It’s interesting how many people out there are broke -without money in their pockets or in the bank. Amazingly, they count hunger days and recount coins in their pockets and yet they are beyond middle class status; some even millionaires. Fact is, they will never know in time to enjoy their riches. East Africans are exceptionally great people with a zeal for success that leaves one with no doubt in mind that this is the land of immense opportunity. I fully agree with calls for each citizen to try to do 400% of what they currently do. This will propel this great region to one powerhouse to reckon with. But sorry to say it is hard to reach there unless something called value sinks into people’s minds and settles solidly.
We have opportunities to great success but we are blinded by our inherent need to hold on tightly to what we own. Ownership is divine and important but what, how and where our ownership lies defines who we become in financial and investment realms. Broke is illusions we like to hold on to and look at long enough to be become it, and if we were to unclasp our sight and blink severally we would open our minds to unlimited possibilities.
With the holiday season I, like many, was in the mood for taking a breather with visits to old friends and kinsmen upcountry. I met a long-time neighbour who was broke as his crop had failed. He proceeded to show me his farm with basic crop that I grew up tilling on our farm. His children were day laborers in the area. He told me how he could not give up that land as it was his key possession and of value being on the highway. Further, he concluded his age and what he had seen in his lifetime had made him wise. I could not argue otherwise. He had a reason for being broke. That is, his ownership made him broke.
Let us focus on his broke existence. His divine belief in ownership of his land was absolute as he had made great sacrifice to buy it. His existence was based on his subsistence use of the land. He could literally go to the market without leaving his farm by selling his produce along the roadway. He could watch and admire luxury cars that passed by on the highway as he basked in the sun outside his house. That was the life to him. This was his broke existence. If he could blink and open his sight he could stop imagining how life could be beautiful and actually start living it. All he needed to see was value. He was sitting on a gold mine. His land was beyond subsistence farming to prime commercial. He failed to conceive that half his land was equal to half his dream life.
Yes, I dwell on the stories but let me drive home my point. Diaspora East Africans are some of the best land investors and enjoy it when they receive messages from home with a picture of their titled certificate of land. So is the older generation. We all believe in ownership but the difference comes with What-How-Where philosophy. What are we holding in ownership- is it paper value, money value, sentimental value or simply value? How is our ownership? Is it attachment, love, historical, entrepreneurial or just is? Where does our ownership lie? Is it in our lives, future generations or dynasties? These three aspects will define how broke you are today or will be tomorrow. Now you can see the concept of broke with value.
You will only succeed financially when you put value in what you have and work on that value with a clear mission. To make it a million-fold. Take the value and multiply it long enough to reach where your ownership lies.
- Step One: Look at what you are holding. Get its value at that date. Compare that value with how much it can help you achieve your dream life. You will then have an idea of how much work you have to put in. Take my old neighbour’s case for example. His land was worth millions and his dream life could be instantly actualized. Once you have that value make it your bargaining tool to the next step. Now you are on the table not as that broke person but that person with a clear value. Now your chips are ready to play.
- Step Two: Examine your multiplier. Attachment and sentiment is closer to “broke-ness” than you know. Love and entrepreneurship is closer to success. Look for a multiplier that will not let you down. From investments management firms to independent financial advisors to business consultants to industry experts topped with creativity in ideology. The list is endless but it requires one to be smart and ready to search. Here it is decision time. It is where you put in the hard work that bridges your current life to your dream life. My old neighbour comes into play. Instead of living his dream life alone he has the option of giving his children a better start.
- Step Three: Do you love yourself enough to want to create a better life for yourself and your future generations? Then take a risk but calculate it with information. Ensure that your family will never live the life you once lived of broke with value by creating a financial dynasty that is well structured and planned. Give your children a start that they can continue running on even when you are gone. You will have taught them that broke is an illusion and that it should remain so.
In conclusion that was my Christmas present I gave my neighbor and he gave me an ear. I hope you will accept my present too. In this century being broke is a choice we make with every decision we make without having a thought on where we want to be in our journey to our dream life.