Do you look at your financial status i.e. your Assets (What you own) and Liabilities (what you owe) and define your potential to create wealth or how wealthy you are by that? You may or may not have traditional assets such as land, bonds, property, shares, cash etc but you also do have something else that is always going to be more valuable than that and can help you create wealth. It is something that most of the time we overlook as we focus on the rush to see the tangible cash in the bank. I have come to define this as your Non-Financial Assets. For now as you read this put aside your usual worries of what you don’t have, how little you think your employer is paying you, how much debt you are in and all those other worries that many a time cloud the opportunity that is right in front of us. In a nutshell your non financial assets are skills and resources (other than money) that you have at your disposal.
Do you have a hobby that you do with fun and ease such as photography, gardening, interior design, fashion, sports etc? Can that Passion be turned into Profit? Do you have time on your hands that you can be using to network or learn or would you rather sleep in on Saturday? Is there a specific skill set you have that you can earn extra income from or use it to advance at work? Are you widely networked in a certain area that you can use to your advantage? One of my students said that her stable monthly income had become her biggest disability. This is the comfort zone a lot of us are in and we think the only way to earn more money is to get our current employer to pay more. This is the unfortunate reason people try to justify salary increases based on inflation rather than being able to point out what additional value they are bringing to the organisation. As part of my wealth creation program, people get to study how different people have created wealth. There is a lady who started by waking up at 3 am to make mandazi’s and chapatis. She would them deliver them to her small shop and then go and report to formal employment. In three months she was making Kes 100, 00 per month. She therefore used her non financial assets i.e. skill in cooking and the resource of time (yes, in the middle of the night!) to make money. Another person who was a trained meteorologist used his administrative skills to set up what is now a leading events planning company. Your non financial assets are not limited to what you studied in university.
I cannot emphasise enough that the outcome of your financial life is really in your control and taking time to reflect on what you have within you and your resources is a significant step in moving out of dependency on someone else. Knowing yourself and what you have gives you confidence, opens your mind to opportunities and gives you this very important sense of control. Invest the time in understanding this aspect of your balance sheet!
The author teaches personal financial management. Find her at www.centonomy.com or on twitter @centonomy.