Don’t Be A Slave To The Monthly Salary

After graduation from the university in 2011, I started looking for a job to enable me earn a living and support my family. It wasn’t a bed of roses during that period but I was optimistic about getting a job for myself. Thus, as one could predict, getting a job in Nigeria after graduation from the University has been the most fearful experience faced by most Nigerian graduate till date. But after some months of doing nothing, I was lucky enough to get a job in my church, to work with the I.T department. My work then was to help register all the church members in the church social media platform called YOOKOS. My salary back then was N21, 000 and I was very comfortable with the pay since it was my first job. At the period, I was waiting for my NYSC posting.

For me as a young graduate, I’ve already started thinking I’ve gotten secured job, but little did I know I was limiting my mind from something bigger. I was enslaving myself to the token monthly salary. And after few months of doing the job, I left for my NYSC that lasted for 12 months. I went back to my formal employer for the same job; they told me my space has been taken by another person. I was devastated and frustrated. It was a shocking experience back then because I was thinking I’m going to continue to work there after my NYSC.

It was after then I started seeing life with different perspective. As a young man, I really want to do something with my life. I want to start making money. I want to contribute in taking care of father. I want to be okay with money.

One of the traps I felled into, especially during that period, is a trap of enslaving me to the monthly salary I receive at the end of the month. It was something I was thinking I can’t make do without. The true nature of reality forced me to start seeing different opportunities on how to make money to support myself and my family. I started developing my skills, got a job to teach Mathematics and Chemistry, started doing lessons for students that were preparing for their West African Examination Council and Joint Admissions Matriculations Board. From there, I started making money on my own without waiting someone to employ me full-time. Below are principles I learned and I used them to changed mindset for the better.

Take Responsibility

The first step is to assume full responsibility for your current financial situation. It doesn’t matter if someone screwed you, if an act of God put you there, or if you had a shoddy education that disadvantaged you. Sure those factors may have had a say in where you ended up, but it can’t help you to dwell on them.

I got screwed over in some bad business deals, but as long as I focused on those past problems, I couldn’t move forward. I had to let all of that go and forgive everyone and everything first.

You must assume 100% responsibility for your financial life. This doesn’t mean 85% responsibility or even 99% responsibility. If you’re going to improve your situation, you have to put the full burden of doing so squarely on your own shoulders. First and foremost, you must hold yourself responsible.

Even if you share your finances with someone else, you still have to claim 100% responsibility for your situation. There’s no splitting responsibility 50-50.

Responsibility is atomic. It’s indivisible. You can multiply it, but you can’t cut it into pieces. Either you have it, or you don’t.

Think about that for a moment. If you put a fraction of the responsibility for your situation onto someone else, you’re taking it off yourself. That’s going to work against you down the road when you use it as an excuse to slack off in a moment of weakness. If you try to lay responsibility for your situation on anyone else, you’re being irresponsible. It’s all or nothing.

I can’t emphasize this point strongly enough. I know the idea of assuming responsibility may sound a bit cliche at first, but seriously this is where the vast majority of people will fail. They’ll claim 80% responsibility and figure that’s enough. It isn’t — not remotely. Get it in your mind right now that 80% is the same as 0% when it comes to responsibility. You can’t allow yourself the “out” of blaming the world, the economy, your spouse’s failings, or some other factor for their inability to get better results.

Responsibility isn’t about blaming yourself or looking to the past. It’s about taking control over your situation. It’s about realizing that you always possess response-ability — the ability to choose your response. It’s about accepting the truth that if anything is going to change, your will must be the force that changes it.

Without 100% responsibility you are utterly powerless. If you want things to change, you have to step into your power fully and completely. And you can’t do that if you remain in denial of even a smidgeon of your responsibility.

I’m not suggesting you can control every circumstance. I’m simply saying that you always have the ability to respond. Sometimes your responses may be limited or ineffective, but you still have the power to respond at all times.

I don’t care if you’re a housewife who relies on your husband for 100% of your family’s income. If you want to change your financial situation, then the responsibility for making it happen is 100% your own… not your husband’s. You aren’t some weak and powerless being. You’re a creative person. Never, ever put the blame on your spouse for not holding up his/her end of what you believe to be your financial bargain. If you don’t like the situation you’re in, then you change it. That may take the form of influencing your spouse to make some changes, or it may mean generating some income on your own. Either way, it’s your will that must fuel this change.

Put yourself in the state of accepting that if your situation is to change at all, then it’s all on you, or it will never happen.

Decide You Deserve Better

People essentially earn what they believe they deserve to earn. The main reason you aren’t earning more is because you know you don’t deserve it. But this is a tough thing to accept. Chances are your ego will very much dislike this idea. You may already be coming up with arguments to explain why this isn’t true. Take a deep breath, and set them aside for the moment.

Take whatever hourly figure you’re earning right now. Multiply it by 10. Then imagine yourself earning that much right now. Chances are it feels uncomfortable — maybe a bit scary, stressful, improbable, complicated, overly exciting, or just too “out there” for you to accept it as real. And that’s precisely why you aren’t earning that much. You’re making that figure into way too big a deal.

The people who are earning 10x as much as you are don’t think about that figure the same way you do. It just feels normal and natural to them. It’s not a big deal at all. One reason you aren’t there yet is that it’s still a big deal to you. If you want to get there eventually, you must reach the point in your mind where that level of income is no longer a big deal. It’s okay if it’s mildly exciting, but it shouldn’t seem so incredible that you can’t accept it as real.

Drop the Social Dead Weight

You probably have people in your life who’ve become rather attached to your financial status quo. This doesn’t mean they’re financially dependent on you. It just means they’ve gotten comfortable with where you are now — and they’d become uncomfortable if you were to make some big changes.

If you boost your finances, other people in your life may feel they’re being left behind. Be prepared for this. It happens.

Can you identify anyone in your life right now who’d have a problem if you doubled or tripled your income? If so, you’d better deal with that up front. Either talk it through, or decide to part ways. Otherwise this person may (perhaps inadvertently) try to sabotage your financial increase, often by making negative comments that make you feel bad for earning more money.

I assure you there are plenty of people on the other side who will be happy and excited to see you improving your finances. This is especially true among entrepreneurs, but it really depends on the field you’re in. I have some friends that are very encouraging when I talk about boosting my income, but I have other friends that would feel threatened or intimidated. The difference has little to do with how much money these people are making — it has to do with their attitude toward financial increase in their own lives. Those who are encouraging invariably have a positive outlook for the future. Those who are discouraging are dissatisfied with their own financial situation.

One of the best things you can do is to make friends with people who have a positive financial outlook. It doesn’t matter how much they’re earning right now. It could be 10x more or less than you. Look for people who assume 100% responsibility for their finances — people who don’t blame others for their setbacks. Such people make good long-term friends because they won’t freak out every time you boost your income.

Again, entrepreneurs are generally a good bet here. Commissioned salespeople are another good choice. And investors (any kind) are good too. Long-term employees (salaried or hourly) usually don’t have anywhere near the same level of financial enthusiasm as these other groups. That’s why they’re willing to trade hours for dollars and donate most of the results they generate to someone else, such as an entrepreneur, salesperson, or investor.

Increase Your Service

Money is a medium for exchanging value. If you want more money, you can create more value and/or deliver your value to more people. One of the best ways to improve your service is by putting it into a permanent form. This way you can provide value even when you aren’t physically present.

For example, if you recite a poem to a group of 20 people, you may deliver some value to those 20 people. But that’s a one-time event. Every day you’re starting over from scratch. This is the approach that most employees use. They don’t build anything that they retain ownership of. Instead, they merely trade hours for dollars, so someone else ends up owning what they helped to build — and thereby reaps all the long-term benefits of ownership. Again, this is very generous of employees, but very unwise if you wish to get ahead financially.

You can reinvent your life by reinventing your brain once you take 100% responsibility for your life.

Until Next Time, Live Exceptionally!!!


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