THE ROAD TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM – By Hon. Remy Chukwunyere, Executive Director, AFRYDEF

Preamble:

In this paper, we would be discussing the road to financial freedom. The road to becoming super rich as originally planned by God before the fall of Adam in the garden of Eden. You may have heard some of the concepts I am going to introduce today or you will be hearing them for the very first time. I will appreciate if you would cooperate with me as I will try to make the presentation more participatory so that all of us can discuss the issues I am going to raise.

Basically, I have come to open your eyes to the current trends in the Information Age as opposed to what we used to know in both the old Agrarian and Industrial Ages. In this new age, the idea of hard work does not mean the same thing as it meant in those Ages. In the Information Age, people who work physically the hardest will be paid the least. To be successful in this Age, you must work “smart” instead of working hard.

Again, I will not fail to let you know that our schools are still in the Industrial Age and still prepares students to work hard and seek job security.

So that brings us to this popular question…

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Well, most times the typical answers to this question are usually: I want to be a Doctor, a Lawyer, a Nurse, an Engineer, etc. Do you know why it is usually so? Like I said earlier, our schools are configured to train us for those traditional professions. That is also why, our parents usually advice us to “go to school, study hard, get good grades so that you can get a good, safe and secure job”.

Have you ever received this kind of advice before? They want you to become Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers so that you can get a good job and have job security, where you work for money all your life!

In this discussion, I am going to show you that the richest men and women in the world today do not work for money, instead, people and money work for them. These are the people that enjoy financial freedom because while people and money are working for them, they have time to do things that are important to them such as, having time to be with their families, donating to charities as well as investing in other businesses.

Let me also shock you a little with these revelations. Do you know that it does not take money to make money? Do you also know that it does not take a formal education to make money?

Achieving financial freedom has nothing to do with what you learnt in school. Like I said before, many successful people today such as Thomas Edison of General Electric, Henry Ford of Ford Motors, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Ted Turner of CNN, Steve Jobs of Apple Computers, etc. never had college degrees.

A college degree may be important for traditional professions like Medicine, Law, Engineering, etc but not for how these people got great wealth.

It takes a dream, a lot of determination, a willingness to learn quickly, and the ability to use your God-given potentials properly and to know which sector of the economy you want to earn your income from.

The Cash Flow Quadrant

This simply represents the different methods by which we generate our income or money. There are four quadrants, identified simply as E, S, B and I.

  • E – Quadrant: This is the quadrant for Employees. People in this quadrant earn their income by working for an organization, company or government.

People in the E quadrant dread economic uncertainty and have a strong need for security. They often say, “I’m not that interested in money.” What this really means is that they are not interested in making the life-transforming changes necessary to leave the E-quadrant nest. For them, job security, which may be just an illusion, is often more important than money.

  • S – Quadrant: This is the quadrant for Self-employed Individuals, who earn income working for themselves.

This group includes professionals who spent years in school, such as Doctors, Lawyers, Architects, etc. It also includes small business owners, such as retail shopkeepers, restaurant owners, consultants, therapists, travel agents, car mechanics, plumbers, and hair stylists as well as direct-commission salespeople, such as real estate agents.

Most times, they are hesitant to train other people out of fear that their trainees will end up becoming their competitors some day.

  • B – Quadrant: This is the quadrant for Business Owners, who earn income from their business empires.

Unlike the perfectionists in the S-quadrant, people in the B-quadrant love to delegate work. You can always hear them say: “Why do it myself when I can hire someone better to do it for me?”

A true business owner can leave his or her business for over a year and return to find it more profitable than before. That is not usually the case with someone in the S-quadrant. When people in the S-quadrant leave their businesses for over a year, chances are there will be no business to return to.

  • I – Quadrant: People here are called Investors and they earn income from their investments, which means their money generates money for them.

The I-quadrant is the playground of the rich. Regardless of which quadrant people make their money from, if they hope someday to be truly wealthy, they must ultimately move to the I-quadrant, for it is here that money is converted to wealth.

People in this quadrant do not have to work because their money is working for them.

Our Mindsets and Different Thoughts about Money

Most of us have the potentials to generate income from all the four quadrants described above. The quadrant we choose to earn our income from is not too much what we learned in school. It is more of who we are at the core – our core values, strengths, weaknesses and interests. Some people love being employees, while others hate it. Some love owning companies but do not want to run them. Others love owning companies and also love to run them. Certain people love investing, while others only see the risks of losing money from investments.

According to Bishop David Oyedepo in his book, Winning the War against Poverty, “until you change the way you think, you cannot change the way you live. The cause of poverty is more of the mind than it is of the hand. It is more of mentality than it is of activity. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. The number one cause of poverty is possessing a poor man’s mentality”.

On Investments, Oyedepo said, “those who observe the cloud will not sow, those who study the wind will not reap. Circumstances will not always be favourable but your commitment will subdue circumstances”.

Some people strongly believe that the love of money is evil and that to make excessive profit is greed. They also believe that money is not important to their lives and often say: I’m not that interested in money; I’ll never be rich; I can’t afford it; It is risky to invest money in a business; Money is not everything, etc.

Others believe that it is foolishness to spend your life working for money and to pretend that money was not important. They believe that life is more important than money but that money is important to support life. They have money and people work for them so that they can be free to do the things that are important to them, such as: having lots of time to raise their kids; having money to donate to charities; having time and money to take care of their health; being able to travel around the world with their families, etc.

All these take money and that is why money is important to them but they do not spend their lives working for money.

Financial Freedom: What is God’s Opinion?

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth and all that is in it. He created Adam and gave him charge over the fullness of the earth, including all the resources of the earth, be it crude oil, gold, silver, the fishes of the sea, in fact everything that make people rich today.

It is the will of God for us to command great wealth for various reasons. That is why he said in 3 John 2, I wish above all things that you may prosper…. It means that financial freedom is topmost in his line of priorities for us. Again, according to Deut. 8: 18, God is the one that gives us power to create wealth…

Do you know that in the parable of the talent as recorded in Mathew 25: 14 – 29, Jesus was teaching his disciples about investment? The talent being referred there is physical money and not talent as in gifts such as singing, dancing, etc. It is physical money and according to the parable, their master gave them loans to enable them invest in businesses so that in his return he would make profits.

Jesus used this parable to teach us how important the I-quadrant is if you want to live in divine wealth, which is what we have chosen to call financial freedom.

From that parable, Jesus reveals to us that God recognizes wise investors who compound their interests and profits, and therefore increases the responsibilities He gives to them in the Kingdom.

Again, when God said in Deut. 14: 29, “I will bless the works of your hands”, do you know the people he is referring to? The business owners, off course! This is because, if you are an employee in a bank or any company, the bank or company is not the works of your hands because it does not belong to you. You are only an employee working for somebody or some people up there. Those that will benefit from this blessing are those in the S- and B- quadrants, who have their own businesses.

What people in the E-quadrant receive are only wages as recorded in 1 Timothy 5: 18……. “a labourer deserves his wages”. Have you forgotten that statement? Are you satisfied with only your wages? If you are not, you have to do something NOW!

Surprisingly, an E, S can become a B and I altogether. What I am saying here is that you can become a Business owner or an Investor even while working in that company. Even though, it is very difficult, with change of mindsets and adequate training, you can become a successful B or I.

My Recommendations:

Remember that the goal of this workshop is to prepare you to become Business owners and Investors, where you would own systems and have people or your money work for you. You can develop the business system yourself or you can look for a system to purchase.

I want you to see building a business as building a bridge in order to cross over from job security to financial freedom.

I recommend building a business first but if you have plenty of money and time, you can go straight to the I-quadrant and become an Investor. If you do not have money and time, it is better you build a business first because of the following reasons:

  • Experience and Education: If you first succeed in business, you will have a better chance of developing into a powerful Investor, since “Investors invest in Businesses”. If you develop a successful business sense, you can become a better investor. True investors invest in successful businesses with stable business systems.
  • Cash Flow: If you have a business that is up and running, you will then have the time and cash flow to support the ups and downs of the I-quadrant. Investing is capital and knowledge intensive. Many successful investors have lost money several times before succeeding. Successful people know that success is a poor teacher. Learning comes from making mistakes, and in the I-quadrant, mistakes cost money. If you lack both knowledge and capital, it is financial suicide to try to become an investor.

Again, I will not fail to inform you that passion builds businesses and not fear. You should build a business or provide services that you are passionate about. How do you know you are passionate about a thing? You can do that by assessing yourself to discover your talents, those things you do easily without stress as well as derive joy from doing them whether paid or not.

If you love teaching, build a business around teaching, if you are passionate about talking, build a business around talking, if you love singing and dancing, build a business around them, if you love plaiting hair, build a business around it.

In fact there are so many things you can build businesses on, whether you are a student, unemployed graduate or an illiterate.

Therefore, to build your own business, there are three kinds of business systems to choose from. They include:

  • Part C-type of corporations, where you have to develop your own system;
  • Franchises, where you buy an already existing system, and
  • Network Marketing, where you buy into and become part of an existing system.

If operated properly, each system will provide a steady income stream without much physical effect on the part of the owner, once it is up and running.

Conclusion.

I really thank God for taking us this far. May I use this opportunity to inform you that we are available for further training in these Information Age concepts in our Entrepreneurship Academy. We provide training in Job Placement and Advancement Skills, Leadership and Mentoring, Entrepreneurship and Business Development, etc.

May I also use this opportunity to announce the award of 3 full scholarships and 10 partial scholarships to youths of this Assembly for a 3-months computer course at Zenith Computer Technologies, 9 Mbari St, Ikenegbu, Owerri.

I will appreciate if the Senior Pastor will forward the names of the beneficiaries before the end of the week so that your classes can begin in earnest.

Now, may I conclude this discussion with this story…..

Once upon a time, there was one village that had no source of water except when it rained. In order to solve this water problem, the elders of this small community awarded contracts to two contractors, A and B to supply them water from a lake in a nearby community on a daily basis.

Contractor A quickly bought two buckets and started fetching water for the community from this nearby lake. He immediately began making money as he labored morning to dusk hauling water from the lake with his two buckets. It was hard work but he enjoyed it because he was making money.

On the other hand, Contractor B disappeared for a while and Contractor A was happy because he had no competition. While away, Contractor B wrote a business plan, incorporated his business, found investors and employed a General Manager to do the work for him. After six months, he appeared and constructed a stainless pipeline linking the village to the lake. At the opening ceremony of the project, contractor B announced that his system would supply cleaner water on a daily basis, including weekends because contractor A could only supply water on weekdays. He also announced a 75% reduction in his price compared to what Contractor A was charging.

Therefore, in order to compete with Contractor B, Contractor A equally reduced his price by 75% and employed more people to work for him and eventually had union problems with them. They demanded for higher wages and better benefits as well as wanted their members to haul only one bucket at a time.

Realizing that other villages which also had water problems would need the same system, Contractor B again wrote business plans and sold his ideas to other small villages around the world. Contractor B therefore began delivering billions of buckets of water to billions of people all over the world and regardless if he works or not, billions of people consumed billions of buckets of water daily, and all the money were pouring into his bank account.

Contractor B developed a pipeline to deliver money to himself as well as water to the villages. He lived happily ever after while Contractor A worked hard for the rest of his life and had financial problems ever after.

This is the end of the story and the end of my lecture.

Thank you and God bless you all!

HON. REMY CHUKWUNYERE,

Mobile: +234 (0) 803 870 2075,

email: afrydef@yahoo.com

 

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About AFRYDEF

African Youth Development Foundation (AFRYDEF) is a not-for-profit development organization established in Nigeria in 1999 to mobilize resources and to promote and support sustainable youth empowerment and rural development initiatives in Africa. Our Mission is to cost-effectively empower young people; women and children choose a better future for themselves through facilitating sustainable youth and rural development initiatives. In AFRYDEF, we envision a society where children, youths and women are viewed as assets and resources, and thus encouraged to develop their full potentials. For more information, please, visit www.inspireyouths.org or call +234 (0) 803 870 2075 or email: afrydef@yahoo.com
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