Tuesday 17 October 2017

You Don’t Have a Disadvantaged Brain

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

You might have a had a disadvantaged background but you don’t have a disadvantaged brain” – Vusi Thembekwayo

I happened to watch a video and the man Vusi was talking and he made the above statement, that statement triggered something in my mind. I looked back at the times I have blamed my background or some of the hard circumstances my family went through for not pushing myself in life. I have many times said that if I had parents like this or that then maybe I would not be where I am, I could be in a better place or have a better job or just have better connections.

They gave us an Education

When I look back, I now appreciate that we all have to value work, we need to work hard and use what God has blessed us with. Many times I tell people that my dad did not leave us with acres of land or property except the house that he and mum built which we are really grateful for. He passed away in 2001 while we were still young in our education and if it wasn’t for the grace of God and resilience of my mother and the prayers and support of friends and relatives, I don’t think we would be where we are. She did whatever she could to educate us.

Our parents give their all to educate us and sometimes the sacrifices are so painful. I have seen with my own eyes what my parents had to do. I no longer dwell on what my background was, whether I wasn’t given all the other things I wanted. Indeed I agree with Vusi, that no one has a disadvantaged brain. I now realize, the greatest gift my parents gave me was an EDUCATION. My task is to put what I have been educated with to work.


I shouldn’t have an excuse as much as there are many things to hang excuses on like the economic times, the high rate of unemployment, failure to be connected, jobs aren’t paying well especially for different levels of education. Some people sit back waiting to be told what to do, education comes in both the formal and informal way but many people suspend their brains and hold on to the confession that the government will do everything for them

We have to put our brains to work, we need to build intellectual capital and use it in every field and every opportunity. Some people have shunned work, they have refused to get their hands dirty because they say that their degree can’t allow them to get into the trenches, that it can’t allow them to roll up their sleeves and do things that can bring food to their table, that it can’t allow them to open up shops for wholesale and retail trading, that there is no market for this and that, that the piece of land is too far, that there is no development here, that my innovation can’t do much etc.

My Few Experiences

After university, I happened to intern with a big organization for 6 months and I really am grateful for the experience I had. I expected to be taken on and that did not happen as expected. I was given a stipend (allowance) but that stopped the moment my contract wasn’t renewed.
I worked in a store (warehouse) sorting books every day for about a month, I was paid $ 1.4 or 5000 ugx per day, this experience humbled me, instead of sitting home watching series after series, I then decided I needed to get myself busy. Doing that job was a temporary vehicle for me but I learned vital character traits and the value of working hard. Money isn’t just given, it is earned. My father used to tell me that money is not plucked from trees. When I used to ask them for money, I used to think that money was ever there until I started making my own.

I ended up volunteering with an organization that taught me vital skills that I use today until I got another opportunity to intern again for one year and a half. My boss at the time told me these words, “Arthur you can’t keep interning, If you want to grow, you need to leave this place.” I started applying for other jobs and indeed doors opened. When my boss spoke, that is when my brain opened because I was getting comfortable with the weekly allowance and travel allowances. I remember saving up most of the monies and up to now, I regret my first mistake of using my hard-earned savings to buy a car, there could have been a better investment to do, however, today – the lessons learned are a vital part of my everyday life.

Don’t Shun Work, Study and Read 

I just want to encourage anyone reading this article, not to shun work but to use their brains to learn as much and apply the knowledge to do things that can lift them and others up, studying is not only done in the university, the greatest investment anyone can give themselves is to invest in their minds, read about what you are passionate about, search knowledge of different topics. I love this statement said by one of my friends Benjamin Tumukunde, “I want to be well studied and well-read”.

We need to learn and stop blaming our background as much as it has played a part. Use what God has given you, Jacob worked for Laban for 14 years, I know that he went to his place with nothing but he left a loaded man. God has given us brains and our minds need constant renewing through learning and exposure.

When Ben Carson talked about his story, this is what he said, “I would like people to recognize in looking at my story that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you. It’s not the environment, it’s not the other people who were there trying to help you or trying to stop you. It’s what you decide to do and how much effort you put behind it.”

#Transform #Impact #Empower

Wednesday 11 October 2017

The Book That Has Shaped Me In The Simplest Way Possible

Looking for a book on financial matters, I personally recommend Make Sense Of Your Money By James Abola and Phillip Karugaba
This book has been a cornerstone to some of the things I have seen greatly happen in my life, it woke me up from slumber, In addition to having read the richest man in Babylon, there is one thing that I needed to do and that was and continues to be #ImplementThePrinciples

The book only goes for 20,000 Ugx, you can contact James Abola directly or go to Aristoc book store. Those who would want to get it on amazon, see this link https://www.amazon.com/Make-Sense-Your-Money-o…/…/B00JGJKVZ0

In one of the reviews on line, this is what Joseph Ronald Kasozi said, "This is a such a good read on making your money grow and work for you and even keep it ! .
The authors have given practical money tools for winning in life . Lets hope they can write more books along this line ."

He has also written one on Money and Marriage, I am yet to get this one as well, as families we need to win in this area of finances to enable us build a support cast and give back to the work of God in many ways starting with the family itself and the nation at large. With time I will share some of the testimonies as regards the truths written in there. Just go grab your own copy, let it be one of those books on your shelf or right besides your bed.

#Impact #Empower #Transform

Never Ever Quit - The Impossible Can Be Done

Have you ever felt like quitting, it happens to all of us but there are moments when instead of quitting, you just keep moving forward. God has built us in a way that we can have endurance, perseverance, grit etc, In-fact it is written that we shall reap in due season if we faint not. So don't give up the habit of doing good - it will reward you, your family, community, church and the nation at large. 

I find the message in this video very empowering. #JustDontQuit It can apply to any area of your life, pick out the principles and use them for everyday life.

After celebrating 55 years of Independence in my country Uganda which took place on the 09/10/2017, I pray for the day when you (my fellow Ugandans and readers from other parts of the world) and I will celebrate financial independence as well. 
I strongly believe that when we begin to take charge of our lives and lead ourselves with the truths that we have got to know, then nothing is impossible. The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, and most importantly the steps ordered by God himself. Let the testimony and lives of others who have beaten many odds inspire you to do the same.
God has given us the tools to win in this area and other areas in life. Have the will and predetermination that you can break free of debt or come out of any fold. Our minds are the first ground we need to till, if we can soak our minds with truth, then freedom is sure.
#Impact #Empower #Transform

Tuesday 10 October 2017

A Few Reflections When Faced With A Financial Crisis

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the different resources that are being shared on this platform. You know it's not how much knowledge we have but how we use the knowledge - it's application is what brings transformation.
At the beginning of this year, I happened to be a witness to some truths about life. Where I do work, we hadn't been paid for some time and some allowances had also delayed for a long time and mind you, people had got loans best on the allowances that were to be paid and also the institution was closed indefinitely.
Despite people having salary loans, they also had loans from loan sharks and from colleagues within. The debt level increases because of multiple borrowing and also borrowing to service another debt.
When we were paid eventually some people were still indebted because of multiple borrowing since whoever was owed wanted to be paid there and then.
There a few lessons I learnt from this period in time.
1. Financial literacy is important

I have been reading up on articles from the likes of James Abola, First of all his book MAKE SENSE OF YOUR MONEY is one we must all have, you can get it from bookstores around or contact him by visiting this site for more. I have learnt about saving, budgeting, investing etc. Empowerment comes from what has been revealed, it's like searching for truth and you find it, it releases you there and then. 

I read his articles from prosper magazine, that's in the daily monitor. In that period, instead of waiting for salary or allowances, I resolved to do something instead of just sitting home doing nothing. I did some transport business and also continued (trading) selling yellow york eggs - you know this is passive income and it comes in handy. Some people sit back saying i have no work or nothing to do which basically means they have suspended their brains. We all have brains that need to be put to work.
2. Have an Emergency Fund 

I learnt the value of having an emergency fund. Of-course my wife and I already had one and it reminded me of what I have always heard, that it should be able to take you from 3-6 months of expenditure. It is good to be visionary, people who talk and write about these principles have so many reasons why, experience is the best teacher. Cutting out many luxurious things and having a mind of an entrepreneur is very important. Dave Ramsey teaches and says that you should build an emergency fund of $1000 which amounts to about 3 million Uganda Shillings plus depending on the dollar rate. By the way if you put your mind to it, its possible and it can bail you out in many tough moments.
3.Multiple Sources of Income

I learnt the importance of having multiple sources of income, because depending on one stream is total DISASTER as an individual, I explored SHARES even more. I bought my first shares many years ago in stanbic and recently i was called to see if i was getting my dividends, this encouraged me. I decided to buy in Umeme as well and this is in a way to widen my net. I am still thinking of more avenues, they are so many, I just need to understand what I am to invest in.
4. Work your way out of RENT

I also realized that many of the colleagues at the institution were renting just like me and the "CRYS" of the Land Lord knocking on their doors was the cry of the day, this taught me to start thinking of working on our goal of housing with my wife, we now have two young boys and things like shelter are a necessity, whatever it takes you have to provide it. 

Because of  many good practices, the Land Lord did not disturb us because my wife and I work together on our finances and this really is a STRENGTH because when one is down, the other lifts you up, and when we are all UP, it gives us the opportunity to do more. In the long run, we would love to become Land Lords and be on the receiving side. As I write this, we have made great strides on our shelter, and with time I will be sharing more about this.
5. One reading, One Seminar isn't enough, we need constant learning

I also got to realize that financial literacy is something people to need to hear more and more so that it can improve their lives, some people turn a deaf ear but you know its a choice at the end of the day if you want to see things change. My wife Martha and I are a big testimony of the things we learnt and put to practice and let me say this, these principles work, you just have to tell yourself, am going to do this, it will discipline you but you will learn and help others as well.
6. keep the right company

Always keep the right company, you will get good advise, wisdom to conquer many problems, if you are around negative energy, you end up complaining and doing nothing.

#Impact #Empower #Transform

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Do You Only Have One Saving Buffer like NSSF

“Don’t only look at NSSF as your only Savings, Create Other buffers & Invest to have more cash flows”

Recently NSSF Uganda announced it’s annual interest rate of 11.23% for financial year 2016/2017. This rate is  lower than the 12.3% paid out for FY2015/2016.
The bad economy sighted as one of the reasons for the drop on the fixed income earning portfolio,however it has been declared that the interest rate is still higher than the 10 year inflation rate of 8.68%.

I believe members who save with NSSF must have been very happy to receive message alerts on their phones about the interest that they were paid. I happened to tell my wife to do one thing. I asked her to divide that interest by 12 months and that she would know how much she would have earned per month. We did the division and came to the breakdown of how much she earned per month. Of course those who started working early and started saving early have surely benefited that tells you that they have been helped in many ways.
------------------- Interest is money made, more can be made though ------------------------------

The one good thing is that at least the money is gaining interest however small it is, you can even save directly as an individual just dial *254* on MTN and register and send money through mobile money, however when you sit down to articulate these issues, you get to realize that you can do much more with the money in the account by investing in other ventures but the only problem is that my wife has to wait until retirement age. At a personal level, where I do work am not getting any NSSF, what would someone like me do? I need to wake up at an individual level, I need to do the uncomfortable things of sacrificing and putting money aside, not only for me and my wife but also for the children, I need to think about investments, create passive income, production etc.

Economy isn’t steady, increased debt, high inflation

The only problem I have seen so far with our economy, is that it isn’t as steady as we think, we have been promised middle income status by 2020 but the signs are deem. You would expect interest to keep rising every year, why should it drop? what can be done to avoid the drop? What comes to my mind is that we need to create other savings streams to allow us make money work and grow. As much as your company/Institution/Organization/Church is saving for you, you also need to have your own savings, have your own investments so that when retirement comes, it finds you grounded doing something already instead of waiting to do things later in life - live with purpose, it will help you put your time to use.

Plan for your savings now, not when you're retired

It is so sad to hear of the fact that people’s savings have been depleted within a year or two of acquiring it, normally after retirement that is when people are thinking of what to do with the money and many times people’s plans and business aren’t well researched, you find they want to do each and everything and they end up becoming broke with no other way to go. Start thinking early while working, start venturing into different things, get out of your comfort zone, try and fail now but fail forward, create other streams, you could live longer than you expect, do the difficult and uncomfortable things now and life will be easier instead of doing the comfortable or easy things now otherwise life will be difficult.

We need to remember that Uganda’s debt continues to increase, I saw in one of the papers recently that the government has 2.7 trillion in domestic arrears, such figures are worrying, not so long, it was declared that every Ugandan would pay 1 million in regards to the national debt.

We need to move from a consumer mindset to investment mindset, our expenditures at a personal level need to be checked if we are to start changing at a personal level. I believe what we do as individuals contributes so much to the economies around us, a nation whose debt is so high points to the fact that there is no production, which means also no jobs, which means increased borrowing and many others. It has been written, “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down


Monday 2 October 2017

The Long View Matters

The Long View Matters

One of the worst things in life is to be short sighted. When you are short sighted this means you can only see what is near and not what is far. When we plan our lives only thinking of today, we end up living for today but when we plan thinking of the future, whatever we do is on purpose and it has a long term tag to it. 

Some of the things that always are hard for people to put into practice is the habit of saving, I have often encouraged people to have a saving lifestyle and some will tell you such a thing isn't possible in the 21st century, people will still tell you, "I earn too little" or "My lifestyle can't be contained in a box, I have to live and enjoy life now because I can pass away anytime". Such narrow mindedness has made people do crazy things and spend their heads off, to make it worse, they live long enough to regret their mistakes when it is now too late.

I encourage someone out there to be wise in their actions. Dave Ramsey says, "Personal finance is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge", Check out this link on make sense of saving here

Learn to sacrifice, learn to put some money aside for a rainy day and for a long term goal, of-course don't hoard money, don't serve but master it so that you can control what it should be used for instead of it telling you what to do. 

The story I am posting below is from Dave Ramsey's blog, be inspired by the story of these people, there are some points I listed below as a matter of what I see from their story line.

Points to note:

1. Think Long term - People without a vision perish or cast away restraint. Be goal oriented
2. Work on a budget - Be diligent in your spending plan and commit to it even when the desire to spend on luxuries is shooting through the roof (remember ask yourself if you really need that thing).
3. Grow slowly - Don't be in a rush to gain stuff, you could end up being corrupt in the name of getting rich. Dishonest wealth/riches dwindles away. Take it little by little.
4. Have Patience - It's one of the most important virtues
5. Don't grow wings, Don't be Proud - let your story inspire others and be a blessing to others, our life doesn't consist in our possessions

Check out this story and be inspired, Click here.

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