8 Practical Things You Must Do To Escape Poverty
I grew up hearing my dad often make statements like, ‘the rich are proud’; ‘the rich never sleep peacefully’, ’I am greater than the rich because I sleep peacefully’. He will often make comments starting with ‘We the poor…’ These turned out to become some self fulfilling prophesies. Being a natural observer, one lesson became apparent for me; it’s not circumstances that keep you where you are in live; it is what you think and say about yourself.
There is no doubt that people experience poverty in different variations. And some people find themselves in environments that propagate extreme poverty. But chances are that most people who watch this video don’t fall in that extreme poverty category.
So to start with, if you are of the habit of using the phrase, ‘we the poor masses’; delete it from your vocabulary. Then join me as I share with you, 8 practical things you must do to escape poverty.
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Let’s begin 8 Practical Things You Must Do To Escape Poverty
1. Stop being Entitled
It’s not circumstances that keep us where we are; it is what we think and say about ourselves. But seeing yourself as deserving success is one thing; getting other people to see you that way is another. You may feel you deserve to be handed a job because you spent five years of hard work studying at the university. But for other people, you are just another millennial that has a lot to learn.
You may think you deserve special treatment because you have suffered abuse and extreme poverty in the past; but most people are too busy dealing with their own problem.
People only respect previous results. That is why success continues to beget more success. If you are searching on “How to build a parachute” online and two videos show up; one has 415 views, the other has 1.5 million views, which are you going to choose? That’s it. You’ll choose the more successful one. It is why Samsung phones and iPhone continues to outsell the new phone companies. People unconsciously value sacrifice and result. They expect you to pay your dues.
If you haven’t done anything worthy of accolades, and you go about making demands, you are just being entitled. Get to work building your profile. Go out and start doing that thing you believe is beneath you. Learn that handiwork. Take up that job you believe is below your qualification. No one is going to lay that foundation for you; you have to do it yourself.
2. Remove Yourself from the statistic of the Poor
The first step to help the poor is to not be one of the poor. With the limitless knowledge and resources available today, it will be too selfish of you to remain poor. Here is why.
By using the resources within your disposal to get out of poverty, you mathematically reduce the number of poor people in the world, not just by one but by many. That knowledge; that idea; that skill you have, can help take care of two, three or more people. It will be unfair if you don’t develop it.
Another important reason to remove yourself from the poor is that – If you want to get what you don’t have, you have to do what you have never done. Poverty comes with a lot of mental baggage. You can’t become a person of success while still identifying yourself as poor. Eliminate all those labels associated with poverty from your lips. Stop referring yourself as among “the poor masses”. Start surrounding yourself with progressive people.
3. Stop caring what other people think, unless they are buying from you
Little minded people are like crabs. You’ve probably heard about crabs, haven’t you? If you put, let’s say 47 crabs inside a bucket without covering the lead, none of them will be able to get out. In reality, they could simply climb on each other and find their way out; but not these creatures. They will rather pull down anyone of them that tries to find their way out. In their mind, “we all die here”. Little minds who don’t have the courage to work themselves out of their below average life, are often fond of talking down on people who want to try. These people will rarely support or patronize what you offer. But they’ll be the first to tell you why this is not for you.
If your strategy in life is to end up pleasing everyone, you will end up miserable; trapped in the same mess. So, you must train yourself to ignore crab minded people. Let them keep their opinion while you keep your dream alive.
4. Start seeing ‘yourself’ in Successful people
We are all humans; and we have the natural tendencies to be selfish. Even religions depend on “What’s in it for the convert” like eternal life and prosperity. Poor people see these attribute of selfishness as belonging to the rich, so they portray this false humility to mask their true desire. The truth is that you can’t become what you hate. If you continue to see progressive people as antagonists, you’ll never understand what it’ll take to make progress.
No doubt, some people take their greed and selfishness to the extreme and only live to oppress other people. But the magic is to understand this inherent human nature, that everyone you meet is first and foremost more interest in “what’s in it for them”. People are always thinking about themselves. With this knowledge, start focusing more on what people want and what you can offer them. Jim Rohn puts it clearly, “you can have all you want in life if you can help as much people get what they want”. Turn the focus of your life towards identifying and providing what other people want and you will be on your way to getting what you want.
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5. Learn a skill and get good at it
On a deeper level, the problem of poverty is not lack of money but lack of skill. The best strategy to escape poverty is to learn a skill people want to pay for. Interestingly, there is an avalanche of free resources to help you develop and brush up your skills; from programming, design to marketing skills. There is also carpentry, shoe making, car mechanic and other handwork. This is where you need to keep your entitlement mindset to check. As long as you are doing decent work, and earning a living off it, you should be confident and proud of what you do.
6. Move your service from intermediate to professional
Listen attentively to this. People do not hire you or patronize your business or service because they want to help you get out of poverty. They do so because they need to solve a problem. Many people get trapped in the circle of poverty and mediocrity by offering poor and nonchalant services. They go about their work like hunting; every encounter is hunt and kill. They leave each prospect bitter and vowing never to patronize them again.
Don’t toll this path. Instead, keep in mind that people are inherently selfish; they want to be treated well; they want good result. Focus on helping them get what they want, so that you can get what you want. Instead of treating your work as hunting, decide to treat it as gardening. If you are in business, you need repeat patronage; in the professional world, you need referrals and recommendations. Don’t go about burning your bridges. Start cultivating positive relationships around your work.
7. Learn to sell
What do you think is the highest paid profession in the world? It’s not medical doctors or engineers. The highest paid profession in the world is sales. The richest people are the best at selling; whether it’s selling their vision, their product and service or their skills. They are masters at selling.
The ability to sell is not reserved for a few set of people. Anyone can learn this skill. The problem is that most people spend too much time on the product and too little on selling what they have. If you want to escape poverty, the ability to sell can get you out faster than any other skill. There is no best-written author, but best-selling author.
8. Take Back Control of Your mind
Most of your opinions are not original. They were adopted from your environment into your mind. Each time you turn on the TV, go on social media, listen to people around, your mind is getting suggestions on opinions to hold or to let go.
Here is an example. Do you know that mega supermarkets are designed to make you buy more than what you had in mind to buy? You walk in to get a deal on one item and you walk out buying a cart full of items; some of which you don’t need. How would you explain that almost everyone in Africa seems to fanatically support a football club in England or Spain? Or that millions of people lost their money in a ponzi scheme that promised 30 percent interest every month.
If you take the time to ponder, you will realize that you are not as in control of your mind as you think. You will realize that some of the things you spend time, energy and money on are actually not worth much. Your mind is your most valuable asset. Take back control of it by deciding what you let into it. Read books and stories that inspire you to dream and take productive action. Invest in yourself.
This is where we wrap it up. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section. Also thumb up and share this video with your friends. If you are yet to subscribe to After School Africa, now is a good time to subscribe. Until next time YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!