Inside the mind that creates a millionaire

I read somewhere that the moment you feel like your income can’t sustain your lifestyle, it’s time to grow. This is a good thing because it means there’s actually room for growth.

However, surveys show that only 10 per cent of complaining entrepreneurs/employees are willing to go the extra mile to get what they want.

The number one reason we stagnate is that we’re afraid. We’re mostly afraid of failure, and that can never fuel change.

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There was a time I got comfortable with what I was earning to the point where I started living a routine life since I knew my rent, electricity bill and transport were taken care of.

Most of us are at this stage. One of my friends is really talented and every time I present an idea to him, he helps me develop it even further. But guess what his chase is? Employment. His reason is that the moment he’s employed he’ll never worry about all these issues that affect him. And then he added that he’s not willing to take risks.

As I was writing this, a friend of mine who’s employed argued that this advice doesn’t apply to the employed, but that’s where we go wrong. Let me give you a point of view from the CEO.

Become more valuable

The mistake many employees make is that they’re always writing to HR, asking for a pay rise. But in the same office, you’ll find that some employees will get a salary increment, while others won’t. The reason is that most employees just work so that they don’t get fired.

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You should never treat what you do like a job; treat it as a career. A company works on what’s generated, so if the employees aren’t putting in the work, then the ‘revenue in’ won’t help the company grow.

For example, the sales team, which is usually on retainer, operates from a level playing field, and since they earn commissions, the top cream will always show and that’s where the managers are.

While some members of the team say the job is difficult, others enjoy closing deals and getting clients what they need.

The pay rise comes automatically when you work. This applies to both entrepreneurs and employees. The moment you’re irreplaceable, you’ve earned your spot in the business.

Majority share rule

I used to work at a studio called Sneed Records. I started out as an errand boy since I didn’t have any skills to offer. But within the first month, I saw an opening.

The owner of the business, DJ Loop, was a very good businessman but I felt he didn’t have enough manpower. He understood the music business, so he was either in studio making music or jingles for corporations, or outside holding meetings. While doing that, the studio was left unattended.

I was willing to learn and occupy a seat as an engineer or producer. Within the space of a few months, he’d taught me production, and before I knew it, I was the official studio engineer.

But I was doing all this so I wouldn’t have to pay for studio time. In exchange, I never asked to be paid. However, since DJ Loop would call me in for sessions with clients, he started paying me.

Since I’m the number one advocate for never getting comfortable, during the recordings of jingles, I started giving ideas that made the cut. Within no time, I started getting an official payslip.

Even though my intent was just to put out my music, I became an asset to the company. At that time, I’d also opened a graphic design office in the city, which impressed DJ Loop. A few months after he learnt about my company, Sneed opened a graphic design branch that turned into a new revenue stream.

When I got to the point where I wanted to move to more challenging fields, Loop offered me equity.

So even if you’re employed, don’t be afraid of dreaming; you never know the doors that it might open.

Entrepreneurs complain that they don’t have retainers, making it hard to increase their income. But I have one rule, which took me a while to acquire but I thank Loop for the mentorship. There were times the company didn’t have money, but he’d confidently tell me that we would bounce back. I loved this approach.

Some of us, when we lack, we close shop. That’s a poor mentality. It takes vision and dedication to take the revenue stream curve higher.

The writer is an award-winning artiste and entrepreneur.  

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