CONVERSATION WITH MY BILLIONAIRE FRIEND
The secret to getting ahead is getting started. While the secret of getting started is breaking complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable units, starting on the first one – Mark Twain
My conversation with my Billionaire Friend during our last session started casually, but suddenly, my Friend narrowed the discussion and began to explain what he called ‘a small mystery‘ he discovered in the process of building his wealth. He discussed why taking baby steps is a game-changer in the wealth-building process.
My Friend: “Through personal observations and sometimes in the process of interacting with some of my protégés, I reckon that many people think wealth comes by one sudden ‘break’. I try to correct this impression that real, genuine wealth starts from taking baby steps until everything eventually stacks up”.
“From personal experience, as I have stated in our past series, I started building wealth by taking advantage of the Nigerian indigenisation decree of 1976 as an undergraduate. I started buying shares that were offered in IPOs at some kobo per share, which over the years have multiplied in hundred folds into valuable assets. This first step then birthed my investment in wider investment portfolios that have now built a solid and sustainable wealth base for me over the years. As I stated in our past series, I moved from buying shares through utilising small savings as an undergraduate and a Youth Corper. I thereafter improved my investment volume when I started employment by saving 20% of my income and consistently investing in them.
At that time, investment in shares in Nigeria was much more predictable. They also gave returns and capital gains, such that their return on investments in shares were very encouraging under the then good forex management of our nation’s economy.
This investment in shares thereafter gave way to my investment in properties, money market, bonds, etc. This is how my little consistent investment steps gradually built my sustainable wealth. I gradually moved from investing in shares and then grew my investments into local and international properties, etc. These included growing my investments in corporate and sovereign bonds in the money market to create some level of liquidity and extended widely on a gradual and consistent basis, in little steps and drops of water to build some mighty ocean of sustainable wealth. This process, therefore, comes highly recommended, particularly to the employee and self-employed wealth builders. It has worked for other wealth builders. We had Chief Olusegun Osunkeye in an interview last week, where he demonstrated with practical examples how he built his wealth on this same gradual and consistent basis while being an employee wealth builder”.
WHAT WAS THE STRATEGY BEHIND IT?
“As discussed, this strategy of building wealth has worked for many other successful wealth-builders and me. Wealth builders should not attempt to seek sudden and unplanned breakthroughs in their wealth-building activities. Such breakthroughs always usually lead to crashes which wipe off past efforts. My gradual small, consistent wealth-building activity also included investing in start-ups which provided me with board appointments and also investing in existing companies that gave me the ability to add value to such organisations while continuing to build wealth. This strategy is highly recommended for wealth builders”.
“The strategy revolves around wealth builders deciding exactly on what they want in terms of wealth building. They must write down their decisions and think properly about them. They must set out with properly defined and identified goals, and in doing this, they must firmly establish their set goals. They must draw up their lists of sub-tasks, which should be integral to achieving their goals. They just keep adding to these goals from time to time. They must consistently organise their lists of sub-tasks inset plans, with those plans serving as references for measuring their achievements as they grow in wealth. They must take action! They must be consistent! They must be active in achieving their wealth-building goals. They must constantly move towards achieving their daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals.
As discussed consistently in our past conversations, they must expect some falls and risings in the process of their parabolic movement of achieving their wealth-building goals. I had previously discussed instances where I have failed and have also discussed instances where I have made good successes in my wealth-building journey”.
ANY STRATEGY FOR AVOIDING PROCRASTINATION?
The book that comes highly recommended on this issue is titled; “Eat that Frog” by Bryan Tracy. In that book, Bryan Tracy states 21 ways to avoid procrastination. The Tracy book provides tips for organising one’s life in a way to be more consistent and more productive while avoiding procrastination. That book is highly recommended to those people who habitually procrastinate. Bryan Tracy, in that book, clearly discusses the dangers of procrastinating in life. As a wealth builder, you must not, as of habit, procrastinate. Wealth builders must organise and plan their daily lives. They must think ahead. Every minute spent in planning saves as much as 10 minutes in execution, as stated in the book. In that book, Tracy also offers us a six-step formula for effective planning. He states that proper and pure planning prevents poor performance and advises that the best way to plan is to beforehand write down every step that is required to complete a task or project”.
“Generally, procrastination leads to failure. Wealth builders must avoid procrastination because investment opportunities come in flashes. For instance, those who were able to plan in 2014 and bought the dollar at 190 naira to a dollar would not have reaped bountifully if they had waited and procrastinated. Wealth builders must regularly update their lists, and plan and master their lists. They must do the big things first. They must not waste time on smaller things. The book emphasises the 80-20 rule, which is very relevant for wealth building. Brian Tracy, in that book, suggests that it is only 20% of wealth builders’ activities that would account for their key results. It also outlines the consequences of poor task planning by stating that “long-term thinking improves short-term decision making”.
“Brian Tracy’s book has dealt fairly comprehensively with the strategies for overcoming procrastination. These include: you must give the tasks of higher priority first attention; you must be determined and focused on key result areas that are entirely responsible for growing your wealth, and those key areas must be focused on. He goes on to state that the output of the aforementioned tasks is crucial to the input of other people’s tasks, and therefore, all tasks must be effectively put together as teamwork for effective results. Many more include that, all key result areas as mentioned in the list must be prioritised in terms of how crucial they are. Bryan Tracy also recommended that we follow the law of the first efficiency, in which he stated in the book that there is never enough time to do all things but enough time to do the most important. You must prepare thoroughly for your task of building wealth before commencing it. You must do your homework properly, and you must identify and deploy your special talents for building wealth”.
CONSEQUENCES OF GOING FOR SUDDEN BREAKS
“Generally, any wealth builder who aims to make it big without gradual and consistent planning would be likened to participating in a game of lotteries, which is only a game of chance or be looking to consummate illegal business for building wealth.
Wealth building with reputation, integrity and good name require wealth builders to take gradual steps and plan for long term goals in building their wealth on a gradual basis. Little drops of water, they say, make a mighty ocean. Taking small assured steps at every time is a surer and safer way to build the wealth that would give long-term happiness without in the future ending up with a bad reputation and a soiled generational legacy”.
“Wealth building should therefore be aimed at doing good to others, with a good name intact. This gives long-term happiness, acclaim and respect locally and internationally. Any wealth builder who wants to build wealth without taking his reputation and integrity into consideration but only aiming to make big kills will not be doing himself any good because we must always realise that a good name is better than all the riches in the world. A Yoruba proverb particularly encourages that when we concentrate on building a good name and reputation, then wealth would no doubt follow. However, as has been severally canvassed in this conversation series, the building of wealth requires consistent planning, seeking and acquiring knowledge in the chosen area(s) of wealth-building for the achievement of legitimate and sustainable wealth, which will guarantee happiness and fulfilment in the long run, to wealth builders.
This will also leave lasting legacies for the families of wealth builders from which their future lineages would continue to benefit. This is the type of wealth that should be pursued instead of building wealth that future lineages would not want to be associated with”.
“In general, if you build your wealth around your talents and passion, then you are assured of the best results as a wealth builder. Wealth builders must identify what they are good at, what has been most responsible for their success in the past, and which would be best if they could engage in any task for building wealth. Wealth builders must identify key constraints in their process of building wealth. They must identify their set speed. Wealth builders must consistently take each step at a time. Wealth builders must maximise their personal prowess (prowess in terms of personal strength). Personal performance and productivity created through the physical, mental and emotional energies of wealth builders must be harnessed. Wealth builders must motivate themselves to achieve results. The process of building wealth is generally not easy. Hence wealth builders must continue to motivate themselves to achieve their set goals consistently. They must avoid procrastination. Procrastination often leads to failure”.
We agreed it was time to end the conversation. And we bade each other bye.
Till next week.
“Through personal observations and sometimes in the process of interacting with some of my protégés, I reckon that many people think wealth comes by one sudden ‘break’. I try to correct this impression that real, genuine wealth starts from taking baby steps until everything eventually stacks up”
“Generally, procrastination leads to failure. Wealth builders must avoid procrastination because investment opportunities come in flashes. For instance, those who were able to plan in 2014 and bought the dollar at 190 naira to a dollar would not have reaped bountifully if they had waited and procrastinated”.