LESSON ONE: Human Life and the Economy is the first lesson on our Mind your Business Lecture Series. This is a lesson to prepare you for the NYSC SAED programme during the 3weeks orientation programme and also to get you prepared for the post NYSC service year.
Human Life and the Economy: In life, we have come to realize the limited nature of resources given unlimited need of man. This has been a great concern and have raised great questions to the great economist which include:
- What do we produce so as to maximize the use of the resources available? This question is also taken care of by management accountants in their decision making process and hence, “who is in charge of these resources?” is a big question mark.
- How to produce so as to avoid waste of materials.
- For whom should these products go to; which determines the kind of product to produce. For instance, during war, the country is expected to produce more arms and ammunition so as to must the demand of the war.
- How to maximize or make efficient use of available resources. This is when one continues to collaborate to exchange that which they can produce given barest minimal use of the resources available and then import those products that will cost them more to produce.
And this has given me concern to ask what is the essence when one’s view (law/rule) on the economy is seen as inter- personal validity. By inter-personal validity, I mean that what might be true at this moment given a certain condition, place and time might not hold water given same resources in separate environment and this also places a big question mark on “ceteris paribus”.
Ok! We have talked more in economic terms, now it is time to carry everyone along this great lesson of human life and the economy.
It could be said that the economic activities of a society consists of activities which relates to the production and consumption of goods and services. Both the young and the old, everyone in the society gets involved in the economic processes. There is no day that passes without you either producing, consuming or the two.
Let us take our minds back to the last Christmas period when everyone was spending, are you aware that as you were eager (ready) to spend that there were few at the receiving end who were ready to accept your money and give you what you want, either in product or in science?
Now let us bring it down a bit.
Can you still remember how much you bought air time during the yuletide? Yes, I mean the Christmas period! Most of the card sellers (that was still in business ready to collect your money) sold at the rate higher than what it used to be. Same with other products and services and the most interesting part of it is that within this period, the money in circulation goes into the hands of few who are ready to sacrifice the pleasure of the period to either utilizing the opportunity at that period or trying to meet up with their expected goal at the end of the year.
I hope am now creating an image in your memory? Good!
In the society today, there are two classes of people, the rich and the poor. I understand the question you want to ask but I must tell you that there’s no more the middle class. They have been removed, to widen the gap between the rich and the poor. This as we all know is the reason behind the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Remember our topic: Human Life and the Economy.
If you don’t want to join the group who passes over opportunity repeatedly (Poor), then you need to get up and start doing something today because tomorrow belongs to those who do things today (Napoleon Hill). Get up and create opportunities. Don’t always wait for them to come begging you every time. It all have to start from something you can do too well. Something you are passionate about. Here it requires more than skills and talent. PASSION
The reason behind the rich getting richer is because they are doing something right and they keep doing it. Please do not quote me wrong. I mean the rich who have root and route to their wealth like the founder of face book incorporation (Mark Zuckerberg) that started not up to a decade ago and because of something of value which the company created, they have been able to make it to the top of which analysis of this company can be made with other well established companies like Google Incorporation Apple, Mac, Yahoo and others who started before them. Are you still aware that some individuals make legal money with the use of face book? Well, this calls for a different lesson. (winks).
There are reasons why people get poor (or poorer). It is quite understandable that everyone want to be wealthy and be able to purchase whatever he or she needs. But the question now is “why is it that everyone is not wealthy?” check the list to know if any of them has to do with you; it will help you in achieving your goal and better still mind your own business.
- Most people subscribe to what their predators call “secrets”. Take for instance, If I had entitled this post you are reading “the secrets of making millions in a week or month” The title will hit virtually everyone and compel you to buy not minding its content thereby making me more money and getting you poorer because there is no short cut to wealth. That is why I would not do that rather, I’ll warn you not to subscribe to any post or article/book that promises to get you rich without work. Ask yourself where the money will come from and be wise.
Most of the books with “The secret of …” end up being load of work online and I have subscribed to many email updates and newsletters that at the end of the day I wanted to opt out but cannot find the “unsubscribe” link.
I woke up one morning, searched my inbox to read new messages an internet marketer (name withheld) sent me “Chinwendu, I want to help you achieve your new year goals”.
I was not only angry seeing that kind of email subject though it’s possible but not more than what I expected in the content anyway. It was one of the “secret crap” he wanted me to buy. The funniest part of it was that most people do not try the things they call “secrets”. The question you may ask is “where you forced? why complaining after all, do you even own a business and want us to own one?” I complain because there is no “unsubscribe link” and hence, I term it “spamming” for the second question. Yes I own a communication business and that is why you are reading this. One thing you must know is that when it comes to the world of business, most of the free things being offered to you won’t help you achieve your goal. I said so!
What next happens, the “secret crap” will make you imagine figures and some fat cash lying in your bank account without giving you clue on how to start. Such resources motivates you and still leave you where you are (if not more miserable by hating things around you). Remember our topic: Human Life and the Economy, and we are discussing the reason people get poor (or poorer). You need to take action now and not just imagine big figures you will never get by doing something you do over and over again. Forget about “secret things” and work towards your goal. Ask somebody who knows better than you in that field what it takes to succeed and how to start. Remember, if it is not legal, it’s not worth it!
- Poor people have problem in managing psychological and emotional state of mind. One can be the most talented on earth when you are not mentally okay or not able to control things that happen around you, your goals cannot be achieved the way you feel reading this book, will influence your decisions and at long run, tells how far you can go with the ideas in the book. Being able to control your rate of confidence, courage, ambition and passion now tells how you are able to manage your state in a particular time. By remaining in positive state of being, you see yourself being better equipped to tackle the hurdles of life, so many people get poor because they always have something or somebody to blame for their failure. From Robert Schuller, success is never ending failure is never final; I learnt that the way you manage failure tells how far you can go in life. Imagine you participated in that competition, put in your best and expected the best, after which the result was announced and you did not find yourself in the first three. What do you do? Blame the crew (panel) of judges, blame yourself? Many a time, this happen and instead of the individual to calm down, try to know why he did not make it and become better next time, you see them blame the judge, telling people that those that were declared winners are related to the judge “that was why, if not am the best, which everyone can attest to, that I performed excellently well” Maybe your best was not good enough. Managing your psychological and mental state helps you to be a better person in business and the world out there.
- Poor people are controlled by fear. The only thing one should fear is fear itself. Though a natural part of business world. One important thing to note is that the more risky a business is the more profit you will make in that business, ceteris paribus. This is one of the reasons the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Step out of your comfort zone and do a different thing if you have not been seeing result. People are looking for results and not necessarily what it took you to be there. Develop the courage to dare new things, opportunities. There are ways to manage fear;
- The people that pretend that fear does not exist: This category of people ignore the existence of fear and in a poverty and “misery – manifested” life. When you ignore fear, it gets to the wheel and control you because it will never teach you its positive side since you are not ready to listen to it. There people cannot maximize or reach their goal and this is the most dis-empowered state as it renders you impotent in your efforts.
- The people that act in-spite of fear: This category of people steps into task with courage and they seem to achieve certain goals despite their fear. This kind of people end up wealthy and anxious. They always ask the question “what if I don’t hit my target?” etc. always afraid of failure and mostly guess their way through in some things.
iii. There are people that are motivated by fear itself: These category of people let fear whisper to them, what it has for them and after motivating them, they embrace fear and utilize it.
- Poor people have a negative belief about life and money. There are people who think that they are creators of circumstance. These are the people that allow life to happen to them. The opposite of these people are the positive minded people whose belief is that they are creators of circumstance. This means that they are responsible for whatever comes their way and not just sitting down, thinking that things will happen themselves (which does) and later looking for people to blame. You have no reason to fail. Take action now! The creators of circumstance do not wait for opportunities to come their way, rather they create opportunity themselves. People that are circumstance of life find themselves blaming everyone for their failure. These people blame the government, instead of making out solution. Do not get me wrong. Take for instance, during President Obasanjo’s tenure, people blamed him for everything saying he never did anything. Do you know how many Nigerian debt he offset? Were you expecting him to pass the bill to pay every citizen salary every month? My dear more money will not solve the problem, rather pumping more money into the system puts you and I into more trouble. You will get details of this in lesson 4 – Money Problem.
This category of people always make the statement “… because”. They always attribute their failure to themselves instead of working out solution.
“I can’t make a living in Nigeria because the government is bad” who told you that and who is the government? You and I. People that succeed amidst great challenges are positively minded people. Those who want to do things for the country, create employment rather than seek for employment that is not in existence and end up frustrated. This is not just to motivate you but for you to take action. Distance yourself from friends and relatives that always complain so as not to influence you negatively. The difference between the rich and the poor is that poor people do not value money, they treat money with disrespect while rich people value money and there is good news for you:
Like terms attract while unlike terms repel.
Valuing money does not mean it should be your God or you command people around because you were opportune to have it. Learn to value money and use it wisely. Can you learn something from the rich? Most of them are great givers which attracts more blessing their way but when it comes to business they account for every penny they spend and make sure that their account balance, not minding the nature of the business (if it is solely owned by them) to them, business life is separated from personal life. The lack of money puts you in misery.
- Poor people are limited to only their salary. If you work for money and do not earn heavy commission and or use leverage in most of the things you do, am afraid to announce to you that it will take unmerited favour from God for you to be wealthy in life. Leverage is one important tool in human life. Take for instance, an engineer who works in his private firm or for some companies out there and still renders the services of a lecturer in a high institution, and may also have text books that makes money for him. This is where and when we talk about active income, passive income and portfolio income.
Outside the categories above, for one to get ahead, control your time and resources you have to own and mind your own business you must not necessarily quit your job (Read more in lesson 7).
- Poor people are lousy in doing business. You must not have business experience to start up and when you do you must not have 100% of the skills, and resources needed to start up. You need to start from somewhere. No one is born with business experience, skills or technical-know-how. This is when you need a mentor.
- Poor People choose Bad Mentor. Some people choose people they are better than both in reasoning, psychological and mental management and even in finances. People without money are always quick to offer them advice. This is the reason most people parade themselves as guru, experts, and consultants, without actually having what it takes to be one. Do you know that most of those people have achieved nothing? When you want to start up a business with the capital of N2m and you have someone who has never seen N500,000 in his account before advice you, and does not actually have the knowledge in that line of business, what do you expect? DOOM!
This does not mean that anyone who is financially intelligent cannot give bad advice. There are business startups that model their pattern on greed (don’t necessarily care if they hurt you but rather after your hard – earned money). Please, these people should not mentor you. For you to start up and continue in the business, if these are the kind of people around you, then you can emulate their ambition and incorporate their strategies without bringing in their ethics and greedy nature. Be passionate about the line of business you are going into and be passionate to put smiles on your customers’ faces.
- Poor people are always not happy with the words like marketing, persuasion and sales. For you to start a business and remain in business, be you the Chief Executive Officer, or the Director, you are expected to have the ability of marketing yourself first.
Gone are days when the position “Chief Executive Officer” used to be a title. These days, it’s all about responsibility, though you direct the business but you are expected to know a bit of all the happenings in all the departments. Have the required courage and self-worth to market yourself. Be able to persuade people, let people belief you. You must not study marketing or Business Administration in school for you to sale effectively. Let people invest ideas and visions with them. You must also learn to value the value your customers have given to your business so as to reciprocate these values.
Did you miss the introduction? Read: Mind Your own Business Lecture series