Not long after making my entrance did it become apparent that people have the means but lack the know-how to apply their resources to their greater advantage. Simply put, it seemed they just didn’t know what to do with their money. I engaged in conversation with acquaintances and also had the opportunity to meet new potential business partners. What was obvious was the fact that many of the people I encountered subscribed to the idea of middle class fancies. Aspirations of getting rich, buying mansions and luxury cars were clearly the underlying driving force behind most people’s ambitions.
The lack of forward thinking was evident and the kind of foresight and entrepreneurial spirit necessary to drive the advancement of a country such as ours was very much in short supply. On the flip side, the entry level worker fresh out of college on his first job is wearing a suit every day at work. He looks really good except if you look at his pay slip or bank account, the numbers don’t add up. We have adopted a culture of keeping up appearances. We seem to care more about what’s on the surface when our very foundation itself is shaky. We’ve been conditioned into continuing to buy into an educational model that is redundant if not obsolete. We are failing to equip the youth with the necessary tools which will enable innovation and technological transformation.
All these observations are not with a view to criticize but to make a comparative analysis of sorts to what is currently going on in other parts of the continent in place such as South Africa, Kenya, Uganda just to name a few, where real entrepreneurial hubs have sprung up. You’re asking who am I and why you should listen to me? Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet the people you read, watch and talk about. I chat with them in a casual conversation to find the routines, tricks, tools and tips they use to become successful. These people (I call them unicorns) come from all around the world. From entrepreneurs running multi-billion dollar businesses, Hollywood filmmakers, technologists, investors, travelers, TV presenters, to musicians, writers and more. The good thing is that I record all these conversations and share them on my podcast which you can access on my website or on iTunes.
What I am learning from all those people are patterns. One of them being, they don’t follow trends but are pioneers instead. Since I applied that rule to my own life, things have changed dramatically. My income has gone up, I’ve started thinking differently and seeing opportunities that other people cannot.
For example, many Malawians living in the country aren’t aware that you can make K160,000 per month by just having 1 million Kwacha in an investment account in the bank but you need more than 15 Million Kwacha to build a house that would make K100 000 per month. Sounds crazy right? But it’s true. It’s definitely possible to make more money than your landlord while having fewer liabilities in the form of debt and running costs for maintaining lower income generating assets which were traditionally seen as sound investment options Now, what should you do with your money? Firstly, you need to invest in yourself.
By that, I don’t mean taking more college courses. I mean taking some time to learn more about yourself and to question things. This will help you to be an independent thinker and innovative. You can achieve that by simply paying for home internet to get connected with the rest of the world and widen your horizons, reading books, attending conferences, taking the risk and investing in your own ideas. Secondly, buy freedom and the ability to have choices. To me that’s the best thing money can buy. Being debt free and money in the bank gives you that freedom to quit a job if it sucks, try new business ventures, travel and have a peace of mind. This is important because, if you really want to make money, you need mobility.
You can’t have that when you‘re burdened by unfavorable mortgage terms for decades at a time. Lastly, on the subject of cars, it’s a no brainer; most of our roads are so bad that the lifespan of a car is very low. You can hack that fact by buying a better vehicle that’s suitable for our roads such as 4X4s. If you can’t afford it, maybe don’t bother unless you can’t operate without a car. If you’re just buying to impress people, you need to reconsider your choices. You build worth by being smart not stupid.
Again, do what most people are afraid to do, that includes making smart decisions too. Who are you trying to impress? Anyway, I know you have something to say about this. Whether you agree or not, send me an email on my website www.greyjabesi.com . There, you’ll also find my interviews with some of the smartest people I meet and learn from. If you subscribe, I will be sending you new interviews every week. I live on the internet so I read each and every email I get.
Article by Grey Jabesi