Meet Kwame. Kwame lives in Africa and he has a dream that he will be worth over a million dollars in the next 5 years. But here is something Kwame does not know. Only about 0.01 percent of people living in Africa is worth over a million dollar today; that is about 147,000 people in a continent of over 1.2 billion people.
If the odd of Kwame achieving his financial goal is this low, then it means he has to do something different from the majority to join the minority. As a self-made millionaire, Steve Siebold says, almost anyone has what it takes to become a millionaire. Are you on your way to striking it rich? Or does your behaviour shoot up red flags?
To help you figure it out, we’ve rounded up some warning signs to watch out for. Of course, everyone’s situation is different, but if you’re routinely making these mistakes, it may be time to make some changes when it comes to managing your financial life. You may say, “Well I don’t want to be rich”, but you sure as hell don’t want to be poor either.
1. You believe in someday instead of today
If you plan to be worth a lot of money someday, you should have already been walking towards this goal since yesterday. You will realize that there is no time to waste. Instead of wasting time without a job, you will make sure that no day passes by without you sowing a seed towards your goal; no matter how small.
But if you are laid back and believe that someday your dream will come true without taking deliberate action, all you’ll have is a fantasy. There is nothing like someday; in fact, tomorrow does not exist. Your present day is the accumulation of the works and decisions of past days. And your tomorrow will be the accumulation of the works and decisions of today. If you don’t sow the seed of work today, you will not reap the harvest of tomorrow.
2. You prefer entertainment over education
The value of entertainment is at the moment. Once the entertainment is done, its value elapses. Then you need more entertainment to keep the vibe. On the other hand, the value of education transcends into your future. If you invest more of your time in entertainment over education, you will never develop the capacity to make a fortune in your lifetime. Your money will go towards getting momentary pleasure over long term result. You won’t have the patience to make mistakes and learn from experience. You generally take flight from boring activities. If your yardstick of measuring what is worth your time is by how much entertainment you get, and not how much you could learn, you’ll have a hard time gaining financial independence in your lifetime.
3. You rarely step outside of your comfort zone
Everything you want in life is outside your comfort zone. It takes courage to succeed in whatever field you are in. But the average person wants to be comfortable. Physical, psychological and emotional comfort is the primary goal of the majority mindset. Many people just want a good job, a car, a home and money to pay bills. If this is you, forget about making it big. Success people are stimulated by curiosity and uncertainty. They realize that becoming successful isn’t easy, and that comfort is the enemy of great fortune. If your comfort zone is your most prized possession, it’s ok. Just don’t blame anyone for the average life you settled with.
4. You think being rich is reserved for a lucky few
Poor people say, “I can’t afford it”. Rich people say, “How can I afford it?” The first phrase shut your mind from possibilities, making you defensive. The latter opens up your mind to possibilities on how you can afford what you want.
At the beginning of this article, you saw a statistic that there is only 0.01 percent of millionaires living in Africa. For most people, this simply means that achieving such financial success is out of their reach. They comfortably choose the side of the majority as where they belong. Only a few people will say, if there is this number of millionaires, I’m going to be one of them. Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can or you can’t, you are right”.
If you think making a fortune is out of your reach, you’re probably not going to make a fortune. The average earner remains average because they expect to. The masses think they aren’t worthy of great wealth. “Who am I to be worth a fortune,” they’ll say. The truth is, in a capitalist country, you have every right to be rich if you’re willing to do what it takes.
5. You haven’t started investing
Investing is one of the simplest, most effective ways to generate wealth; and the sooner you start, the easier it will be to make a fortune. There is a trend of quick and easy money in our society today; the get-rich-quick syndrome. Most people are not ready to grow from little. They think it is a waste of time to start small. The good news is that it is easier to put your money to work today. Thanks to micro-investing apps like Piggyvest, Bamboo, ThriveAgric, FarmCrowdy and the likes. You can start investing with little capital. At first, the goal of investing may not be to make a lot of money but to develop the habit of investing and learn in the process.
6. You don’t have financial goals
In his book, “You can negotiate Anything”, Herb Cohen defines a professional as someone who likes to make money but not to talk about it. Many people think of money as a taboo that should not be talked about. They see people who openly talk about their money goals as vain and greedy people. Yet they want to make more money. The number one reason most people don’t get what they want is that they are not clear about what they want. Very few people make a fortune by luck. For most people, you have to deliberately and unapologetically work towards your financial goal. If you want to build wealth, you have to be clear about it. And when you’re setting your financial goals, don’t be afraid to think big.
7. You live above your means
With every money you earn, you have the choice to either sow it as a seed for tomorrow or satisfy your hunger for today. What you choose is totally up to you. Just remember that you will not reap where you do not sow. You get from life what you put into it. Your habits with making, saving and growing money will determine whether you join the ranks of the wealthy in the future or not. If you learned something from this piece, we’ll appreciate if you share it with someone. If you are yet to subscribe to After School Africa, now is a good time to do so. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!