It feels like yesterday when we begun the countdown to 2013, now in a few hours we will welcome the final month of the year and begin the big countdown to 2014. I don’t know if you have seen the forecast yet, but from where I am standing, 2014 is going to be an amazing year! There will be new millionaires, new inventors and amazing trail blazers. Will you be one of them? But before you (Yes, you my Nigerian sibling) start invoking God at the top of your voice, you need to ask yourself one question – “Will I show up?” Truth is a lot of us have big dreams but when the opportunity invites us to the party, we just don’t show up, or we show in other people’s over-sized clothing. But the good news is that you are reading this, and my goal is to give you 5 simple tips to help you show up with your A game in 2014. Happy Reading!
Who are you?
All of us want to make money, at least to some extent, but do we really know how we relate with money? Identifying our unique strengths and weaknesses when it comes to money management is one of the biggest keys to financial success. Are you a serial entrepreneur that keeps launching business after business without giving yourself and your ventures room to grow before packing up? Or are you someone who must have the latest gadgets and luxury items whether you can afford them or not? You may even be in between these two extremes, but before you go a step further, you should take my free money color quiz here to understand your unique personality and how to rock your color(s) to the max in 2014!
Where Are You Coming From?
In the second chapter of my book, “What Color Is Your Money?” I describe something called the DOES plan. DOES, which stands for Debt, Ownership, Earnings and Spending, is a tool that shows you the state of your affairs and how you ended up at your current destination. There is no better financial control than knowing the reason you currently owe more than you own is because you consistently spend more than you earn. The truth is, in order to chart a good path for the future, you need to spend some time reviewing (not dwelling on) the trails of the past. So, I encourage you to take a moment and create a DOES plan right now.
Where Are You Going?
Are you going to the success party in 2014? Where exactly is yours taking place? There is a Yoruba (Nigerian) proverb that warns us not to “work with someone else’s time piece,” but isn’t this what we do all the time when we wake up each and every day without a defined goal? Before you read this and say, “oh, not me! of course I have goals, girl please!” Let me show you the key differences between goals and fantasies. A goal is simple, specific and measurable, something you can work towards and hold yourself accountable to. An example of a goal is, “I want to take a vacation to Hawaii at the end of October and the trip will cost $2,000.” But a fantasy is, “I know I will be so stressed out by the time this project wraps up, so I am going to need a Hawaiian getaway, let’s go there!” Your goals shouldn’t just be about you, anyone whose financial life is “co-mingled” with yours, especially those whose decisions will affect you, need to be a part of the conversation to a large extent. For instance, a married couple have to set financial goals for their household, and business partners should do same for their business.
How Will You Get There?
Now that you know where you are going, it is time to bring out the map to determine how to get there. How long will this trip take? Going back to the example in the last paragraph, if you know that it will cost you $2,000 to go to Hawaii on vacation, you can decide to save $200 from your paycheck each month so that when October arrives, you fund that vacation with your savings and not a credit card or other type of debt that will be waiting for you once the sweet vacation is over. That map is a budget, and everybody needs one. Please don’t frown or run away just because I said the “B” word, a budget is actually easier to establish and maintain than you think. In fact the more complicated your budget is, the more ineffective it will become. Note that a real budget is documented, I always laugh when people tell me that they have their budgets in their heads, for real? How many things can your head really keep straight? If you are a business owner, you need to establish a budget for your business as well, it is an effective tool to help you check how business is fairing during the year. Just remember that a budget is the documentation of your desired path to get to your destination.
Are You Worth “IT”?
Yes, you are! But the question is, do you really believe you are? People who know their self worth ensure that they pay themselves before anyone else, meaning they set aside a portion of their current earnings for future spending – SAVINGS. If you are unable to save when you earn minimum wage, you are unlikely to climb higher, and if perchance you do, you will not be able to save when you earn more. Intending to save is one thing, but actually maintaining that culture can be challenging, so you have got to train yourself to succeed! You have to put in place savings controls that help you keep your savings intact until the time you need the money. Effective savings controls include – establishing direct deposits to your designated savings accounts through your employer, keeping your savings account and other accounts in separate banks, and establishing financial goals that are tied to your savings to give you something to look forward to. In addition to maintaining personal savings, households should also form the habit of maintaining family savings for shared goals, and business owners should endeavor to build business reserves to fund future expansions and carry the business through rocky times.
I hope these tips help you to really and truly show up in 2014! Remember you can get more tips and ideas from my book – What Color Is Your Money? available on amazon, kindle, Taafoo, Jumia, Konga and at Terra Kulture, Laterna and Glendora book stores in Lagos.