A friend invited me to attend a "life changing seminar on wealth creation and investment opportunities." With such persuading marketing, she won my heart and I trooped to the venue at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi.
What struck me at first was that the parking lot was filled with new cars of all shades and colors – the first sign that the people attending the seminar were already well off to a certain level and out to improve themselves or learn how to make more money.
As I entered the hall at exactly 10am when the seminar was scheduled to kick off, I was pleasantly surprised that the majority of the attendees were young women! In my conservative estimate, for every ten women, there were three men.
This is a bold statement that women are looking for opportunities to empower themselves financially and shed off the traditionally accepted tag of being 'dependants'. What with the good life associated with wealth creation that is celebrated world over? Indeed at this rate, men will soon start playing catch up or otherwise deal with women who enjoy the stability and confidence that comes with vast wealth.
The host, Waceke Nduati Omanga,the founder of Centonomy, a personal finance outfit, set the enthusiastic audience on a roll by giving three core pillars of financial stability – spend less than you earn; take responsibility (do not blame the state or any person about your being broke as soon as you earn your salary but yourself) and know what puts money in your pocket as well as what removes it.
It was informative that cars, cell phones or rental houses in exclusive estates were not signs of wealth but what actually removed money from the pocket. Side hustles and investments such as rental houses, shares and any type of business including chicken rearing brought in the money.
Today, I share a few gems I learnt from the many charismatic speakers at the meet, which I believe will be helpful as you set your financial goals.
· Set aside 30 to 40 per cent of your income for investments. Save the money and when it is an adequate figure, invest.
· Start your dream business early. This is important because if you fail you will learn lessons and know how to navigate out of similar situations in future.
· Concentrate on what you can control and things that matter. For example, if you worry about which politician is fighting whom, you will be wasting valuable time you should use instead to better your business.
· Avoid herd mentality. Do not go into onion farming because everyone is doing it; instead you can be more creative and come up with a different approach such as peeling the onions and packaging them for sale.
· Track your expenses. Know how much you spend and on what then seal the loopholes that waste your money.
· Even when you have invested and feel you "have arrived", it is always important to learn from experts for self-improvement even if you are over 60 years old.
· Opportunities to create wealth in the country are immense.
You can start your walk to wealth creation by tracking your expenses. Buy a small notebook and write down how much you spend each day. Is your expenditure necessary?
Waceke gave an example of tracking your lunch expenditure. If you spend Sh300 each day for lunch it translates to Sh9,000 per month which adds to Sh108,000 per year.
If you carry packed lunch to work, you can save a big chunk of this money. What can you do with that amount at the end of the year if, say, you kept it in a special account called lunch?
Also, when you track how much you use in money telephony transactions, you will be shocked at how much you spend. Once you realise this, you will be definitely take charge of how your money goes out – and save in the process.