpose, then you will have the maximum result. I began to apply the principle that I learned and created my own template as a guide.
The third step to wealth creation is Financial Discipline. This is where we separate the men from the boys. As long as you are not practicing what you know and you are not consistent in it, you are not going to see results. With these three steps, consistency and continuous learning, anyone can create wealth and I personally believe that, in 5 years, anyone’s life can change. With these, we have helped well over 2000 people become land owners.
Now, let’s take a look at the Nigerian environment with insecurity, economic crisis and all. In what ways do all these enhance or discourage wealth creation?
Crisis creates opportunities and, most of the time, people don’t understand this. I have series of models I have created and one of them is ‘Where Money Hides 1999-2000.’ One of the places money hides is in people. There are well over 200 million people in Nigeria and one of the reasons you see people coming to invest in the country is because of the wealth. People are equal to wealth and money hides in them.
Money also hides in problems. So, when you talk about Nigeria, the country is loaded with people and problems which means that Nigeria is a land of opportunities and is one of the places one can make so much money if one knows what to do.
That said, I think one of the challenges we have is our educational system. We keep talking about the government but look back to the last 50 years of Nigeria. The country is getting worse. But amidst this, billionaires are rising every day because the crisis creates opportunities.
You noted earlier that the kind of education we get in schools are not enough to enable us create wealth. How could the educational school be structured to accommodate wealth creation?
We have been able to bring a lot of changes in the past few years and some adjustments have been made in the curriculum. Entrepreneurship has to be a major part of education from the primary level. So, once people have the right kind of understanding of finances and wealth creation, they will begin to understand the options available to make better education.
Secondly, it will give people realistic expectations. All over the world, it is not the job of the government to create wealth for the people but to put an enabling environment and infrastructure in place to create wealth. The policies to help people create wealth exist. Nigeria has some of the best policies but they are not being implemented because the people that developed the policies are not the ones in charge of running the government.
That is why we have the problem we have today. Nigeria is a great country full of opportunities and possibilities. Once we tweak one or two things, we will begin to see changes. So, as bad as things are, people are coming into the country to make their money. What you see is perception but how you see it is a perspective.
Nigerians would like to create their own wealth, but the environment isn’t enabling. What would be your advice for such people who are quite many other there?
If you wait for favourable conditions, you will not get anything done. Solving that lack of enabling environment is what will enable you to make money. The environment has programmed our minds and that has affected the way we think. In an environment like this, it is important to invest in yourself.
You must invest in your financial intelligence because your learning capacity determines your earning capacity. Invest in your gift, talent and potential which means investing in something that belongs to you and is unique to you.
You should also invest in your passion. One of the pointers to compassions is that it is something you are willing to do without money and whatever you do with passion consistently always ends up bringing money. There are two ways to make more money available to you. These are increasing your income and decreasing your expenditure.
In Nigeria, bureaucracy is always an obstacle to making progress. But have you, in spite of that, reached out to the education sector to sell this wealth creation message to government?
We have engaged the education sector. We started from the university level up to the national university commission, recommending the School of Money text book to enable them to create entrepreneurial units and courses around universities.
We have five private universities and 10 federal universities that now have entrepreneurial courses and units using the School of Money book as a template. We have tried to get the book to become a curriculum but, like you said, the bureaucracy is there but individual schools are using it to do what needs to be done.
Read also: Take a ‘Living Trust’ to protect your wealth
What guide would you give to an investor on the street in terms of questions to ask when people are throwing investment opportunities at him?
One of the questions that I get asked is “do I have to be an entrepreneur to be wealthy?” My answer is always No, but you must be an investor to be wealthy. So, I created a template called the 7-step process to creating wealth.
The seven steps are Start early, Give it all it takes, Get all the certifications you can get, Network strategically, Be an investor – save a minimum of 10-15 percent of your income. Save so you can invest.
It is important you know how to invest. This is because just as we have irresponsible investment platforms and schools, we also have irresponsible investors and that is why I advise people to always investigate and carry out due diligence before investing.
You must find out who are the people behind the investment? What is their track record – what have they produced, what have they done before? Are there success stories?
The next thing is to come in with what I call testing the waters. The second name for investment is risk. Therefore, you must understand that every investment has a risk factor and so, you have to do what I call informed risk and calculated risk.
Informed risk means carrying out due diligence to know how volatile that sector is. Calculated risk is investing money you can do without. The question is how manageable is the risk? What is your investment goal? What is your risk appetite? How much do you have to invest? For how long do you have to invest?