I can write about money here, until I turn blue in the face. You can pick it up every Saturday and read about the various things. You will learn about spending money wisely, getting out of debt, investing, money in relationships, running a business, managing money in a business, saving, retiring, educating your children and much more. You can go online and read more. You can buy books. All this information is good. The articles I have written are good. But I have learnt that nothing really matters until you make that critical decision that something has got to be different in your life. That you are important enough, to take yourself seriously.
My everyday job is speaking to people about money, so I am not talking about this from a theoretical point of view. At these forums I can tell the difference between two types of people. There are those who find the information useful and even get a wake up call or two about how they are handling money. These people even walk up to me and tell me how “nice” the presentation was. However I can bet with you at that point, that nothing will change in their lives. Something is just missing.
Then there is the second person. They may even try to find out how to learn more. By speaking to them I can just tell that they are the kind of person I will meet in three months, a year or even two years down the lane. They will brighten up when they see me, greet me, and tell me exactly what changed. You can call this a demeanor, an energy, an attitude, a vibe, but you can always tell. It’s almost like a resolve that the person carries with them. Both these people showed up to the room and were given the same information. So it’s not just about the information. I think one walked into that room as a person who takes themselves seriously enough and the other one didn’t. When you don’t take yourself seriously enough to do something about your life, you are usually hoping for a magical solution to issues, which unfortunately is never in any of my presentations. You are usually more than willing to blame someone else for your monetary situation e.g. the employer needs to pay you more; or you are usually ready with an excuse, for instance, that you don’t have the time to do this, that and the other. As always, this lack of seriousness will show up in your financial status at some point or the other. Contrary to popular lore, we really can’t fake it until we make it on that one.
We have got to start showing up for ourselves before the money has a chance of showing up (Click to Tweet). Our problem is that we have decided that lives of mediocrity are what is normal, and we can cheat our way out of this mediocrity through a one-off deal that will appear at some point in the future, or when somebody dies and leaves us a fortune, or we get a tender. Yes, it may be how seven out of every ten people have decided to live, but who told us that is the norm to expect out of ourselves? When did we stop believing that who we are is not enough of a package to attract its own unique set of successes? The person who listens, reads, attends the course and makes that information count does not rely on anything other than God and themselves to move forward. The person who walks away thinking that it was “nice” still thinks that they are not up to the task. They are still waiting for a bigger salary, a promotion, bigger bank account, bigger title, better job, more research, be declared debt free, better proposal writing skills, more time before they make the effort to do those things that will have an impact on their lives.
Let’s be honest. You cannot expect a magical solution to your debts when you are drinking half your income. You cannot say you don’t have time to learn, start a business, and invest when you faithfully keep up to date with the latest season of every TV show that has ever been produced. You cannot blame your employer for your income level when you show no initiative or willingness to go the extra mile (Click to Tweet). You are not showing up.
Do you want better for yourself? Money cannot do for you what you cannot do for yourself. Money will not start the business. Showing up is starting the business and then letting the money issue unfold. Money will not make time for you to do the things you love to do or learn what you need to learn. Schedule the time for these things, and then money can come partner with you to expand the experience. Money in itself doesn’t get you out of debt (Click to Tweet). One of our students in the Centonomy program told me how she got out of debt by simply deciding to get out of debt. She had no money, or so she thought. But once she reconciled that she did not want the burden of that particular loan in her life, she remembered she could make jewellery. She used that to pay off the loan faster. I know people who have gotten salary increases (which should ideally fix the debt problem), and used that to dig themselves deeper into debt.
Instant money will not make you rich. The same scarcity mentality you had before, will ensure that the money leaves you in a worse-off place. If you don’t believe me, ask most of the people who win shows or lotteries. The same reasons you are broke may be the same reason you will still go broke with millions of shillings. The cart does not go before the horse. Money does not come before your decisions, your thinking and your actions. Be serious enough about yourself to show up fully at what you need to show up for. Money will follow at the right time.
Show up this coming month of June for the Centonomy 101 class that will show you how to manage, take charge of and grow your personal finances. Sit, learn, grow and learn to grow your money differently. For details on the course and to register, call or email using the contact information below.
Call: 0700 036 433
Waceke Nduati-Omanga runs programs on Personal Finance Management and Entrepreneurship.