– By Hon. Remy Chukwunyere, CEO, AFRYDEF, www.inspireyouths.org
A paper presented at the Kingdom High Fliers Conference organized by Soulwinners International Churches Inc., in partnership with African Youth Development Foundation (AFRYDEF) at Plot C4/C5 Works Lay Out, Owerri, Imo State.
Dates: July 10 – 14, 2013. Theme: Discovering Your Purpose!
First, I would like to inform all of you here this evening that the issues we are going to discuss are for high fliers and those who want to learn how to fly. I am saying this because, the issues we will be discussing may sound so foolish to some people, while making sense to those who are ready to fly with me.
There is no better time to discuss these issues than now! I thank my Bishop, Dr. Nelson Nnannah for providing the youths this rare
opportunity and for engaging me to share with you this evening. This Kingdom High Fliers Conference was aptly designed for you to “Rediscover your Purpose in Life”. Were you born with less potential? Did God create you to become poor? Did God create you to become a beggar or jobless? So, why are you limiting yourself when our Lord Jesus came that we may have life, and have it more abundantly?
Permit me to share this amazing story with you…..
Once upon a time, there was this 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 to supply them water from a lake in a nearby community on a daily basis. For convenience sake, let us call the contractors: James and John.
James 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, John disappeared for a while and James was happy because he had no competition. While away, John 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 commissioning ceremony of the project, John announced that his system would supply cleaner water on a daily basis, including weekends because John could only supply water on weekdays. He also announced a 75% reduction in his price compared to what James was charging.
Therefore, in order to compete with John, James had to equally reduce 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, John again wrote business plans and sold his ideas to other such small villages around the world. He 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 was pouring into his bank account.
John successfully developed a pipeline to deliver money to himself as well as water to the villages. He lived happily ever after while James worked hard for the rest of his life and had financial problems ever after.
That is the end of the story….
Do you still want to fly with me?
Now, may I ask you again, why must you work for money when money can work for you? Do you know that over 90% of Nigerians work for money all their lives? I thank God that most of you here are students and so you still have time to adapt yourselves to the issues I am going to raise here this evening.
As children of God, all things have been given to us freely to enjoy. That is actually the will of God for us as His children, which is also evident in His word, when He said “I wish above all things that you may prosper….” It now behooves on us to follow the right principles and in accordance with the word of God engage in profitable ventures in order to prosper.
You know, in the past, the church used to be a gathering of poor people, because of lack of knowledge that existed in that era. It is no more the same today and you should know that anointing without money is annoyance. Without money, the word of God cannot be propagated and we cannot meet the needs of the less privileged in our society.
In Nigeria and across the world, the issue of job creation is now at the front burner of the development discourse. Recently President Jonathan and the Finance Minister declared that they are faced with the task of creating jobs for our youths.
So, what type of job do you want? What type of life do you want to live? What would you like to be known for? Do you want to be known across the world or within your immediate communities? Your answers to these questions are very important if you want to become a high flier in the Kingdom of God.
That is why I have come this evening to open our eyes to two concepts that are gradually taking over and turning around the economies of families and nations that have embraced them.
These two concepts are not new but were not at the center stage until now. They are called Entrepreneurship and Investments. What is entrepreneurship? What do we mean by investments? Entrepreneurship is all about you building and running a business while investing means, you putting your money in real estate or in a business in form of shares, stocks, bond, etc.
As a business owner or an investor, instead of working for money, people and money will work for you and you have time to do other important things in life, like having time for your family, supporting charities, investing in other businesses, etc. Permit me to inform all of us that you can never attain financial freedom when you depend solely on your salary.
Who do you work for?
So now, for those who are currently employed in organizations, government agencies, banks, etc, who do you work for? It might surprise you to know that you are all working for money.
You are working for money if you must get up every morning to go to work. You are working for money if you would lose that your job whenever you stay away from your job without permission from your boss.
The good news I have come with is that instead of working for money all your life, money is waiting to start working for you.
Do you know why people enjoy working for money? They are very much concerned about steady paychecks, benefits, and job security because they are afraid of economic uncertainties. Instead of seeking financial freedom, they prefer job security and end up moving from one job to another all through their productive years and die leaving nothing behind for their children.
That is why, when the fear of losing money and failing hits them, they choose security. They are afraid to fail as well as cannot afford to be without money. They dread the future, which is why they choose security instead of freedom. When you hear people say, “I need a job, no matter how much they pay me as salary, it is better than none”. It is because they are afraid of tomorrow and that leads them into accepting any kind of employment.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
That takes us to this popular question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I believe you have been asked this question before? Can you tell me what your answer to this question was when you were a child? If you are sincere to yourself, you would agree with me that your answer was “I want to be a Doctor or a Lawyer or a Nurse or an Engineer, etc.” I hope this is true.
Now, do you know why you chose that as your answer, then? It is because, our schools and the society up till today are configured to train us for such traditional professions as Medical Doctors, Lawyers, Nurses, Engineers, etc. That was also why, our parents equally advised us to “go to school, study hard so that you can pass well and get a good job when you graduate”.
Was this the kind of advice you received from your parents, relations and teachers when you started school? They want you to become Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers so that you can get a good job and have job security. Ignorantly, they did not know that if you seek job security, you would be enslaving yourself, and work for money all your life!
Anyway, that was the order of the day in the Industrial Age when people earned higher by working hard. Today, we are in the Information Age and people earn higher for working smart and not by working hard.
In the information age, you become rich by critical thinking and bringing up innovative ideas that will solve people’s problems.
In this age, do you know that many people make millions just by talking? Some, even by dancing and singing….
I have come to reveal to 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 more important to them such as, having time to be with their families, donating to charities as well as investing in other businesses.
Your qualification does not matter
Truly, your qualification does not matter. Let me borrow the biblical phrase, “it is not by power, it is not by might….” You do not become rich by power or by what you studied in school. If it is so, Professors would have been the richest men and women on earth but they are not because, you cannot learn how to make money in your classrooms.
I am not by any means discouraging schooling but I want you to know that you are at an advantage to make more money than the richest men and women we have today who dropped out of school while growing up. This is possible because, like the bible tells us, there are principles you must obey if you want to prosper as a child of God.
Financial prosperity has laid down principles and they work for whoever obeys them, whether educated or illiterate, black or white.
So, where do you learn how to make money?
That brings us to what we call school smarts and street smarts as well as the big difference between schooling and education.
Generally, it has been observed and proven that people who are very smart in school, the “A” students do not do very well in the world of business. Street smarts on the other hand, are people that do not do well in school, the “C” students but perform very well in the world of business.
That is because you learn how to make money on the streets. Your teacher in school is not rich himself, so what does he know about making money?
While Schooling is formal training received from an educational institution, Education or otherwise known as Informal training tends towards Personal development and it has been described as the most effective form of training. That is why most times, you see “A” students working for “C” students. Achieving financial freedom has nothing to do with what you learned in school.
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.
Do you know it does not take money to make money?
For so many people, they cannot afford to stay without money. For some others, they are afraid of losing money. That is why they crave for job security. The word security is a word often used in response to the emotion of fear. When it comes to money and jobs, so many people hate the feeling of fear that comes with economic uncertainty. For them, the idea of security is often more important than money.
That is the quest for security which beclouds the creative power within them. This fear keeps enslaving them in paid employments, where they work for money all their lives.
For others, challenges, hardships and hunger bring out the best in them. They use their creative minds to develop businesses that will change their lives forever.
Attaining financial freedom takes a dream, a lot of determination, a willingness to learn quickly, and the ability to use your God-given potentials properly to succeed in life.
Have you heard that “ideas rule the world?” Yes, it is not money that rules the world, it is your idea. According to Henry Ford, CEO of Ford Motors, “thinking is the hardest work ever and that is why many people do not engage in it”.
What is on your mind?
From the Bible, we learned that “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. You are what you think. The tendency to become rich is more of who we are – our core values, strengths, weaknesses and interests. Some people like working under others and cannot stay on their own. Some like establishing companies but do not want to run them while others like owning companies and also like to run them. Certain people love investing, while others only see risks associated with investments.
Again, 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 am not interested in making so much money; I don’t want to be so rich; It’s risky to invest money in a business; Money is not everything, etc.
According to Bishop David Oyedepo, “until you change the way you think, you cannot change the way you live”. He further said that “the number one cause of poverty is to possess a poor man’s mentality”. That is true because, to become a millionaire, you must start thinking like a millionaire!
Where do you want to make money from?
At this juncture, I want to introduce to you what we call the “Cash Flow Quadrants”.
Cash flow quadrants simply represent the different methods by which we make our money. There are four quadrants, identified simply as E, S, B and I.
i.) E – Quadrant: This is the quadrant for Employees. People in this quadrant earn their income by working for an organization, company or government.
It is not what they do or how much they earn that makes them employees but the fact that they are working for others and earning salaries and benefits. The people here work for money and pay more in taxes.
ii.) S – Quadrant: This is the quadrant for Self-employed Individuals, who earn their income working for themselves.
These are do-it-yourself types of people and they are their own bosses. Here, you find professionals who spent years in school studying for traditional professions, such as Medical Doctors, Lawyers, Architects, etc. This category also includes small business owners.
One major characteristic they have is that they are perfectionists and most times, are hesitant to train other people for fear that their trainees may end up becoming their competitors.
iii.) 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 like to delegate work and you hear them often say: “Why must I do it myself when I can hire someone better to do it for me?” They are not afraid of empowering their staff with new skills because they want better results.
How do you know a true business owner? A true business owner is one who can leave his or her business for over one year and return to find the business more profitable than he left it. That is not usually the case with people in the S-quadrant. When those in the S-quadrant leave their businesses for over a year, chances are that there will be no business to return to.
Those operating in the B – quadrant use other people’s money and time and they understand the concept of leverage.
iv.) I – Quadrant: People in this quadrant are called Investors and they earn income from their investments.Investing is not a get-rich-quick drama. Investing is a plan, often a dull and almost mechanical process of getting rich. It is usually the playground of the rich because it is here that money is converted to wealth.
Regardless of which quadrant people make their money from, if they want to be truly wealthy, they must move to the I-quadrant.
What is wealth? Wealth is measured in terms of time, not money. It is the number of days you can survive without physically working and still maintain your standard of living. Investors do not have to work because their money is working for them.
Do you want money to work for you?
If you want money to work for you, there are things you must learn to do.
At this juncture, I would like to remind you that the main purpose of this discussion is to prepare you to become Business owners and Investors, where you would own systems and have people or your money work for you.
There are two approaches to this, you can develop the business system yourself or you can buy into an existing business. I want you to see building a business as building a bridge in order to cross over from seeking job security to finding financial freedom. I wish to recommend that you build a business first but if you have plenty of money and time, you can go straight to the I-quadrant and become an Investor.
On the other hand, if you do not have money and time, it is better you build a business first because investing is capital and knowledge intensive. Many successful investors have lost money several times before succeeding.
Successful people like those we mentioned above know that success is not a good teacher. You learn from making mistakes, and in the I-quadrant, mistakes cost a lot of money. If you lack both knowledge and capital, it is financial suicide therefore to try to become an investor.
What do you have in your hands?
Like God asked Moses in the Bible, “What do you have in your hand?” Like Moses, what you have in your hand must not be money. It must not be your qualification; it could be just your passion and talent. I am pleased to inform you that it is only passion that builds successful businesses and not fear.
So, now may we change the advice given to us by our parents as follows: “Go to school, study hard to pass well, so that you can build a business and provide services that you are passionate about and become an investor”. Here comes another important question, how do you know what you are passionate about? You can do that by carrying out a personal audit, assessing yourself to discover your talents, those things you do easily without stress as well as derive joy from doing them whether you are paid or not.
Most successful people built their business empires around their passions and interests. For instance, Oprah Winfrey, the richest Black woman in America became successful just by talking. The likes of Myles Munroe, Anthony Robbins, John Maxwell, etc are billionaires today just by coaching others on leadership, entrepreneurship and how to live better lives.
One thing I will not fail to point out here is that the more popular you become, the more money you make. If you distinguish yourself in any career of your choice, people will come looking for you. For example, if people know you are a good mechanic, you will never have space in your mechanic workshop and people are ready to pay for your services no matter how expensive you are.
That explains why people so much like to listen to leadership coaches like Myles Munroe, John Maxwell, Anthony Robbins, etc. You can imagine what it will cost to bring John Maxwell to come and speak in a conference in Nigeria. For just one hour, he might be charging close to one million naira, aside his flight tickets and accommodation. Why is this so? It is simply because; he has distinguished himself in that area and has become very popular providing such services to people.
As small as I am in this conference speaking business, I was paid fifty thousand naira just to speak in a roundtable conference for just one hour, sometime in August, 2010 in Concorde Hotel, Owerri, Imo State. No wonder, it is said that in the Information Age, what we need is the ability to work smart and not work hard.
Therefore, 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.
To build your own business, there are three kinds of business systems to choose from:
a.) Part II-type of companies (sole proprietorship, partnerships, Ltd, etc);
b.) Franchises; and
c.) Network marketing (aka personal franchises).
We shall discus more on these business systems in our Entrepreneurship Academy coming up soon. If you are interested, see me after this talk.
Each of these systems has its own weaknesses and strengths but if operated properly, each system will provide a steady stream of income without much physical effort on the part of the owner once it is up and running.
In conclusion, I want to inform you that this is just the beginning of the story. There are so many things you need to learn if you must attain financial freedom, where your income would far exceed your expenditures and you have time to enjoy your wealth and do things that are important to you. I still maintain that you can only have financial freedom by building businesses and becoming an investor where, people and money will work for you.
The good news is that even if you are already an employee or self-employed, you can also become an investor and a business owner as well. All you need is just change of your mindsets and training in the new sectors.
To know more about these concepts and other entrepreneurship and leadership development issues, you can contact us at African Youth Development Foundation on 0803 870 2075 or visit our website at www.inspireyouths.org
Thank you and God bless you all!
HON. REMY CHUKWUNYERE
CEO, African Youth Development Foundation