Okay, so I have a small confession to make before we proceed. I’ve had more of a N50 mindset for most part of my life, in fact 50 Naira is quite generous, a 1 kobo mindset sounds much more sincere, not something I’m proud of but I’m learning how to deal with it and so will you after you read this article.
Money is a topic that gets many of our palms sweaty and a lot of our throats parched. These days I’ve come to realize this inanimate thing called money is our slave master, the things we would do for this precious piece of paper. But why would something that can’t even breathe hold all the cards? How did money become our overlord?
When it comes to money matters a lot of us are hopelessly confused. One minute you could’ve sworn you were financially stable and the next, you are staring down the chicken change that is now your account balance.
I can absolutely relate, I just had to hit the brakes and evaluate my financial situation, there had to be something the rich were doing that I was clearly missing. I mean, I want to get upset one day and book a flight to Paris to cool off or take my homegirls somewhere exotic for a vacay without ending up eyeballs deep in debt or losing the roof over my head.
A lot of people think that they can afford something (most times a want and not a need) because they have a little over the amount or the exact amount in their account, please just stop with that purchase. Unless you’re buying an asset that would produce passive income to finance your wants and needs, anything that would leave you struggling to pay for your needs is not worth the buy.
This is one of the money booby-traps we keep walking into, the ‘I cannot come and kill myself’ mindset, the ‘this life is too short’ mindset. Yes these lines are invariably true in the literal sense but theoretically, in terms of how you’re applying them, you’re actually doing the exact opposite of what they imply.
In this article, I’ll be highlighting the right ways to have a proper mindset towards your finance (it’s honestly the hardest thing to do), but let’s try to figure out this money palaver from the one place we do and plan everything, our minds.
The Money Positivity Mindset
“How can I afford it?”
This question is so underrated, but it’s the major reason why a lot of us do not have the right mindset.
“I can’t afford it.” was my national anthem. Window shopping can be so demoralizing, looking at gorgeous things you’re unable to afford in that moment. So, you appease your broke spirit with this consoling line, “I can’t afford it.” Although this is true, it’s not exactly what you need to tell yourself.
A lot of people say, ‘Money solves all problems.’ The correct statement is, ‘intelligence solves problems and produces money’.
How can money you do not have solve problems for you?
When we think “how can I afford it?” Instead of “I can’t afford it”, we have basically given ourselves a mental challenge, we are not just being comfortable with the idea of not having the means, but thinking of how we can acquire these means. Highly profitable businesses started from an idea, and these ideas started from the mind. These people weren’t thinking, ‘I don’t have money’ or ‘I am broke’. They were thinking of million-Naira ideas and asking themselves million-Naira questions that opened up their minds to endless opportunities.
I know I’m not rich and I don’t need to tell myself that, what I need to tell myself is “I will be rich.” Or “How can I be rich?”
When you start saying positive things and asking the right questions, then you will eventually start coming up with solutions and dwelling less on the problems. I always remind myself that there will always be problems in my life, but it will always be left to me to create solutions.
People that are making serious bank today were not stating the obvious, but were asking the not-so-obvious, they were latching onto optimism and look at them now.
How effective is this mindset, you might be wondering? Well, let’s take a look at the Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola. In 2008, the price of oil dropped drastically from $146 to $34, the business magnate was practically ruined and the worst part was, that wasn’t the end of his troubles. The devaluation of the Naira followed suit and interest rates began to soar. He racked up quite a hefty amount in losses, from the plunge in oil price, to the devaluation of the Naira and the eventual crash of the stock market. He was exactly $1.2 million in debt, but the business mogul chose to weather the storm and kept reminding himself that he was destined to make billions. I’m certain the whole circumstance was a bitter pill for him to swallow but he tapped into his millionaire (well in his case, billionaire) mindset and gradually began to bounce back, he sold almost everything he owned to pay off his debts and in 2014 he made a spiffing comeback, reclaiming his space on the Forbes List with an impressive net worth of $1.8 billion.
When you make up your mind to achieve something and keep thinking in positive directions, you become this force that can conquer all things, thinking positively will always pull you through the thorniest situations.
Wealth is something you make up your mind to have, the world doesn’t owe it to you, you owe it to yourself.
The Financial Intelligence Mindset
Everyone thinks they have fully understood this thing called money.
‘All I have to do is work hard to increase my paycheck to finance all my desires and keep working hard, right?’
This is absolutely wrong. To make and earn money, you have to understand how it works. Your journey to financial independence would be one of learning because if you truly want to be wealthy (and I’m talking Dangote wealthy), you need to be on top of your financial literacy game.
Why having a learning mindset can be tricky when it comes to money matters is because a lot of us let our emotions do the thinking. Once you get your paycheck, the intense desire to give into your wants distracts you from substantial goals, and you end up blowing it all without setting some aside for investments or savings. Then when you’ve spent it all, anxiety sets in so you spend the rest of your days in dread working harder than you’ve ever done only to return back to square one.
Why does this keep happening to you?
You have let your emotions do the thinking. Fear and greed are the ruling emotions of many people when it comes to their finances, so they become slaves to money, constantly running back and forth from being rich to being broke. In most cases the main cause of poverty or financial struggles is fear and ignorance, I see people working high paying jobs blaming the government, the economy or the rich for their financial situation, this is to say the least, ignorance.
If you don’t first handle fear and desire, and you get rich, you’ll only be a highpay slave.
I couldn’t possibly agree more with Robert Kiyosaki on this. The reason why most of us fear money is because we don’t understand it. Please note that a job is not a steady solution to your money problems, it’s only a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
So how do we understand money?
The first step in understanding money is dealing with our emotions, emotions are the one thing that make us human, we can’t help feeling fearful and sometimes greedy when it comes to how we spend money because we all want to survive and chop life, so we end up acquiring expenses and liabilities with zero assets. When we start paying close attention to our emotions instead of reacting to them, we can definitely get a grip of our finance.
The second step is becoming financially literate, by understanding what money is and how it works, you can effectively plan out your path to wealth. What makes the rich, rich? They channel part of their income to buying assets that produces passive income to finance their needs and wants. The poor only have expenses while the middle class buy liabilities that they think are assets.
When you have a learning mindset when it comes to money, you become the overlord of your finances and not the other way around. So, invest in financial literature that would provide you with substantial understanding of money, here are two books that would definitely help kickstart your journey.
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- The Smart Money Woman by Arese Ugwu
If you are not much of a reader then go on YouTube to get the information you need, there are also endless resources on personal finance on the internet.
Mastering these two mindsets will set you on the right path to financial success. Taking control of your personal finance can be exacting, at the early stages you’re going to feel drained not being able to give into all your wants, you’re going to have moments you’ll crack and splurge on something that will set you back on your financial goals, but keep training your mind to be disciplined and goal oriented, your journey to wealth is a long and risk riddled one but at the end of the path is unwavering wealth and financial security. So start working on your millionaire mindset today!