A wild goat was blind in one eye because of an accident sustained as a kid. Since he was vulnerable if a predator approached on his blind side, he made a habit of grazing on a high cliff facing the sea. He kept his good eye in the direction of the land watching out for enemies and his blind eye towards the ocean.
One day, a boat filled with sailors rowed past the cliff. A sailor spotted the goat, grabbed a bow and shot at him. As the goat lay dying he gasped “I thought my enemies would come by land. I never thought to look out to the sea”
Wealth is only guaranteed when your personal money making machine is made up of effective money generation and money retention system. A defect in either of these systems makes you vulnerable to poverty and financial failure. Unfortunately most people intending to make money often concentrate all their efforts on generating money with little or no attention on controlling money. This is like trying to save the life of an automobile accident victim by doing everything to get him to the hospital without stopping blood flow from his body. The truth is: he is likely going to die faster due to loss of blood than due to the injury sustained. You will remain poor more as a result of lack of money control skills than due to lack of money generation skills. This is true for individuals as well as for organizations.
Think about it this way, every time you save $100, you are automatically $100 richer. But every time you need to make $100 you will need to spend some money in other to make it, sometimes as much as $ 80. Therefore preventing yourself from losing $100 might be equivalent to making $500 or more. The first and most important skill of enduring prosperity therefore is money retention skills.
6 Key Symptoms of Chronic Lack of Money Control
If you ask most people if they are good at controlling money, their answers will be a resounding yes. But this approach will give the kind of result you will get if you ask children if taking ice-cream is good for their health. The best way to know if you have money control problem is to answer the five questions below as sincerely as you can with a yes or a no. No one else needs to know what your answers are, but being sincere with yourself will put you on the path of enduring prosperity.
Do you regularly find yourself in short-term and long-term non-business debt? E.g. You always have to borrow money or apply for IOU before the end of the month
Do you find yourself borrowing money from people who earn less income than yourself? E.g. Sub-ordinates or non-working parents
Do you find yourself usually involved in regret expenses? These are expenses you incurred and wished you had delayed for more important expenses
Do you find yourself usually involved in emotional purchases or expenses? Buying things or spending money not because you need to but because of what people will say
Do you find yourself regularly unable to meet expected and predictable bulk expenses such as: Children school fees, Maternity bills, House rents, Major car repairs
Do you find yourself regularly dreaming of jackpot or sudden financial breakthrough and therefore frequently participating in different types of lottery or lucky dips
If your answer to only 2 of the questions above is yes, you have money control problems. If your answer to 3 or more is yes, your money control problem needs urgent and immediate attention. But don’t panic. You only have to be aware of some money control laws and begin to obey them.
Laws of Money Control
Law #1 – Law of Financial Entropy
Your money and financial life will continue to be in a state of disorder unless you apply conscious force or influence to put it in a state of order and sustain it there.
That means, money cannot just accumulate in your bank account without you applying the discipline of savings. It also means that you will never suddenly discover that you have any money left in your hands at the end of the month unless you make conscious effort to keep some, irrespective of how much you earn. You see, the force that tries to take money away from your hands has to be stopped by the force of your will and desire to be prosperous. Financial prosperity or poverty is like a physical building, when completed it looks big and intimidating; but it usually starts with invisible foundations, sand, concretes, blocks, and cements. Just like a building will never be complete by accident, your financial success will not happen by accidents. It will only be established and sustained by the awareness and application relevant financial laws, actions and habits.
Law #2 – Law of Financial Goals
You cannot achieve and sustain a money goal you never set for yourself.
You cannot arrive at a financial bus station you never intended or decided to go to. Nobody wakes up in the morning; take a public transport, and instructs the driver to take him to a popular bus station called “No Where”. But that is what people try to do when they wish to have money without having specific and definite money goal. If you aim at nothing, you will surely and certainly hit nothing. If you do not have a clearly defined and well documented money goal for given period of time, you should be happy not to have any money, because that is what you wanted.
Research results in Achievement Psychology reveals that less than 3% of average population of people have clearly written down goals and 100% of successful leaders anywhere in the world have clearly written down goals that are often carried around with them on a regular basis. Ask yourself these questions: Exactly how much do you want to earn in 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years time? What kinds of information, skills, expertise, experience, do I need to have in order to earn this kind of money? Who are the people currently earning this kind of money legally, and how can I have access to the information, skills, expertise, experience, and strategies they have? Providing written, detailed, and sincere answers to these questions will produce effective money goals and clear road map to your financial destiny.
Law #3 – Law of Potential
The financial value of a habitual expense is not as important as its potential financial consequence.
You can also state this law like this: “the size of a car in not as important as the speed at which it is moving”. Many people habitually spend their money on seemingly small and inconsequential expenses and take for granted that the amount of money involved in such expenses can’t negatively impact their financial prosperity. Well, when you focus on the impact of just one transaction that may be true, but when you factor in the frequency of such expense and the exponential effect of its addictive influence on your long-term financial goals, you may discover it is enormous. Try out this experiment on your expenses and see the kind of impact we are talking about. Take a sheet of paper and list out how much you spend on weekly basis on things like: non-alcoholic drinks, beer, pepper soup, fast foods, entertainment CDs/VCDs, and none business telephone calls etc. Total the amount in Naira and multiply by 52 (weeks in a year) and see how much you have.
For a person who spends as little as $20 on non-business calls, $ 40 on fast food, and $20 on non-alcoholic or alcoholic drinks daily for 5 days a week and 52 weeks of the year the cumulative expense comes to about $20, 880.00. But that is not even the real consequence we are talking about. Imagine that instead of spending that money, you consistently set it aside every year and put that $ 20, 800.00 into a business or investment that yields 15% per annum. In 10 years the money would have become $423,941.65 and in 20 years it would have grown to become $ 1,797,288.74. Talk about potential!. Again, the moral lesson here is not to completely avoid these expenses, but to become aware of careless indulgences and the potential we have to put our hard earned money to productive use.
Law #4 – Parkinson’s Law
Expenses expand to meet the money available
The more you earn, the more you want to spend. The higher your income, the higher the living standard you want to adjust yourself to. Have you ever noticed that when your income increases you often become irritated by the things you used to enjoy? For instance if you used to enjoy viewing you’re your 14″ television screen when your monthly income is just $5000.00. When you take a promotion or new Job that pay $25,000.00 you will suddenly become interested in a flat screen 28″ television, along with high range cable network, and exotic sound accessories. In fact, you will suddenly discover you need to change both the quality of your furniture and the location of your accommodation. You will keep adjusting to your new level of income until you realize that the money is really not enough after all.
The truth is, savings and investment will never happen just because you earn more money. Your financial behavior is determined by your subconscious financial blue print. If the dominant thought pattern in your financial operating system is consumption, all your financial behaviors will be consumption oriented irrespective of how much money you earn. If don’t have savings with an income of $ 1000.00 per month, you will not have savings with an income of $ 50,000.00 per month. Increase in income without a change in financial habits is like trying to have a different picture by enlarging the negative of the same photograph