Monday 19 March 2018

Start Now - What It Takes!

On Friday the 16th of March. I had a good time speaking with S.6 Vacationers about personal finance. They asked me to go share with them a few insights about this thing. I am humbled that young people are starting to think about this thing and I wish parents and schools were given such talks at the dinner table, in the cars or even in school parades, we can develop many young people who have good financial I.Q and the rewards could be enormous in the long run.
Never Thought About Learning Personal Finance
I remember while in my S.6 vacation, I never ever thought about learning anything to do with money and I was so humbled that this group of young people wanted to understand some principles that they can apply in their lives now. I asked them what they wanted to learn, and the thoughts ranged from learning how to save, invest, use their skills to make money etc.
Time: Start Early, Start Now
There is no better time to start learning something than "EARLY". Many of us at the time were either watching movies the whole day or just moving around going from one hang out to another (I understand it is a phase of life but if you are grounded with truth, you can understand your purpose early and start living it out). On a personal note I did some crazy things to make money but eventually it got wasted on drinking out, hanging out etc. You can learn more of what I did in this article. Now I pray I can help some of these young people avoid what costed me, they would rather make new mistakes but not the ones I made.

I told these young people to start now! I talked about how they needed to check their lifestyles. I told them that their lifestyles would dictate a lot about how money would play out in their lives. I reminded them that personal finance is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge. When I asked them what they would do with money when they get it the first time, I wasn't shocked at their answers, everything showed the consumer mentality and there was nothing to show how they could earn, save or even invest. I asked if some had saved money before and they said that they did and I asked them what they did with it, the reply was a hearty laughter, some couldn't even tell in simple terms it was all consumed and nothing was invested. In my article deal with consumerism, I highlight how the culture is draining us more than ever.
I asked them a few pertinent questions like "Do you feel like schools are not really preparing you for the real world? " This was a question asked by Robert Kiyosaki. I told them to think deeply about these questions and many more. I reminded them that they should not just subscribe to the thought that, " I went to school to get good grades and get a job'' jobs are so few that we need entrepreneurs to create them, I said that as they study, they should think of how they will use that knowledge to solve problems, In solving problems they add value to humanity and in many ways they will get rewarded.
Get Practical
I encouraged them to get practical by writing down their expenses so that they can get to know where their money goes. I also told them to start having short, medium and long term goals irrespective of whether they are earning much or not or even still getting financial support from their parents or guardians or even well wishers.

I told them that they should have a budget and that their budgets should not only have airtime, data, hanging out, transport, smartphones, new shoes, new clothes (to keep up with the joneses) etc but that it should have an element that shows that they are working towards their goals, it could be things like tithe, a book, support to the needy etc.
Stop Wasting Time
I encouraged them to stop wasting their time and start converting it into tangible results. I gave them a challenge to read the book Make Sense Of Your Money and I will be meeting them soon to continue the chat.
Are you mature and haven't started thinking about this area of personal finance. It has been said over time that our mindsets play a big role. People are poor not because they were born poor but because they haven't made some hard choices. Others don't want to risk, others don't want to learn, others say ,"My parents are already rich, why do I have to work or even think about learning these things".
Lastly I told them thinking about changing the status quo takes work, I told them deciding to start being a good steward of money takes a mindset shift and that is work itself. I left them with this quote
“Hard work is always profitable in some way, it builds your character, your bank account, and your reputation. But when you’re one of those people who always make plans but never actually do anything about them, you will never succeed” – Jason Cabler

Monday 5 March 2018

Don’t Blame Others - Think of What You Can Do To Fix It

Are you fixing it or you are complaining?

Philippians 2:14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.

There are many ways we can help this world; I believe it starts with us seeing ourselves as problem solvers. Are you seeing yourself as light to the darkness, arrogance, hopelessness etc.

We live in a world where everyone is pointing a finger at the other. They say you should have done this or you should have been doing this. Often the complainants have no solution to the underlying problems. Instead of being problem propagators, why not think? As problem solvers.

Often people will blame their money problems on the government, on high taxes, on how the rich are unfair and don’t want to share their piece of the pie, on how they did not get the best education. All this holds some bit of truth but I believe that when people come to their senses, then nothing can stop them.

The first solution to our everyday problems is to firstly accept that there is a problem and you are part of it. You find the person with a poor mindset talking about how he or she wants to drive the latest car, they are talking about how they want the biggest house and how they want to be just like that rich person in the village. They don’t talk about how they can get wisdom, understand the value and ethics of work that those whom they are admiring are adhering too. You find such people even plotting on how they can go rob such a person, they want to get rewarded where they haven’t worked. 

When it comes to money, someone will tell you, "I can't budget" that stuff is for stone age. They will tell you, I will start planning for my future when I get that big break through. Some will say, ah! For me parents are already rich, why do I have to work, others will say I can't afford, my money is too little. When they fall into deep trouble, they remember and start regretting. Choose to be wise and walk like wise people

Two stories of women who are solving problems in this world

Ephesians 2: 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Esther Kalenzi’s story

I realized that the children’s needs became my needs and I was always on the move trying to get funding for my new family” – Esther Kalenzi

When I think of problem solvers in Uganda, I can gladly mention people like Esther Kalenzi. Esther Kalenzi is the founder of Forty Days over Forty Smiles Foundation, a local NGO that helps the needy; especially children and youth. From her story, helping the needy is a passion that was first shown when she was a student in Agha Khan High School. She raised funds to pay school fees for fellow students. She says that she looked at the spending pattern of students and realized that they had more than enough pocket money. She was reported by fellow students for what she was doing, she was summoned and it turned out that the school administration offered the student a scholarship.

If we all had an eye to see that we can solve an issue, then we can make the world we live in a better place. Today people are longing for inspired action, not just mere talk that is full of emptiness, no vision and no purpose.

Recently Esther was recognized, her works moved the queen Elizabeth II, Click this link for more.

Malala’s Story

I told myself, Malala, you have already faced death. This is your second life. Don’t be afraid — if you are afraid, you can’t move forward” - Malala Yousafzai

Another person with a great story is MALALA Yousafzai I believe we have all heard of her. She is the girl who stood up for EDUCATION and was shot by the Taliban. These were her words, “I don’t want to be thought of as the “girl who was shot by the Taliban” but the “girl who fought for education.” This is the cause to which I want to devote my life”. She demanded that girls be allowed to receive education. How many of us can put our lives on the line to see a dream come through? I guess it takes more than just surviving a bullet, weathering a storm, I believe it takes purpose.

There is so much to write about the life of Malala, All I can say is that her, Esther Kalenzi and many people out there who are solving problems are in the bracket of those who are Fixing issues and not the ones throwing blame. The question I would ask is, "What Problem Are You Solving?"

We read about levels of poverty rising every day, we see reports that the poor are getting poorer, probably you and I fall in that bracket, but on my side and the side of my friend Edward Yosia Hire, we want to teach financial literacy, we want people to win, we want to hear a new song that will be sang by the media of how people are changing their lifestyles, becoming more purposeful with money. A story of hopelessness turning into one of hope. A story of people who are seeing opportunities in problems and doing something about it. 

We want to liberate and change mindsets, we want people to believe that God has given us wisdom to create wealth and do it the right way. We want to see ventures that are created by people to serve people, better schools, better health services, better education, better systems of justice, better leaders of integrity etc.

Please read Never Broke Again to be inspired more.

#Impact #Empower #Transform

Friday 2 March 2018

Never Broke Again – Could That Be Your Story!

Image is from Google

“Don’t be committed to the physical environment,” Nichols said. “Be committed to what’s in your mind. I fed my son possibility even when we didn’t see a lot.”

Philippians 3:13 NLT "No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,"

Ever been in a place where you are at the edge. There are people who have lost everything and been written off, there are people who have been to the darkest pit and had no one to help them but themselves. Has that been your story or have you seen someone who has gone through it and still see them come out? Indeed, the light at the end of the tunnel is there for everyone to receive but some people choose to allow the worst of circumstances get to them, some give up and say, “I will never amount to anything”.
My dear reader, I want to share with you the story of Lisa Nichols. This story sent chills through my spine. I know I have seen some situations that are similar but can anyone come to their senses and declare, “I will never be broke again” some say these things and do nothing about them, others say these things and have it on their wishful list but still keep hoping and never get out to act.
Every problem is a gift — without problems, we would not grow - Anthony Robbins
Most people want the convenience of transformation without the inconvenience required for transformation” – Lisa Nichols
Lisa Nichols Story – Never Broke Again
“Your story is not meant to be your fortress but your fuel” – Lisa Nichols

In a nutshell, while growing up she relatively had a good upbringing but she was a slow learner in school and her teacher told her that she should never speak in public because she wasn’t good. She got pregnant while young and the father of her child went to jail while her child was 8 months old and she was left to fend for herself and her son, she was on welfare and as time went on, she realized that she was unable to provide pampers for her son as she had $11 42 cents and she had to wrap him in clothes for two days, this was her turning point and she told her child, “Don’t worry baby, Mummy will never be this broke or broken again”. She continues to say in this interview, that that day what shifted from me, “I was willing to completely die to any form of me that I had been so that I could birth the woman I was becoming, the reason why a lot of people won’t become who they want is because they have been attached to who they’ve been”

This story reminds me, You Are Not Less Than What You Ought To Be.
“When I go study something, I learn it and own it” – Lisa Nichols
She was willing to become a student, she was willing to let friends go, she was willing to come out of what wasn’t working, come out of the company of people who weren’t pushing her forward. The problem with many of us is that we stick to the same company of failures and expect different results. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results. Remember to study, it is a good way to invest in yourself.

In her book No Matter What, she shares a lot about some of the things she went through. Lisa got a wake-up call when she wasn’t able to provide one of the most basic needs of her child. In her story, while ravaging through life, she had a dream, even if she was a good writer, she kept writing, she kept volunteering and speaking to youth, there is a time she wasn’t able to pay for a conference that she knew would greatly help her, she decided to offer to do some work by cleaning and that would pay for her dues. But she chose to be a lifelong learner until the day she got a call to go speak on a show, she couldn’t believe such a moment had come in her life. She asked her prayer partner to pray with her and his words in prayer spoke so deeply to her that she knew that as an imperfect person, she would be helping other imperfect people.

You can rise from any pit

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. —Confucius
 There is no pit no one can fail to rise from, someone might want to say show me how but I would say get inspiration from the stories of those who have been to the darkest pit. The bible tells us of Joseph, Job, and many others. Never lose focus, never keep your eyes off your dream, some people will laugh at you but who knows if what you are doing won’t come to their rescue.

Let your problems be a springboard for you to rise up

"Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them" -Hugh Miller

We all face problems at various levels, some are devastating, others just suck the life out of us. I strongly believe that anything can be conquered, I believe that with God nothing is impossible, I believe God gives us the wisdom to sail through any storm. I believe problems are an opportunity to become innovative, to bring out our creative drive, and to enable us to bring long-lasting solutions to issues. I know with changing environments and new technologies; new problems will come but some of the old ones we know must be dealt with so that we can face new things.

When I resigned from one of the jobs that I had, I knew that life wouldn’t be easy. For 6 months I looked here and there and there was just no sign that I would come out of joblessness. I did not give up on doing what I was passionate about and trained to do. I kept telling myself, this is an obstacle along the way, I will get past it someday. I kept telling myself, things will change for the better. My attitude changed and this was one of the most important things that happened to me. A job opportunity came and it wasn’t paying like the previous jobs I had, from earning something fairly good, it was like as if I was just starting out as a fresh graduate. I humbled myself and sailed through. I kept saying that, one of the reasons I should work is so that I can prepare for the future better, learn so much now, invest wisely, and be free of working for people. I am still on my journey and I know that am preparing myself for many things ahead, I still need to climb one mountain, maneuver the valleys and climb more mountains – I will get there.

Lisa Nichols said this in one of her books, one of the main mistakes I see people make is forgetting to put their thoughts and desires into action. They believe that thinking about something really hard or talking about it a lot will make it happen. Sadly, those things are not enough. Desire thought, and action all have to be present for transformation to occur. Without action, it’s just a great “aha!” Action is the most pivotal step—it’s the catalyst for change and movement.

Focus on your goals, not on your worries

When you focus on your goals instead of your worries, you can begin to live more in possibility and peace and less in fear of deprivation, scarcity, and lack. Bad things may happen, but they won’t determine the outcome and the quality of your life.
Poverty can be dealt with, sometimes we need those who have been hit hard to wake up, dust themselves and do what they have been called to do by accepting where they are, accepting to learn and accepting to grow through every hard bit in life. Don't blame everything on witchcraft, some people run so fast to say, so and so was bewitched, yet they are just lazy.

My dear friends, financial education is one thing I am pushing for, Lisa kept saying that she was going to FUND HER DREAM, are you doing anything in regards to that, are you consuming instead of investing. I am tired of seeing debt take over the lives of people, I am tired of seeing people go to school, get good grades, and have no jobs. I am tired of money not being talked about by parents at the dinner table, in the cars, in the market. This discussion has to come to every sphere, the church, the media, etc. There is a lot of truth that can help many. Our television sets are full of soap operas, these things try and push an idea of a life of laziness, rage, unforgiveness, lust, etc. We need to emulate the nations that are pushing the agenda of growth, entrepreneurship, love for the nation.

See this video for more of Lisa's story

#Impact #Empower #Transform

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