I have been broke. I mean dead broke without a quarter of a penny. I’ve gone days without food. I have been frustrated, confused and depressed not knowing what to do with my life. Those were the darkest moments of my life. However, in my darkest moments, I had intangible things that I could have converted to money—talents, ideas and skills—if I know how. I was like a man dying of thirst by the side of the river. In those days, I blamed the economy, the government, my family and even my friends. I blamed everything else but my very self. If you are broke and you find yourself in this state, here are the things you need to do instead of blaming the entire world or concluding the god of luck is against you.
Accept the reality: When you blame every other thing except yourself, then you are living in self denial. What you need to do is to accept your reality and stop pointing fingers at every other thing. You are the architect of your present state; you led yourself to where you are. You are where you are as a result of the actions, either right or wrong, you executed in the past. So, it is time to take the blame away from everyone and accept that it all happened on your watch.
Analyze your reality: Yes, you can decide to jump up from your bed of laziness to find yourself just about any odd job. That is not the right thing to do. First, you need to analyze yourself. You need to get a notepad and then outline the skills and talents that you have. Every human possesses more than a skill or talent. So, it is obvious that you have at least one.
Trade your skill or talent: I am not asking you to start a business; that will take a long process. Start looking for how to trade your skill or talent. You can decide to find a job where you will exchange your skill or talent for money. Or, you can decide to trade your skill or talent in your circle of network; among the people that you know. Let them know you are willing to meet their needs or solve their problems using your skill or talent. And be ready to accept whatever fee is perked to your talent or skill. Remember you are still in the survival mode.
Expand your network: Once you expand your network of people that you are selling your talent or skill to, your income will increase. Leverage on friends of family and friends of friends. Find a way of reaching more and more people. Lucky you, we are in the social age, so you can leverage on a larger network of people from your social platforms.
Decide to set up a business or get a proper job: Now, that you are making money with your skill or talent, you can either choose to start a business of your own, or find a proper 9-5 job where your skill or talent will be relevant. A business well positioned will give you regular income. A job where you function well will give you monthly paycheck. So the choice is yours.
Save and invest 10% of your income: Once your income is regular as planned, then it is time to start saving and investing bit by bit. Start by saving and investing 10% of your income. Consistently save and re-invest your money, and leverage on what we call compound interest and few years from now, you will never be broke again.
Alfred Ade-Ijimakinwa, the founder of BusinessIQ magazine. He is a Business Development Consultant with over a decade of experience. He is the business management facilitator for Simplinteriors School of Entrepreneurship and a regular contributor to Business Day National Newspaper.