• Friday, July 19, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Wealth and personal development

businessday-icon

One stark reality is bound to hit you when you traverse the length and breadth of our country and this continent as a whole. It is the fact that money and financial management is not a course of study in any primary, secondary or tertiary institution. No wonder more than half of the continent’s 1.1bn inhabitants live on less than a dollar a day!

This is even more puzzling when you consider that nearly everyone is facing a combination of financial challenges and problems. People need money but don’t know how to get it. One would have thought that since the problem has been identified steps would be taken by governments and societies to resolve it, but sadly this is not the case.

When it comes to wealth building you are basically on your own. You are thus expected to go on a journey of financial self-discovery.

This is where personal development comes in. In order to build wealth you must invest in wealth building information and intelligence, followed by the application of this knowledge to achieve tangible results.

Wealth building information can be found in books, magazines, DVDs, websites, seminars, apps and social media; literally anywhere you turn.  You must procure these materials and invest time and energy studying and developing yourself to chart your own financial course on the road to wealth.

I put it to you that becoming financially literate is the most important course of study anybody can undertake. What is the point of being a Neurosurgeon, or any other exalted highly paid professional when at the end of the day you are always broke? You may be the top in your field, but without an understanding of money you will end up serving others perpetually. You may have left your school books behind but you’ve got to get into books of another kind, books on personal finance!

How many books on personal finance did you read last year? How many seminars did you attend on managing your money? Who did you turn to for financial empowerment? The answer to these questions for most people is none, they are not currently learning about money from anyone. It is therefore not surprising that many of us are poor, by our own actions or inaction.

One of my financial mentors posited that you must have as many books on money equivalent to your age. Money is a wonderful servant when you have mastered how to handle her; but if you cannot control her she will end up controlling you.  This is why it is extremely important to understand how money operates for you cannot control what you do not understand

There is no other way than to inform you at this juncture that this pursuit will eat up some of your current free time. You are going to have to give up some hobbies and replace them with study time. According to Brian Tracy, reading for thirty minutes every day for the next one year will make you become an expert in your field. One should be able to finish at least 25 books within a year if you make this one of your goals in 2015.

Please remember that knowledge is useless if it is not applied. Ensure you apply what you have read into your life and situation. You will definitely make some wrong financial decisions along the way; retrace your steps and get back on the right path. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that if you read one book it is sufficient.

Each author approaches the subject matter from different angles and has varied experiences that help bring depth and insight to the subject matter. I wholeheartedly recommend you read every book, newspaper and magazine article you can find on money and finances.

Where possible follow the author’s blogs and social media for continually updated insights on finances.

It would surprise you to know that Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and most of the world’s billionaires are still studying! One would be inclined to believe that since they have so much, surely there is no need? The wealthy notwithstanding are still reading voraciously, while those at the lower rung of the wealth ladder are not. This is unacceptable.

I even heard Gates gathers experts on a field he is interested in for discussions and also makes notes in the books he reads.

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Let your first step after reading this article be to visit the nearest store and invest in some books. I personally recommend you read biographies and autobiographies of the rich because many secrets can be gleaned as they share their success stories and strategies. Mastering money is not rocket science; it thrives on formula and once you get it you can replicate it.

Great leaders are readers. Read, develop and set yourself free from financial lack and hardship. The ball is in your court. Governments cannot create wealth for you, they can only give you the enabling environment.  By all means go out and change the status quo of lack and poverty and move into the realm of plenty in your life!

Kenneth Doghudje